MinestroneIt’s that time of year, when soups and stews take center stage at the dinner table, and nothing warms the soul quite like a bowl of hot, steamy goodness. Heart-healthy cannelloni beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and nutrient-dense vegetables enveloped in a rich, savory tomato broth, fills me up and cinches my waistline. What could be better?

It’s the “big” soup. Yes. That’s literally what minestrone means, BIG soup. Long on flavor, and short on calories. That’s the way I like it. A dollop of pesto, some penne pasta, a crostini or two, and all is right with the world. Ommmm.

What you’ll need: Peeler, a knife for slicing and chopping, a large stockpot, and a wooden spoon. Yields 9-servings. Nutrients based per serving.



  • 1/3-cup olive oil
  • 1-cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup fresh fennel, diced
  • 2-tbsp minced garlic
  • 1-Large sweet red bell pepper, diced
  • 2-stalks celery, diced
  • 1/3-cup Faux Good Seasons Italian dressing mix


  • 2-carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 6-Roma tomatoes, diced


  • 2-quarts vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1-small can tomato paste
  • 2-14oz cans diced tomatoes
  • ½-cup chopped, flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 2-zucchini or crookneck squash, diced
  • 1-eggplant, diced


  • 1-14oz can red kidney beans
  • 1-14oz can cannellini beans
  • 1-14oz can chickpeas
  • 1-cup sautéed mushrooms
  • 1/2 -cup vegan pesto Alla Genovese


  • 2-cups frozen cut green beans or haricot verts
  • Fresh spinach


  • Whole wheat penne or pasta of choice, cooked and reserved


  1. Heat oil in the stockpot and add the next five ingredients.
  2. Add seasoning and stir well.
  3. Saute until vegetables begin to sweat.
  4. Add carrots and tomatoes. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add stock, diced can tomatoes, and paste. Stir well until paste is fully dissolved.
  6. Add squash and eggplant and simmer until vegetables have submerged into soup [squash and eggplant are buoyant vegetables].
  7. Add pesto and stir well/#middle”>pesto Alla Genovese
  8. 8-fresh basil leaves

Taste and adjust seasoning.

  • Add beans at the very end.
  • To retain the vibrant color and nutrients of the green beans and spinach, place them in bowls along with the pasta, and ladle hot, steaming soup over them before serving. Garnish with vegan parmesan cheese