Minestrone – The Italian Vacation from a Cold Winters Day

Minestrone Soup

Soups are a mainstay in any part of the world and Italy is no exception. Minestrone is uniquely Italian and there are many different ways the soup is prepared. This is an authentic Italian minestrone recipe that will go along way during these cold winter months.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time15 min



  • 1 onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • ¼ lb. zucchini
  • 1 head of cauliflower (about 14 oz.)
  • 1 acorn squash (about ½ lb.)
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes (about ¾ lb.)
  • ¾ lb. vine ripened tomatoes
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 5 oz. leeks
  • 7 oz. peas
  • 3.8 oz. diced pancetta
  • 7 oz. cranberry beans
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 cups of water (set ¼ cup apart)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Nutmeg to taste



Prepare the vegetables: Peel the acorn squash, remove the seeds using a spoon, and cut into cubes about 1 centimeter wide. Cut the zucchini into cubes as well. Shell the cranberry beans if they are still in the pod. Cut the cauliflower in half, remove the core, then cut into florets. Remove the green, external part of the leek and cut the leek into thin rounds. Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes. Cut the tomatoes into cubes as well.


Prepare the soffritto: Finely chop the onion, carrot, and celery.


Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery and sauté for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute then add the pancetta.


Tie the sprigs of rosemary and bay leaves together with cooking twine then add to the pot. Add the leek and pour in ¼ cup of water. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the squash and beans then cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add the potatoes then grate the nutmeg over the pot to taste. Add the cauliflower and zucchini. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes.


Add the peas and tomatoes then pour in the remaining water a little at a time. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove the garlic and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Stir in the fresh parsley.


Pour in another ¼ cup of water (add a little less if you prefer denser minestrone). Remove the rosemary and bay leaves and stir well. Serve immediately.

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