The Zen of Minestrone
As summer's end draws near, folks lucky enough to have a garden are enjoying the fruits of their labors. Garden or no, minestrone soup is one traditional way to make good use of the season’s bountiful harvest.
This hearty, satisfying soup is full of healthy veggies and savory flavors, traditional but never boring. It comes together so quickly that it’s a delicious weeknight option. And it’s wonderfully flexible, too. Sub in your favorite veggies (maybe some chopped fresh fennel added with the carrots and onions?), other greens, or whatever's good right in the market (or in your garden or your pantry) right now. Gluten-free or whole grain pasta works beautifully. And you can kick up the spice with oregano or red pepper flakes, if you like.
For Today’s Step, whip up a batch of this fresh and flavorful soup. It’s delightful with a side salad and some crusty bread. And need we point out that it’s even better the second day? (A great lunch option for work or school.) What did you put into YOUR minestrone? Share in Comments below!
- Serves 6
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 1 cup Diced yellow onion
- 2 large Carrots (cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices)
- 4 large Cloves garlic (finely minced)
- Pinch Red pepper flakes
- 8 cups Good-quality vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 15-oz can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
- 3/4 cup Corkscrew pasta (uncooked)
- 5 ounces Earthbound Farm Organic Zen Blend
- 2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes (about 3 cups)
- 1 large Zucchini (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Chopped fresh basil
- 1/3 cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots, and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Add the broth, raise the heat to high and bring the soup to the start of a simmer. Add the beans, pasta, Zen Blend, tomatoes, zucchini, bay leaf and oregano. Simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, about 15 minutes (adjust the heat as needed to maintain a simmer).
- Stir in the basil and season the soup with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and sprinkle each serving with some of the Parmesan cheese. Serve piping hot.
- Calories per serving: 330, Fat 8 grams, Cholesterol 5 mg, Sodium 370 mg, Carbohydrates 57 grams, Fiber 13 grams, Sugars 18 grams, Protein 13 grams.
- Percentage Daily Values per serving (based on a 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 480%, Vitamin C 160%, Calcium 30%, Iron 35%, Thiamin (vitamin B1) 50%, Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 20%, Niacin 20%, Vitamin B6 30%, Folate 50%, Phosphorus 30%, Magnesium 30%, Zinc 15%, Copper 20%.