Country-Style Minestrone

  • Yield 8 servings

This thick and hearty soup is filled with vegetables, beans and pasta.


4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta or bacon, diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 -- rib celery, diced
2 -- carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 head Savoy cabbage, sliced
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
2 cups canned chopped Italian tomatoes
4 cups 2 (15-ounce) cans) cannellini or white great northern beans
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup dry, small, imported pasta, such as ditali, orzo or elbow
2 cups water
1 bunch Swiss chard, cleaned of stems, coarsely chopped, or 1 bunch fresh spinach, cleaned and coarsely chopped
6 -- thick slices Italian bread, toasted or grilled
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil.  Add pancetta or bacon and saute for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown.  Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic.  Cook for another minute.  Add the cabbage, potato, tomatoes, beans, broth, salt, pepper, basil and oregano.  Cover; simmer for 20 minutes.  Add pasta and water.  Cover and cook another 10 minutes.  Stir often to make sure pasta is cooking evenly.  Taste for seasoning.  Add the Swiss chard, cook another 2 minutes just until wilted.  Serve in large soup bowls with a thick slice of bread on bottom of bowl, topped with minestrone and cheese.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Marguerite Marceau Henderson’s Savor the Memories (2002).




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