“Instant Pot” Minestrone Soup
I know it’s getting late and tomorrow is Monday, but there’s still time to whip together a week of healthy lunches and still be in bed at a reasonable hour. Check out one of my new favorites, “Instant Pot” Minestrone Soup made in under 30 minutes in my 8-in-1 Crock Pot!
Lately, I’ve been on a renewed mission to eat my veggies–something I’ve never been particularly good at–and to improve the overall balance of my daily diet. It’s easy to revert back to the quick, easy, tasty stuff that’s chalked full of sodium and sugar (even if I’m reaching for the least processed goods I can find) so I’ve been focusing on why I’m eating the foods I’m eating, asking what they’re doing for me and trying to pick foods that have a higher nutrient density. I’ve also been looking for any excuse I can find to use my new “Crock-Pot 6 Quart 8-in-1 Multi-Use Express Crock.” What is this you ask? It’s the all-in-one space-saving, time-saving miracle invention you’d get if your mom’s Crock-Pot and your best-friend’s InstaPot made a baby. It’s a slow cooker, pressure cooker, and steamer that also sautes like a boss and simplifies clean up, since everything is cooked in the same pot. The best part? It costs less than some of the other trendy pressure cookers too! This isn’t a sponsored post but, like my Ninja Mega Kitchen System, I love this multi-tasking machine so much I have to share! We’ve made soups, stews, roasts, and rice in the Crock so far and everything has been quick, easy, and delicious! Don’t have a pressure cooker? This soup can be made on the stove top too if you adjust some of the cooking times.
This “Instant Pot” Minestrone Soup features a few star ingredients that pack some serious nutritional punches.
Again, this is not a sponsored post, but I can’t contain my love for Banza Pastas. Those of you who know me or have been following me on Instagram, Pinterest, or here on the blog have probably figured out I’m a Celiac. When I was first diagnosed, options for gluten free food products were limited. Finding a pasta with great taste AND texture without a bunch of added junk was really difficult. While I found a few (shout-out to Target’s Simpy Balanced Gluten Free Pastas) it I wasn’t particularly impressed by their nutritional profiles. Then came Banza Pasta, a pasta made from non-GMO chickpeas. Yes, chickpeas. It’s tasty, feels like pasta and looks like pasta. This stuff is made of just four easily pronounceable and recognizable ingredients, all of which are allergen friendly in a facility that’s also free from allergens! How exciting is that?! Banza says “our pasta and our facility are free from allergens. Our manufacturing process and all product produced on our equipment are free from all major food allergens, as defined by FALCPA. This includes, but is not limited to, peanuts, wheat, gluten, soybean, tree nuts, sesame, fish, crustacean shellfish, milk, eggs, celery, mustard, and food coloring.” Added bonus? Banza pasta is also Kosher, low on the glycemic index and high in potassium. Seeing why this stuff came in first on my list of star ingredients? If you’d like to purchase Banza pasta, I’ve been able to find individual boxes at Target and our local grocery store, Wegman’s. Variety packs are also available on Amazon. If you have questions or want to learn more, Banza’s website is super user friendly and contains a ton of helpful information. Click here to visit their FAQ page.
Spinach was Popeye’s favorite food for a reason: it’s extremely nutrient dense. A single (raw) one-cup serving of this leafy green contains just under 10 calories while boasting a significant amount of fiber, Vitamins K, A, and C, Folate, Manganese, Selenium, Zinc, and Iron. The nutrients in spinach have been shown to support your immune system, promote better cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation. Research also indicates that the phytonutrients and carotenoids found in spinach may decrease the risk of cancer and diabetes. Want to learn more about the health benefits of spinach? Click here to visit one of my favorite “remind me why I should eat my veggies” pages.
Cannellini beans contain 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 80 mg of calcium, and 270 mg of potassium per 1/2 cup serving. High fiber foods like Cannellini beans are known to lower LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, and, because they can help you feel fuller longer, may also support weight loss efforts. For more on cannellini beans, click here.
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon pink Himalayan Salt
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups low sodium (chicken) bone broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 15 ounce can cannellini beans
- 1 yellow or green zuchinni, sliced into half moons
- 4 cups fresh raw spinach
- 1 cup Banza gluten free pasta
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Set your Crock-Pot 6 Qt 8-in-1 Multi-Use Express Crock, InstaPot, or Pressure Cooker of Choice to saute mode.
- Add avocado oil, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Stir for about two minutes, until veggies have softened.
- Add basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir until well mixed.
- Add diced tomatoes, bone broth, bay leaf, and pasta and stir again. Close lid and set to manual high pressure for six minutes.
- When timer goes off, set to quick pressure release to vent steam.
- Open lid and stir in zucchini, spinach, and beans. Press the Saute button and cook (uncovered) for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove bay leaf.
- Top with parsley and serve warm or allow cool and store for later in your favorite leak proof glass containers.
- For extra color, consider using 1/2 of a yellow zucchini and 1/2 of a green zucchini, reserving half of each for another recipe.
- To make this recipe vegan friendly, simply substitute 4 cups of vegetable broth for the bone broth.
- If you're not vegan or looking to avoid dairy, you may also want to try topping this with freshly grated parmesan cheese.