This authentic minestrone soup is made straight from the heart of southern Italy. It’s super delicious and nutritious by packing a serious protein punch. It’s also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A and C and the mineral iron. The consistency is more like a stew, than a soup, so one bowl will fill you up and keep you heart healthy. If there are any leftovers, this soup freezes well, too!
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
3 stalks celery, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 carrots, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 potato, medium, peeled, finely chopped
½ teaspoon, sea salt
2 tomatoes, diced
½ cup lentils (French green lentils or other variety of your choice), rinsed and picked over
4 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 cup elbow pasta, dry (or small shell)
1 can (15.5 ounces) dark kidney beans, rinsed
1 cup kale, finely chopped (or collard greens)
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Parmesan cheese to taste
- In large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes and sea salt and cook 10-15 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
- Add tomatoes, lentils, and water and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring soup occasionally.
- Add beans, kale and pasta and cook for another 10 minutes until pasta is cooked.
- Add parsley and stir to distribute evenly through soup; soup should be a stew consistency.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese to taste.
Makes 8 servings (1 cup per serving).
Nutrition Facts per serving: 240 calories; 6g fat (1g sat fat, 4g mono, 1g poly, 0g trans fats); 0mg cholesterol; 37g carbohydrate (8g fiber, 5g sugar); 10g protein; 250mg sodium; 80% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 50% DV vitamin C; 6% DV calcium; 25% DV iron.
– Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.