Meatless Monday – Hearty Minestrone Soup


Whenever I make soup, I always wonder why I don’t do it more often. It’s shockingly easy – a little chopping, a little stirring, a little simmering and you’ve got a pot of nourishing homemade goodness. With plenty of leftovers. It’s a win all around.

This simple recipe is courtesy of the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. We gave a cooking demonstration at last week’s food distribution and it was an absolute hit – it didn’t hurt that it was 20 degrees and snowing. Total soup weather. It’s the perfect recipe for Meatless Monday (and gluten-free with the brown rice pasta) but it can easily be made Paleo or Whole 30-friendly by replacing the beans and pasta with chicken. In fact, 3 of us brought a pot in for sampling, and all 3 of us utilized different ingredients. Try vegetable or chicken stock, pasta or orzo, chickpeas or kidney beans – it’s guaranteed comfort food on a snowy evening.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Serves 4

  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (homemade or store bought low-sodium)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • ½ cup chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped eggplant
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas or red kidney beans
  • ½ cup uncooked small gluten-free pasta
  • 1 small zucchini or yellow squash

1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, sauteeing until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, beans and pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add zucchini. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more.

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