What’s for dinner tonight? Why not make a hearty minestrone soup and save some for lunch the next day. Timeless and traditional this quick and easy recipe calls for canned beans and diced tomatoes, but try to make them organic right along with the rest of the ingredients. The brown rice pasta is a nice twist on the white flour semolina rotini and holds up well in any soup mixture. Best not to cook pasta in the soup as it can get too soft and mushy.
Preparing the pasta and greens together saves having to wash another pot, but their cooking times are so similar they are done at the same time. Round out the meal with a fresh green salad and a slice of whole grain sourdough bread. For those of you indulging, a glass of dry red wine pairs well here, helps a bit with digestion, and your day from hell may just soon be forgotten.
Quick Hearty Minestrone Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
4 cups water
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, plus juice
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 package brown rice rotini pasta
3 cups Swiss chard, washed and chopped
Grated Romano cheese
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and saute the onion, garlic and pepper until tender. Add the basil and thyme and cook another 30 seconds, stirring well.
2. Add the zucchini; reduce heat, and cook another 3 minutes covered, but stirring from time to time.
3. Add the stock, water, tomatoes, beans and bay leaves. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to just under a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes; or place in a crock-pot and cook on low for 2 hours.
4. When ready bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and chopped greens. Stir well, cover and turn off heat. Let sit about 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain in colander run under cool water and set aside.
5. Spoon 1 cup pasta and greens into a bowl and ladle soup over the pasta. Top with grated cheese and serve with a fresh green salad and whole grain sourdough bread.
Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle designed to achieve optimal health and well being, based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics videos and classes, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia’s credentials include holistic nutritional counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker.