Last weekend I picked a leek from the earth. It was a pretty life changing experience as silly as that sounds. It was not only grounding, but I felt bonded to Mother Nature in a way that I've never felt before. As a very non-plant lady (I have a black thumb), this was a very surreal experience for me. I was overcome with gratitude and just wanted to make something amazing that both N and I could enjoy together. It also pushed me to want to reduce my waste and footprint on this miraculous planet we live on.
I purchased a counter top compost bin last week and have been using it more than my trash and recycling combined! I had no idea how much food waste I was throwing out every day while cooking in my kitchen. If you do one thing to help save our planet -- do that, it is such an easy switch up and it's hugely gratifying to see your trash bin shrink tenfold.
Now onto the no-bean minestrone recipe! I used minimal amounts of onion and garlic because N is crazy about flavor and I can tolerate small amounts of each. That being said, if you are on a low roadmap protocol or have sensitivities to either one, feel free to omit them and up the amount of leeks.
Ingredients // Pantry items:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 yellow onion - diced
- 1 garlic clove - minced
- 2 cups chopped leeks
- 3 large sprigs of celery - chopped
- 1/2 a red bell pepper - diced
- 3 zucchini or summer squash (or both!) - largely diced
- 2 roma tomatoes - largely diced
- 2 cups of green beans - cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup parsley - chopped
- Chicken stock or bone broth (or sub veg broth for a plant based option)
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot on medium-high heat
- Add onion, garlic, leeks, celery, and red pepper to the pot. Stir occasionally until soft (but not brown) - about 10 minutes
- Add 3 cups of broth and 3 cups of water along with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, bay leaves, and pepper as you please and bring the pot to a simmer
- Then add zucchini, tomatoes, and green beans and let it all cook together for about 10 minutes
- Take off heat, add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, taste test for salt and pepper, and serve with fresh parsley // any extra fixings you desire
The beauty of this dish is that is can easy be spruced up to fit anyones dietary habits, likes, and restrictions. I topped mine with freshly steamed sweet potato and leftover basmati rice that was in the fridge and threw in some glutenous pasta (in Nic's "gluten pot") to make a more OG minestrone style soup for him. They were done at the same time for us to enjoy dinner together.
Can't wait to see how you do yours up.