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.
- 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.
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic and stir for 1 minute.
- Add carrots and celery and cook for 5-6 minutes - until vegetables start to soften.
- Add salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and oregano, then add barley and stir well to combine.
- 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.)
- Add white beans and simmer for 40 minutes.
- If soup is too thick, add more stock until you get the desired consistency. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Stir in the chopped spinach or kale and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until wilted.
- Remove from heat and ladle into bowls.
- If desired, top with grated parmesan cheese and basil.
- Serve immediately.
This article first appeared in the September 2023 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.