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As colder weather moves into my area this week, the time felt right to make a pot of healthy, nourishing soup! Soup is one of my favorite foods. It is so versatile and I like creating a large pot of soup on Sunday and storing it in the fridge for a quick meal.
Flipping through the pages of my Blue Zones Cookbook, I landed on a minestrone soup recipe that looked amazing. After creating a pot of this flavorful soup, I discovered that it is, indeed, amazing.
Plus minestrone soup is easy to make, using on hand veggies, gluten free pasta and legumes.
Check out the recipe!
Why this soup?
I selected this recipe from the cookbook for a couple of reasons: I possessed most of the ingredients in my kitchen already and it has a good story behind it.
In the cookbook, this recipe is called the Melis Family Minestrone.
Which made me wonder who this family was!
They are a family in Sardinia, Italy, who hold the Guinness World Record for oldest family in history. The nine siblings boast a collective age of 851 years, with the oldest living to 109.
Everyday the Melis family ate the same lunch: sourdough bread, Cannonau wine and minestrone soup.
Minestrone is a soup made from veggies, beans and a grain, typically some sort of pasta. It is high in protein and dietary fiber, which is good for gut health.
Minestrone Soup Recipe
This soup is a great way to use up left over vegetables in the fridge. Below is a standard recipe but feel free to add other veggies.
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 4 tsp minced garlic
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 1/2 cup chopped fennel (bulbs, stalks and stems)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1 can navy or white beans, drained
- I can red beans, drained
- 4 cups veggie broth
- 4 cups water
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 2/3 cup gluten free pasta
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onions, carrots and celery, cooking and stirring until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic. Cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, basil, parsley, rosemary, beans, veggie broth and water.
- Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and cover, simmering for 30 minutes. Add pasta, salt and black pepper and more water, if needed. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender but not overcooked.Serve with more olive oil, if desired, and a slice of sourdough bread.
Tips for Making Minestrone Soup
If desired, substitute dry beans for canned. Soak bean overnight, drain and rinse. Simmer for two – three hours, or until beans are tender.
Switch out the beans, according to what you have on hand. I recommend always including chickpeas, at least, and then two more beans of choice.
Add or swap out veggies, using what you have on hand. Some good choices include summer squash, zucchini, and green beans. If fennel isn’t available, leave it out. I didn’t have fennel for this batch but found a source for it and I’ll include it next time.
Use a small size pasta. I chose gluten free elbow macaroni. If you don’t have gluten sensitivities, use regular pasta.
Include or swap out seasonings. Use dried Italian seasoning or thyme or try fresh basil, rosemary and parsley.
If you don’t have veggie broth, use water. Or use all veggie broth and no water for a rich broth. Make your own veggie broth using this recipe.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator, knowing you can heat up a yummy bowl of soup in a few minutes.
My Minestrone Soup
I’ve enjoyed this delicious minestrone soup for lunch every day this week. While I intend to make a fresh and different pot of healthy soup each Sunday, this minestrone soup certainly stays in the rotation. It has the perfect blend of veggies, legumes, pasta and seasonings. I’m watching my sodium intake, so I appreciate the flavor the seasonings provide, without having to use much salt.
And as an extra bonus, this soup smells amazing while it simmers. And that is an important part of the soup experience for me.
I’m loving the Blue Zones Lifestyle. It is simple, nourishing and healthy. It keeps my blood pressure and blood sugar levels in the normal range, without medication. And it inspires me to try new recipes from the different blue zones regions.
What’s your favorite soup? Is it time to create a pot of soup at your house?
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