Minestrone is a nutritious and hearty Italian soup, loaded with beans, vegetables, and pasta and bursting with flavor. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
- 3 TB. cold pressed, unrefined olive oil
- 1 cup diced onions
- one inch piece of kombu
- 3 ribs of celery, diced
- 1/2 cup green beans
- 1/2 – 1 cup cauliflower
- one cup carrots, cut in small chunks
- 3 cups spinach or any leafy greens
- 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed, or 1 1/2 cps. dried chickpeas
- 14 ounce can diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen)
- 6 cups vegetable broth (I like Imagine and Pacific brands)
- 3-4 cloves minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp. unrefined sea salt
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- black pepper to your liking
- 1/2 cup (dry measure) gluten-free pasta (small shells, ditalini, or any small pasta)
- 1-2 cups water
- Put the olive oil in a deep soup pot and turn the heat to medium high
- Add the onions, celery, garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, and 1/8 tsp. sea salt. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Onions should become translucent
- Add broth, water, tomatoes, bay leaves, and kombu to the pot
- Bring to boiling point and add green beans, cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas, salt and pepper
- Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer about 20-25 minutes.
- Add pasta and cook 10-12 more minutes. Then add chopped spinach and cook about 5 minutes more.
- If needed add more salt and pepper
- Instead of canned chickpeas, use 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas. Soak overnight and discard the soaking water. Place in a deep pot with enough water to cover by a few inches, add kombu and bay leaf; bring to a boil, cover and turn down heat and simmer for 90 minutes. Or you can pressure cook the beans for an hour. I prefer using dried beans when time permits. They taaste better.
- You can substitute cannellini beans or navy beans for the chickpeas.
- You can cook the pasta separately and add to the soup at the very end of cooking.
- Kale is very good in this soup and can replace spinach
- Sprinkle with vegan grated parmesan if you like
Kombu is a tasteless sea vegetable that mineralizes and increases the digestibility of the beans. Purchase good quality kombu here
Chickpeas are consider the sweet flavor in TCM Nutrition Therapy. They support the health of stomach, spleen, pancreas, and heart. High in vitamin C and iron. I like Eden canned beans because they are cooked with kombu and the cans are BPA free.
Some of my favorite products
Imagine vegan no-chicken broth – one of my favorites
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