minestrone_soup_1-7-2014_400x298Staying warm in these blustery, frigid days can seem impossible! But a great bowl of soup can do wonders for your internal temperature while putting a smile of deliciousness on your face! Enjoy this oh-so-yummy! Minestrone Soup. This variation is gluten-free, oil-free, and vegan! So, eat it, slurp it, sip it up; but most of all enjoy creating something wonderful for you and yours. Namaste : )

Ingredients
1 small yellow onion, minced minestrone soup 1-7-2014
2 Bok Choy ribs, chopped
1 medium-large carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Cups shredded cabbage
1 handful of fresh spinach
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 ½ Cups cooked kidney beans
¼ Cup split peas, rinsed & drained
6 Cups (approx.) water
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp Tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
3 T chopped fresh parsley

Directions
1. In a large pot, heat about ½ cup of the water over medium heat. Add onion, bok choy, carrot, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
2. Stir in everything else except the tomatoes (tomatoes have a chemical that slows the cooking process of the split peas. Add the tomatoes now and the split peas will NEVER get done).
3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer partially covered until vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Add more water if liquid reduces too much.
4. Stir in tomatoes and parsley. Cook a few minutes longer and serve. Enjoy!

Note: in place of bread or crackers, I love brown rice cakes! They’re vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, low in sodium and add a delightful crunch!

Another note: If you like spicy, serve with hot sauce on the side; add to your heart’s content!!