Healthy Minestrone Soup Barbara DeConza


Salt and Pepper

½ pound (11/4 cups) dried cannellini beans, picked over and rinsed

1 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

3 ounces pancetta, cut into ¼-inch pieces

2 celery ribs, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 small onions, cut into ½ inch pieces

1 carrot, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 zucchini, cut into ½ inch pieces

½ small head green cabbage, halved, cored and cut into ½ inch pieces (2 cups)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1 Parmesan cheese rind plus grated Parmesan for serving

1 bay leaf

1 ½ cups V8 juice

½ cup chopped fresh basil


1.     Dissolve 1 ½ tablespoon salt in 2 quarts cold water in large bowl or container. Add beans and soak for at least 8 or up to 24 hours.  Drain beans and rinse well.

2.     Heat oil and pancetta in Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is lightly browned and fat has rendered, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add celery, onions, carrot, and zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 5 to 9 minutes.  Stir in cabbage, garlic, pepper flakes, and ½ teaspoon salt and continue to cook until cabbage starts to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes longer.  Transfer vegetables to rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

3.     Add soaked beans, water, broth, Parmesan rind, and bay leaf to pot and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer vigorously, stirring occasionally, until beans are fully tender and liquid begins to thicken, 45 minutes to 1 hour.


4.     Add reserved vegetables and V8 juice to pot and cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.  Discard bay leaf and Parmesan rind, stir to basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with extra oil and grated Parmesan.  (Soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Reheat gently and add basil just before serving.)


Leave a Reply