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

I had signed up for other gyms in the past and never went or rarely went. Something always got in the way or I was just too tired and lacked motivation to go. This way I’ve made a commitment to Jon or Thomas and I try very hard to keep my sessions once I’ve booked in. JKC is different from other gyms that I’ve tried in the past because no one is there to be “seen”. We are all there to get a good workout in and go on with our lives. And it’s a small gym so you get to know everyone and it’s like a big family. When I joined JKC, I couldn’t do a chin up with an elastic band, but I’ve slowly worked up to 10 free hanging chin ups. That was big because I hate chin ups.

Not having much if any experience with professional gyms I though it would be along the lines of going to a facility and doing your own thing, getting some instructions from time to time, if you asked for it, and for most part working out on your own, in a large impersonalized setting. I was a bit apprehensive as I figured I’d be standing around a lot looking at all this equipment wondering what to do with it, or worst doing something to hurt myself. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. Both Jon and Thomas are very attentive, professional trainers, who lay-out an exercise program, from start to finish, for you. They demonstrate the exercise they want you to do and then watch you do it to make sure you got it right. Jon and Thomas are very thorough, patience and non-assuming.

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.

trap bar deadlift

A few of my wonderful friends and colleagues recommended JKC. I was told by one colleague that “It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself” and she was right! To be honest, I didn’t have much experience in any gym setting. And NO prior weight training experience. It was always so overwhelming! But from the first day, nothing was intimidating about JKC. Each workout is set up just for me, and with my specific skills and goals in mind. There are no stupid questions, you learn as you go, and what I really love, I always feel included and important, regardless of my skills/experience.

I started at JKC in January of 2014 and I’m 67 years old. When I had my Initial Assessment, I knew – almost immediately – that Jon knew what he was doing and what he was talking about. I was overweight, out of shape, and in serious need of someone, like Jon, who could get me back on a fitness/conditioning routine that suited me, my age, my less than acceptable physical condition, my sometimes intermittent RA, and my need for a structured, consistent and yet flexible training and conditioning program that would work for me.

Fundamentally, if I made a choice at all with respect to JKC – it was to continue to come back each week. I have not been in a lot of gyms. To be honest, they used to intimidate me. What makes JKC different is their approach to each and every one of their clients. Jon and Thomas – and now Craig – tailor each training regime to the particular needs of each client. That ensures that the training regime will suit each client upon the start of training and changes as the client improves. It adjusts for any physical setbacks such as injuries and it adjusts for success. It is just that simple.

It is also the consistent encouragement that comes from Jon, Thomas and Craig. That voice that comes to you while you are in the middle of a particularly difficult set – rear-foot elevated split squats comes to mind immediately – that says “good job” or “keep it up” or “just a couple more reps.” To know, in that moment, that you are not alone and the trainer is paying attention to what you are doing. That is priceless for me.

As Seen On: