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The Family Garden and Vegan Minestrone

When it’s time to curl up with a warm bowl of soup, you will really love this vegan minestrone filled with big chunks of vegetables.

Veggie Packed Vegan Minestrone by FamilySpice.com

The weather has turned the corner and the days are getting longer. You find that you and your kids are spending more and more time outside. My husband and I are always trying to show our kids new opportunities to learn something. We encourage hands-on experience, and create fun activities to help their little brains work their magic.

Gardening with Kids by FamilySpice.com

Last summer, I asked my husband if it was okay to dig up a portion of our backyard lawn for a vegetable garden. We have a small back yard, and this patch was in the sunniest section of our yard. The kids were excited, holding their seed packets and ready for this scientific experiment.

Gardening with Kids by FamilySpice.com

“It would be a learning experience for the kids,” I explained. “They will learn where their favorite foods come from!”

My husband reluctantly agreed. He did have the grunt work ahead of him. Luckily, the neighbor’s kids were around and we had six little ones helping us dig up the grass.

Gardening with Kids by FamilySpice.com

My oldest chose his favorite vegetable, corn, to plant, as well as watermelon. My middle son chose carrots. He loved carefully poking holes in the soil and placing seeds in every hole. My youngest didn’t care what she was planting, as long as she could dig in the dirt.

Tomatoes in the Garden by FamilySpice.com

Our harvest over the years has been erratic, depending on how much attention I gave to the garden. Our corn experiment grew sad stalks only 2-3 feet high, but the kids enjoyed their funny little corns.

Harvesting Carrots in the Garden by FamilySpice.com

Our carrots were a success, and the kids enjoyed pulling them out of the dirt, washing them and eating them immediately. We had two heads of romaine lettuce, the others were attacked by rabbits or squirrels. Our biggest success went to the turnips! And, just our luck, it was not appreciated by our children’s taste buds.

Harvesting Turnips in the Garden by FamilySpice.com

We also have lime, lemon and orange trees that are typically bountiful. We’ve grown radishes, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas and anything else I can think of for the kids to experiment with.

Summer Garden Harvest by FamilySpice.com

So if your full of garden vegetables like we are, then this Vegan Minestrone is just for you. Middle Child is obsessed with minestrone right now. He calls it “Oni-Oni.” And I don’t mind making big pots of minestrone for him because he’s getting so many veggies in one bowl.

Veggie Packed Vegan Minestrone by FamilySpice.com

If you have kids, I hope you introduce gardening to them. Even if you start small, with a pot with just one plant, or dig up a section in your yard for a larger vegetable garden, it is such a great learning experiment for them and for Mom and Dad!

Veggie Packed Vegan Minestrone

Author:

Laura Bashar | FamilySpice.com

When it's time to curl up with a warm bowl of soup, you will really love this vegan minestrone filled with big chunks of vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 lb red potato, quartered and chopped
  • 3 large carrots, halved and chopped
  • 2 cup cauliflower, small florets
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 15 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 qt vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh chopped spinach, packed
  • 15 oz canned cannellini beans,, drained of juiced
  • 2 zucchini, halved and chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add:
    • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  2. When oil is hot, stir in:
    • 1 cup diced onion
    • 2 lb red potato, quartered and chopped
    • 3 large carrots, halved and chopped
    • 2 cup cauliflower, small florets
  3. Sauté vegetables for 7 mins until lightly browned.
  4. Season with:
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  5. Stir in:
    • 15 oz canned diced tomatoes
    • 2 qt vegetable stock
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1 cup fresh chopped spinach, packed
    • 15 oz canned cannellini beans,, drained of juiced
    • 2 zucchini, halved and chopped
  6. Simmer on low for 20 mins, or until vegetables are tender.
  7. Adjust seasoning and serve hot.

Prep Time:

Yield: yields 8 cups

Cook Time:

Total Time: