Low Fat and Low-Calorie: Zuppa alla Contadina (Farmers soup)

Vegetable soups are very popular here in Italy, it seems that anywhere you go you can order a delicious soup made with farm grown seasonal vegetables, light and just simple flavors cooked together and delicious. I love soups! But I do hate when they are more fattening than eating a piece of fried chicken.

Soups for me are something I choose to eat when I am trying to stay light, detox and stay warm, not for the opposite. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of soups out there that are just over the top and taste great, I don’t know like say chicken and dumplings, potato soup, tomato soup, etc… but one thing they all have in common is how heavy they are and how many calories are in them. I say if you really are craving it and that is all there is to eat then feel free (I’m no one to judge) but I just can’t justify eating it all the time; and for the amount of soups I eat and how I was raised in Italy with all these fresh low cal and delicious soups, the soups mentioned above just don’t even fase me, or exist in this country for that matter.

I am going to say that I have had them a couple of times while in the States and I do like them, but I definitely didn’t eat them if I was trying to be healthy or detox.
All this is to say that there are alternatives to soups not all of them are bad and heavy, they can be light, nutritious and perfect for a cold winter day. I hope that you enjoy this soup and lets all have a light and wonderful day!


1/2 cup each of mixed dried Legumes, soaked over night (makes sure you have at least 5-7 different ones)*

½ cup Barley

1 Carrot

2 Celery stocks

1 Onion

1 Garlic clove

2 small Potatoes

1 sprig of fresh Thyme

1 sprig of fresh Rosemary

5 leaves of fresh Sage

2-3 Bay leaves

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil + ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Chop up your celery, carrot, onion, and potato into small cubes. Put a medium pot over medium flame and heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil, add the cubed, celery, carrot, onion and potatoes as well as your garlic clove peeled but still whole. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then throw in your soaked legumes and barley, mix together and add water, you always want to make sure when cooking legumes you add double the water (so if you legumes arrive to 1/4 of the pot add 3/4 water.)

Add bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for 2 – 3 hours.

In the meantime chop up finely your thyme, sage and rosemary. Put 1/2 the cup olive oil over heat in a small pot or pan and add your thyme, sage and rosemary, allow oil to get hot and then turn off heat and let sit.

Once your soup has boiled and the legumes are cooked remove the bay leaves and grab 3 ladles and blend smooth rejoin the blended soup to the pot and mix. You may begin to plate once all are served get the aroma olive oil and drizzle over the bowl of soup and enjoy!

* I used: Adzuki beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, soy beans, dried split peas, dried lentils.



Low-Fat, Healthy, Nutritious and Delicious Soup

This is soup is so good for you in so many different ways, it’s packed with great nutrients and vitamins. You get Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Antioxidants and also Molybdenum: This is a trace mineral that helps the body produce detoxifying enzymes. This prevents headaches that are caused by sulfites, a compound used to preserve baked goods, wine and various things. These are just to name a few things you can benefit from the Cannellini and Garbanzo Beans.

Then you get Vitamins, Minerals and Beta-Carotene from the Spinach helping to protect yourself against inflammatory problems, oxidative stress-related problems, cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and cancers at the same time.

So all in all this soup is perfect!! What better things are there in life than to know what you are feeding your body is completely beneficial and helping you live a healthier, happier and thinner lifestyle. I like the fact that this soup is so good for you, it makes me want to come back for more because I know it’s benefiting instead of ruining my internal and external system. Also it’s wonderful for a cold winter day, when all you want to do is cozy up to your loved one and not leave the house, or when you come home from being outside in the cold and need something to warm your body……this does the trick. I hope that you enjoy this soup as much as I do, It’s truly delicious!


Time : about an hour

1 onion

1 carrot

1 celery stock

2 bullion*

200 gr. Pancetta diced (Optional)

1 6-8oz small can tomato paste

2 14oz cans Cannellini beans

2 14oz cans Garbanzo (Chickpeas)

1 lb. Baby or Chopped fresh Spinach leaves

5 cups of water

3 tbsp. Olive oil

Salt to taste

Parmesan (grated)

Chop up your celery, carrot and onion very finely. In a 5.5 qt. pot over medium heat add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot add your carrot, celery and pancetta and let sauté for 3-5 minutes, at this point you may add the onions and continue to sauté until onions are translucent. Add the bullion and let dissolve. You may add your tomato paste and mix well with your ingredients, now you may add your beans stir and add 5 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil, but continue mixing. Add salt and set to low flame. You may add your Spinach leaves now and allow to cook for another 15 – 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat for the soup. Serve your soup and grate some Parmiggiano on top of soup. Buon Appetito!

* Make sure that the bullion is MSG free, and try to get more natural possible.

* Pancetta is Italian bacon, you can find it in the deli section, just ask them to cut you a chunk that weighs a quarter of a lb or 7 oz. and then slice it yourself at home into cubes.

* If you like you could boil some short pasta off to the side and some to your dish, but I like to eat this soup just as is.

* I love spicy so I chopped up some chiles and threw them in there.