The inspiration for this minestrone soup comes from two friends of mine, who are twins, born in Peru and now living in Chicago. I spent four days hiking the Incan Trail a couple of years ago, and I fell in love with all the delicious, fresh foods I could find. My favorite meals were the casual lunches at their hectic markets – where you would grab a seat on a bench and pay $2 US to eat delicious Quinoa Soup with a local businessman. My friends and I talk about Peruvian food all of the time, and this Peruvian Minestrone came up in conversation.
Many of us know Italian minestrone as a red, tomato-based soup with hearty chunks of vegetables, beans, and pasta. The Peruvian version is green, traditionally achieved from a spinach-basil puree. Using Moringa powder in the broth simplifies the recipe and adds even more vegetable flavor. You can mix and match with your own favorite vegetables, beans, and pasta. I use brown-rice pasta to keep this gluten-free, but you could even substitute with rice or quinoa.
Either way, after a bowl of this you’ll be ready for a day of work… or a hike on the Incan Trail.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
- Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup brown rice pasta (penne, rigatoni, shells, or cavatappi)
- 1 can small white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 packet (2 tbsp) Moringa Powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Dice the onion and carrot. Place into a large pot. Cover and cook over medium heat until onions start to turn golden, about 7-8 minutes. No need to use any oil. If the onions darken too quickly, simply lower the heat and add a couple tablespoons of water.
When the onions are slightly browned, add the diced potato, garlic, vegetable stock and water. Cook over high heat for 10 minutes. Make sure your soup is simmering, and add your pasta and canned beans. Simmer for about 7-8 minutes, just shy of the package directions for the pasta. Add the green beans and corn. Cook another 2-3 minutes, until the pasta and potatoes are tender. Add the basil, spinach, and Moringa powder. Stir well to combine. Turn off the heat, but keep the lid on the pot to let the spinach wilt and the basil to flavor the soup. Season with salt and pepper and serve.