This soup is so easy to prepare and so delicious– a big serving of health in a bowl.
Soup is a great way to boost the health in your meals. One easy way to get lots of veggies and greens, as well as beans, on your plate. They are quite filling for dinner, and make excellent lunches the following day.
Try this delicious and easy Minestrone Soup for dinner – easy ingredients, easy prep. You can even enjoy this after it’s been simmering for one hour. But, when you have the time, let it go for a few hours, all afternoon, and the flavors really come together. So delicious! Alternately, you may plop all ingredients into your crock pot, letting it cook all day, ready to serve when you arrive home.
So easy and delicious it will soon become one of your favorites!
You will need:
4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1 cup of chicken or veggie broth
1 medium onion, diced 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
3 stalks of celery, cleaned and diced 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 sweet potato, diced 4 cups of water
1 potato, diced 1 can cannellini, white or kidney beans
1 t. dried rosemary handful of baby spinach, washed and torn apart
1 t. dried thyme 3-4 links of precooked Italian chicken sausage
1 bay leaf ½ zucchini, cut in chunks- optional
1-2 T olive oil
Wash or peel the carrots, then chop along with the celery. Dice the onion and potatoes. Drizzle 1-2 T of olive oil into a large soup pot. On medium heat, sauté the onions, carrots and celery for about 3-5 minutes, just to soften them a bit, letting the flavors come together. If using the crock pot, I would still suggest sauteing the veggies first as this gives the best flavor. Add in the broth, either using veggie or chicken broth. You can use homemade if you have it. If not, I tend to use Pacific Foods Organic, low sodium broth. This is gluten-free and fits our allergy lifestyle. If using store bought brands, make sure you watch for high sodium levels and extra additives you don’t need in your broth.
Next add in the crushed and diced tomatoes, along with the water and spices. Bring to a boil. Then, turn down to medium low – low heat, depending on your stove top. Add in the potatoes and simmer for one hour. Stir occasionally.
While the soup is simmering, rinse off the beans and place in a pot of water with a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and cook for 20 minutes. Drain, rinse well, and put aside for now.
Cut up the sausage into slices/chunks. Wash and pull apart the spinach leaves. If adding in the zucchini, chop into bite sized pieces.
Place the sausage and beans into the pot about 30 minutes before serving. You can add them in earlier if needed. Add the spinach and zucchini about 10 minutes before serving.
**If using your crock pot: add all ingredients except for sausage, spinach and zucchini in the morning. Sauté the veggies first if you have the time. Chop the sausage and zucchini ahead of time to have ready in the fridge. When you arrive home, add them into the crock pot. Then, wash and pull apart the spinach and add that as well. Let cook together another 15-20 minutes and dinner is ready!
To serve, you may place a spoonful of cooked quinoa, brown rice, millet or pasta in the bottom of your bowl. Then spoon the soup on top. Or, simply enjoy the soup as is. You will be amazed on how filling and satisfying a bowl can be!
Serve alone, with a side green salad or with a delicious zucchini muffin- gluten-free of course!
Easy and delicious!