My love for minestrone soup is a new-found one. I never cared much for vegetable soups in the past but all of that changed when I decided to give this recipe a try. Don’t ask what came over me to make me want piping hot soup for dinner on a WARM winters night but I am happy I tried it. My hubby and I loved it and vowed to make it again soon. This soup is hearty, comforting, and deceivingly healthy!
The best thing about soups is their versatility, you can feed a group for relatively cheap, and the mass amount of leftovers keep well. Great for families!! You can pop this in your slow-cooker before work and have dinner on the table as soon as you walk through the door. I did not plan very well in advance so I made this in my dutch oven on the stove top.
Anyways, I’ll skip the intro and jump right to the meat, or lack there of in this case, of the recipe. I am heading out to Charleston, S.C. tomorrow bright and early so I need to get myself packed and ready for my food adventure. Oh, and a bachlorette party thrown in there too 😉 !! That city has some SERIOUSLY amazing food and I cannot wait to dig in!
Serves: about 12
- 2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, chopped
- 1 small/medium zucchini, diced small
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 1 1/2 large carrots)
- 1 cup celery, sliced thin (about two large stalks)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 cups (64 ounces) of low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups small whole-wheat (or brown rice, etc) pasta shells
- Two 14.5-ounce cans no-salt added diced tomatoes (do NOT drain!)
- One 15-ounce can no-salt added red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- One 15-ounce can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
- One 15-ounce can no-salt added green beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp. no salt added mixed seasoning blend
- 1 tsp. pepper, freshly cracked
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- 2 cups fresh spinach, lightly packed
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional for topping
- To very large Dutch oven or stockpot, add oil, onions, zucchini, carrots, and celery and saute for about 5-10 minutes or until they just start to soften. Stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and saute for additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth, pasta, tomatoes, both cans of beans, green beans, bay leaves, seasoning blend, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil gently for about 10-15 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
- Note: If at any time during cooking the liquid level is lower than you would like, add in a cup or two of water or vegetable broth.
- Turn down to a simmer and add in the spinach and lemon juice. Stirring to combine. Taste soup and add salt to taste. I added about 1 tsp overall.
- Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh made pita crisps (recipe to follow!) and enjoy!!