Minestrone Soup

Loaded with fresh vegetables, pasta and savory parmesan cheese, classic Minestrone is the ultimate one-bowl supper. The addition of Swiss chard makes this version even more nourishing.


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10 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
3 medium raw white potatoes, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried Italian oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 small bay leaves*
1 1/2 cups cannellini beans**
2 cups cooked pasta, slightly undercooked***
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound Swiss chard, chopped
*Do not use California Bay Laurel leaves; their strong flavor will overpower the soup.**Cannellini beans are available bottled at most good grocery stores. You can also use kidney, fava, or garbanzo beans for this soup.

***You want a plenty of “bite” to the pasta, because it will continue cooking in the soup.

  1. Pour the chicken stock into a large stockpot and set aside.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and butter, and bring to a sizzle.
  3. Add the onions and salt. Adjust the heat to prevent burning and cook until golden and translucent—approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  5. Add the tomato paste and mix well.
  6. Add the carrots, potatoes, zucchini, basil, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves, mix well, and cook for several minutes.
  7. Heat the chicken stock to a lively simmer over medium-high heat.
  8. Add the vegetable mixture to the stock.
  9. Add the beans, pasta, one cup of the Parmesan cheese and pepper. Mix well.
  10. Stir in the Swiss chard, turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes so that the flavors meld.
  11. Adjust the seasonings.
  12. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.



Preparation Time: 
70 minutes.