It must be in my genes to just love Minestrone. Back in the day when I ate out just about anywhere, I enjoyed the soup and salad at the Olive Garden. I would always gets Minestrone and the Italian salad. Looking at the ingredients in those dishes from restaurants today, it doesn’t surprise me that I have had so many issues regaining my health.
Today I try to choose wisely if we have to eat out. I pack snacks for the children and myself to avoid stopping anywhere and compromising our health for the sake of convenience. Not only is it more cost effective to bring my own food where ever we may be, but it is also way more nutritious than anything we could get when we’re out. So, it’s a win win. It only takes a bit of preparation and forethought, but not much. Quick grabs for us are fruits, dried fruits, nuts, grain free granola cookies or mixes, raw milk, raw cheese slices, and veggies if they’re sliced and ready to go. Those are just a few ideas. I have come across so many in the real food blog world as well.
Right, well, back to soup…
Nourishing Grain Free Minestrone
serves about 12 people or more
- 1/2 gallon homemade chicken stock
- 1 quart canned tomatoes (NOT from aluminum cans, read why)
- 3-4 cups cooked beans (any mix will do, I used navy and adzuki)
- 2 celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 bunch greens (I use swiss chard, but any green will do)
- 3/4 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup quinoa, soak in lemon water for about 15 minutes before using, then rinse well
- 1-2 cups peas (depending on how much you like them), frozen or fresh
- 1-2 cups green beans, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of each: fresh basil, fresh parsley
- In a large stock pot, add oil and saute celery, onion, and carrots.
- Add everything else, except the greens. Let come to a boil and then lower to light simmer.
- Let simmer on low for about 30-45 minutes.
- About 10-15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, add the greens. If you don’t have time to add them separate, that’s fine. Just add them with everything else.
- Serve topped with parmesan or romano cheese.
Finish off the meal with a fresh green salad, some fermented beverage of choice, and perhaps even some sourdough bread or sprouted grain crackers. For more great, nourishing meal ideas, check out The Healthy Home Economist on her Monday Mania.