HIGH PROTEIN MINESTRONE SOUP
I just love a good minestrone soup. However, minestrone is lacking in protein, at least not enough to make a balanced meal... so this High Protein Minestrone Soup was born! It's got Italian spices like basil and oregano, diced tomatoes in flavorful broth, tender pasta, kidney beans, chickpeas, carrots, celery, onion, fresh garlic, and Italian seasoned ground turkey for some extra protein. This soup is comforting, nourishing, and very filling! Bonus - it's also gluten free, dairy free, and macro-friendly.
Did you know? Protein is the most satiating (filling) macronutrient, more so than carbs or fat. Because of this, formulating meals with increased protein content can help to regulate food intake, assisting both weight loss and healthy weight maintenance. (source)
Choosing the best ground turkey
There are quite a few brands that offer Italian-seasoned ground turkey, but I prefer Honeysuckle White or Perdue because it tends to be better quality, lower in fat, and just overall tastier! My second choice would be Jennie-O or Butterball (can be lower quality) and last choice would be Festive brand, which is just low quality and higher in fat.
If you wish, you can use regular ground turkey and season with some Italian seasoning and garlic powder, perhaps some red pepper flakes too!
Choosing the best vegetables
This minestrone is just loaded with fresh vegetables - onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. The trio of onion, carrot and celery makes an amazing soup flavor base the French call "mirepoix." It's so under-rated!
I try to buy organic for all of these, especially root vegetables because they grow in the ground and pesticides leach into the ground. It's easier to wash off most of the pesticides from produce grown above ground with a simple vinegar and water solution.
Choosing the best canned products
This recipe calls for canned kidney beans and chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Use reduced sodium if you can find it! I always gravitate towards low sodium products in soups, since soups can easily end up quite high in sodium. You can always add a little sea salt to taste! Look for canned beans that do not contain calcium chloride (rock salt) as it can be a stomach irritant. You can also use dried beans and pre-cook them separately before adding to this soup!
For the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, I usually try to buy lower sodium (again) and organic. Tomatoes are on the "Dirty Dozen" list with the highest pesticides, so in this case it is worth it to buy organic (and usually not much more expensive)!
Other dry goods
The other dry goods you'll need for this High Protein Minestrone Soup are organic chicken broth, gluten-free shells or macaroni, and spices. I always buy organic animal products when I can afford it, because it generally means better quality and better treatment of the animals! My favorite brands of gluten-free pasta are Jovial, Ancient Harvest, and Barilla (nothing else compares).
For the spices, you're going to need dried basil, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper. If using fresh spices, just triple the amount! For example, one teaspoon dried oregano is equivalent to one tablespoon fresh.
You can make this in either a Dutch oven, a large saucepan, or stock pot. I haven't tried it in a slow cooker, but I imagine it's possible! You may be able to find similar recipes done in a crockpot and emulate their methods for this recipe ;)
Anyway, here's the printable recipe for this High Protein Minestrone Soup! I hope you love it as much as my family does!
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