Hearty Plant-Based Minestrone Soup Recipe with Fresh Arugula
This satisfying minestrone soup recipe features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients. This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs and vegetables you have available.
If you’re trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, this is a good soup to include. It’s warm, flavorful and very filling.
Want to learn more about living a plant-based or vegan lifestyle?
Tip: For best results, cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft and mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day and better results when freezing for future use.
You can use whatever type of pasta you prefer. This recipe calls for traditional fusilli pasta, but you can use whole grain or gluten-free pasta. If you like lentil or bean pasta, use those. They have more nutrients and are even more filling. And you don’t have to use fusilli. Use your favorite shape. I personally like shells.
Soups are great for busy families because they keep well. They can be made in advance and eaten throughout the week. Soups are perfect for lunches because they can be heated up pretty quick, they taste really good and they fill you up. They also freeze well for more long term meal prepping.
Want to learn more about meal prepping?
This recipe calls for arugula and for good reason. It holds up well in the warm soup and it is has a peppery taste. Arugula has tons of amazing health benefits. It’s high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It helps to boost the immune system, prevent cancer and support healthy bones.
To give this soup an extra dose of flavor, antioxidants, and health-promoting compounds, experiment with pure essential oils. Add a drop of rosemary, thyme, oregano, or black pepper essential oils to the soup. Add them toward the end of the cooking time. You might want to experiment with only one oil at a time. Essential oils are very concentrated and can easily overpower and ruin a dish if you use too much. When working with super-strong oils, like oregano, try starting with less than a drop. You can do this by using a toothpick. Dip the end of a toothpick into the essential oil and then add it to the soup. Black pepper essential oil tastes amazing in soups, especially tomato-based soups like this one.
Want to learn more about cooking with essential oils?
Incorporating more healthy meals into your diet doesn’t have to be difficult. Find one or two healthy recipes that are easy to make and taste good to you and your family. Use them as your go-to’s. Once you master them, look for one or two more recipes to add to your repertoire. Keep building it up slowly until you have a library of go-to recipes you can easily pull off any night of the week.
When you’re creating a healthier lifestyle, you want to bring more mindfulness into your daily life. The best place to start is with your meals. You want to break the habit of mindlessly rushing through your meals.
If you’re anything like me, you’d like to sit down and actually enjoy a hot meal without needing to get up and help someone else every 2-3 minutes.
We are energetic beings and we absorb the energy around us. It is counterproductive to spend the time to cook a healthy meal and then try to eat it in a rushed, negatively charged environment. This is will impact your digestion and your ability to absorb the nutrients from the healthy and delicious meal you just made.
Here are a few steps you can take to bring some mindfulness to your meals. By doing so, your digestion will improve and you will feel better overall.
- Take a mindful moment before you start to eat. It could be as simple as a few deep breaths. Or you could say a prayer.
- Practice gratitude. This can be the hardest, but also the most effective, in a rushed, chaotic environment around mealtimes. Take a moment and feel the gratitude you have for the groceries, the meal, your home, and your family.
- Eat slowly and chew your food. Chewing is so important to the digestion process. It obviously breaks down your food, but it also causes you to slow down a bit. Digestion begins in the mouth, so don’t cheat this important first step.
- Create a soothing environment. Tidy up your kitchen. Keep the electronics away from the kitchen table. Play some soft, soothing music. Eat off pretty dishes, like these cute soup bowls.
- When things start to get crazy, try to stay calm. Your kids feed off your energy. Keep your energy calm and soothing and they will eventually follow suit.
- For more tips on how to end the mealtime battles, check out this article I wrote for Columbus Moms Blog.
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