Memory-Boosting Minestrone Soup

Minestrone is very popular in Italy and often served as a first course. However, this soup is hearty enough to be considered a complete meal. This dish can also be served as a salad by omitting the broth. If fresh plum tomatoes are not in season or are hard to come by, use low-sodium canned plum tomatoes instead. In fact, canned tomatoes are full of healing ingredients and aren’t quite as tart as fresh.

*Choose organic produce whenever possible*

  • 1 teaspoon light olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, strings removed, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 quarts low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed, or ½ cup frozen, thawed
  • 6 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 4 cups arugula, spinach, Swiss chard, cabbage or kale, leaves torn if large
  • 1 cup cooked whole-wheat tubettini pasta
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté about 4 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the vegetable broth, salt, corn, tomatoes and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add the parsley, marjoram, pepper, arugula and pasta. Gently stir until well blended. Add salt, if needed. Serve in eight bowls, each topped with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Serves 8.

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© 2010 by Stephen Sinatra, MD, Jim Punkre and Rebecca Bent. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Bottom Line Books.

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