As 2014 winds down, I am starting my New Year’s health kick early – with my main focus on healthy food that doesn’t taste like sh*t. Last night I made an uber healthy minestrone soup which is vegan, gluten free and packed with antioxidants and flavor. I ended up doing my workout after work (instead of my usual crack o’dawn 5 am workout) last night and when I got home after cranking it at BodyPump, I was RAVENOUS, so I forgot I was supposed to be taking lots of pictures to share with all you lovelies. Instead I just went for it. So please bear with me. 😀
I made this guy up on the fly last night, so don’t mind my measuring units. Also, the simmer time is just about 25 – 30 minutes, so it’s a nice quick and easy soup to whip up, and doesn’t contain any weird/unusual ingredients (and if you don’t have fresh herbs, just substitute dried ones. No big deal, yo!). Serve with a crusty wheat sourdough (my personal fave) and a fabulous glass of red vino, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a fantastic, quick and healthy meal! 😀
- 6 cups of veggie broth
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 large red onion, diced
- 1 heaping Tbsp of chopped garlic
- 5 – 6 medium carrots, chopped
- 5 – 6 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 15.5-oz can Cannelini beans
- 1 15.5-oz can red kidney beans
- 2 zucchini squash, diced
- 1 medium bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Large handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
- Several friendly shakes of dried thyme and dried oregano (at least a teaspoon, I think I had more)
- Small shake of dried sage (about half a teaspoon or less)
- 2 Bay leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Step One: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes, or until the onion is slightly translucent.
Step Two: Add the carrots and celery, and saute for a few minutes. Once the carrots and celery have softened slightly, pour the entire contents of the can of diced tomatoes into the pan (juice included!).
Step Three: Add the broth and herbs and bring to a boil.
Step Four: Add the beans (make sure you’ve given them a good rinse first in a colander) and zucchini and turn the soup down to a simmer. Simmer on low until the zucchini is cooked, about 20 – 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step Five: Enjoy!
As you may have noticed, I omitted the usual pasta that is found in minestrone. You can add some if you’d like at the end and cook according to the directions on the box (elbows, rotini, ditalini – whatever you like!). I personally would rather get my carbs from a nice hunk of crusty bread dipped right into the soup. You could also use quinoa instead of pasta for something a little different. I was just really into the bread last night (give me all the carbs). YUM!
This soup was super easy, super healthy and deceptively filling (usually soups don’t really fill me up or make me feel satiated but this one really did)! I felt very satisfied eating it for dinner after my workout and it was perfect way to warm up on the chilly evening last night. If you read my post yesterday (Mexican Quinoa and Tempeh Salad), you will know I’m heading to Florida in 10 days, and am trying to keep it low cal to balance the excessive amount of delicious sweets I ate over Christmas (I’m afraid to put on that bikini after the plethora of Vegan Cut-Out Sugar Cookies). This fits the bill, and is packed with nutrients and protein from the beans. It’s also a great way to practice for my Veganuary challenge (I’m making the leap Jan 1st! I bought Vega Performance Protein and everything!). I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I do. It was really, really friggin’ good.
Sending love your way today! The last Tuesday of 2014 – here we go!