This vegetable-packed minestrone soup recipe is inspired by a popular Weight Watchers vegetable soup recipe. It makes a big pot of soup, so keep some in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and freeze the rest of the vegetable minestrone soup in single-serve portions. That way you always have an easy, delicious vegetable soup to start your meal or to eat for lunch. Think of this vegetable minestrone recipe as a starting point for other healthy soup variations, too: toss in leftover chopped cooked chicken or whole-wheat pasta or brown rice to make it more satisfying.
From EatingWell: January/February 2013
Yield: 10 servings, 2 cups each
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 3/4 hours
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions (2 medium)
- 2 cups chopped celery (4 medium stalks)
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 medium)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups chopped cabbage
- 3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium)
- 2 cups chopped carrots (4 medium)
- 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, or frozen, thawed
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 10 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven (8-quart or larger) over medium heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 13 to 15 minutes. Add cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and green beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes more.
- Add broth, water, tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans and bay leaf; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in spinach and simmer for 10 minutes more.
- Discard the bay leaf. Stir in basil. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon cheese.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2 and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months; finish Step 3 just before serving.
Nutrition Per Serving: 169 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein; 8 g fiber; 641 mg sodium; 718 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (123% daily value), Vitamin C (87% dv), Folate (23% dv), Potassium (21% dv), Calcium (16% dv)
1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 3 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat