Meatless Monday – Fall Harvest Minestrone

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It’s been raining outside, so… soup.  I actually could have called this ‘Stone Soup’ from the old children’s fable, because it’s less of a recipe than a gathering of what was readily available from my pantry; like the last of the tomatoes and zucchini from the garden paired with root vegetables and winter squash.  I know several people, like me, who hastily gathered the last of summer’s bounty from our gardens before the season’s first storm hit. This minestrone is a broth based soup so it isn’t heavy but it is hearty and filling with the addition of potato, butternut squash and cannellini beans.

20161015_125926 Fall is a fabulous time for food. It’s a collision of the best of summer and the emergence of hard squashes and root vegetables.  This broth based soup is relatively low in calories, cholesterol and fat but still densely nutritious. Cannellini beans add protein, calcium and iron.  Butternut squash is an excellent provider of Vitamin A and potatoes (wrongfully maligned) is a surprisingly good source of Vitamin C.  The more vegetables you include in your soup will result in a better array of vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.  However, the best thing about soup is that it just makes you feel good and warm inside.

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TIPS: Canned tomatoes make an easy shortcut but if you are trying to use up fresh tomatoes, you can just dice them to make about 2 cups.  If you don’t like tomato skins, just blanch the whole tomatoes in boiling water for about a minute or until you see the skin split.  Then they are easy to peel, seed and dice. Feel free to use whatever fresh vegetables that are available. Try substituting other root vegetables or various types of squash. The more colors you see, the better.

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HARVEST MINESTRONE

1/2 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, scrubbed and cut into half circles
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tbsn olive oil
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 zucchini or summer squash, diced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes (or fresh, see TIPS)
1 Tbsn fresh oregano or thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
6 cups vegetable broth
parsley (for garnish) optional
parmesan (for garnish) optional

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  • Saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil in a large soup pot until soft.

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  • Add broth, potatoes and spices and simmer about 10 minutes.

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  • Add squashes, tomatoes and cannellini beans and simmer another 10-15 minutes.

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  • Ladle into bowls and serve with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.

Harvest Minestrone

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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1/2 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, scrubbed
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tbsn olive oil
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 zucchini or summer squash, diced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes (or fresh, see TIPS)
1 Tbsn fresh oregano or thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
6 cups vegetable broth
parsley (for garnish) optional
parmesan (for garnish) optional

  • Saute onions, carrots and celery in olive oil in a large soup pot until soft.
  • Add broth, potatoes, tomatoes and spices and simmer about 10 minutes.
  • Add squashes and cannellini beans and simmer another 10=15 minutes.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.

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