Minestrone Soup

I adapted this recipe from one I found in a vegetarian cookbook that I’ve used for years. The recipe can use fresh or canned vegetables — whatever you prefer.

Minestrone Soup


  • 1 1/2 cups dried kidney beans*
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large red potatoes, cleaned and cut into large bite-size pieces
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup fresh string beans*
  • 1 medium leek, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped *
  • Large pinch of celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Soak the beans overnight in enough water to keep them covered then drain them and put them in a large kettle with 4 quarts of water.
  2. Add the garlic, onion and the olive oil then simmer
  3. for about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Add the potatoes, carrots, zucchini, string beans and leek to the pot.
  5. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the parsley, celery seed, basil and oregano.
  7. Simmer for another 45 minutes.
  8. Add the cabbage and the rice to the soup and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  9. Add more water if the soup is getting too thick for you.
  10. About 5 minutes before the soup is ready to serve, add the tomatoes.
Have a small bowl of Parmesan cheese set out so people can sprinkle it on top of the soup if they wish.
*Note: For the fresh vegetables, you can substitute canned kidney beans, canned tomatoes, canned string beans. I’ve substituted these when I’ve been in a hurry and the soup is still delicious. You can also substitute fresh herbs for dried herbs and vice versa.

The original recipe was found in the book “The Vegetarian Epicure.”

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