My challenge this week…. to create 4 meals that take less than 25 minutes from start to finish. Be sure to check out my 15-Minute Creamy Chicken with Green Beans from earlier this week. Grain-free, fresh and healthy food should taste good but doesn’t always have take a lot of time, but it does require having the right ingredients in your fridge, freezer and pantry.
For this recipe, I used all fresh vegetables but the next time I make it, I will use my stash of frozen foods. I love keeping frozen vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and green beans for when I need a quick meal. If using frozen vegetables for this soup, you can cut a few more minutes off of your prep time.
About the recipe: Variations
Traditionally, Minestrone soup (or the kind you are accustomed to at Olive Garden) contains beans and pasta with no chicken. Well, I am anything but traditional and I promise, you won’t miss the pasta and beans (or miss the bloated tummy). You can omit the chicken if you like (decrease the amount of salt) or even use ground meat. If using ground meat, brown the meat first, drain and set a side and add during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Feel free to add either fresh or frozen cut green beans or even stir in some spinach during the last 5 minutes. Really, this recipe is easy and can be changed based on what vegetables you like or have on hand.
For extra flavor, throw the rind of your fresh Parmesan cheese right into the pot. This is not required but adds an extra layer of flavor. You can get the rinds from places like Whole Foods for a fraction of the cost of fresh blocks of Parmesan.
I hope you enjoy this yummy, one-pot wonder!
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- 2 tbsp. bacon grease, butter or coconut oil
- 1/2 large onion, finely diced (or 1 cup diced frozen onion)
- 2 medium carrots, split horizontally and then sliced in 1/4 inch slices
- 1 zucchini, chopped into 1 inch chuncks
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed (or 1 tbsp.)
- 1 tsp. Himalayan salt
- 4 cups chicken stock or bone broth
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes*
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Rind of Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Garnish with fresh Parmesan Cheese
Add bacon grease to large pot over medium heat. Then add onion and carrots. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, garlic and salt. Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. (Keep an eye on pot and stir if you see the garlic is burning.) Add diced chicken to pot and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients (except the fresh Parmesan Cheese). Cover and cook on high until soup comes to a full boil then reduce to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
Serve with fresh grated Parmesean cheese.
Nutrition: 230 Calories, 8.5 grams Fat, 8 grams Total Carbs, 2 grams Fiber, 6 Net Carbs, 31 grams Protein