From time to time, I find myself on a treadmill at the gym watching Rachel Ray. I watched her take a beautiful Minestrone soup and turn it into a fat-filled pot of unnecessary calories and fat. I listened to her rave about the whole rind of Parmesan cheese, and the full fat chicken and beef broth. Although she used a plethora of vegetables, she sautéed them in olive oil. As always, I shook my head, and said “I can make that just as good without all that fat.” So, I did.
Rachel’s “key” to her Minestrone soup is slowly cooking layer on to
p of layer of vegetables in a particular order. So, without drowning them in oil, I did the same, fat free. Instead of her fatty chicken and beef broth, I used Organic Vegetable Broth, and instead of nasty cheese rind, I used Nutritional Yeast.
I also used a few more vegetables, because I love them, and I am vegan after all. I combined garlic, onions, celery, carrots, yellow and green zucchini, potatoes, green beans, diced tomatoes, rosemary, parsley, and basil. Although Rachel suggested red kidney beans, I used red kidney beans and chickpeas. But you can choose any beans you prefer.
This soup is savory, full of vegetables and easy to make. And, it is easily achieved without any of the fat and calories in any recipe. Making it clean is always better option than adding unneeded fat and calories.
I always make a pit of soup on Sunday, and Paul and I take it to work all week long. I pack up crocks of soup and cut up vegetables and make other vegan salads for easy packing in the morning. Cooking and prepping food before-hand makes taking a healthy lunch to work easy. Although many people enjoying lunch out, taking your lunch is not only healthier, it is much cheaper.Print
Watch out Rachel Ray; my ‘veganized’ version of your classic Minestrone soup is just as delicious vegan and oil free. Enjoy the same savory goodness without all the fat and calories.
- 1 large White Onion, diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Carrots, diced
- 3 Celery stalks, diced
- 1 Yellow Zucchini, diced
- 1 Green Zucchini, diced
- 2 large Baking Potatoes, diced
- 1 can, rinsed, drained Dark Red Kidney Beans
- 1 can, drained, rinsed Chickpeas
- 2 cups fresh Green Beans, ends snapped off; beans snapped in half
- 1 16 ounce bag Organic Spinach
- 2 cans Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 1, 8 ounce bag Orecchiette Pasta, or any pasta (gluten-free, wheat, or whatever you prefer)
- 8 cups Organic Vegetable Broth
- 3/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
- 3 teaspoons Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Pepper
- 3 teaspoons Chili Powder
- 2 teaspoons Onion Powder
Rachel Ray cooks her soup in layers: So, follow these instructions by cooking layers, one at a time, adding on top of the first layer.
COOKING LAYER #1
- In a large soup pot, saute garlic, onion, and celery until translucent.
COOKING LAYER #2
- Add carrots and potatoes, and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add 4 cups vegetables broth and bring to a boil.
COOKING LAYER #3
- Add green beans.
- Put one can of roasted tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until diced smaller; do not puree.
- Add to pot.
- Add the other can of tomatoes directly from the can, diced.
- Cook for 10 minutes; stirring occasionally.
SPICES AND DENSE VEGETABLES Layer
- Add spices, nutritional yeast and additional 4 cups of broth.
- Add zucchini.
- Add Red Kidney Beans and Chickpeas ( you may use any beans you prefer).
- Add pasta and boil for 11 minutes (the time indicated on the bag of pasta)
- Taste to make sure your pasta, potatoes and carrots are tender.
- Add spinach right at the end; it wilts immediately.