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Minestrone Soup

Who doesn’t love a delicious bowl of soul warming vegetable soup in the winter? Your grandmother called it “roughage” but today, we know that the fiber found in beans and vegetables is an important part of healing with whole foods because it binds with the toxins and removes them from your body. Additionally, seasonings and spices deliciously provide a variety of health benefits – from boosting immunity to controlling blood sugar, so it’s not only your waistline that will benefit from this healing minestrone. Just a pinch of oregano, a favorite Mediterranean spice, does much more than just enhance the flavor of your soup. It is known to be an effective anti-bacterial agent, especially against stomach bugs because it prevents those little critters from multiplying. Another good source of natural, immunity boosting flavor in this soup is fresh garlic; it contains selenium and flavonoids, and studies have shown that it’s anti-inflammatory properties can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Defend your immune system, shake off the winter blues, and eliminate trips to the doctor with a tasty, well-balanced soup this winter…it’s good for your morale and your wallet! There are many versions of minestrone soup out there, use whatever vegetables you have around.

Ingredients
1 large vidalia onion, chopped and sautéed
2-4 cloves of garlic, minces
½ lb green beans, rinsed and sliced into bite size pieces
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
½ head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
kidney beans (about 1/2 lb soaked overnight and rinsed, or 1 can, rinsed)
½ lb small potatoes, new & waxy (slice in half and roast before adding to soup for a more robust flavor profile)
4-6 cups of vegetable (or beef) stock
1/2 cup of small pasta, any shape you prefer
2-4 leaves of Swiss chard or any green you prefer
2 tsp. oregano
salt & pepper
1 tsp. rosemary
½ cup Marsalla cooking wine
olive oil, a spritz for roasting potatoes

Preparation
Slice potatoes and roast with a spritz of olive oil and rosemary on a parchment lined sheet pan for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. In the meantime, sauté the onion in marsalla inside your large soup pot on medium heat until translucent, adding in the oregano and minced garlic after about 8 minutes as you turn down the heat. Chop and add the rest of the raw vegetables to the onion mixture and continue to sauté, then add broth a little at a time. Once the potatoes are finished, add those and the beans to the soup pot with the rest of the broth. Simmer on low heat for about an hour. Add pasta and Swiss chard during the last 15 minutes before serving. Serve with crusty bread.

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