Why is Minestrone soup considered such a healthy dish?
Homemade soups allow for better control of salt input. Using a low-sodium stock, no added salt canned tomatoes, and rinsing canned beans before adding them to the soup will decrease the final salt content greatly, which is helpful in warding off or controlling high blood pressure.
Swiss chard contains phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory properties and has high concentrations of Vitamin A and C.
Tomatoes contain Lycopene, an antioxidant proven to reduce the risk of prostate and cervical cancers. Lycopene is actually used more efficiently when ripe or cooked, making canned tomatoes a great source.
Potatoes are often perceived as “bad” and are avoided. However, it is usually the high-fat butter, cream, and salt added to this food that should be consumed in moderation. Potatoes, with the skin included, contain many B vitamins associated with healthy brain function.
Celery has many health benefits but is most notable for its fiber content, which aids in digestion. Celery has also been used for centuries for its detox properties.
Carrots get their name from the nutrient beta-carotene which gives them their rich, orange color. Beta-carotene and carrots are most popular for vision health (especially night vision), but they are also known for their nourishing effects on our skin and anti-aging benefits.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
28 oz low sodium vegetable, chicken or beef broth
1-15 oz can white beans (Great Northern, Cannellini), for thicker soup do not rinse or drain
1-14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 potato, diced
¼ cup uncooked elbow/ditalini pasta
1 tsp dried rosemary (may use fresh 2-3 sprigs)
1 Tbsp dried parsley (1/4 cup fresh)
Parmesan rind (optional)
1 lb swiss chard
kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil on medium heat and sweat onion, celery, and carrots in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, potato, pasta, herbs, and rind. Stir and simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add swiss chard and wilt. Season with salt and pepper to desired taste. Top with fresh parmesan if desired.