Dinner

Mom’s Italian Minestrone (plant-based, gluten-free)

Mom’s Italian Minestrone

Minestrone is one of my favorite meals from when I was little.

My mom made this about once a week, and the full pot was well depleted by the time we all had second and third bowls.

You can put any veggies you have on hand into minestrone, but this version works well with kids. It’s also vegan and gluten-free-friendly.

I find this poem by Thich Nhat Hanh equally comforting: Please Call Me By My True Names.

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow —even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving

to be a bud on a Spring branch,

to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,

learning to sing in my new nest,

to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,

to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,

to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death

of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing

on the surface of the river.

And I am the bird

that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily

in the clear water of a pond.

And I am the grass-snake

that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,

my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.

And I am the arms merchant,

selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,

refugee on a small boat,

who throws herself into the ocean

after being raped by a sea pirate.

And I am the pirate,

my heart not yet capable

of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,

with plenty of power in my hands.

And I am the man who has to pay

his “debt of blood” to my people

dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm

it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.

My pain is like a river of tears,

so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,

so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,

so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,

so I can wake up,

and so the door of my heart

can be left open,

the door of compassion.

This is recipe #64 of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

  • 6 potatoes, diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut up into small pieces ((optional))
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes with basil, blended
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 package spaghetti, broken up into little pieces ((wheat or gluten-free))
  • 2 15 oz cans white kidney or cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for sprinkling at the table ((optional))
  1. In a large pot, heat the chopped up potatoes, cauliflower, and stock all together over medium-high heat.

  2. Blend the tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic powder, and oregano, then add to the pot.

  3. Add enough water so the potatoes are just barely floating on the surface (not completely covered). Bring to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the veggies are tender.

  4. Turn the heat up to medium, toss in the broken up spaghetti, and cook for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente (not crunchy and not mushy, but somewhere in the middle).

  5. Add in the beans, frozen peas and corn (this cools it off to a nice eatable temperature), and salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Mix everything together, taste once more to make any last salt adjustments, and serve with vegan cheese and freshly ground pepper for those who want such garnishes. Enjoy! ❤️

Did you make this? Tag @maitricooks on Instagram and leave a rating in the comments below. Lots of love! ❤️🤗🙏

Main Course
Italian
dairy-free, gluten-free, plant-based