Mar 252010
 
If you’ve been around me in the past, oh, year, then you know I’ve been talking big game about starting a healthy cooking blog. And just when I was about to cross that thin line between building suspense and everyone completely losing interest, here it is! As a food lover and a nutrition enthusiast (and hopefully someday a nutrition professional), I’m going to share healthy and delicious recipes straight out of my bite-sized New York City kitchen. I decided for my first post, I’d use one of my go to meals that is the epitome of healthy meets delicious: Minestrone Soup.

This is a pretty magical soup. It’s comforting and hearty but doesn’t make your hips more comfortable and hearty. It’ll simultaneously satisfy the health freaks and the vegetable averse. And my favorite part: one pot of soup + individual Tupperware bowls = frozen dinners for weeks! Warning: This recipe is NOT for those who hate chopping. I personally think taking out your aggression on some helpless veggies at the end of a long day is pretty therapeutic. Ok, time to get started. Step 1: Set up your ipod speakers and turn on some tunes. Step 2: Start chopping.

Once you’ve gotten some of the chopping done, pull out your soup pot and sauté the garlic in some olive oil. This is when your apartment starts to smell unreal.

Then go the onions. Then carrots and celery.

After those work for a while, you add the liquid ingredients—tomatoes, broth, and wine. Reserve the rest of the wine.

Now that it’s starting to look soup-like, we’re going to add the rest of the fresh ingredients. So I took a trip to my garden to pick some fresh basil.

Ok, made it back. Now you add the zucchini, green beans, spinach, basil, and oregano. I usually use this veggie combo because it’s pretty traditional to minestrone, but you don’t have to adhere to these…this is a great clean out your veggie drawer recipe so throw in whatever you have. You’ll want to let the soup simmer for at least an hour, so now is when you’ll grab the rest of the bottle of wine and a glass. About 20 minutes before you serve, throw in the beans (you don’t want them to fall apart too much) and boil some whole wheat macaroni or ditalini in a separate pot if you like noodles in your soup. I like to garnish with parmesan and fresh basil and serve it with garlic bread baked with fresh mozzarella on top. Writing this is making me hungry…good thing I have a freezer full!!

Nutritional highlights: We can all probably stand to mix a meatless meal into our repertoire. You’ll still get protein from the beans and veggies, calcium from the spinach and cheese, and your heart will be loving the garlicy-tomato goodness. Plus you’ll tone your arms chopping. Make this on the next cold rainy, miserable day and I promise it’ll be less miserable.

Minestrone Soup
Adapted from allrecipes.com

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
2 small onions (or 1 big one)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup red or white wine
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups baby spinach
2 zucchini’s (or one zucchini, one yellow squash for color)
1.5 cups of cut green beans or 1 14.5 oz can
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 14.5 oz can cannellini or garbanzo beans
salt and pepper to taste
whole wheat ditalini pasta (optional)
grated parmesan for garnish

Directions:
1. In large stock pot over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 minutes.
2. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes or until translucent
3. Add celery and carrots and saute for 4 minutes
4. Add broth, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add wine.
5. Reduce heat to a simmer and add green beans, spinach , zucchini, oregano, and basil. Taste broth and add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. If soup is too thick for your liking, add 1 cup water. Add beans and start to boil ditalini. Simmer for another 20 minutes or until you’re ready to eat.
7. To serve, put about 2 tablespoons cooked pasta in the bowl and top with soup. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy!!!

  3 Responses to “Minestrone Soup”

  1. I love it! Your pics are awesome and I have to admit it made me want a huge bowl of soup! So excited for your next post!

  2. Love the shoutout to Mom. Very cute Mariss!

  3. Hi Marissa, these receipes look great and probably taste great too! Question is, how to get someone who doesn’t like vegetables to try them….

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