I recently read an article that “souping” is the new juicing. I’m not sure if this trend will actually catch on, but I hope it does! Green juice is not my jam, and orange juice is just not that healthy (high in sugar, void of fiber). Soup on the other hand, soup is a winner! Especially in the winter time, who wants a freakin’ cold smoothie or juice when you can have a nice piping hot bowl of soup? Loaded with nutrient dense veggies, beans, and whole wheat pasta you can’t go wrong with this minestrone soup.
Another reason soup is better than juice: it forces you to be mindful. You can easily chug a smoothie while driving to work, and then forget that you drank something 2 hours later. Go ahead and try to eat a bowl of soup while driving to work. On second thought, don’t. Although we love to save time and multi-task it is not always the best thing for our health or mental well being. The act of taking a break to eat and enjoy your food is really important, no matter how busy you are!
This soup is adapted from the Food Network Minestrone Soup. I simplified the recipe just a tiny bit and amped up the nutrition by using whole wheat pasta instead of white. I also added pinto beans because I had them leftover from my meal prepping from the weekend. If you are wanting this soup to be low carb you can totally leave the pasta out, but then you have to call it vegetable soup, not minestrone! Either way, give it a try! It makes a fantastic, filling, vegetarian meal. When I made this soup, my Mom and I had both already eaten dinner, but we proceeded to eat soup for dessert because it was so good!
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 handfuls green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
- 1 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 28 -ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 cartons vegetable broth (should be 8 cups or 64 ounces)
- 1 15 -ounce can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup pinto beans (optional)
- 1.5 cups mini whole wheat shell or macaroni pasta
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
- Add the celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the green beans, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste; cook 3 more minutes.
- Add the diced and crushed tomatoes and the vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes.
- Stir in the beans and pasta and cook until the pasta and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Taste, season with additional salt and pepper if necessary
- Top with fresh parsley and grated cheese if desired