I don’t know about you but I absolutely love soups in the Fall and Winter. Actually I love them all year long, but I cool them off in the Spring and Summer.
An Italian Minestrone is kind of an “everything that you have available” soup and one of the great things is that you can make the basic soup and then add to it to change the flavor a bit and eat it more than once and even freeze it to use when you don’t have time to cook.
Two tablespoons of water or olive oil if you prefer
1 onion minced
3-4 garlic cloves minced
2-3 organic carrots if available
1 14oz can diced organic tomatoes
handful of green beans cut into one inch pieces
large handful organic spinach
1 bay leaf
8 cups water or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 zucchini diced
1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans (rinsed if canned.)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup organic brown rice (can be long or short-grain)
1/4 cup freshly minced parsley or cilantro
Heat the water or oil in a large stockpot over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, garlic, and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the green beans, spinach, tomatoes, bay leaf, water or broth (if just using water add a vegetarian bouillon cube) and spices (basil, oregano, and thyme.)
Reduce and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the zucchini, beans and pepper. (I am leaving out salt here because there is plenty of it in the canned tomatoes unless you buy them without salt added. If this is the case then do add a teaspoon of Himalayan or Celtic salt. If the beans are canned they will also have salt added to them. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, taste the soup for seasonings.
Stir in cooked rice and parsley or cilantro and ladle into bowls. YUM!!