Chef John's Minestrone Soup

4.8
(363)

This is the type of dish I never make the same way twice, but I hope you give this amazing minestrone recipe a try soon, but only once.

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Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings

I always feel a little apprehensive when I post a recipe like this minestrone soup. It's the type of dish I never make the same way twice, and the fear is that someone will watch and assume that this is my "official" version.

You don't need a recipe for minestrone, just like you don't need a recipe for a great sandwich or an epic salad. To make minestrone soup precisely the same way every time, using a very specific list of ingredients and amounts, is to trample on the soul of this Italian classic.

Having said all that, what if you happen to make it so incredibly delicious one time that you want to experience the exact same shuddering soupgasm in the future? That seems like a perfectly sound reason for why you should write down the recipe…except cooking food doesn't work that way.

Your perception of how a recipe tastes involves so many factors above and far beyond the list of ingredients. Remember that time you made that super awesome whatever, and it was so perfect, and then you made it again, exactly the same way, but somehow it just didn't taste as great? This is why.

So, I hope you give this amazing minestrone recipe a try soon…but only once. Enjoy!

For more Chef John, be sure to subscribe to Food Wishes on YouTube! Click the "Join" button there to get Chef John's bonus video footage and behind-the-scenes pictures, live chats, and other Food Wishes member exclusives.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 ounces chopped pancetta

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 cup diced celery

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups water, plus more as needed

  • 1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes, crushed fine

  • 1 cup cranberry beans, shelled

  • 2 cups chopped cabbage, or more to taste

  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped

  • cup ditalini pasta

  • salt and ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; cook and stir until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in onions and celery; cook and stir until onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook for another minute.

  2. Pour chicken broth, water, and plum tomatoes into the pancetta and onion mixture. Bring to a simmer.

  3. Stir cranberry beans, cabbage, garbanzo beans, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and 2 teaspoons salt into broth mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook until cranberry beans are tender, adding more water as needed if the soup becomes too thick, about 45 minutes.

  4. Stir in Swiss chard and simmer until softened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

  5. Stir in pasta and increase heat to medium-high and simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and Italian parsley.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

484 Calories
23g Fat
54g Carbs
18g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 484
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 2020mg 88%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 14g 51%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 44mg 220%
Calcium 199mg 15%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 1154mg 25%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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