Minestrone recipe competition

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Head Chef
Sep 9, 2004
This was given to me by a good friend. It makes a lot of soup, but freezes well .

Susan's Minestrone Soup

1/4 cup olive oil 2 tsp. dried basil
2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. dried oregano
2 carrots sliced 1 tsp. salt
2 ribs celery, sliced 1/4 tsp. pepper
1 leek sliced 2 cans cannellini or red kidney
1 (28oz) can tomatoes chopped beans, drained
1 qt. chicken broth 2 cups shredded cabbage
1 tbsp. chopped parsley 1 med zucchini, sliced

Heat oil in a 4 quart pot. Add onions through leek and saute until tender.
Add tomatoes and liquid then stir in broth,parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 mins.
Stir in beans and cabbage. Simmer 10 mins.
Add zucchini. Simmer uncovered 10 mins.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

You can add 1/2 cup of small pasta such as elbows or shells when you add the squash. I don't and don't miss it with everything else in there.

wasabi woman

Senior Cook
Aug 31, 2004
here's mine... it's a combination of several recipes with the ingredients we like best!

Cheryl's Big Soup (Minestrone)

serves 4

1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup baby carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup great northern beans, soaked
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
4 cups beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
2 cups Italian canned tomatoes and their juice
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups zucchini, diced
2 cups savoy cabbage, shredded
1 can green beans, drained
1 cup orzo, or small pasta shells

In soup pot, heat olive oil. Add onions and cook until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Then add celery and carrots and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Add beans, bay leaf, thyme and toss for 1 minute.
Then add the stock, plum tomatoes and their juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
Add zucchini, savoy cabbage and cook for 20 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender.
Finally, add drained green beans, your pasta and cook, covered for about 10 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan, and a drizzle of good olive oil and serve.

Buon Appetito!


Head Chef
Aug 14, 2004
Bellevue, WA
I've posted this before, but it is worth doing again. It is my tried and true favorite:

2 small leeks (or 1 large), white and light green parts, sliced thin
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 small onions, diced
2 medium celery stalks, diced
1 baking potato, diced
1 med zucchini, diced
3 c fresh spinach leaves, cut into thin strips
28-oz can whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained and chopped
8 c water
1 parmesan cheese rind (approx 5 x 2 inches)
15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c basil pesto (or 1 T minced fresh rosemary mixed with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1 T extra-virgin olive oil)

Throw everything into a large pan except the beans and pesto and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender but still hold their shape, about an hour or 90 minutes or so.

Add beans and cook until just heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Remove and discard cheese rind. Stir in pesto (or rosemary-garlic mixture). Adjust seasonings, adding pepper and more salt if necessary.

(The parmesan cheese rind is a must in this one, it's where the depth of flavor comes from.)



Chef Extraordinaire
Feb 21, 2002
North Carolina
I've got a tried and true favorite too - I guess it's about time I typed it out to save it.

3/4 cup dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed
1 to 2 smoked ham hocks
3 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (I always use more though)
1 very large white onion, coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 medium leek, thoroughly rinsed and thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, cut into 1" slices
1 cup tightly packed minced fresh basil, divided
1 tsp. dried thyme or dried oregano
2 14-oz. cans Italian plum tomatoes including juice
1 TBS sugar
3 cups cold water
3 cups vegetable stock (chicken is fine but the vegetable has a very
clean taste)
6 oz. green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds (about 2 cups loosely
packed - I always use canned and just rinse them well)
1/2 cup tubettini-orzo is ok but tubettini in this soup has a better texture
1 to 2 cups boiling water (optional)
2 large zucchini cut into 1/2" slices
3 cups loosely packed cored, shredded cabbage
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
freshly ground black papper
Garnish: 1 to 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Soak navy beans overnight or use the pressure cooker quick presoak method. Rinse, drain, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in the cooker and saute the garlic and onion until the onion becomes limp. Add the carrots, leek, celery, 1/2 cup basil, thyme, reserved navy beans, plum tomatoes with their juice, sugar, water and stock. I leave the ham hock in during the whole time of cooking. Lightly salt and pepper to taste. Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Adjust heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 20 minutes. Use quick-release method and remove lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.

Add the green beans and tubettini (or tubetti) and cook uncovered over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently because the pasta will want to drop to the bottom and burn. If the soup becomes too thick add the optional 1 to 2 cups boiling water (I have never had to do this though).

Add zucchini, cabbage, remaining basil, adjust salt and pepper. Cook until the zucchini and green beans are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Garnish bowls with the cheese.

This is labor intensive but if you have help chopping it definately makes things easier! I have tried this with and without the sugar - the sugar definately enhances all the flavors. This soup is great served with a rosemary and kalamata olive foccacia bread or other rustic bread. Nice glass of red wine - a good meal.


Oct 31, 2004
Re: Who's got the best Minestrone recipe?

Magia said:
Would anyone care to share?

Thanks everyone for sharing yours, here is mine:


5 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 pound bacon, chopped

3/4 cup diced cooked ham

3 large stalks celery, thinly sliced, leaves reserved and chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped

1 quart chicken broth

2/3 cup brown rice

salt and pepper to taste

1 (15 ounce) can cranberry beans, drained

1 (15 ounce) can white beans, drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon in olive oil until brown. Stir in ham and cook a few minutes more. Stir in celery (reserve the leaves), onion and carrot and cook until vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more.

2. Stir in tomatoes, broth, rice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and rice is nearly tender.

3. Stir in cranberry beans and white beans and heat through. Stir in parsley and celery leaves and remove from heat. Serve hot.
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