Minestrone Soup

You can use canned beans (use a good quality brand, I recommend S&W or Bush's) or you can cook dry beans.

If starting with dry beans, soak about 3/4 cup of dry beans overnight in cold water (or pour boiling water over the beans and soak for 1 hour). Drain. Cover with a couple inches of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour, or until tender enough to eat. Then drain and use in this recipe as directed.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 cups sliced savoy or curly cabbage
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 medium fresh ripe tomatoes (romas if available), cored, peeled, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can of cannellini or great northern white beans, drained (about 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish


1 Sauté onions, carrots, celery, garlic in olive oil: Heat oil in a 4 to 5 quart thick-bottomed pot on medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

2 Add herbs, potato, vegetables, stock: Add the bay leaf, thyme, fennel seeds. Add the potato, cabbage, zucchini, and tomatoes. Add the chicken stock.

3 Simmer until vegetables are cooked through: Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.

4 Add beans, parsley, salt, pepper: Add the beans and parsley to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

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  • Martha

    This is the best minnestroni I’ve made in a long time. The fennel was subtle in the finish, the zucchini contrasted so well with the soft potatoes. Yum!

  • Janet

    Want to make this for lunch! Just wondered if I could substitute other vegetables for the cabbage & zucchini (only ingredients I don’t have & I don’t want to go to the store). Thank you!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Janet, minestrone can be made with any vegetables, the best ones to use are the ones that are in season where you are.