Dieting advice can be so confusing. There seem to be so many fad diets that come and go.
Eat meat like a caveman! Wheat is evil! Carbs are bad for you! I wonder what to believe anymore.
The one diet that I DO believe in is the Mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, grains (yes, carbs!), and fruits and low in meats and sugars. This is the diet of my ancestors, who often lived well into their 90s. Of course, regular physical activity was key here too.
This soup is my idea of a perfect meal. It has tons of fresh vegetables and beans in it with a just hint of flavor from some bacon. This soup is also a great meal for folks who are sick or in need of a comfort meal. I delivered some of this to a sick friend this week, and I was told that it really hit the spot:)
This recipe makes a nice big batch, enough to freeze a quart or even two.
- 6 slices bacon
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- ½ cup carrots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
- 1 medium sized zucchini, diced
- ½ small head or cabbage or 6 cup spinach, shredded
- 3 cans (15.5 oz each) of cannelloni beans (white navy beans)
- 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce (San Marzano or Muir Glen preferred)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (San Marzano or Muir Glen preferred)
- 32 oz chicken broth (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper
- basil, handful chopped
- pesto, olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- cut bacon into ¼-inch slices and heat over medium high heat in a deep saute pan for 2 to 3 minutes until the pieces begin to cook, drain fat
- add olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots to pan and continue to cook until vegetables soften slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes
- add garlic, zucchini, and cabbage or spinach and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- add beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, water, and basil and raise heat to bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer stirring frequently (will encourage thickening) over low heat for 30 minutes
- season to taste with salt and pepper
- serve with pesto thinned with olive oil and grated cheese.
- soup will thicken over time if storing or preparing in advance
6 bowls or 12 cups servings