Soups are a great way to incorporate a variety of vegetables during the winter season!
This hearty winter soup is filled with chunky vegetables, pasta, beans and spinach. Make soup in a big batch to be used for lunches or on busy nights later in the week. Here are a few reasons why soup is so great:
Especially in the winter, soup can be a delicious food to warm up with. If you skip the cream-based and cheese-based varieties, soup tends to be a filling, low-calorie meal option. After allowing all the ingredients to set together overnight, the flavor is even better the next day or two. If you’re having trouble reaching your daily recommended servings of veggies, soup can help! Don’t forget — if you’re not sure how to use vegetables, beans, or herbs that have been hanging out in your kitchen, try adding some to your soup.
With only 400 calories per serving, this soup is nutrient dense without the calorie expense. The plant-based ingredients provide you with energy to power through every part of the day. Adding beans into the mix provides fiber and protein to help keep you satisfied longer.
Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup serving):
- Calories: 418cal
- Carbohydrates: 68g
- Fiber: 8g
- Fat: 8g
- Protein: 17g
- Sugar (Natural): 13g
Winter Minestrone Soup
Adapted From: www.wnyc.org
- 1½ cups chopped yellow onions
- 2 cups (½-inch) diced carrots (3 carrots)
- 2 cups (½-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
- 2½ cups (½-inch) diced peeled butternut squash
- 1½ tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 6 ounces canned or boxed chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi
- 6 to 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti
- 8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup good dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 ½ teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, add more chicken stock. Just before serving, reheat the soup, add the spinach, and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste.
- Serve large shallow bowls of soup with a bruschetta on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and serve hot.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.