summer soup

Food Friday: Anytime Minestrone Soup


The rainy day this week finally got me craving some cozy soup and what better way to use up leftovers and random cans of beans than make a minestrone soup! To be honest, I have never made minestrone soup before, mostly because I don't usually like really brothy soups, BUT I have to say this is a winner! I made some adjustments to the typical soup recipe to make it more hearty and it turned out delicious! 

So, if you are in the mood for something cozy, yet still summery AND you want to use up those leftovers, look no further! :) Feel free to use any veggies you'd like in this one. 


  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes 
  • 2 small celery stacks, diced
  • 2 small/medium carrots, diced
  • handful of green beans, trimmed and cut into pieces 
  • 1 cup gluten free pasta 
  • 1 19 oz can white kidney beans 
  • salt and pepper 
  • 3 cups chicken, veggie stock (or water and bullion cubes)
  • parmesan to sprinkle 


  1. Heat 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and saute for a few minutes until golden. Add carrots, celery, garlic, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano and some pepper and saute for a few minutes more until fragrant.
  2. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and stock and simmer covered until carrots are slightly tender, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile mash 1/2 the beans with a fork - this adds a little more bulk to the soup. Cook pasta as well and strain. 
  4. Add beans, green beans and salt to taste and simmer 7-10 minutes more until veggies are tender. Add pasta at the end and adjust seasoning. 
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan, if dairy is ok, and a slice of sourdough bread if desired. Enjoy! 

In health & happiness, 

Dr. Karen

Food Friday: Summer Tomato Harvest Soup

Zucchini galore these days! There are many ways to eat them this summer - add them to bread, muffins, stir-fry, spiralize for noodles or add them to a soup. I am a big fan of summer soups, since they are quick nutritious meals for lunches at the office but also warming, since our bodies don't recognize its summer when we sit in the office all week. This soup is similar to chili, but full of summer veggies you can find at your local market. Steer clear if you are on an inflammation diet, or suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, since it contains nightshade vegetables, which can be inflammatory. This recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks OhSheGlows. 


  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, if desired, and diced (optional but recommended)
  • kernels from 2 ears fresh corn, or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels 
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 (24 oz/680g) jar or can crushed tomatoes (I crushed a can of whole San Rem tomatoes myself)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 (15 oz/425g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Optional toppings - sliced avocado, fresh lime juice, cilantro


Serves 4; Prep time - 20 minutes; Cook time - 30 minutes

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Stir in the bell pepper, jalapeño, corn kernels, and zucchini. Raise the heat to medium-high and salute for 10 minutes more.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring the soup to a low boil and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the black beans and simmer for 2 minutes more.
  5. Scoop the soup into bowls and garnish with your toppings of choice (mine are avocado, lime juice, and lots of cilantro - good for the liver!) 
  6. Enjoy!

Do you have any favourite summer soup recipes to share? 

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen