It’s definitely soup weather here in Michigan. To me, nothing says comfort more than a bowl of piping hot soup. My husband gets really bored with eating the same soup over and over again, so I’m always trying to come up with new combinations.
Enter my new creation – Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup!
This soup is meatless, but you could easily add some cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast or 97% ground turkey. It definitely helps to stretch your grocery money to keep it meatless, but I definitely understand that some people think they need meat with every meal. 😉
To truly make this a vegetarian/vegan recipe use vegetable broth instead of chicken. I started making my own vegetable broth a few months back and it has been so awesome.
I love that it is practically free because I’m using veggie scraps from veggies I’m cutting up for my family.
I also get to control how much salt goes in and decide which other seasonings I want to use. I personally like how it tastes versus the boxed variety from the store.
This soup freezes and reheats well, so make a double batch and stick in the freezer for a night when you need a quick dinner. I love freezing the soup in these containers. They stack well in my freezer.
I used to use ziptop bags but they drove me crazy because they wouldn’t freeze completely flat and kept falling out of my freezer every time I opened it. Make sure you leave a bit of headspace in the containers because they will expand as the freeze.
It has come in handy on nights where we need to eat and be out the door in 15 minutes. I love that my family is still getting a hearty and wholesome meal and that I only had to cook once. 🙂
For those of you that follow Trim Healthy Mama, this is an E meal.
If you would like some more meatless meal ideas, check out this list! There are 20 to choose from!
Let’s get to the business of making the soup. In a large pot heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and zucchini and sauté until the onion is translucent about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more. Your kitchen should be smelling amazing at this point. Do not walk away from the stove while you’re sauteing garlic. It can go from perfect to charred in a matter of seconds. Just speaking from experience.
Add the broth, water, tomatoes, beans, and seasonings to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Put the spinach in the pot and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. The soup is ready when the spinach is completely wilted. Check your seasonings and make adjustments as necessary.
Serve it up and enjoy! If you are going to freeze the leftover, make sure the soup has completely cooled before putting it in the freezer.
Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup (THM: E, low-fat, gluten-free)
Yield 4-6 servings
- 1 T. olive oil or butter
- (1) medium onion, diced
- (2) large carrots, peeled and diced
- (1) medium zucchini, diced
- (2) cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 c. of vegetable (or chicken) broth
- 2 c. of water
- 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- (2) 15 oz. cans of Great Northern or cannellini beans
- 1 T. Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- bay leaf
- 3 dashes of red pepper flakes (if you don't like spice then just omit)
- 3 handfuls of spinach leaves
- In a large pot heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and zucchini and sauté until the onion is translucent about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more.
- Add the broth, water, tomatoes, beans, and seasonings to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Put the spinach in the pot and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve.