It got cold this past week. It looked like winter had finally arrived! I asked Dwight if there was something he wanted for the chilly nights as I was drawing a blank. He said soup and I agreed. I started thinking about which type I wanted to make for 20 degree weather and first and foremost – hearty and filling was first! There’s always hearty beef bourguignon or a spicy chicken tortilla, but I was wanting vegetarian since I’m still packing a few pounds from the holidays :(. I also needed some carbs in it since I’ve picked up my bike training volume recently. That’s when I started thinking along the lines of a minestrone soup. It has loads of veggies and pasta for carbs. However, a typical spring or summer minestrone is light with vegetables like summer zucchini. So I got to thinking about alternatives. Basically I needed to replace summer veggies for winter veggies.
Hence the winter minestrone soup!
There are a few recipe floating around for winter minestrone soup, but there is one ingredient in them all that I just don’t like – swiss chard. I’ve tried and tried and I just don’t like the flavor. So instead of Swiss chard, I doubled up on some cabbage and added a few handfuls of spinach at the end. Even with the addition of some elbow pasta in this soup, I decided to add in a diced potato for some more flavor and body for the soup. Other than that, it’s pretty much a typical minestrone soup with carrots, celery, cannellini beans and fires roasted canned tomatoes.
Couple Notes: You could easily add some diced and sautéd pancetta to this soup if you wanted a tad bit more depth and flavor. And if you aren’t vegetarian :). Also, I really think the freshly grated Parmesan makes the world of difference at the end, but if you are vegan, just omit it.
Enjoy and remember to Pin or Save to your meal plan for later!
Vegetarian Winter Minestrone Soup
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 potato
- 1 stalk of celery
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 small head of napa cabbage
- 1 small bag of spinach
- 1 28-ounce can of fired roasted tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cups of vegetable stock
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 small sprig of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup of dried macaroni
- Parmesan cheese
- Start chopping the vegetables. Dice the carrots and celery in about the same small dice. Then dice the onion and mince the garlic.
- Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan to medium heat. Add the olive oil, carrots, celery and onion. Season with a pinch of salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes. While the vegetables are sautéing, cut up the cabbage.
- Once the vegetables are soft, add in the minced garlic. Sauté for about a minute. Then add in the cabbage. Season with a pinch of salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add in the beans, tomatoes and stock. Season with a pinch of salt and place in the herbs. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta.
- After 30 minutes, check the soup and taste. Adjust seasonings as needed. Add in the spinach. As soon as it wilts, serve over some of the pasta. Grate some Parmesan cheese over it.
High Fiber, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Pork Free, Red Meat Free, Crustacean Free, Mustard Free, Sesame Free, Lupine Free, Mollusk Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added, Kosher