As most of the country experiences frigid temperatures this winter, I suspect many people gravitate toward warming comfort foods like soups to take the edge off the chill in the air. But the store-bought cans of soups are loaded with sodium, often busting your recommended daily allotment of the salty seasoning in just one or two servings. That’s why I make my own soups with fresh ingredients, loads of nutrients, low sodium content, and almost no fat. One of my favorites is a chickpea and cannellini minestrone that takes about 30 minutes to prepare, but tastes like it has been cooking all day long.
Chickpea and Cannellini Minestrone
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 14-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 14-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
8 cups vegetable broth
1 lb. kale or spinach
Salt and pepper
1 cup ditalini or tortellini pasta
Heat oil over medium heat and add rosemary, onion, garlic, and bay leaf over medium heat. Add beans, carrots, celery, tomatoes, broth, and kale. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in raw pasta and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 10 minutes (or until vegetables are tender and pasta is al dente). Remove soup from heat and adjust seasonings, as needed. Sprinkle servings with Romano cheese.
Note: This soup freezes well, so you can make it once and enjoy it for dinner several times!