I created my own modified version of Minestrone soup a few weeks ago and the final result was ah-mazing! There are a few key ingredients and preparation methods in my version that make it different than a lot of other Minestrone recipes you will find. I used spicy Italian turkey sausage instead of pork sausage to reduce the calories and fat. I also used zucchini noodles (aka zoodles) in place of traditional pasta noodles to make it lower in carbs. I did however, make a batch of tubetti pasta noodles on the side for my hubby to add into his soup. I find it easier to add ingredients into an individual serving rather than dissecting each serving to remove unwanted ingredients.
It’s super easy to make your own zucchini noodles by using a handheld julienne peeler. I bought this julienne peeler on Amazon for around $10 and I use it all the time. I’ve heard good things about other “zoodling” machines like this spiralizer but I find that the julienne peeler works just fine and takes up less space in my kitchen. I prepare the carrots the same exact way as the zucchini noodles by using the julienne peeler.
Another ingredient that makes this soup super hearty and filling is garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas). They’re packed full of fiber and oh-so tasty! The final “secret ingredient” is tomato pesto. I use the Classico Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto but any variation will do. It really gives the soup an extra “zip” of flavor. And that folks, is how the recipe name came to be “Zip and Zoodle” Minestrone Soup.
2 small white onions, diced (I use my food processor)
3 medium carrots, julienned
3 medium zucchini, julienned
2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced (I use my garlic press)
1 (32 oz) carton chicken stock
1 (8.1 oz) jar sun-dried tomato pesto
1 ( 6 oz) can tomato paste
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups water
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Sea salt and white pepper, to taste
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can chick peas, drained and rinsed (aka garbanzo beans)
1 (15 oz ) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Sliced Parmesan cheese, for garnish
4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes. Add in zucchini noodles, carrots, and green beans, and saute for another 5-6 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Add in the chicken stock, water, tomato paste, sun-dried tomato-pesto, rosemary, Italian seasoning, thyme, and salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, allowing the mixture to gently boil, uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Add cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, and lemon juice and cook, uncovered, for another 10-15 minutes.
Serve warm with parsley and Parmesan cheese for garnish.