If there is one thing that always pairs well with cold Niagara nights, it’s soup.
And lately, the soup-de-jour has been Minestrone.
I came across this recipe by Pam Anderson in an old addition of Runner’s World. I’m not really a soup-kind-of-guy so I skipped over it when I first read the issue. But, my daughters and I were looking for something to do one afternoon while my wife was sleeping off the flu and the recipe seemed easy enough. So, we gave it a try.
Turns out, it turned out pretty good and the soup quickly became a weekly favourite. I usually stick pretty close to the recipe (posted below), but Julie (my wife) changes it up with different seasonings, giving it spicier flavourings, pastas, beans and veggies. She’s so creative when it comes to just trhowing whatever in and the soup is always a little better when she makes it. I try to one-up Julie by adding more beans or more lentils or more of something but we usually just end up with more soup to bring for lunch.
Try out the recipe below and feel free to send me your favourite recipes. I’m always looking to try new dishes and am interested to find out what other people eat to prime themselves for runs and to aid recovery afterwards. I’m also interested in good vegetarian dishes. I’ll post any contributions on the new Recipes page on Niagara Runner.
Minestrone with Spring Vegetables*
Leafy escarole is rich in vitamin K and folate, while beans are an excellent source of fiber. Use whatever bite-size pasta you have on hand, says Anderson.
2 quarts good-quality vegetable broth
1 14.5-ounce can petite-diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into small dice
1 celery stalk, cut into small dice
1 peeled carrot, cut into small dice
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) small white beans, not drained
8 ounces frozen green peas
8 ounces coarsely chopped escarole
1 cup ditalini (or any bite-size pasta)
Sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper
Microwave broth and tomatoes together on high until steaming (5 minutes).
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onions, celery, and carrots; saute till tender (5 minutes). Add Italian seasonings and red pepper; saute until fragrant (one minute).
Add broth mixture and remaining ingredients; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and pasta is tender (15 minutes). Serves eight.
CALORIES PER SERVING: 220
CARBS: 41 G
FIBER: 10 G
PROTEIN: 10 G
FAT: 4 G
*Anderson, P. (2012, May). The Athletes Palate, Runner’s World, p46.