Veggie-Packed Minestrone Soup

Veggie adn Bean Minestrone Soup from Our Best BitesI very rarely make soup without some sort of grilled sandwich to go along side it.  With meaty soups, it’s always just a variation of grilled cheese, but when I want to make a panini with protein in it, like grilled ham and cheese, chicken sandwiches, or hot pastrami or something, it always seems weird to make a meaty soup as well.  Know what I mean?  So I like having a good repertoire of meatless soups for that purpose (because, ya know, what other purpose could there possibly be other than allowing prime circumstances for consuming the preferred carbohydrate companion?)  My only problem with meatless soups is that sometimes they’re not very filling, but not so with this one.  This thing is packed with veggies and beans- and honestly, just by looking at the recipe it doesn’t look all that impressive.  Vegetables.  Seasonings.  Whatever.  But take my word, it’s amazing.  My sister-in-law Emily brought it over for dinner a few weeks ago and every single one of my young boys ate multiple bowls.  Did you take that in?  Three picky kids, ages 7, 4, and 2, willingly ate repeat servings of a soup that consists almost 100% of vegetables and we didn’t even cover the top with cheese or croutons to hide that fact or tell them that anything white was just chicken like I usually do.  That says something right there.  Emily was kind enough to share the recipe and I’ve made it twice in the past week because it’s so yummy. I’ve changed it only slightly, simply increasing the amount of vegetables and seasonings and altering the cooking method directions.  After a little Googling, I see that this basic recipe appears all over the internet, referred to as a knock-off of the Olive Garden’s.  So who knows where it originated, but it’s sure gotten around, and for good reason.  We do have another great Minestrone recipe on Our Best Bites.  It’s fantastic, but with a beef tomato base, and Italian sausage in it, it’s a completely different dish.

Just look at the ingredients going into this soup; it’s like an entire week’s worth of vegetables.

Minestrone Vegetables

Start with the trifecta, known as “mirepoix”in French.  It’s the start to many great recipes, especially soups: carrots, celery, and onion.  You’ll notice bits of zucchini in mine too, but that’s just because they were all hanging out on my cutting board together for their photoshoot.

Carrots, Onions, Celery

After those cook for a few minutes and the onions start to look translucent, add the garlic and the zucchini.

Next, two kinds of beans (both kidney and white beans), tomatoes, green beans, and seasonings.  Note that the canned tomatoes are drained so the finished soup isn’t red and tomato based like many minestrones are, but rather in a lighter broth.

Beans, Tomatoes, Spices

Look at all that goodness.  It may not seem like it would taste all that impressive now, but something magical happens when it hangs out in a pot for a while.

Add in seasonings, like thyme, basil, salt, pepper, and oregano.

minestrone seasonings

And mix it all up.

MIxed Soup Ingredients

Cover everything with vegetable broth and water.  I have to say, there was a time in my life when I avoided anything with vegetable broth- or at least subbed chicken broth because it just seemed like it would have so much more flavor.  But I was wrong, a good vegetable broth adds tremendous flavor and in a recipe like this, is key.

Vegetable Broth

Put a lid on the pot to keep that moisture in and simmer it for 20-25 minutes or so.  (Here’s a little peek at my new kitchen, too.  Anyone want to guess how much I love my new stove?)

Minestrone Soup Simmering

When the veggies are tender, add a little bit of pasta.  Any small-ish pasta is fine, like shells, mini bowties, etc.  I like ditalini because it’s the same size and shape as the veggies and beans so it blends in nicely.

Pasta

After the pasta is cooked through, remove the pot from heat and stir in a giant handful of fresh spinach leaves and some fresh minced parsley.

Adding Spinach to Soup

I like my soups like Rachel Rae describes “Stoups.”  Something thicker than a soup but thinner than a stew.  This is definitely packed full of beans and veggies so if you like a brothy soup, you might want to grab a little extra vegetable broth.

Pair it with a grilled ham and cheese for a hearty, filling meal.

Healthy Veggie-Packed Minestrone Soup from Our Best Bites

I’m still kind of shocked my kids all like this so much, with visible vegetables and all, but until they complain I’ll keep making it and smile knowing they’re actually enjoying their veggies.

Since this makes quite a bit, it works great to put in individual servings in the freezer.  Just heat up for lunch, or take to work and you’re good to go.

Healthy Minestrone Soup from Our Best Bites

 

 

 

Veggie Packed Minestrone Soup from Our Best Bites

 

64 comments

  1. This looks delicious and I can’t WAIT to try it! I have a question, not necessarily related to this particular recipe: How do you figure out the nutritional break-down of the recipes? Is there a website that helps you calculate it? If so, do you have any idea how I could figure out the fiber amount? I know, it’s a huge pain for you guys to do all that so I’m just curious how I could figure it myself. Thanks for all the yumminess!

    1. There’s tons of websites where you can pop in a recipe and have it give you the nutritional info, just google and you’ll find a bunch. I’ve used Sparkpeople.com before. I use a Bodybugg calorie counter so my software automatically does that and I track my total daily fiber intake, so it just takes time to look it up for a single recipe. If I remember though, I’ll try to include it!

  2. This soup looks amazing, and perfect for these super-cold days we’re having in Idaho. I don’t have high hopes for my kids eating much of it (they wrote the book on picky) but I’ll just pair it with the sandwiches or, my fallback, garlic bread, and make it anyway!

  3. Your other minestrone is my husband’s favorite soup of all time. So when I make this one, I might just call it veggie soup so he’s not disappointed by the difference. This one looks amazing too. I’ll be making it when my vegetarian sister comes to town.

  4. This does look delicious. My ques. is about the pasta- is it needed, can I sub. rice or quinoa noodles or just leave it out? I know that probably means it’s not minestrone so to speak but Mr Wheat Allergy means no pasta in this house. Thanks for all the great recipes. Can’t wait to see all of your kitchen! That stove looks wonderful!

  5. This soup looks delicious! Can’t wait to try. I love soup and could eat it every day. My family on the other hand will only allow it once a week. This will be our weekly soup next week.

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