This hearty and well-balanced vegan minestrone soup is packed with seasonal vegetables, beans, lentils and whole grains. Use any veggies you have on hand!
This hearty and veggie packed vegan minestrone soup was inspired by the online course “Introduction to Food and Health” from Stanford University, which I’m currently taking part of. It was really inspiring to learn more about nutrition and real food. I’d like to share with you some insights, as it might be useful for you. Some of these insights I’ve already stated in principles of clean eating, available here. My takeaways from this course might seem like back-to-basics but sometimes we need to remind ourselves what is really important when it comes to nutrition:
- “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” (Michael Pollan). That is to say, substitute highly processed foods with less processed whole foods, do not consume excess calories, and consume a diet rich in plant-based foods.
- Buy less processed food and if so, check the labels. The less ingredients are stated in it, the less harmful it is for you.
- Use common sense. Eat until you are no longer hungry, and not until you are stuffed. Use smaller plates to eat smaller portions.
- Dedicate 1/2 of your plate to vegetables, 1/4 to proteins and 1/4 to carbs (preferably whole grains).
- Learn to cook simple and nutritious meals at home and reduce your consumption of restaurant food or takeaways.
This winter vegan Minestrone soup is a great example of how to combine vegetables, proteins and carbs in a single bowl. It has a lot of veggies, it has plant-based proteins and it has whole grains. The best thing about this soup is that there is not set recipe for it and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. I used all the fresh and seasonal veggies I had in the fridge like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, leek and spinach. I added some protein from various beans and lentils (red kidney beans, white common beans, pinto beans, dried peas, red lentils) and whole grains (red rice and two kinds of spelt). You can feel free to choose any kind of veggies, beans and whole grains to put in the soup. If you are confused about what whole grains are, here is a list for you:
- Wild and brown rice
- Wheat berries
- Steel cut oats
I mixed the grains and dried beans and soaked them over night, then boiled for 30 minutes. If you use canned beans, you don’t have to do this. The second step is to chop and fry your veggies. I added a glass of red wine to give this soup an extra rich flavor but you can skip it. I used a mixture of vegetable and bean broth as a base together with canned tomatoes. I garnished the soup with homemade kale pesto and I strongly recommend it to you because it adds a nice fresh touch. The soup came out thick and wholesome, just perfect for the chilly winter nights. If you are craving something ultimately comforting and flavorful, this vegan minestrone will make you fell good. Check the recipe below together with 6 other Meatless Monday soup recipes. Enjoy!
Here are some of my favorite hearty soups for a chilly season: