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Nutrition Matters: Vegetable Soup

This soup provides the same flavours as a traditional minestrone soup containing pasta and beans, but without all the carbs Any soup containing beans offers more fibre and protein; this one is also low in carbs, making it great for those meals where your carbohydrate totals are being met by other dishes.

1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (500 mL) chopped onions
4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) diced carrots
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium or 3 small zucchini, diced
8 cups (2 L) no-added-salt or sodium-reduced vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (28 oz./796 mL) no-added-salt tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
1 can (14 oz./398 mL) diced tomatoes
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups (1 L) baby spinach

1 cup (250 mL) fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tsp (20 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add carrots, celery, and zucchini; cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach and continue to cook, covered, another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in food processor, mix together garnish ingredients until well blended. Set aside.

Season soup with freshly ground pepper, to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve garnished with 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) basil mixture.

Makes 10 servings (each 1 1/2 cups/375 mL)

Nutritional breakdown per serving: 13 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 g fibre, 225 mg sodium, 109 calories

© Rosie Schwartz


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