Truth be told, vegetables are my favorite when they are disguised in soup. I love veggies, but half a plate is more than enough for this carb loving gal. Right now, I am trying to be extra healthy for the whole "wedding slim-down" thing, so extra veggies are a necessity. That's why I love this soup SO much. It's completely packed with veggies, and screams, "I'm healthy, grab a second bowl!"
This recipe was inspired by Gino the Soup Man, a local dude who makes amazing soup. Of course, Whole Foods decided his soups were a must, and started carrying his recipes, lucky for all of us Californians, his soups are carried at quite a few Whole Foods locations. My favorite soup of his is the "Veggistrone". I usually keep 2 or 3 cartons in our freezer for an easy lunch or dinner option, but what's a girl to do when she finds her freezer empty, and has a craving for some healthy soup? Make her own!
I know this looks like a ton of ingredients, but really, you can pick and choose what you'd like to add, and with only two steps, this recipe is actually very simple. Some people like to add bell peppers into their minestrone, but I personally detest bell peppers, so I skipped this step. I also used brown rice for this, but I think orzo would have been better (If you want to keep this paleo, simply skip the beans and pasta/rice).
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups water
- 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed
- 2-3 oz. string beans, de-stemmed
- 1 cup rice or orzo
- 2, 14.5 oz. can crushed roasted tomatoes
- salt, pepper, and seasoning to taste
- cheese for garnish
- 2 small yellow squash
- 2 small zucchinis
- 1 carton broth of choice
- 1/4 c. dry white wine (optional)
- 2 tsp. Worcester sauce
- 5 oz. baby spinach
- 4 carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 large yellow onion
Serves a LOT (freeze some and save for later!)
Step 1: In a large stock pot, sauté diced onion, minced garlic, and diced celery. Once soft, add roughly chopped carrots, and all of the spinach. Sauté this mixture until very fragrant and spinach has wilted.
Step 2: Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the white wine, or skip the wine and use broth. Once the pot has been deglazed, add in the remaining ingredients and simmer for up to 3 hours.
I know - very simple right!? Play around with step two - add fresh herbs, seasoning, or different starches. You really can't go wrong! I haven't scientifically calculated it, but with the amount of veggies in this soup, it's practically negative in calories, so feel free to indulge!
Side note: for some reason my computer would really love to replace every "sauté" with "salute". So just imagine every sauté replaced with salute, and get a good giggle out if it.
Now go and salute that spinach! Oh, and sign up for Boxwood Avenue e-mails while you're at it!