|Easy Vegetable Minestrone Soup with Whole Wheat Pasta and Lots of Vegetables
Today is the last in a series of soup classes I’ve been teaching at our local community center. It’s been a tremendous experience, sharing some home cooking with a group of seniors in the hope of encouraging them to get back into the kitchen to cook healthy meals versus buying processed foods.
We’ve had lots of fun and exchanged useful tips about the best local supermarkets to buy fresh produce, talked about what everyone’s favorite soups are, and enjoyed a number of hot healthy lunches. I’ve been especially pleased to hear that a number of the students in my class have made the soups I’ve been demonstrating since that was the original intent of the soup series.
So far, we’ve made a Simple Lentil Soup, Mushroom Barley Soup, and Cuban Black Bean Soup. To go along with these soups, we’ve also been making some healthy green salads. For our last class, I am making an Easy Minestrone Soup based on popular request, served with a simple tomato artichoke salad and some garlic herb toasted whole grain bread.
To make this soup even healthier, I used kidney beans (which are high in fiber), cabbage (a cruciferous vegetable), baby spinach (a leafy green vegetable) and whole grain farro (I also made some with whole wheat pasta). To add a some bright flavor to this soup before serving, I like to stir in a spoonful of pesto. A sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese is optional, but adds even more flavor and umami.
Easy Vegetable Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup is really versatile. Feel free to use cannellini beans or other beans, kale or other leafy green vegetables, and any loose vegetables sitting in your refrigerator. You can also throw in a chopped potato for an even heartier soup. This soup freezes well, just don’t add any pasta (you can add whole grains before freezing however).
|Easy Vegetable Minestrone Soup with Farro and Spinach Basil Pesto
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen
1 zucchini, diced
3 cups baby spinach
fresh grated parmesan cheese, optional