Meatless Monday: Nettie Cronish’s Tofu Minestrone

If you think you don’t like tofu, Nettie Cronish can probably convince you that you do. The vegetarian chef and


If you think you don’t like tofu, Nettie Cronish can probably convince you that you do. The vegetarian chef and cookbook author knows a lot about how to make tofu taste great. I was lucky enough to spend my lunch hour with her recently, enjoying a variety of different dishes that she prepared using soy. As a vegan, I already eat and cook with soy products, so I loved it. But I think her recipes could even convince a carnivore that tofu is tasty. Of all the dishes Nettie made at the lunch and learn, this hearty, home-style minestrone soup was my favourite.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Makes 8 servings


12  cups ( 3L)  vegetable stock or water
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, grated
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 can (28 oz/796 ml) crushed tomatoes
2 tsp (10mL)  each dried basil and oregano
1 cup (250 mL) penne pasta
8 oz (250g)  firm or frozen tofu, thawed, squeezed dry and crumbled
1 can (14 oz/398 ml) Romano or Pinto beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup  (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1mL) cayenne pepper
½  cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


In large pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 cup of the stock over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.

Add garlic, carrot, celery, tomatoes, basil, oregano and remaining stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add pasta; cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in tofu, beans, parsley, salt and cayenne .Simmer for 2 minutes. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan.

Defrosting Tofu

Remove tofu from package, place in a deep bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 10 minutes, then drain. Rinse with cold water, tear into little pieces and press firmly between your fingers to expel all moisture. Squeeze out the excess liquid as if the tofu were a sponge, then crumble.

-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor; Recipe by Nettie Cronish, Everyday Flexitarian

Katharine isn’t just a web editor here at Best Health, she also blogs about healthy baking at Pastry Addict.

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