January 7, 2012 by Sara Kreidler

If you have a well stocked larder, this soup couldn’t be easier to throw together on a weeknight, with plenty of leftovers for lunch.  The recipe is very flexible, and I make it a little different each time, but the basic recipe is below.  I just use ingredients I have on hand — this time it was canned tomatoes, beans, and stock, assorted frozen veggies from the summer, some veggies and herbs that were hanging out in the fridge, and my stash of frozen parmesan rinds.  My measurements are approximations, since I basically threw things in by handfuls; I encourage you to do the same.  Also, I often add about a half cup of diced bacon at the beginning of the recipe, but didn’t have any on hand this time so I skipped it — the soup is great with out without it.

I froze some of our summer veggie surplus with the intent of using it in just such a soup come winter, but if you don’t have frozen summer vegetables like zucchini and green beans, you can use more winter veggies like potatoes, mushrooms, more carrots, celery, and whatnot.  One of the things about this soup that makes me happy is that the vast majority of the ingredients are local — all of the veggies came from our supply of canned, frozen and fresh organic produce from the CSA, and Toby made and canned the stock using local, humanely and sustainably raised beef from the Kennedy’s.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 small carrots, cut in half length wise and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 quarts canned tomatoes in their juices
  • 1 quart stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups kale, destemmed, rinsed and torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 1 – 14 ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 – 14 ounce can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen zucchini, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup frozen yellow squash, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup ditilini (or other very small pasta shape), cooked about a minute shy of al dente, then rinsed in cold water
  • Grated parmesan
  • Crusty bread


  1. In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium flame.  Add onion, carrots and garlic and cook until onion is soft.
  2. Pour the tomatoes into a large mixing bowl and, using clean kitchen shears, cut the tomatoes into chunks.  Add the tomatoes and their juices, stock, water, kale, rosemary, and parmesan rind to the pot and bring to a simmer.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until kale is soft.  Remove and discard the rosemary stem (all of the leaves will have fallen off) and the parmesan rind.
  3. Add the cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, zucchini, yellow squash and green beans and bring to a simmer; note that if your veggies are frozen, as mine were, it will take a few minutes for them to thaw in the hot soup and for everything to come back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the cooked ditililni pasta to the soup and stir well to combine.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve with crusty bread for dipping and sopping up the leftover broth.

3 thoughts on “Minestrone

  1. Aimee says:

    Ahhh…I love minestrone! What a seriously beautiful soup you’ve made – just gorgeous! Sometimes a quick, hearty soup is just the thing, isn’t it?

  2. […] some different combinations next time. This bread is really great served with a hearty soup like minestrone, or with a pasta dish like garlic scape […]

  3. […] posts on freezing summer squash (i.e. zucchini and yellow squash) which you can use later to make minestrone, the ultimate one pot, throw together, use whatever veggies you have in the fridge or freezer, […]

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