Recipe: Minestrone Soup

Dreary Autumn days make me crave all the cozy soups. This one is a twist on Italian minestrone soup, with that classic tomato-ey broth, hearty beans and bean-based pasta to add some protein and density to this plant-based classic. I make it with chicken broth, but you could swap in vegetable stock, instead and make it vegetarian, if you'd like. However you decide to make it- it's a delicious, kid-approved way to get in your veggies, this fall! This recipe is only one of over 80 real-food recipes featured in my limited edition Real Food Family Meal Plans that launched yesterday! I use to create meal plans for my community monthly, years ago and decided to stop once I started shifting the focus in my business to a non-diet approach, because I truly didn't want the women in my community to use the meal plans like a diet! But I kept getting requests for meal plans, and get it: mom life is BUSY and sometimes we just need someone to tell us what to make for dinner.

So after years of requests, what I decided to create were six weeks of FLEXIBLE meal plans. They're BUDGET-FRIENDLY, real food meals for the WHOLE family, with weekly shopping lists, meal prep tips, created with SEASONAL ingredients and serving-size free because we're all different. These are intended to be a guide- not a prescription, but my hope is through them I can help more mamas make real food WORK for their families.

Get a free 3-day sneak preview by clicking here.

In the meantime, let's cook up a pot of soup, shall we?

Healthy Mama Minestrone

1 cup (dry) elbow pasta (I used banza chickpea pasta) 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, diced 2 stalks celery, diced 2 carrots, diced 1 cup zucchini, diced small 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp tomato paste 1/2 tsp sea salt dash black pepper 2 tsp Italian seasoning 1 can diced tomatoes with juice 1 can kidney beans, drained 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth 1 cup finely chopped kale (or leafy green of choice) 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped 2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

2. In a medium stock pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil. Add onion, celery and carrots and cook until starting to turn translucent. Stir in minced garlic and zucchini.

3. When still hot, stir in tomato paste to coat vegetables. Let cook another minute.

4. Stir in seasonings, diced tomatoes, kidney beans and broth. 5. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 25-30 minutes until vegetables are soft. 6. Stir in kale, fresh basil and lemon juice. Let cook for another minute. 7. Season as desired. Divide pasta between bowls and pour soup over top. Serve hot.

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Headshots Marie Guagliardo Photography & Sarah Zollo Portraits