Minestrone with Fresh Herbs


Our Minestrone has an array of vegetables, including tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and cranberry beans; additional color comes from red and green pasta shells.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

  • 1 medium shallot, finely diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 stalk celery, cut into ¼-inch pieces

  • 2 medium carrots, (about 5 ounces), peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 1 eggplant, (about 14 ounces), cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 1 red bell pepper, (about 7 ounces), cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 1 zucchini, (about 8 ounces), cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 8 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or low-sodium canned

  • 2 fourteen-and-a-half-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 cup canned cranberry beans, drained and rinsed

  • 6 ounces colored pasta shells, cooked

  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a stockpot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, shallot, garlic, pepper, oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, celery, and carrots; saute, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.

  2. Add eggplant, red pepper, and zucchini; saute until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes more. Add chicken stock and canned tomatoes, and bring to a boil, stirring to break up the tomatoes. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Add beans and pasta; cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan if desired.

Cook's Notes

Canned cranberry beans may be sustituted for dried.

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