Smoky Minestrone Soup

By Julia Howard, MPH, RHN

Smoky Minestrone Soup

If you’re looking for a chunky vegan soup that eats like a meal, check out this Smoky Minestrone Soup Recipe.

The key ingredient in this plant-based soup is smoked paprika. The smoky flavour may make you a little nostalgic for bbq season or even a trip to a faraway land. This soup will also make you toasty warm on a cold winter’s day and, without a doubt, FULL.

This soup is thick!

(Prep time is about 10 minutes. Cook time is about 25-30 minutes.)

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 celery sticks, chopped into half moon shapes
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano  
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 large can (796mL) diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 small can (156mL) tomato paste
  • 1 can (398mL) chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cups brown rice macaroni pasta (uncooked)
  • 1 carton (1L) veggie broth (I used Pacific Foods organic low sodium veggie broth)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

Directions

In a large stockpot, heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on medium high heat. Add spices and cook lightly for a minute or two.

Next, add onions, carrots, and celery and stir to coat with spices. Sauté veggies for a few minutes until they start to soften.

Next, add zucchini, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, veggie broth, and tomato paste, stirring occasionally.

Once veggies have softened, add two cups of water and 2 cups of rice pasta macaroni (uncooked). Bring to boil on high heat and then turn down to simmer for a few minutes, until the pasta cooks.

Turn heat to low, add chopped parsley, and stir for a couple more minutes.

Spoon soup into a bowl and garnish with more parsley.

Enjoy!

~Julia 🥦

Want to make the shift to healthier eating? We offer nutrition coaching!

Julia Howard - Nutritionist

My original reason for joining JKC was to get some sage advice to help with my running. I had been looking for awhile, came across Jon, met for an assessment, and was quite happy with how that all went. Apart from the running specific strengthening and conditioning approaches, JKC is different from other gyms as I am a fan of the small group sessions where everyone has their own goals and individualized programs. As well, the run coaching is super. All the coaches go the extra mile to make sure you get the best out each training session. They are fantastic motivators! My favourite memory is deadlifting 330lbs. Making a lot of great friends and meeting some really cool people is pretty high up on that list, too.

A few years ago, I pinched a nerve in my neck which led me to be stationary as any form of movement would cause extreme pain. During this time, my fiancé (Sean) started at JKC and loved it!! Once I overcame the nerve issue, Sean spent a long time trying to convince me that JKC is exactly what I needed to safely start working out again (I’m slightly stubborn and was super scared of re-pinching the nerve). Long story short, Sean was right… as much as I hate to admit it!

I never had luck at gyms, if it started to hurt I would call it a day. At JKC that is not an option, as Jon & Thomas will push you to finish the workout, whether you want to or not! Working out in a group setting is also a big benefit of working out at JKC, if you’re not feeling motivated you can simply feed off of someone else’s energetic vibes.

I’m 35 and I started at JKC in November of 2019. I was coming off the win of the Royal St. John’s Regatta in 2019, and our crew was chomping at the bit to be stronger and faster for 2020. The reputation of JKC leached into our group and away we went! Unfortunately the regatta was cancelled due to COVID-19, but I just loved JKC so much I stuck around. JKC is different from other gyms because the level of experience the team has is unparalleled. Jon, Thomas and Craig all mesh well together and mentor me in a way that I know they love what they do and are genuinely excited to guide me towards my goals (and beyond). I really enjoy the atmosphere, the sense of community and all the positive vibes that I experience in every session. There’s never a time I don’t want to go because I’m motivated by the team’s coaching style and I get results.

I was looking for something to augment my 20+ year yoga practice with a focus on strength conditioning. I am friend’s with Jon’s sister in-law and over the years always heard great things about JKC, especially with respect to the top quality trainers they have and programs they run. After talking to Jon about my goals, and hearing his thoughts on a training plan, I knew that this was going to be an awesome experience … and it sure has been. JKC stands out from other gyms because of the attention to detail, the high quality of the staff and the facilities. Also, the amazing people that train there. And no one posing and taking selfies. I’m 41 years old and I started in Dec 2021.

I saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

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