Fresh Tomato Minestrone Soup

The tomatoes are still coming on strong, but the nip in the air once the sun goes down tells me that it’s soup making weather. I still have a lot of produce coming out of the garden, although the plants themselves are starting to look rather tired.

Minestrone means “big soup”. It is one of the cornerstones of Italian cuisine, and no doubt thrifty Italian housewives did as I did – used whatever vegetables were in season. Minestrone ranges from thick and dense to a more broth-like soup with large quantities of diced and lightly cooked vegetables. It typically has beans in it, and sometimes includes meat or pasta.
This soup used up all the little roma tomatoes, although I expect when I go out tomorrow morning there will be more of them.

This is not a heavy soup. It is more on the broth with vegetables side. You could easily add some pieces of chicken to the soup, or some pasta or sprinkle on a couple of tablespoons of parmesan cheese, as long as you accounted for the fat grams. I have been sprinkling 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan over the soup when I eat it – for an additional 4 grams of fat/serving.

Fresh Tomato Minestrone

1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 or 5 sprigs of mixed fresh herbs. You could use rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram – what ever you like best
4 parsley sprigs
2-3 leeks, white and light green parts only, thoroughly cleaned and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium zucchini or yellow squash (or half of each for color), diced
1 carrot, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound diced roma tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced green beans

In a large pot over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Tie herbs and parsley in a bundle with kitchen string if desired (this makes it easier to fish out later). Add the herbs, leeks, garlic, zucchini or yellow squash, carrot, salt and pepper to the pot and sauté until the vegetables are golden, 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add broth, beans, tomatoes, green beans and 4 cups water to the pot. Simmer partly covered 45-60 minutes. Discard herbs. Thin with a little water if the soup is too thick.  Makes 6 servings at 3 grams of fat/serving.


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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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