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Minestrone Soup

This simple recipe for delicious minestrone soup was adapted from the September 2006 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

  • yield: Makes 10 cups; serves 8


For the Beans

  • 3/4 cup dried cannellini beans (5 ounces)
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 bay leaf

For the Soffritto

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large rib celery, very finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, very finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, very finely chopped

For the Soup

  • 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch slices, rinsed well
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 medium carrots, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch slices
  • 6 ounces small red potatoes (about 7), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole peeled plum tomatoes with juice, crushed
  • 1 bunch (5 ounces) Tuscan kale (also called cavolo nero), stemmed, leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/4 head savoy cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 rind (3 inches) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Martha's Pesto


  1. Step 1

    Make beans: Cover beans with cold water by 2 inches in a bowl. Refrigerate 8 to 12 hours. Drain. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in large saucepan. Add beans, onion, and bay leaf. Reduce heat; simmer until beans are just tender, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving beans and 4 cups liquid. Discard solids from beans, and cover beans.

  2. Step 2

    Make soffritto: Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-low heat. Add celery, carrot, and onion. Cook, stirring often, until deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Make soup: Add leek and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high; add celery, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, and green beans. Cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in reserved bean liquid, the tomatoes and juice, kale, cabbage, stock, cheese rind, and red-pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover; simmer 1 hour.

  4. Step 4

    Add beans. Cover; cook until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve topped with pesto if desired. Minestrone can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days; thin with water if needed before reheating.

The Martha Stewart Show, January Winter 2008

Reviews (17)

  • 26 Feb, 2014

    My boyfriend doesn't like beans so I sub'd ground beef in lieu of beans. Added a lil' bit of extra fresh hot pepper for more kick. It turned out fabulous and it freezes well!

  • 22 Jul, 2008

    I like this soup very much! The Vegetable Stock makes the difference

  • 10 Apr, 2008

    This soup is delicious. I like the beans,kale and no pasta. I haven't tried the canned version, but the recipe from the show is great, thanks!

  • 5 Apr, 2008

    Delious soup, making it for the second time this weekend. Today I stirred in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste into the soffritto and let in saute for 5 minutes. Also, I agree, it does need more then the 4 cups of liquid. For ease I used a can of white beans instead of starting with the dry beans, Very Good!!!

  • 23 Feb, 2008

    Hi Martha, I must agree with Bluemoondragonfly's comments regarding the minestrone soup sold at Costco. The beans and carrots were definitely undercooked. Tomatoes not found, though listed on label. Flavor was lacking. I "doctored" the soup which greatly improved the flavor. Cooking it cook all day still did not soften the beans indicating they were not properly soaked and cooked prior to processing. As a food scientist, I recommend you revisit processor as procedures aren't being followed.

  • 11 Feb, 2008

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe. It is a great soup to serve with salad and pasta or a quick sandwich. I made it this weekend and LOVE it. Thanks Martha!

  • 10 Feb, 2008

    I made this recipe and thought it turned out quite well. The only thing I did different was to add more stock, the four cups in the recipe wasn't enough for my taste. The soup was very good.

  • 10 Feb, 2008

    Hi Martha,
    In the spirit of constructive criticism. I bought a 2 pack of your Minestrone Soup by Kirkland at my local Costso. Tonight I tried it for the first time. Oh Martha, you need to get ahold of Kirkland right away! I've prepared many of your recipes and they are fabulous! The soup I had, with your name on it, was aweful! It was absolutely flavorless and the the white beans were undercooked

  • 9 Feb, 2008

    Soup,minestrone,Martha 2006

  • 8 Feb, 2008

    Supposedly, the soup is available at Costco. Well, in Michigan, I was informed it was taken off the shelves because there was an ingredient that did not meet Costo's standards.

  • 2 Feb, 2008

    Martha has been interrupting her guests for ages, its the only thing I don't like about the show. She seems to be doing it alot more lately.

    Ok so I have made it with the cheese rind and kale and cabbage, My entire house smells great and the soup tastes great too.

  • 1 Feb, 2008

    When I watched the episode on TV, no mention was made of adding the rind of Parmigiano and the cabbage was mentioned as a substitute for the kale.
    Also, Lucinda mentioned that you could use canned beans if desired How much? Should i assume a can, drained and rinsed or a cup and a half?

  • 1 Feb, 2008

    Yes poor Lucinda. Martha has a way of rudely interrupting her guests when they are trying to speak. This is the one thing about her show that really bothers me. I realize it's her stage, but Martha should step back and let her guests talk without interruption. After all, she invited them there for a purpose--in this case, to demonstrate how to make the soup.

  • 1 Feb, 2008

    Poor Lucinda! She could hardly get a word in as she is demonstrating how to make this soup. I'm just waiting for someone to really tell Martha off as she interrupts them so rudely while they are talking.

  • 30 Jan, 2008

    I love making soups at the weekend, esp this time of year. This recipe looks great. Can it be frozen? If it can then my husband can help himself when I have my no cook day on Fridays,

  • 30 Jan, 2008

    Thanks so very much for making this vegetarian. I really appreciate it. I really like how you stated it had some much flavor even without meat. Cathy Lamberth

  • 30 Jan, 2008

    looked delicious and flavorful