OK, show of hands: Who wishes they were snuggled up in a blanket by the fireplace right now? [::Raises hand::] It’s freakin’ cold in most of the country—so this month’s theme for our Recipe of the Week series is soup!

I know what you’re thinking: “Soup?! You mean, from a can, right?” No, silly! Making soup from scratch was pretty intimidating to me, but I’ve recently started experimenting (like any good vegan!) and making soup is souper easy! (See what I did there? I channeled my inner Christina Freeman.) Check out my homemade minestrone—it’s perfect for packing as a workday lunch or for warming up on a cold winter’s night.

Note: Keep it fresh! Although you can use frozen or canned veggies in this recipe, it’s healthier (and probably cheaper) to buy most ingredients from the produce department of the local grocery store. And go organic whenever possible.

Homemade Minestrone
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2-1 cup small pasta shells
2 cups organic vegetable stock
1 6–oz. can tomato paste (optional)
1 large tomato, chopped
1 15-oz. can white kidney (cannellini) beans
2 cups chopped green beans
Salt and pepper to taste

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, cumin, and red pepper flakes (add more red pepper, if you like it spicy!). Stir and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender.
  • Add the carrots, zucchini, and celery, and sauté for 10 minutes.
  • Add the vegetable stock, pasta, tomato paste (if using), tomato, and beans. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Makes 2 servings

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? The best thing about soup is that you can add in whatever veggies you like and leave out the ones you aren’t fond of. ?

What do you think?