Green Vegetable Minestrone
Minestrone is sort of a catch-all Italian term for soup, but it’s always a welcome meal, especially when it’s fortified, as it is here, with plenty of vegetables and protein-packed chickpeas. If you want a little more bite, consider substituting mildly bitter escarole for the chard.
Yield: 8 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 45
Total Time: 70
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, quartered, washed and sliced
- 2 small stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup whole-wheat short pasta, such as elbows, bowties or shells
- 8 cups chopped green chard leaves
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add leeks, celery, onion and 1┌2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add zucchini, potato and garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more. Add water and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Add pasta and chard; cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and peas and simmer until the pasta is just tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Season with pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Top with Parmesan and parsley (or basil). Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat before continuing.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (58% daily value), Vitamin C (38% dv), Magnesium (19% dv), Folate (17% dv), Iron (15% dv).
2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat