This episode of Biblio Bistro features Minestrone which highlights several fresh veggies, including zucchini, carrots, onions, and parsley. Most of the produce used is available at Farmers Markets throughout mid-to-late summer.
About Minestrone Soup
Minestrone is a hearty soup loaded with fiber-rich vegetables and grains. Minestrone is a versatile soup, but is typically made with broth or water and has tomatoes and beans. By adding quinoa, in addition to the chickpeas, this soup also contains more protein compared to other types of soup and is also gluten-free. Feel free to swap out whatever veggies you have on hand or add even more veggies than what’s listed!
In total, this recipe was only $13.46 to prepare, or $2.24 per serving!
Healthy Eating Tips from Dietitian Meghan
- Bell Pepper –Rich source of Vitamin C (1 bell pepper contains over 100% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C!). Vitamin C is good for skin health and immune support.
- Carrots – Carrots are a rich source of Vitamin A, which supports skin and immune health. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning your body cannot properly absorb this nutrient unless it is consumed with some source of oil or fat. Some olive oil was used in this recipe, which would count as a fat source for absorption. Adding parmesan as an additional fat source would also enhance absorption of this vitamin.
- Quinoa – Quinoa was used in place of pasta in this recipe and has more protein and fiber compared to other grains. Quinoa is also naturally gluten-free, making this dish safe for those who have a wheat/gluten intolerance or a gluten allergy.
- Versatile – You can swap out different veggies or simply add more if you’d like!
- Extra Flavor – You could use veggie broth vs. water, if desired. Could also use chicken broth in place of water, however the dish would no longer be vegetarian.
Cooking Tips from Chef Michael
- To easily and safely chop an onion, remove the ends and cut in half to create a flat surface to cut with. To quickly dice onion, you can cut into strips horizontally, and then switch to vertical cuts!
- To dice whole carrots, cut in half length-wise to create a flat surface prior to dicing.
- Green bell peppers can have a bitter taste, especially when raw, but when cooked down in a recipe like this soup, it will typically lose its bitterness. Green peppers are generally the most budget-friendly as well.
- This recipe can be made quickly, but if you have more time, it would be even more flavorful if cooked longer and slower.
- Rinsing canned beans is recommended.
- Using a microplane, which is an inexpensive handheld grater, is a very useful tool that can help speed up grating or mincing ingredients like parmesan cheese, chocolate, or garlic.
Farmers Markets in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula
From Calumet to L’Anse to Bruce Crossing there are great farmers markets all over Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Our friends at the Western U.P. Food Systems Collaborative have put together a great resource on this that gets updated regularly. Check out a full list of farmers markets here, wupfoodsystems.com/farmers-markets.
About Biblio Bistro
The Biblio Bistro series strives to show that healthy cooking doesn’t have to be boring or laborious. Our goal is that by watching this series, participants can feel more confident and curious in the kitchen, all the while increasing fruit and veggie intake and supporting the local food system! Learn more about Biblio Bistro at pldl.org/biblio-bistro.
About Portage Health Foundation’s Food Initiative
Portage Health Foundation is passionate about making a difference when it comes to food in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. PHF’s Food Initiative is two-fold. First, the food initiative aims to improve access to locally grown and healthful foods within our community. Second, it provides educational resources and tools to promote sustainable changes to eating and lifestyle habits for all. Learn more about this initiative at phfgive.org/food.