1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup water (add more as needed)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced (Do NOT skip this, or use dried parsley- the FRESH parsley is ESSENTIAL to developing this soup’s rich flavor.)
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced and chopped.
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, juice and all. (Blend in the blender for 15 seconds)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried basil (crushed by rubbing it between the palms of your hands to release the flavor)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 Tablespoon sugar (or maple syrup)
1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cooked quinoa (or 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well to remove the bitter coating.)
In a large kettle, cook the onion on medium heat, adding the water, a few tablespoons at a time, to keep the onion from sticking to the kettle as it cooks. Add fresh chopped parsley and continue cooking with the onion, adding a little more water as needed if vegetables begin to stick. Add celery, carrots and cabbage, then continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are softened, but still crunchy.
Add blended tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, salt, sugar, kidney beans and broth. Turn the heat down to low, and allow soup to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add 3 cups cooked quinoa, (or 1 cup rinsed uncooked quinoa.) Let simmer for 10 minutes if using pre-cooked quinoa, or 35 minutes if using uncooked quinoa.
Ladle minestrone into soup bowls and serve with a slice or two of whole grain bread for dipping, a big green salad on the side, and apple slices for dessert! Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Optional: Sprinkle minestrone with this 2 minute vegan parmesan just before serving.
Find this recipe and more great plant-based recipes at http://www.LittleBluePlates.com