I'm a chocolate-loving nutritionist, pre & postnatal coach, doula and let's face it- total birth nerd 🤓. I'm here to help you cut through mommy-marketing and pinterest perfection to confidently cultivate a pregnancy and postpartum experience you totally love.
Minestrone soup AKA: what the heck do we have in the fridge? Let’s put it in a pot and call it soup! Minestrone soup is one of my favorite “feel better” soups. It’s rich tomato broth and perfectly cooked veggies make a light yet nourishing meal. Whether, I’m struggling with morning sickness, a flu bug, or just need a warm hug, grain-free minestrone soup is my go-to meal!
The beauty of minestrone is you can literally throw whatever veggies you’d like in it. In my version, I used green beans and summer squash, because that’s what we have on hand this time of year! Eggplant, butternut squash, spinach, or potatoes are also great options. Start with the mire poix (fancy name for those diced carrots, onion and celery) and tomato broth, then add the veggies your heart desires (or fridge provides).
I keep this traditional pasta laden soup grain-free by using my favorite gluten-free pasta shells from Banza. Their pasta is made using chickpea flour, so if you can tolerate beans every now and again like we can, I highly recommend their pastas. The texture, taste and durability rival wheat based pasta. No one has time for mushy pasta! The chickpea pasta shells magically hold onto their al dente texture days into leftovers!
This grain-free minestrone soup gets a punch of flavor from parmesan! Simmering the rind in the broth, adds umami and depth of flavor desperately needed by those acidic tomatoes. If you can’t find fresh parmesan, the pre-grated stuff will do in a pinch. Just be sure its REAL parmesan.
Prep all veggies. For the best texture (and more even cooking) dice the carrots, onions and celery in a similar size!
Heat a large heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil. When oil is shining and pan is hot, add carrots, onions and celery. Saute stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and other veggies start to soften.
Add 2 tbsp tomato paste, salt, pepper, italian seasoning and minced garlic to the sauteed veggies. Stir to coat and cook for another 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
Deglaze pot with 4 cups broth, stir and bring to a boil.
Add diced tomatoes, rind from parmesan wedge (reserve the cheese to grate on top), and 1 cup pasta shells. Boil for 7-9 minutes then reduce heat and let soup simmer.
Add green beans and summer squash to the pot and allow to simmer for at least ten minutes, until green beans brighten in color and squash softens.
Taste for salt.
Top each bowl with freshly grated parmesan!
If you can't find a wedge of parmesan, pre-grated will work fine too. Add a few tablespoons to the broth to give it a bit more depth of flavor. The salt in this recipe is purposely minimal because broths vary so much in sodium content. Adjust according to your preference!