This vegetable-packed minestrone soup recipe is inspired by a popular Weight Watchers vegetable soup recipe. It makes a big pot of soup, so keep some in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and freeze the rest in single-serve portions. That way you always have an easy, delicious vegetable soup to start your meal or to eat for lunch. Think of this vegetable minestrone recipe as a starting point for other healthy soup variations, too: toss in leftover chopped cooked chicken or whole-wheat pasta or brown rice to make it more satisfying.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions (2 medium)
- 2 cups chopped celery (4 medium stalks)
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 medium)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups chopped cabbage
- 3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium)
- 2 cups chopped carrots (4 medium)
- 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, or frozen, thawed
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cups chopped fresh spinach or 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 10 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Step 1
Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven (8-quart or larger) over medium heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 13 to 15 minutes. Add cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and green beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes more.
Add broth, water, tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans and bay leaf; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in spinach and simmer for 10 minutes more.
Discard the bay leaf. Stir in basil. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon cheese.
To make ahead: Prepare through Step 2 and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months; finish Step 3 just before serving.
Serving Size: 2 cups Per Serving: 162 calories; protein 7.2g; carbohydrates 24.4g; dietary fiber 8.6g; sugars 9.5g; fat 4.7g; saturated fat 1.3g; cholesterol 4.3mg; vitamin a iu 6281.6IU; vitamin c 55.6mg; folate 82.5mcg; calcium 156.2mg; iron 2.5mg; magnesium 54mg; potassium 769.3mg; sodium 575.1mg; thiamin 0.4mg. Exchanges:
3 vegetable, 1/2 fat, 1/2 lean protein, 1/2 starch