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Minestrone Soup

Minestrone & Bean Soup

Minestrone is a perfect fall dish, and many soups – including this one – are freezer friendly. Try this easy fall recipe (double it if you are batch cooking) for a hearty, healthy, and filling lunch on its own, or with a salad and bread for dinner. This can be frozen for up to three months. Defrost in the refrigerator the night before eating, and then reheat over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until hot.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon or more fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/3 cup barley
  • 6-8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 28-oz can whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 15-oz cans white beans (navy or cannellini), drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups fresh spinach or kale, chopped

Optional: Garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil before serving.

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add carrots and celery and cook for 5-6 minutes - until vegetables start to soften.
  4. Add salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and oregano, then add barley and stir well to combine.
  5. Add 6 cups of broth. Crush the tomatoes with your hand and add them and the liquid from the can to the pot. (TIP: wear disposable food-safe gloves to avoid staining your hands and nails.)
  6. Add white beans and simmer for 40 minutes.
  7. If soup is too thick, add more stock until you get the desired consistency. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  8. Stir in the chopped spinach or kale and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until wilted.
  9. Remove from heat and ladle into bowls.
  10. If desired, top with grated parmesan cheese and basil.
  11. Serve immediately.

 

This article first appeared in the September 2023 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.