The weather in Texas really needs to make up its mind. I’m not sure if it’s spring or winter, since it’s been fluctuating between 75°F and 35°F throughout this past week.
With some of these last few chilly days, I’m just trying to pull through them with warm, cozy, comfort food. Soups are probably the favorite cold weather food in our home. They are warm, fuzzy and so soothing! Wholesome soups to spicy ramen, meals in a bowl are must called for in the cold months.
Very often a good soup will be my meal in itself. That’s why I like to load it up and make it satiating. This minestrone soup recipe includes a lot of vegetables – carrots, celery, zucchini, spinach, green beans, green bell peppers and red bell peppers. I added red kidney beans for extra protein and I swapped the pasta for farro (that gluten free life!), hence why it’s a hearty minestrone soup that has low calories too.
For the broth I used my homemade vegetable stock but you can use any store bought vegetable (or chicken) stock as well. The most important ingredient of this soup are the herbs!! Lots and lots of fresh herbs – basil, oregano and flat leaf parsley.
A delicious broth, some hearty vegetables, wholesome grains and fresh herbs – all of these wonderful ingredients together really bring this minestrone soup to life. So while we battle the last few days of the chilly breeze, I’m totally relishing a hot bowl of heartiness with some warm rustic bread.
Hearty Minestrone Soup (Low Calories)
- 4 roma tomatoes finely chopped
- 2 cups of mixed vegetables cut into 0.5 cubes (bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, green beans, celery)
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 cups spinach roughly chopped
- 1 can 15oz red kidney beans
- 1/2 cup farro or any short pasta orzo, orecchiette, farfalle, elbow macaroni
- 3 cups vegetable stock/ broth
- 8-10 basil leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tbs oregano roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
- 1/2 tbsp freshly crushed black pepper
- 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot.
- Add the onions and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, until the onions are translucent.
- Add all the vegetables and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Now add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and cover with lid.
- Let the tomatoes cook for about 5 minutes, so that they lose their moisture and start softening.
- At this point, add in the spinach and fresh herb.
- Once the spinach completely wilts, add red kidney beans and the pasta/farro.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring it all to a boil.
- Once the soup starts boiling, cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the pasta/farro is completely cooked.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve pipping hot!