When all you want in April in Chicago is a little bit of Spring in the air, and it refuses to come, add some warmth to your life with a delicious, hot bowl of hearty minestrone soup.
This soup is like a one-pot meal! It has beans, vegetables and whole wheat pasta.
I am not a lover of large beans, so I puree the beans before adding them to this soup. That way I can get all the benefits of the beans without gagging as I chew! If you and your family like beans, you can keep them whole!
Hearty Minestrone Soup
This soup is like a one-pot meal with beans, vegetables and whole grain pasta.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup small whole-wheat dry pasta elbows, orzo, ditalini
- 4 cups greens, chopped kale, spinach, chard
- 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained whole or pureed
- 1/4 cup pesto
- salt and pepper to taste
- shredded parmesan cheese for garnish optional
Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion and carrot in oil for about 10 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
Add broth, water, tomatoes, fennel, thyme and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Return the soup to a boil. Add the pasta and boil gently until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
Add greens and beans. Simmer for 5 minutes or longer until greens are tender.
Add pesto and season with pepper. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve topped with parmesan cheese if you'd like!
If soup thickens upon standing, you can always add more water and then a little more salt and pepper as needed.