This recipe is straight from Laura Lea Goldberg’s healthy and delicious blog, LL Balanced and part of our SB Challenge “Back to the Table” where we feature seven recipes each Sunday, for three weeks, and challenge our readers to gather around a home-cooked meal each night! Her cookbook is wildly popular and available right here for $20.40. With a whopping 380+ reviews and average five-star rating, this is a cookbook you’ll love using time and again. We highly recommend buying it as well as subscribing to LL Balanced for recipes that you’ll enjoy.

Cozy Chunky Minestrone Soup by Laura Lea Goldberg

Cozy Chunky Minestrone Soup by Laura Lea Goldberg of LL Balanced

For this recipe, Laura Lea says, “I’m not a big soup person. Never have been. I don’t actively dislike soup, but it’s rarely my first choice on a menu. If I’m opting for soup, I typically choose something rich, hearty and creamy. Brothy soups just don’t coat my stomach and satisfy my hunger … unless they’re accompanied by some crusty bread and cheese :).

“Most of the year, there are so many other foods that appeal to my ‘buds — pasta, salads, loafs, burgers, etc. — that I don’t give soup a passing thought. However, in these chilly winter days, there are times where only soup appeals.

“Packed with savory sausage, chewy noodles, buttery carrots and bitey-green beans, this soup is a textural party! Each bite is a little different than the one before, but equally bursting with flavor … NOTE: when you enjoy this thawed from frozen, the noodles will break apart a bit, but I personally love how it all melts together!”

If you make this dish, please tag Laura Lea on Instagram at @lauraleabalanced, StyleBlueprint at @styleblueprint, and use the hashtags #sbchallenge #mySBplate. We want to cheer you on!

Cozy Chunky Minestrone Soup by Laura Lea Goldberg

A soup even non-soup people will enjoy!

To see the original article on LL Balanced, with several reader comments on how delicious it is as well as yummy adaptations, click here.

Recipe: Cozy Chunky Minestrone Soup

Laura Lea Goldberg of LL Balanced
Total time: 60 minutes; 8 servings
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  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt start with 1 & add to taste; I use 2
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-3 shallots diced into 1/4" pcs (2 medium or 3 small, approx 3/4 cup)
  • 2 large carrots peeled & sliced into 1/4" thick rounds (approx 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups frozen green beans6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 15- ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 14.5- ounce cans no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 6- ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil sub olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast sub 1/4 C grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses sub honey
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary sub 1 teaspoon dried
  • 8 cups/ 64 ounces low sodium free range chicken stock sub veg stock
  • 1 cup frozen green peas optional
  • 12 ounces sweet Italian chicken sausage sliced into 1/2" rounds (sub another can beans)
  • 8 ounces dried pasta of choice


  • prepared pesto for serving


  • goat cheese for serving



  • Combine basil, onion powder, salt, black pepper and rosemary (IF using dried) in a small bowl. Set aside. Dice shallots, peel & slice carrots and mince garlic. Set aside (keep separate). Drain and rinse chickpeas. Open canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Set aside.


  • Heat the avocado oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and carrots cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add splashes of water as necessary to prevent burning/sticking. Stir in the green beans, basil, onion powder, dried rosemary (if using dried), salt and pepper and cook, stirring, another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds, stirring.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, nutritional yeast or parmesan, honey, molasses, fresh rosemary (if using fresh) and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas, green peas (if using), sausage and pasta and cook until the pasta and vegetables are tender, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove rosemary sprig (it’s ok if some of the leaves fall into the soup). Top soup with goat cheese and pesto, if using, and serve immediately!

Leftovers will keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator up to 5 days or frozen up to 2 months, if chicken sausage was fresh upon purchase. Allow soup to cool completely before refrigerating or freezing. Remember that liquid expands in the freezer, so leave some room in the container!

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    See six more recipes, that are all part of our week-one SB healthy dinner challenge, below where it says “More Articles You’ll Love.”