By Lidia Byhower
Autumn has arrived! Does this mean it is time to let go of your bikini body? Definitely not! Sure- you want to warm up with some comforting and hearty food, but this certainly does not mean it has to be unhealthy. This fall, we are crazy about soups and stews to keep you warm, full, and fitting in those skinny jeans. Soups that are vegetable broth or water based and loaded with carrots, celery, broccoli, peas, potatoes, kale, spinach, beans, heck, just about anything healthy will do! Load up on vegetables, avoid dairy & meat, and you will be set for maintaining that awesome summer body, because, trust us, summer will be here again before you know it!
Heart Warming Minestrone Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced white onion
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup frozen cut green beans
1/4 cup minced celery
4 teaspoons minced garlic
4 cups organic vegetable broth
2 (15 ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
2 (15 ounce) cans small white beans or great northern beans, drained & rinsed
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups hot water
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup small shell pasta
Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
Sauté onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices.
Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.