Winter Minestrone Soup

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 8 servings
  • Prep 10 mins
  • Cook 45 mins

Hearty kale and chewy barley add great textures to this vegetable soup.

Mark Boughton

You can use almost any vegetable lingering in your fridge to make this soup (although we might skip broccoli and cauliflower). It’s great with a can of white beans thrown in, too. The hearty kale stands up to the wheatberries, but you can use almost any green. You also can use barley in place of the wheatberries. Look for wheatberries next to the grains in the supermarket. Makes 16 cups.


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 -- green onions, chopped
1/2 -- red or white onion, chopped
1 -- celery stalk, chopped
3 -- large carrots, chopped
4 ounces finely chopped shaved deli ham
3 cups water
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup wheatberries, rinsed
1 -- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind (optional)
2 -- bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
-- Freshly ground black pepper
1 -- (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil
1 -- (1-pound) bag kale, chopped
4 -- toasted pita breads


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add onions, celery, carrots and ham. Sauté 10 minutes. Add water and next 6 ingredients (water through pepper).
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until wheatberries are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and kale; cook until thoroughly heated. The longer the soup sits with the cheese rind, the more intense the flavor.
  3. Serve with toasted pita bread



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