One-Pot Wednesdays: Minestrone Soup

Kim Conte

Sometimes it's hard to eat enough veggies in the winter—but this hearty One-pot Minestrone Soup is chock full of 'em! I liked this particular recipe because you don't have to use broth; water and canned tomatoes work fine, provided you cook it long enough.

Winter Minestrone from Gourmet Magazine, (

*This recipe calls specifically for Swiss chard, Savoy cabbage, and escarole, but you can use equal parts of any winter greens that you can find. I could only find escarole and cabbage, and it turned out fine. Also, I didn't have a cheese rind, so I just sprinkled Parmesan cheese over the top. It would have been a richer soup with the rind, but mine tasted good even without it.

1/3 pound sliced pancetta (or bacon), chopped

3 medium red onions, chopped

4 celery ribs, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch Swiss chard

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice

3 quart hot water

5 cups coarsely chopped cored Savoy cabbage (6 ounces)

5 cups coarsely chopped escarole (1/2 pound)

1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (about 3 by 1 1/2 inches)

1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained


Cook pancetta, onions, celery, and carrots in oil in a wide 7-to 9-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, while preparing chard.

Cut out stems from chard and chop stems, reserving leaves. Stir chard stems into pancetta mixture with garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and begin to stick to bottom of pot, about 45 minutes total. (Set aside chard leaves.)

Push vegetables to one side of pot. Add tomato paste to cleared area and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir paste into vegetables and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. (Paste may stick to pot, but don't let it burn.)

Stir in tomatoes with their juice, breaking them up with a spoon, then add hot water (3 quarts), scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot.

Bring to a simmer. Stir in cabbage, escarole, and cheese rind. Simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 40 minutes.

Coarsely chop chard leaves and stir into soup along with beans. Add uncooked pasta. Simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes until pasta is al dente. Discard rind. Season soup with salt and pepper.

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