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Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup is a nourishing and hearty classic Italian soup. Rich in fibre and nutrient-dense, this soup is a daily staple for many centenarians living in one of the infamous Blue Zones: Sardinia. So, live like a Sardinian centenarian for the night, and serve it for your supper!

What are Blue Zones?

Stars of the recent Netflix documentary, Live to 100, Secrets of the Blue Zones, “Blue Zones” are small regions of the world inhabited by people who appear to be living longer than average. Ikaria in Greece, Okinawa in Japan and Sardinia in Italy are just a few examples.

Blue Zones continue to attract researchers because of the high number of centenarians – people who live to be 100 years or older. They also tend to have lower rates of age-related diseases, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer, which we know are on the increase. Nowadays, more and more people are looking for ways to lead healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives and the principles from the Blue Zones have become widely influential in shaping our approaches to health and wellbeing. Unsurprisingly, good nutrition plays a key role!

With over ten different plant-based foods in one bowl, Minestrone soup is highly nutritious and deliciously indulgent! It is also very forgiving. You can include ingredients based on seasonal availability, personal preference, or simply what’s left in the fridge! And bonus – it’s great for batch cooking and freezing. Here is our gut-loving twist on this classic dish – enjoy!

Ingredients

Serves 4-6
2 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced (or more to suit personal)
2 celery sticks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced, skin on for more fibre
1 courgette, finely chopped, skin on for more fibre
1 pepper, finely chopped
65g pancetta, diced (optional)
1 TBSP tomato purée
1 TBSP herbs – oregano, thyme (dried or fresh)
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g can of white beans (e.g., butter beans, cannellini)
1 litre of stock
50g quinoa
50g pasta (optional – if omitting, reduce the stock quantity)
2 big handfuls of kale and/or spinach
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the onion, carrot, celery, pepper, courgette
    and pancetta for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and herbs and fry for a further 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, stock and beans and simmer for 20
    minutes.
  4. Add the quinoa, pasta and greens and cook for a further 15 minutes, adding a
    little water for a runnier consistency if preferred.
  5. Once the greens have softened and pasta and quinoa have cooked through,
    serve and enjoy!

For more tips from the Blue Zones and how to live longer – click here.

Questions? Feel free to contact us on live chat (weekdays from 8am to 8pm) to
speak to one of our nutritional therapists.

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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