Hearty Minestrone Soup
Hearty, nutritious and filling - this recipe is everything you want in a winter soup. I'm not sure if it fits the bill as a traditional minestrone soup, but let's just say that's where the inspiration came from.
It's lower in carbs than most minestrone soups, because it doesn't call for any rice or pasta. It's delicious as a vegan meal on its own, or I've also given the option to add homemade meatballs if you want to add extra protein. The soup freezes well too, making it a great option if you're looking to do some batch cooking on the weekend.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
3 stalks celery, chopped (about 2 cups)
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 can cannellini white kidney beans (540 ml/19 fl oz), drained and rinsed well
1 can diced tomatoes (796 ml/28 fl oz)
4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
500 grams lean ground beef (optional)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté for 8-10 minutes, or until onions are soft and turning golden brown (reduce heat to medium-low if onions begin to burn).
Add celery and carrots, continue to sauté for 8 minutes.
Add cannellini beans, canned tomatoes, water, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano and lemon juice. Use an immersion blender to slightly blend the soup, just until some of the tomatoes and beans have been broken up, and the soup has a slightly thicker texture. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Optional - if you're adding the beef, use clean hands to roll 1-inch pieces of ground beef into meatballs using the palms of your hands. Gently drop them into the pot of soup and boil gently for 20 minutes, or until beef is cooked through.
Per serving: 184 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 27 g carb, 7 g fibre, 8 g protein, 946 mg sodium
Per serving (with the beef): 359 calories, 18 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 27 g carb, 7 g fibre, 25 g protein, 946 mg sodium
Looking for personalized healthy eating advice? To learn more about Michelle's range of nutrition services, or to book an appointment click here.
All photos and recipes by Michelle Gelok, RD