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THE Minestrone Soup

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

I discovered minestrone soup this past spring, and since mid-April, I have minestrone soup every day for lunch. Yep, every single day! I never get tired of it.

I've had minestrone soup before (I LOVE Carrabba's minestrone), but it wasn't until April that I discovered how easy it was to make, how affordable the ingredients were, and how versatile it is. I make a big batch on Sunday evening and each week, I tweak the vegetables just slightly to keep things interesting and for nutrient variety. (For example, this week, I substituted cauliflower for the celery.) In total, with all the organic ingredients factored in, this soup cost me a total of $14 and took only 20 minutes to make. That's a $2.80 lunch full of delicious nutrients...cheaper than a tall Starbuck's coffee.

This recipe is from The Plant Paradox cookbook by Steven Gundry. The plant paradox is a fascinating theory about how some plants, when uncooked, cause inflammation in the gut because they contain something called "lectins." Lectins are tiny proteins that evolved to protect the plant from being eaten by predators. According to Dr. Gundry, lectins cause a lot of GI distress. Yet when cooked, the lectins lose their potency and are no longer damaging to our gut.

Which plants should we avoid raw? Nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes), legumes (most beans, peanuts), and whole grains. The key is raw. Cooked, they're ok. Aside from Dr. Gundry's research, not many other sources exist to validate his claims as it's still a relatively new theory. But it is interesting, right?

I decided to give the theory a go for a few weeks, and my gut was very happy...especially when I ate his minestrone soup! It was so easy and so delicious, it's been a staple ever since.

Without further ado, here is the BEST minestrone soup recipe!

Serves 6-8


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 lb. fennel, diced (or 2 tbsp dried)

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups mushrooms, minced

1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 28-oz can diced Italian tomatoes (the key is a good quality brand without added preservatives)

1 cup kidney beans

1 large Parmigiano-Reggiano rind

Instructions (LL's quick version)

  1. Add all the ingredients into the Insta Pot and cook for 20 minutes.

  2. Release the pressure from the Insta Pot and serve!

Dr. Gundry's Instructions

(more time, but adds more flavor -- this version really is delicious and worth the time if you have it)

  1. Add the oil to the Insta Pot and saute the onion, celery, fennel, and 1 tsp of salt. Cook until tender.

  2. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook until the garlic is fragrant.

  3. Add the basil, oregano, rosemary, and the remaining sea salt and saute until very fragrant.

  4. Add broth, tomatoes, kidney beans, cheese, and bay leaf.

  5. Seal the pot and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes.

  6. Release the pressure.

  7. Add the kale and stir until wilted, about 5 minutes.

  8. Add the vinegar or lemon juice, taste, and season with additional salt as needed.

  9. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Let me know what you think!

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