Oh momma, this minestrone is exquisite. I mean, we don't want to toot our own horn here, but we feel like this soup should be a part of your new food rotation stat. That's bold for a soup, we know. Just take a peek:
Colorful, rich, hearty, flavorful, and filling - all from a vegetable soup! This minestrone is so good we decided it earned the name Magnificent Minestrone.
Now, we are aware that not all folks are keen on making meals out of soup and we sort of understand that thinking. You've probably been there before; you enjoy a heaping bowl of soup and not even an hour later you are starving. This is an unfortunate scenario. Especially if you are trying to make an effort to eat better and only packed so much food for lunch 😮 So unfortunate in fact that we've known clients who were self proclaimed "soup haters" for this very reason. Soup haters. Friends, that is a sad story. Lucky for you, this type of situation is preventable and we promise that not only will this soup keep you full and satisfied for hours, but it might even turn those soup haters into #souplovers4lyfe. 😉
At its core, minestrone is a vegetable based soup, complimented by a fragrant broth and a pasta, rice, or other grain. Sounds simple enough, right? It really is! But to elevate a good soup to a great one, remember your HSVs (herbs, spices, and vinegars) and be sure to add some varying textures rather than ending up with a bowl of mushy, overcooked vegetables. Not delicious.
We chose the vegetables for our minestrone because they are some our favorites, and let's be honest, mostly based on what was on sale, but you can use your favorites as well. Love kale? Throw it in! Prefer zucchini over green beans? We don't mind. Get creative.
One of our favorite additions to this meal is farro. Haven't heard of it before? It's worth a look, and taste! Farro is a whole grain related to wheat and has a sweet, mild flavor and wonderful chewy texture. It makes a perfect addition to soups and stews, casseroles, and as a replacement in pasta or rice dishes. It is rich in nutrients as well. For more on that, keep reading...
Nutrition Notes: This recipe is a vegetable rainbow of color. Each colorful vegetable offers its own range of protective phytochemicals. Although the vegetables do "lose" some nutrients in the simmering process, you retain many of them in your broth! As mentioned, farro is a whole grain related to wheat, but lower in gluten, therefore making it somewhat easier for those with gluten sensitivities to digest. Farro is rich in B vitamins, iron, zinc, fiber and plant based protein. Paired with garbanzo beans, this soup provides all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 carrots peeled and sliced into 2" pieces
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 8 cups reduced sodium broth
- ½ lb fresh green beans sliced into 2" pieces
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup dry farro, barley, or orecchiette pasta
- ½ tsp each dried thyme and oregano
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp crushed black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add garlic and onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until onions are tender and transleucent.
- Add celery and carrots and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, or until celery begins to become tender.
- Next, add green beans, tomatoes, broth, and remaining seasonings and bring to a simmer, stirring occassionally.
- Add farro and continue simmering until farro is fluffy and tender, roughly 20 minutes.
- Reduce heat and stir in spinach and beans, until tender is wilted.
- Remove bay leaf and serve up your soup! Garnish with shredded parmesan or asiago cheese if desired, and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts (makes 5-6 servings)
Calories - 350 Fat - 7g Carbohydrates - 49g Protein - 14g Fiber - 11g Vitamin A - 111%DRI Vitamin C - 24%DRI Iron - 17%DRI