Marcelle enjoys preparing delicious meals for family and friends. She especially loves creating original, plant-based, vegan recipes.
Warm up with this hearty minestrone soup that keeps the salt in check. On a weekend, you can easily double this recipe and then enjoy this soup throughout the week for a delicious and satisfying lunch.
Watch Out for Sodium
Although they might seem like a healthy choice, restaurant and canned soups are notoriously high in sodium. Just one bowl of minestrone (or most any soup) at a restaurant can easily put you at or ahead of your recommended limit of sodium for the day.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans are consuming too much salt. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 2300 mg per day of sodium as the Tolerable Upper Intake Level. Certain populations, including older adults and some with chronic diseases, should limit their upper sodium level to 1500 mg per day. A high consumption of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.1
Below, we'll look at the sodium content of minestrone soups found on grocery shelves and at popular restaurants and then I'll share my low-salt recipe with you.
Sodium Content of 1 Bowl of Restaurant Minestrone Soup
Sodium Content of 1 Cup of Canned Minestrone Soup
|Grocery Brand||Sodium Content|
Campbell's Healthy Request
Who says a vegetarian soup can’t be hearty? This soup is chock-full of healthy veggies, pasta, and beans and promises to satisfy. Pair it with a slice or two of whole grain bread.
Be sure to use Pomi brand chopped tomatoes if you can, as the flavor cannot be matched and its sodium content sits at just 5 mg per half cup.
Check sodium levels and look for "no salt added" if substituting canned tomatoes—and also for the broth and beans.
If you would like to add a bit more protein, sprinkle your soup with nutritional yeast. This will add 3 g of protein, zero sodium, just 20 calories, plus a big boost of B vitamins.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 10 min
1 hour 30 min
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 26 oz container Pomi brand chopped tomatoes, or two 14.5 oz cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
- 6 small Yukon gold potatoes, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley, or 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups kale, chopped (can substitute spinach or another green)
- 1 15 oz can no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat elbow or rotini pasta
- grated Parmesan cheese or Nutritional Yeast, optional
- Heat oil over medium-low heat in large heavy soup pot. Add onion, garlic, carrots, and celery, then cook until it's all slightly tender and the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes).
- Add broth, water, tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes, zucchini, parsley, basil, ground pepper, and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. Cook until vegetables are soft—about 35-45 minutes.
- Add kale, beans, and pasta, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
- Ladle portions into soup bowls and top with Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast.
1"Americans Consume Too Much Sodium (Salt)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 Feb. 2011. Web. 06 July 2014.
Marcelle Bell (author) on July 17, 2014:
I haven't made the vegan move yet but I'm about halfway there I think. I severely limit cheese (can't quite adopt the vegan cheese) and I use almond milk rather than cow's milk. Nutritional yeast is awesome! I use it nearly every day to enhance a meal, add a bit of protein, plus some B vitamins.
Kari on July 16, 2014:
I see you got the nutritional yeast as an option. Only a vegan would think of that. lol. Have you tried going on a strict vegan diet, or are your a vegetarian that eats vegan quite often?
Marcelle Bell (author) on May 22, 2014:
Thanks so much, Chris, for posting your comment. So glad that the kids loved it too!
Chris Larson on May 22, 2014:
Made this yesterday and the kids and I loved it! I split up the batch...one with and one without the carbs. Kids ate it for an after school snack. Put on the stove, smelled good and they chow down! Thanks Marcelle! Looking forward to more recipes!
Marcelle Bell (author) on May 20, 2014:
Thank you so much for your comment and vote! I love this soup too! Just made a double batch yesterday.
Shelley Watson on May 19, 2014:
Love minestrone soup - this recipe looks like a hearty, well put together meal. Thanks for sharing. Voted, Up interesting and 5*