Healthy Recipes

Tuscan Stew

This simple yet hearty soup is packed with healthy ingredients like olive oil, spinach, and fresh herbs.

Tuscan Stew
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3 cups uncooked whole–wheat penne pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds fresh spinach, cleaned and chopped
2 (14.5–ounce) cans diced tomatoes
Salt to taste
2 (15–ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar


Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package; drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a large deep saucepan. Add the onion and half the garlic and sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add spinach, tomatoes, remaining garlic, and salt to taste. Stir, cover, and let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add beans, cooked pasta, thyme, sage, and basil. When heated through, stir in a generous amount of black pepper, the grated Parmesan, and vinegar. Serve in bowls with extra cheese and a cruet of additional vinegar.

Recipe adapted from >The Herb Society of America's Essential Guide to Growing and Cooking With Herbs (Louisiana State University Press, 2007).

Learn how to grow your own culinary herbs in the May 2008 issue of Natural Health.

Nutritional facts: 

Per Serving: 315 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 56 g carbohydrates, 14 g protein, 11 g fiber, 465 mg sodium (20% Daily Value).