Nourishing Minestrone Soup is a delightful combination of fiber-rich vegetables, chickpeas, and fire-roasted tomatoes. This easy one-pot soup is not only hearty but also incredibly healthy. Let’s explore why this homemade Minestrone Soup is both satisfying and good for you.
Why You’ll Love this Homemade Minestrone Soup:
A variation of the classic Italian “minestra,” this soup recipe is a treasure trove of fiber-rich produce like sweet potatoes, kale, carrots, and onions. Besides its comforting and nourishing nature, this soup is highly practical. It’s perfect for make-ahead lunches or a simple weeknight dinner when paired with a salad and fresh bread.
What’s more, this soup actually gets better the next day, making leftovers an absolute dream. Make a large batch over the weekend, and you’ll have lunch prepared for the entire week. In fact, this soup can banish those Sunday scaries while setting you up for a week of success. And if you find yourself with extra portions, just pop them in the freezer for a quick reheat on your next cozy weeknight in.
What makes this recipe truly special is its wholesome ingredients and versatility. There are no strict rules when it comes to making Minestrone Soup. You can use whatever veggies you have on hand, add some beans and pasta, and let it simmer.
- Carrots + Celery + Onion: This classic trio of vegetables serves as the foundation for countless soup recipes.
- Potatoes: Choose between sweet potatoes, russet, red, or Yukon gold potatoes. In the fall and winter months, butternut squash is a fantastic alternative.
- Garlic: Feel free to go wild with garlic if you’re a fan. I recommend using at least 5 cloves.
- Pasta: I love using Banza chickpea pasta shells. They add a punch of fiber and protein, keeping you full for longer. Plus, chickpea pasta is naturally gluten-free.
- Beans: Chickpeas or Great Northern Beans work wonderfully, but kidney beans are also a great option.
- Kale: This nutritional powerhouse adds extra vitamin A, vitamin C, and a hefty dose of vitamin K. Alternatively, you can use spinach or Swiss chard.
- Tomato Paste: To enhance the umami and bright tomato flavor, tomato paste is a must.
- Diced Tomatoes: Fire-roasted diced tomatoes add depth of flavor.
- Herbs: You have the flexibility to use either dried or fresh herbs. Thyme and rosemary are great options if you have fresh herbs on hand. Dried herbs like Italian seasoning and dried oregano work well too.
- Broth: Use homemade or store-bought vegetable broth, or chicken broth if you’re not making the soup vegetarian.
How to Make:
Step 1: Sauté Aromatics
Heat oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened, approximately 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and potatoes. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until the tomato paste turns brick red and the garlic becomes aromatic.
Step 2: Add Remaining Ingredients and Simmer
Stir in vegetable broth, water, chickpeas, fire-roasted tomatoes, herbs, salt, and pepper. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it gently simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the pasta and continue simmering, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
Step 3: Stir in Kale and Parmesan
Remove the bare thyme sprigs. Stir in the kale and sprinkle in Parmesan cheese. Cook for 3 more minutes until the kale is wilted. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with additional shaved Parmesan, cracked black pepper, and a drizzle of quality olive oil, if desired.
Is Minestrone Soup Healthy?
This nutrient-rich soup is packed with six different vegetables, chickpeas, and herbs. It’s not only wonderfully warm and comforting but also loaded with essential nutrients like vitamins A, K, and C, as well as lycopene and potassium. Additionally, the chickpeas and pasta (I use Banza chickpea pasta shells) provide a fantastic combination of fiber and protein, keeping you feeling full for longer.
If you’re looking to add extra protein to the soup, diced ham or pancetta (sautéed at the start) or shredded rotisserie chicken (stirred in at the end) are great options.
How to Store and Reheat:
- To Store: Refrigerate leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat: Rewarm leftovers in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat until warm. Alternatively, you can heat individual portions in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until warm.
- To Freeze: Freeze Minestrone Soup for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
More Healthy Soup Recipes to Try:
- One Pot Curried Lentil Soup
- Lemony Greek Chickpea Soup
- Nourishing White Bean and Lemon Soup
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