Tonight I made minestrone soup. Since being in graduate school, I’ve put on weight. I need a specific diet plan, but that’s hard! Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto, dairy free, less carbs, less fat, less sugar, no bread, no oil. Bread and dairy and sugar and meat are bad. Everything is bad. The only thing that remains is……. vegetables?
So I’m trying a recipe from the Blue Zone Diet, a diet that has interested me for awhile. The recipe is the Longevity Minestrone Soup. It was really tasty, except for the fact that the soup burnt at the bottom of my French Oven because I was too into an episode of Botched, but hey no one’s perfect. The recipe I tried is here.
½ cup dried peeled fava beans
½ cup dried cranberry beans
⅓ cup dried chickpeas
7 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2⁄3 cup)
2 medium celery stalks, chopped (about ½ cup)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (about 3½ cups)
3 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
1 ½ cups chopped fennel
¼ cup loosely packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
⅔ cup of Sardinian fregula, Israeli couscous, or acini di pepe pasta
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup finely grated pecorino Romano (about 2 ounces)
- Soak the fava beans, cranberry beans, and chickpeas in a large bowl of water for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours (that is, overnight). Drain in a colander set in the sink. Rinse well.
- Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring often, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
- Stir in the tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, parsley, and basil, as well as the drained beans and chickpeas. Add enough water (6 to 8 cups) so that everything is submerged by 1 inch.
- Raise the heat to high and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, uncovered, until the beans are tender, adding more water as necessary if the mixture gets too thick, about 1½-3 hours.
- Stir in the pasta, salt, and pepper. Add up to 2 cups water if the soup seems too dry. Continue simmering, uncovered, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into each of four serving bowls. Divide the soup among them and top each with 1 tablespoon of the grated cheese.