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Minestrone, Quick, Easy AND Gluten-Free

Soup can be so nutritious and satisfying, it’s worth making your own favorites.  There aren’t nearly enough gluten-free soup options ready in the canned soup section at the store.  For example, remember the last time you were in front of the red-and-white-labeled soups?

Minestrone, Quick and Easy - Gluten-Free

Minestrone, Quick and Easy – Gluten-Free

Remember how large that section was?  Top shelf to bottom shelf, probably wider than you can reach without moving your feet?  Probably not one of them was gluten-free.  If you found any gluten-free soups at all, they certainly didn’t reach from the top shelf to the bottom one, nor did they spread farther than you could reach.  Even if you add in the gluten-free soup mixes in boxes, you still wouldn’t have that many.  What is there is probably pretty good, but a person can get bored fast from the same ‘good’ thing too often.

Better than limiting yourself to the grocer’s selection of gluten-free soup, make some of your own.  You may not have discovered how wonderful soup can be until you put what you like best in it.

Find out what you like by trying a few different things.  Soup can be extremely simple to make, if you want, or as gourmet as you like.   The variations are almost limitless!  When you find one that you like, be sure to keep track of it so you can enjoy it again.  Then later, double the recipe and put some in the freezer for later.  Soup is a versatile dish that can be lunch, or supper, or snack.

One of my husband’s and my favorites is this healthy, flavorful version of minestrone.

Minestrone, Quick, Easy AND Gluten-Free

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 cup Onion, chopped

1 cup Celery, chopped

1 cup Carrots, chopped

1 cup Green Pepper, chopped

1-1/2 quarts Water

15 ounces Tomatoes, diced

15 ounces Cannellini or Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained

15 ounces Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained

15 ounces Green Beans, drained

8 beef Bouillon Cubes, or Chicken or Vegetarian, to taste

1-1/2 to 3 teaspoons Italian Seasoning

1 to 2 teaspoons Garlic Cloves, minced

Pepper, to taste

2 ounces Rice Spaghetti, broken,or Rice Sticks (Maifun)

2 ounces Parmesan Cheese, optional, to taste

In Dutch oven, heat olive oil.  Add next four ingredients.  Saute until crisp-tender.  Add water, tomatoes, beans, and seasonings; bring to boil.  Reduce heat and cover; simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding additional hot water as needed to maintain level.  Add pasta; cover and simmer additional 10-15 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Adjust seasoning if needed.  Ladle into bowls.  Top with cheese.  Makes 8 servings, or 4 quarts.

Serving Ideas: Combine a bowl of minestrone with some hot focaccia or bread sticks for a memorable meal!

This soup is gluten-free (no wheat, barley or rye), egg-free, and, if you use vegetarian bouillon, meatless. It also can be vegetarian, casein-free, dairy-free and lactose-free  if you use vegetarian bouillon and omit the Parmesan cheese.