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Healthy Kids Cook: Easy Weeknight Minestrone

Rory Graves

Published on: October 09, 2015

ParentMap and PCC Natural Markets have partnered to produce an exciting web series called Healthy Kids Cook, designed to encourage families to make a healthy habit of cooking fresh food together in the kitchen. In this season’s Healthy Kids Cook, we’re focusing on quick and easy meals that you and your family will love making at home. Each month, Chef Jackie Freeman hosts families in the PCC kitchen to create a quick, filling, fresh and fun recipe featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables. 

This month, Ryan, a guest from the YMCA Actively Changing Together! program, joined PCC Chef Jackie Freeman to make Weeknight Minestrone. This flexible soup comes together in less than 30 minutes and uses common pantry staples, freshened up with dense root vegetables and healthy braising greens.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups mixed diced root vegetables (onions, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, etc.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce can) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup small pasta of choice (macaroni, spaghetti broken into 1-inch pieces, etc.)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can bean of choice (red, cannellini, etc.), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped winter greens of choice (spinach, kale, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs or prepared pesto (basil, oregano, parsley, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish


Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add root vegetables and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add stock and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in beans and greens during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Season to taste with herbs or pesto, salt and pepper. Serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Each serving: 220 cal, 4g fat (0.5g sat), 0mg chol, 430mg sodium, 37g carb, 6g fiber, 8g sugars, 8g protein.

Recipe by Jackie Freeman, PCC Chef

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