Heart Healthy Winter Minestrone

OK. OK. I know spring is right around the corner, so what am I doing sharing a recipe with winter in the title?  And not only that, but I’m sharing a recipe that has butternut squash, an ingredient which my husband says he can’t stand.

But he took one bite of this winter minestrone, and the taste of butternut squash melted his heart.  He’s now a fan, at least when it’s part of this soup.

Earlier this month, I revealed in a post that I hadhypertension, and it was my goal this month to share a heart-healthy meal for my recipe linkup with Daphne from Flip Flops and Pearls.  I think I found a true winner, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

This recipe was originally published in Cooking Light in 2008.  As usual, I modified the recipe because I’m always forgetting ingredients at the grocery store.  

Photo Credit: Randy Mayor/Leigh Ann Ross/My Recipes

Heart Healthy Winter Minestrone


      2 teaspoons olive oil
      1/2 cup chopped onion
      1/2 teaspoon dried basil
      1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
      2 garlic cloves, minced
      1 1/4 cups cubed peeled acorn or butternut squash (about 1 medium)
      3/4 cup diced zucchini  (left this vegetable out)
      1/2 cup chopped carrot
      1/2 cup diced fennel
      1 cup water
      1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
      5 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
      1/4 cup uncooked ditalini (very short tube-shaped pasta) I used penne pasta
      2 1/2 cups chopped Swiss chard  (I used spinach)
      1/2 cup rinsed and drained canned Great Northern Beans (I used a whole can of white kidney beans)
      1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
       2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese (I used parmesan cheese)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, basil, oregano, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add squash and next 3 ingredients (through fennel); sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup water, broth, and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in pasta; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chard; cook 3 minutes. Add beans; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pepper. Serve with cheese.

Enjoy!  Daphne and I hope you find some great recipes in this month's, "Let's Eat Y'all".

Until next week, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter.

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