Healthy "Weight Loss Soup" Minestrone

  • 1 can cannelini beans or white kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil , plus extra for serving*
  • 1 strip bacon or pancetta , cut into 1/4-inch pieces (see note)*
  • 4 medium celery ribs , cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium yellow onion , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 small head green cabbage , halved, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • cups water
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup  V8 juice
  • 1 TBSP. chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Ground black pepper / salt
  • Grated Parmesan cheese , for serving*
*Items marked with an asterisk are for the Not-so-weight-loss soup version
  • 1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrot, onions, and zucchini; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 5 to 9 minutes. Stir in garlic, cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes; continue to cook until cabbage starts to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  • 2. Add drained beans, water, broth and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and vigorously simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are fully tender and liquid begins to thicken, 45 to 60 minutes.
  • 3. Add V8 juice to pot; cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with chopped basil on top.

    *For "Not-so-weight-loss verions, brown bacon in Dutch oven, then add oil and vegetable (step 1). When soup is finished, serve with a drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmesan on top.


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