Minestrone Soup

This recipe has no milk, gluten, corn (unless you use corn noodles.), soy, eggs, or nuts! For my son that is allergic to tomatoes, I take out a bit for him before I add the tomato stuff. Try using organic vegetables if you can get them and make sure your sausage is all natural and not full of nitrates/nitrites. This will cut down on your family’s toxic load. For a Minestrone that is more of a stew than a soup, use the larger amounts of beans and pasta. Also, these instructions assume the beans and chick peas are already cooked. You can soak and cook your own (but who has time for that?) or use canned, (well rinsed and well drained.)

Ingredients:
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
5 medium cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. salt
1 stalk of celery, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 tsp. oregano
fresh black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. basil
1 medium bell pepper, diced
3 to 4 cups (or more) water
1 14 1/2 oz. can tomato puree (about two cups, Muir Glenn is a good brand)
1/2 to 1 cup dry pasta (You can leave this out or try a gluten free pasta)
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked pea beans, chick peas, or kidney beans.
1 or 2 medium sized ripe tomatoes, diced (optional)
1/2 cup fresh minced parsley
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of cooked mild Italian sausage, well drained.

Instructions:
1) heat the olive oil in a kettle or dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add celery, carrot, oregano, black pepper, and basil. Cover and cook over low heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2) Add bell pepper, zucchini, water, and tomato puree. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Add beans and sausage.
3) Bring the soup to a gentle boil. Add pasta, stir, and cook until the pasta is tender. Stir in the diced fresh tomatoes and serve right away, topped with the parsley (and if you can have dairy  parmesan cheese is great too!)

Notes:
This takes some time to make but it is really good and worth the effort. It takes a lot of time to cook most gfcf foods from scratch, so recipes have to fit my criteria of if it is going to take me all day to make it had better taste fabulous, not just OK. This recipe is really forgiving and flexible put in/leave out what you like!

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