It is officially fall! The leaves are turning, the air is crisp and I’ve started to use the seat warmers in my car. The farmers market is filled with all kinds of delicious fall treats. After going a bit overboard buying fresh veggies, I needed the perfect recipe. Since I updated the website, I’m spending a lot more time thinking about what you, my readers enjoy. One of the most visited pages on my site is the soup/stew recipe category. I make a fair amount of soup since it’s a good make-ahead staple and freezes well. So, I decided to create an autumn minestrone featuring some delicious winter squash. All my fall favorites are in here: cranberry beans, leeks, winter squash, carrots and dark leafy greens. This healthy soup is local, seasonal eating at its best!
There are so many different ways to make minestrone. This version is vegan, low in fat and uses farro instead of pasta or rice. I love using farro in soup because it holds its shape and texture really well. I thought the nutty taste would work nicely with the root veggies. In addition to being warm and comforting, this soup is packed with filling protein and fiber from the farro and the beans and is low in calories to boot! A generous two cup (16oz) serving of this soup has only 230 calories, making it a great healthy lunch or dinner option.
Because minestrone is a versatile soup, feel free to throw in other types of greens, peas, turnips, celery root or other shell beans. Any type of veggie is delicious in this soup! If you’re not a fan of farro (or would prefer a gluten-free option) try quinoa or brown rice instead.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium leek, washed and sliced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large carrots, sliced into ½" wide rounds
- 2-3 cups squash, chopped into 1" chunks (1 medium acorn or delicata)
- 3 cups spinach, rabe or kale, washed and chopped
- 1.5 cups dry farro
- 1lb fresh cranberry beans (approx. 1.5 cups shelled) OR 1 can cannelini beans
- 32oz low sodium veggie broth
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes (approx. 15oz)
- 2 cups of water
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (approx 2 tbsp)
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, saute garlic, onion and leek in olive oil and med heat 5-6 minutes until softened
- Add farro and vegetable broth, cover and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes
- Add squash, carrots, rosemary, tomatoes, beans and water
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes
- Stir in spinach, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes