Hearty Minestrone Soup (Serves 8 – Large bowls)
When I think of soup I immediately think of my dad. Papi would always make soup in the winter. There was a time that he lived alone and would make large batches of soup, which he’d have for dinner throughout the week and would sometimes take a thermos to work for lunch. I imagine there are thousands of variations of this soup. True to its vegetarian origins this version is truly a hearty Vegan classic. I use organic/non-gmo ingredients in this recipe. This soup will warm your tummy and fill you with a good source of protein and fiber among others nutrients.
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large White or Sweet Onion, chopped
3 Celery Ribs, chopped
4 Small Carrots or 2 Large, scrubbed and sliced
1 Large Zucchini, cleaned and chopped
5 Garlic cloves, minced
3 Quarts Vegetable Broth
1 (15.5 oz can) Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 (15.5 oz can) Light Red Kidney Beans
1 (15.5 oz can) Garbanzo Beans
1 (28 oz can) Diced Tomatoes
1 (16 oz pkg) Frozen Cut Green Beans
1 (10 oz pkg) Frozen Spinach
2 Tsp + 2 Tbsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper, fresh cracked/ground
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper (reduce the amount for less kick)
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
½ Tsp Ground Sage
½ Tsp Oregano
½ Tsp Dry Basil
2 Cups Pasta (I used med. shells this time)
In a large stockpot (at least 12 quart) heat olive oil and sauté onions let them sweat a few minutes until translucent. Add celery and carrots then sauté about 2-3 minutes. Add 2 Tsp salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic and zucchini and sauté for another minute.
Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, kidney/garbanzo beans and bring to slow boil about 10 mins. Finally, add green beans, spinach, pasta and seasonings (remaining salt, Italian, sage, oregano and basil) continue on a low boil/simmer until pasta is cooked through and green beans are done about 8 minutes. Enjoy!
Note: This post utilizes canned beans and frozen spinach/green beans, but I have made this also utilizing dried/soaked/cooked beans and fresh spinach/green beans. Substitute canned beans for 1 ½ – 2 cups of cooked beans. For the spinach and green beans I have just thrown in two big handfuls or fresh baby spinach and a bunch of fresh green beans (trimmed and cut in half) in the last few minutes of cooking.