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Hearty Minestrone Soup

With each bite of this soup, my body feels more nourished and content. This wholesome minestrone soup is full of vegetables and protein. Try it a variety of ways by using different vegetables, omitting pasta and adding quinoa, or using diverse beans or legumes. I like to slightly puree the soup to create a thicker broth, leaving it with some chunks. Pair with a Caesar salad or mixed greens, and a slice of crusty bread to make a great balanced, filling, and healthy soup and salad combination.


  • 2 T olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 1 zucchini, chopped

  • 10 basil leaves, chopped

  • 28 oz. can Marzano whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1.5 cups (or 1 can) kidney beans, drained, see Bean Basics

  • 1.5 cups white, cannellini, (or 1 can) beans, drained, see Bean Basics

  • 32 oz vegetable broth

  • 2 cups water

  • Spices: 1 t basil, 1 t oregano, 1 t garlic powder, 1 t onion powder, 1 ½ t salt, ½ t black pepper

  • 1 cup small pasta, such as macaroni or shells

  • 1 bunch lacinto kale, stems removed and leaves chopped

  • Optional: Freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil on medium heat, stir to soften, but do not allow to brown (this step can also be done on sauté mode in instant pot, if using)

  2. Add in carrot and zucchini, cover sautéing until soft, about 5 minutes

  3. Add in tomatoes and basil

  4. Bring to a boil and use a potato masher to mash whole tomatoes

  5. Add in beans, broth, water and spices

  6. Simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered (if using an instant pot, put on soup mode)

  7. Using an immersion blender, partially puree soup for about 1 minute

  8. Pour in dry pasta and chopped kale and continue to simmer for 15 minutes, until pasta is soft.

  9. Serve and sprinkle with parmesan or croutons, if desired.

Note #1: The pasta will continue to absorb liquid and grow in size the longer it sits in the soup. If you intend for soup to sit awhile, consider adding pasta later, or leaving on low, instead of boiling, so that it doesn’t cook too much, too fast.

Note #2: Lacinto kale is the darker green version, available at most grocery stores. I prefer the texture to other types of kale, but any kale would work in this soup.

Note #3: To change it up, consider adding, or subbing, corn, potatoes, green beans, chickpeas, lentils, spinach, orzo pasta, or omit pasta, or use quinoa to make the soup gluten free


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