Italian Winter Minestrone Soup

Hearty minestrone soup brings simple Italian flavor to whatever vegetables are in season.  This winter version uses hearty Swiss chard, potatoes, and red kidney beans.  You can "clean out the fridge" with any vegetables in this fat-free, vegan recipe.  To keep it gluten-free, simply swap out for brown rice pasta.  

MEDIUM         Servings: 5       Ready In: 25 minutes

Italian Minestrone Soup - Healthy, Whole Grain, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Vegan Recipe

Italian Minestrone Soup - Healthy, Whole Grain, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Vegan Recipe

Chef's Tip - Use both the stems and greens of hearty, healthy Swiss Chard for crunchy texture and sweet flavor

Chef's Tip - Use both the stems and greens of hearty, healthy Swiss Chard for crunchy texture and sweet flavor

Chef's Tip - Minestrone can be a soup combining any beans and pasta.  Adapt it to fit your preferences: swap out the pasta for gluten-free brown rice shells, or try Giant Lima Beans for heartier texture

Chef's Tip - Minestrone can be a soup combining any beans and pasta.  Adapt it to fit your preferences: swap out the pasta for gluten-free brown rice shells, or try Giant Lima Beans for heartier texture


Ingredients

1 medium onion
2 stalks celery
1 medium carrot
1 bunch Swiss chard
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
15-oz canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pasta shells
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans


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Italian Minestrone Soup - Healthy, Whole Grain, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Vegan Recipe

Procedure

Gather ingredients Preheat a medium pot over medium heat. 

To prepare the soup: dice the onion and celery. Peel and dice the carrot. 
Add the diced veggies to the preheated pot. Cover and let sweat 5 minutes, just until onions are translucent.
For the Swiss chard: tear the leaves away from the stalks. 
Dice the chard stalks. 
Add the diced chard stalk to the onion mixture and cook another 2 minutes, just to soften. 
When the veggies are done sweating, add the vegetable broth, 2 cups of water, diced tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5-7 minutes.
Chop the chard leaves and reserve for later. 
After 5-7 minutes, bring the soup to a rolling boil. 
Add the pasta shells and cook for about 10 minutes (or 2-3 minutes less than the box's cooking directions).
Drain and rinse the kidney beans. 
When pasta is tender, add the beans and chopped chard leaves. 
Turn off the heat, stir the soup, and then cover. 
Let sit until chard has wilted, just a couple of minutes. 

Serve with a warm hug.

Chef's Tips: Swiss chard is just one of the dark winter greens that goes well in this soup.  You can use any of your favorites, though, like spinach, arugula, collards, or kale. If using kale, though, don't use the stems in the soup.  They tend to have a bitter taste after cooking in a soup.

Yield: 8 cups


Step-by-Step Photos:

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (about 2 cups)

Calories 228.63
Calories From Fat (5%) 11.54
% Daily Value
Total Fat 1.38g 2%
Saturated Fat 0.15g <1%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids g
Omega-6 Fatty Acids g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 393.39mg 16%
Potassium 967.79mg 28%
Total Carbohydrates 46.65g 16%
Fiber 12.6g 50%
Sugar 10.24g
Protein 11.43g 23%
Calcium 26.28mg 3%
Iron 105.79mg 588%
Vitamin A 5615.13IU 112%
Vitamin C 5428.47mg 9047


How do they get rainbow chard? Join Plant-Based Chef Katie Simmons at the farmers market as she answers that and gives you a tour of the colors of Swiss chard. Plus she shares why she loves using this 2-for-1 vegetable in healthy vegetarian recipes. More at: www.plants-rule.com