Chunky Minestrone Soup

This is our version of the traditional Italian soup which is made with seasonal vegetables and pasta with the addition of pulses to add protein making a complete meal.

There is no set vegetables to use in this soup so feel free to experiment, even using a bag of frozen; just use about 1 kg and ALWAYS add onion (feel free to finely dice if needed).

Nutritional Benefits:

Tomatoes contain vitamins C and E, anticancer properties and may ease symptoms of asthma.  Adding fat (as in olive or  vegetable oil) boosts the absorption of the valuable antioxidant lycopene and vitamins further.

Onions are truly a superfood containing vitamin C and compounds which have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and  antibacterial  properties, help to lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise good HDL cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart  disease as well as regulating insulin response (insulin resistance is often a precursor to developing type 2  diabetes).

Carrots are full of alpha and beta carotenes (antioxidants which help prevent heart disease,  reduce the risk of certain cancers and lower the risk of infections amongst other benefits). Beta carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A; essential for growth, boosting immunity and healthy eyesight. As vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, cooking with a little oil helps the body to  absorb more of this nutrient. They are also a source of vitamins C and E, rich in soluble fibre and help to keep blood sugars steady.

Peas, green beans, and beans are all legumes with a high protein content essential for all  structures in the body to rebuild itself. They contain B vitamins to unlock energy from food and a healthy blood and immune system, vitamin C; helping to  absorb iron, create healthy skin, teeth and bones and immune system, vitamin K; used by the body to form blood clots and help wounds heal and like all vegetables are full of soluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps to control and lower blood cholesterol, prevent strokes and heart disease.

Butter beans like all pulses offer both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol , prevent blood sugars from rising rapidly and prevent heart disease. Both  fibres are essential for good digestive health. They are also a source of B vitamins, protein, iron and calcium.

Soup such as this recipe form a complete meal and help to ease the symptoms of colds through alleviating congestion, acting as an inner heating system and are easily palatable when you may be off your food.