Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Original Recipe by Leigh Hendry

For a while now I have been exploring the concept of food as medicine. When I don’t feel my best I always try to eat better, cleaner, drink more water, eat less sweets, less bread. Food does make people FEEL certain ways. Food can give you comfort or bring you back to a past memory or place. Sometimes food makes me feel bloated, doesn’t set well or makes my stomach hurt. Sometimes food can be energizing, healthy, vibrant and delicious. That food feels great in my stomach. One dish that almost always makes my stomach feel happy is soup. I think soup could be one of the MOST perfect foods. I’m not talking about a can of Campbells, I’m talking homemade soup, preferably served with a hunk of buttered bread.

I know what you’re thinking!! Soup is a project, it will take awhile to make …. and to that I say, It can at times, be a project that takes awhile to make, but sometimes it doesn’t have to.

I have been making soup like this for many years and this is one of my favorites. It is chock full of veggies with some beans and pasta that make it a satisfying hearty meal. You can add a little chicken sausage in for extra flavor but its still fantastic without it. I call this quick soup trick “Sauce Soup”. You can use this method to make a variety of different soups, even soup with an Alfredo sauce base but today we will be making Minestrone Sauce Soup.

Everyone has their favorite brand of tomato sauce. I sometimes make my own sauce but I believe everyone needs a “go to” jar of tomato sauce. I totally love Roa’s Tomato Sauce but $9 a jar is a bit pricey, especially since its not from the farmers market with someone’s Italian Grandma on the label!. My go to sauce is Classico. It works especially well to make this Sauce Soup because it is a little on the chunky side, if you like that sort of thing. 

This is one of those meals that can make you feel like you ate something delicious and good for you, but is it medicine? Well, if you were feeling bad and it made you feel better then I would say YES, it IS medicine. With all the vegetables in this soup it is high in antioxidants, the beans add fiber (so important to gut health) and a bit of protein. All in all I would consider this a healthy meal.

So grab your favorite jar of tomato sauce and lets make some soup real quick. 

List of Ingredients

  • 1 24oz. jar of your tomato sauce
  • 1 med Red onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – I like to grate my garlic but you can chop it 
  • Celery – as much as you want, I love celery but I guess not everyone does according to my hairdresser – who I love by the way !!
  • 1 medium Zucchini, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can white beans (great northern or cannelini)
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1 handful of chopped spinach or kale
  • 32 oz. box of chicken (or veggie) broth or Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 box of small shells to ditalini noodles
  • Parmesan Cheese

Put a pan of salted water on the burner to cook the pasta.

Chop your veggies up. Sauté onions and celery in olive oil over medium heat, once onion and celery soften add garlic and zucchini , cook for another 5 – 8 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans. Once the zucchini and other veggies are lightly cooked add the jar of sauce. Then pour the broth (or make the Better Than Bouillon) into the sauce jar to get any sauce left in the jar and pour into your sauce soup. Usually a jar of sauce is 24oz, to make sauce into soup we want to add 32 oz of broth. Add beans, stir and turn to low heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Once the Sauce Soup veggies are to your liking you can add some seasonings to taste. Garlic and onion seasoning. Salt and pepper and some Italian seasoning. Once that is stored and pretty mush ready to go add in the handful of spinach or kale.

Cook your pasta, according to the package and don’t over cook it… al dente pasta is always better. When your pasta is ready, drain it but don’t dump them into your soup. The noodles in the hot soup will absorb the broth and become mushy. Put the noodles in your bowl and then ladle the hot soup over them. Trust me on this one, soggy noodles are an Italian sin.

Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and enjoy this healthy Minestrone Sauce Soup with some bread, done in about 30 minutes. 

Until next time, stay healthy and eat your veggies… And if you’re looking for me I’ll be in the kitchen. 

Live, Love, Lucy

Lucy Hendry is the author of the Farmers Market Cookbook and recently became a Holistic Nutritionist. For more recipes and info on using food as medicine check out her website www.Lucysinthekitchen.com