Minestrone Soup For You

(Warning: It feels like this post ought to be titled “The One With All The Parentheses”…)

I didn’t plan on sharing this particular recipe with you today, but my friend (unknowingly) gave me encouragement when she told me the photos of it looked pretty. I really want her to be able to make it. Because even though she’s “had” it, she hasn’t. (Dear Friend, please don’t hate me for posting about you.) I thought I would give her the recipe today, and figured, hey, you guys might want in on the delicious too.

So, this good friend whom I blog stalk was having a rough week. Not in the sense that she was an emotional mess, or anything less than outrageously strong, positive, and beautiful; no one is as graceful as she when it comes to dealing with shiz. But some serious shiz she was indeed handed, and had to have a week of general lameness/delta-ness to take care of it. I wish that this friend lived closer (you know, a few thousand miles closer), because I would have liked to make her some soup. Because soup always makes me feel better when I am under the weather…so to speak. I thought to myself, “Self, what can you do if you can’t bring your lovely friend soup, since she refuses to move closer so you can stalk her in person doesn’t live nearby?” Then I had an idea.

Make her soup. Deliver via the glories of technology. I mean, we laugh virtually, right? Why not give a knock-knock and drop by some food lovin’ virtually?

So as I chopped, stirred, and simmered, I thought of my dear friend. I sent her good vibes. I prayed. I pretended double rainbows were shooting out from my belly in rays of love to her…

I even enjoyed the soup for her. (I know, I’m such a good friend to eat her soup gift.) But seriously, I love, love, love her. And cooking delectable, nourishing food for people you love (even if they can’t really be there to savor it with you) is what this blog and recipe are all about. So why should I keep it secret? You’re right. No good reason.

This may seem like more ingredients than I usually incorporate (because…well…it is!) — but, this really is simple still, and comes together quickly. It’s basically chop, chop, chop, pour into the pot, stir, walk away. Easy easy. You can obviously tweak this to your preferences/what you have on hand; I just loved the minestrone feel this combination offered.

3 quarts water or broth
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
2 small carrots
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 Tb oregano
1 1/2 Tb basil
1/2 Tb paprika
pepper (I prefer coarse ground)
3 cups (or two cans) cooked white beans
1 bunch kale (or two, if you’re crazy like me)

1) Chop onion, squash, garlic, celery, and carrots.
2) Coat the bottom of a large soup pot with a few tablespoons of oil and turn to medium heat.
3) Add squash and onion, stirring to keep from burning. (I add a few sprinkles of salt to make ‘em sweat out some moisture.)
4) Once onions become soft and translucent, add garlic, celery, and carrots. Continue to stir occasionally.
5) When a fork can fairly easily pierce the squash, add water/broth, tomatoes, and spices.
6) Turn heat to medium-high, and allow to boil for 10 minutes or so. (Optional, I just find it develops the flavors.)
7) Add beans and kale, and generously salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until ready to serve.

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It is utterly overflowing with nutrition, too. Protein from the beans and kale, not to mention satiating fiber and vitamins and minerals (kale is a calcium hero)! Look out. This soup is a powerhouse. Like I said, it sounds complicated, but truly, it isn’t — especially considering the minimal time investment for the outcome! This makes a LOT of soup, which is awesome for meal planning during the week. Like most good savory dishes, this is even better the next day. It keeps amazingly well, and is easily extended into more servings by adding extra veggies, water, or beans. Perfect with a hunk of burning love gluten-free bread.

Oh yeah, and if you are dismissin’ my soup — guess what?

But seriously. Try it. : )

Do you make soup a lot? What’s your favorite?

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I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It