Today we finally got some fall weather our way. Don’t get me wrong, I love the SoCal ‘endless summer’ weather we are blessed with mostly year round. But I guess it makes these cooler, drizzling days more of a treat. So the first thing that came to my mind this morning was some hot, comforting Minestrone soup. It was always a winter staple as a kid growing up in Italy. I still remember my grandma behind the stove (and yes, if you are thinking about the stereotypical Italian grandma right now, you are spot on!), the smell filling up the kitchen on those rainy days. To this day, Minestrone is still probably my favorite soup of all: earthy, wholesome, light and fulfilling.
This version calls for farro, a grain I personally love, and again, takes me back to my roots. Enjoy it 🙂
Nicole’s MINESTRONE STYLE FARRO SOUP
Dairy Free – Vegan – Clean Eating – High Fiber – Low Fat Recipe
½ White or Yellow Onion, peeled
1 Garlic clove
1 Zucchini Squash
1 Yellow Squash
2 medium Carrots, peeled
2 Celery stalks
8 oz Organic Sweet Peas (frozen are ok)
1 can (15 oz) Organic Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
1 small bunch Fresh Spinach (OR 4 oz Organic frozen)
1 packet (8.8 oz) Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro
4 cups of Water
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Small bunch Cilantro or Parsley
Salt & Pepper
In a large pot on low flame, saute’ the chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil. Once it starts softening add the chopped veggies (zucchini, squash, carrots, celery), peas and beans. Stir to mix, add water and ½ Tbsp of salt. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Add the spinach and farro, cover and simmer for an additional 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally making sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Adjust salt & pepper. Serve in a bowl topped with chopped cilantro. You can sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if you like (won’t be vegan, dairy free, or Paleo anymore) and finish with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
Note: this soup is not very liquid. If you are aiming for a ‘soupier’ result, increase water by 2 cups (total 6 cups).
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