Oops! Time got away from me again. I even had things to write about because I could have written about what we did for my birthday (8-mile hike on Hilton Head Island) or Valentine’s day (fancy dinner at a Chinese buffet).
But I didn’t. And now I don’t really want to write about those things. So instead I’ll share this recipe with you.
I read a bunch of blogs, some of which are food blogs, looking for interesting ideas. Because it’s still wintry out, I’ve been in the mood for soup, and this one was easy to make, easy on calories, and good on nutrition. Most of it was stuff we already had in the pantry. And it’s been absolutely delicious. I think I’m on day 3 of having it for lunches and it’s been great.
I got the recipe from Center Cut Cook: Easy Minestrone Soup. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, adding some stuff, using less of others. I think that’s one of the great things about soups — they’re usually pretty flexible.
So, read the link above to see what the original recipe says. And see all the pretty pictures.
This is what I did. I don’t have any pictures.
In a soup pot, I warmed up 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Into that, I put the following:
- 1/3 vidalia sweet onion, chopped fine (about 3 oz)
- 3 or 4 stalks of celery, sliced thin (about 3 oz)
- 2 big cloves of garlic, sliced thin
And let them warm up on medium heat until the onion was translucent.
Then I added the following to the pot:
- 1 small can (61g / 0.88 cup) no salt added tomato paste
- 1 medium can (2 cups) no salt added diced tomatoes (Or stewed… They might be stewed. Use whatever tomatoes you like.)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
And let it warm up on medium heat until the tomatoes were bubbling.
During that time, I realized my pot was too small for the rest of everything else going in. So I got out my bigger pasta pot and added to that pot, on medium heat:
- 4 cups unsalted chicken cooking stock (one container of the lowest-sodium broth I could find)
When the tomato mix was warmed up, I VERY CAREFULLY poured it into the pot with the chicken broth. And then I turned that up to high to let it boil. Once it was boiling, it went down to medium again and I added the following:
- 3 or 4 pealed and sliced carrots (about 4 oz)
- 1 can no salt added green beans (drained)
- 1 can reduced sodium dark red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
- 4 oz Rigati pasta (the last of an open box of those straight hollow noodles)
And let that warm up on the stove until the pasta was done al dente. Since I planned on the soup taking me several days to get through, I didn’t want the noodles to get too well done. I expect they’ll get more and more soft as the soup get older.
I probably could use more actual FLUID in this soup. As is, it’s got a lot more substance than it does soup. And I don’t think it’d effect the flavor much to add a little more water or chicken broth. But I really don’t mind much that all my beans and vegetables are all sitting above the level of the broth. Just be warned that if you do follow this the way I did it, you will end up with more of a super chunky stew than a soup. It really barely counts as soup.
And you probably noticed that I used a lot of no salt or low sodium options and didn’t add “salt and pepper to taste.” One of my biggest frustrations with store-bought soups is the sodium content. They are all SWIMMING in salt! This one is not. And since I’ve been low-sodium, as much as possible, for a couple years, I really appreciate that this has very little salt.
I’m not really sure how many servings I’ll get out of this, but when I put it into a container, it was just above 8 cups. So I figured 1 cup was a decent serving size (most soups are about that size, I think). When I put it into MyFitnessPal.com to figure out the calories, it looked like this:
Amount Per Serving (% Daily Value *)
Total Fat 2 g (3 %)
Saturated Fat 0 g (1 %)
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat (0 g)
Cholesterol 0 mg (0 %)
Sodium 162 mg (7 %)
Potassium 460 mg (13 %)
Total Carbohydrate 30 g (10 %)
Dietary Fiber 7 g (26 %)
Sugars 6 g
Protein 8 g (16 %)
Vitamin A 68 %
Vitamin C 13 %
Calcium 8 %
Iron 13 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
And that looks pretty awesome to me! And it’s delicious, which is really the kicker. I look forward to having this soup, with a little round of Babybel cheese for my lunch. It’s warm and savory and it makes me happy.
And since I didn’t really know what else to do with the rest of the bags of celery (I don’t end up eating it raw, to the dismay of the several moldy stalks I’ve thrown away in the past, plus this batch was already getting a little droopy) and carrots (raw carrots have started to make my lips itch), I took the time while the soup was cooking to chop them all and put them in baggies which are now in the freezer. They’ll be perfect for the next time I need chopped vegetables later.
Let me know if any of you end up giving this a try! And send me your favorite soup recipes so I can give them a try before the weather gets too warm for soup.