Minestrone Soup

Minestrone is one of my favorite kinds of soup. It’s a hearty, nutrition-packed, Italian soup that’s loaded with vegetables, beans, pasta, and herbs and spices.

This is one of my favorite soups to fix up in a large batch and store in the fridge (or even freezer) for tasty leftovers. The Minestrone taste great right off the stove, but sometimes the leftover are even a little bit better- as the flavors have had more time to come together.

This variation of Minestrone is super hearty. It’s probably more like a Minestrone stew, given all the delicious vegetables. This soup is also packed with flavor and has a slight creamy texture from the nutritional yeast. Feel free to make this soup your own, by adding any vegetables you love or using your favorite kinds of beans. I know I was out of kidney and white beans one day, so I swapped in chickpeas and worked out lovely! That’s the beauty of cooking, you really can mix and match and use what you have to make something wonderful!

I also love to use lentil or bean noodles in my Minestrone. Some lentil or bean noodles hold up better than others- so you may want to keep the cooked noodles on the side to avoid having them disintegrate into your leftover soup. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups celery, chopped

2 cups carrots, chopped

2 cups yellow squash, chopped (1 medium)

2-4 cups zucchini, chopped (2-3 medium)

3 cups tomato, chopped (5-6 Roma)

2 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon dried parsley (optional)

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

½ -1 tablespoon dried fennel

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 (6-7 oz) BPA-free can or jar of tomato paste

4 cups water + more as needed

1½ cups cooked kidney beans (or 1- 15 oz BPA-free can)

1½ cups cooked butter beans or white beans (or 1- 15 oz BPA-free can)

4 cups chopped kale or greens of choice

1 tablespoon white miso paste + 1/2 cup of water

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

Black pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper to taste

8 oz legume or whole wheat pasta

METHOD:

  1. Wash and chop veggies. Sauté the onion with 2-4 tablespoons of water in a large pot. Once the onions start to soften and brown, add the celery and carrots. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed to keep the veggies from sticking throughout the sautéing process.
  2. Next add yellow squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. Toss in the basil, parsley, garlic powder, oregano, fennel, thyme. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed to keep things from sticking to the pan. Cook until the veggies start to soften.
  3. In a bowl, add the tomato paste and 1 cup of water. Stir together until well combined. Pour into the pot with the veggies. Add the remaining 3 cups of water.
  4. Add the beans to the pot (be sure to drain and rinse the liquid if using canned beans). Add additional water to the soup for more liquid, if desired.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer on low heat for at least 20-30 minutes. Add the chopped kale with about 5 minutes left of cooking.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the miso and 1/2 cup water.  Then add to the pot of soup. Stir in the nutritional yeast, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.
  7. Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. Add to the soup just before serving or leave it on the side and add to individual bowls so that the pasta contains it’s texture and shape. Top with additional herbs or spices as desired. Enjoy!