Hearty Vegetable Minestrone

Cold weather comes in and I start thinking what type of soup can I make.  Soup is my ultimate winter comfort food. Making soup always reminds me of my mother. It doesn’t get super cold in Texas, but when the temperatures would dip she would put on a big pot of soup, loaded with veggies. That wonderful aroma would fill the house and we could not wait to taste it. 😀  Being a big fan of veggie soup, minestrone is one of my favorites. This hearty version is loaded with veggies, beans and pasta.

Spinach

Spinach is loaded with great nutrients and is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin A, iron and folate . Spinach also has fiber, magnesium and calcium.

Vitamin K is a fat-solube vitamin that aids in blood clotting.

Vitamin A promotes good vision and helps maintains good skin health.

Iron is important as it helps hemoglobin hold oxygen in the blood.

Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that functions as a coenzyme in the synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and metabolism of amino acids.

Magnesium helps lower blood pressure and prevents arrhythmia.

Calcium is needed for healthy teeth and bones, nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and blood coagulation.

Spinach Nutrition

(1 cup)

  • Calories 7
  • Calcium 30 mg
  • Potassium 167 mg
  • Folate 58 µg
  • Vitamin A 2813 IU
  • Vitamin K 145 µg

Butternut Squash

Is a member of the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family, which is related to the melon and cucumber.  It is considered a “super food”  because it is a great source of beta-carotene, that converts to vitamin A in the body.  One cup cooked provides more than four times the Daily Value.  Butternut squash provides  fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Butternut Squash Nutrition

(1 cup)

  • Calories 63
  • Calcium 67 mg
  • Vitamin C 29 mg
  • Folate 38 µg
  • Magnesium 48 mg
  • Potassium 493 mg
  • Vitamin A 14882 IU

Hearty Vegetable Minestrone

Hearty Vegetable Minestrone

Adapted from Ina Garten

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 tbsp Olive oil
    • 1  cup  onion, diced
    • 2 cups (1/2 inch) diced carrots
    • 2  (1/2 inch) butternut squash, peeled and diced
    • 2  garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
    • 26 oz can petite diced tomatoes
    • 6  vegetable broth
    • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (15oz can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 2 cups cooked small pasta,  ditalini
    • 3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
    • Shredded Parmesan Cheese for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven.
    2. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes then add carrots, butternut squash and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften.
    3. Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of vegetable broth, and italian seasoning to the pot. Bring to a boil, the lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
    4. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through.
    5. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Cook until spinach is slightly wilted.
    6. Serve and top with shredded parmesan cheese.

Yield: 8 Servings

Minestrone

Pair this soup with hot crusty bread and you’ll a very satisfying week night dinner.

Sources:
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7 thoughts on “Hearty Vegetable Minestrone

  1. Minestrone is one of my favorites too, especially when it is paired with a salad or sandwich! When I go food shopping, I buy whole foods and products whose ingredient lists I can read, because I know that these foods will be good for my body. I don’t always think of why they are good for me, such as when I buy spinach, I don’t always think, this spinach has iron in it, and “Iron is important as it helps hemoglobin hold oxygen in the blood.” I want to start thinking more like that! Thank you for providing information on the benefits of the food that is in the minestrone soup that you made! 🙂

    • You obviously are already making great choices, that’s what is most important. I’ve always been a “why” kind of person so that is the reason I add that info 😀 Thanks for your comments.

  2. Pingback: Butternut Squash Spinach Salad | Clean & Green Nutrition

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