Minestrone Soup – Health in a Bowl

So, in an effort to cheer myself up (and to cut some carbs), I cooked a hearty pot of Minestrone soup for dinner on Saturday night. Yes, the bf and I are like an old couple these days – we don’t go out partying or painting the town red on Saturday nights anymore. Instead, we bum around at each other’s apartment reading, watching some interesting television series like State of Play or Grey’s Anatomy, cooking, cleaning, planning travels, etc.

The only bowl of Minestrone soup I remember eating is the one the bf’s mother served me when I first visited their home in South of Germany. It was a cold, cold night and the bf and I had traveled from Oslo to his parents’ home in South of Germany. When you walk from the train station to their house, you have to pass by a graveyard. I’m actually easily spooked out so I’m always a bit scared to walk past a graveyard. I remember seeing their house for the first time (it’s a three -storey house with a real fireplace) and being greeted with Minestrone soup and homemade bread. Talk about memories!

This winter is making me crave warm meals that are low in carbs but still substantial enough to help me be active at the gym. I made it to the gym four times last week and I’m thrilled. The final session on Saturday morning was one of those cardio classes where you work out with a step – better known as Step Aerobics. Oh my goodness, it was torture. I have to say this was my most difficult gym class to date. I was contemplating leaving after the first half but the bf said “It’s only 15 minutes more” .. though he was huffing and puffing in the corner. He was very insulted that a guy standing near him was more active than him. I guess the male ego was trashed 🙂

I’m glad I stayed throughout the whole 45 minute session, but it was really tough. My feet and legs started to hurt that night and most of Sunday. I’m feeling much less sore today but I went and signed up for yoga this evening – with a new instructor and a longer session. Honestly I don’t know what made me sign up for it because I’d rather go home and hide under the duvet – but I know that a habit takes 21 days to create and I’m really trying to create this ‘go-to-gym-without-whinging’ habit and that needs another 12 days to create. Wish me luck 🙂

I’m so long winded, no? I started out with Minestrone soup but have gone off on a tangent, talking about suffering in the gym. Do accept my apologies 🙂


Rachel Ray's Minestrone Soup


Rachel Ray's Minestrone Soup 2

The recipe is from Rachel Ray’s website here. I skipped the pancetta (ham) and made the soup with chicken stock. I also swapped chickpeas for white beans. I haven’t found kale here, so I skipped that as well.

Here are the steps I used:

  • Fry chopped mushrooms in olive oil with a bit of minced garlic.
  • Add in chopped onions; fry with mushrooms.
  • Add in chopped carrots and celery; cook till tender.
  • Add chopped sundried tomatoes.
  • Pour chicken stock and add a few cups of water (this depends on the kind of stock you use). Bring to boil.
  • Add in spices – oregano, thyme, basil, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Add in macaroni and let it cook till al dente.
  • Lastly add in white beans (as I bought pre-cooked white beans in a can) and stir.

It was delicious garnished with grated parmesan and served with a medium sized multigrain wholewheat bread roll.

So if you’re feeling cold and need a hearty soup to warm you up, do consider making this Minestrone soup 😉

Have a good week, everyone!


10 responses

  1. its takes 21 days to create a habit? did not know that!
    but im glad u stuck thru that class! good for u!!!!!!
    i need to get back into the yoga mood, i tired hot yoga and totally loved it, but now with a new semester trying to see how to balance all that together, will hopefully start soon.
    but yay for the soup! soup is awesome!

    • That’s what I read somewhere, awhile back – 21 days 🙂

      Good luck with the yoga. I went for my 70 minute class yesterday. OUCH. I’m starting to get sore now (usually happens like 24 hours later or so for me).

      Make the soup! It’s vegetarian 🙂 You have no excuse, lol.

  2. Yum, your minestrone looks so delicious! Good on ya 🙂 And how impressed I am by two things: 1) you stayed in that step class even though it was so rough! and 2) your bf came along! Now that’s a nice BF. 😀

    • Thank you!

      1) I have no choice 🙂 I have to build some endurance. Each class I take only shows me how out of shape I am. The only class I seem to be excelling in is the spinning – beyond that I’m almost crawling out 🙂 So the only solution is to keep at it.

      2) The bf wants to lose weight too 😉 We have the worst job in the world: desk job. So we’re trying to be healthy by gymming, eating better and getting enough sleep. I even managed to convince him to use moisturizer everyday by scaring him with wrinkles and how he won’t look as young as me in future if he doesn’t take good care of his skin 😉

  3. Again, am always at awe at how discpline you are when it comes to going to the gym! It’s something I should consider too since I”m seriously piling all that weight! Anyway, the soup looks yummy and you bet I”ll be making it soon once I start cooking again. It’s been 4 months of not cooking, can you believe it?

    • Thanks for the compliment on my discipline. There’s this thing going on at the gym where if you go to gym for 30 times from mid November till end of February – you get a hat and a certificate. It would be nice to reach that goal because you track it with green stickers and that’s quite motivating. Exercising can be fun (but it will also hurt – post workout soreness is something that took me awhile to get used to) and I try to convince myself that way. I buy nice gym clothes, comfortable and cool looking shoes, and such so that I’m motivated to step out of the house in the snow and ice to get to the gym. A good workout helps clear my head as well. I have the midsection problem – flabby tummy – and from what I’ve read, to get rid of that I have to do full body workouts like cardio as well as interval training (where you vary the intensity of your exercise every 2-3 minutes). When I see how difficult it is for me to burn 100 calories, I think twice before eating a slice of pizza or getting a burger. I use it to psych myself 🙂

      You’ve had an eventful year last year – so I can totally believe that you haven’t cooked in 4 months 🙂 It takes time to get back to your routine. You’re very lucky that eating out in Malaysia is very reasonable and of course with the kind of food we get in Malaysia – most people don’t really need to cook. Eating out is pricey here – it’s not exoribitant but it’s not exactly cheap if you’re looking for a good healthy meal. Do make the soup if you find the time 🙂 It’s quite tasty and great for those rainy evenings.

  4. Pingback: Two Dishes I Cooked Recently « Across the Oceans

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