The Big Soup: Minestrone Recipe

The Italians have given us many fine dishes. Minestrone has to be the world’s most versatile soup. It’s really a big bowl of carb joy. This version is light and perfect for summer with fresh veggies being so plentiful. What’s not to love about a one-bowl dinner? Serve with a crusty warmed Italian loaf and you have a satisfying, healthy meal.


4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, diced
1 cup small broccoli florets
1 cup green beans, cut in ½” pieces
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
1 medium cubed zucchini
1 medium yellow squash, diced small
2 stalks celery, diced
1 540 ml can fava beans, drained
1 540 ml can white beans, drained
1 cup slightly undercooked elbow pasta (it will continue to cook when simmering);*
2 540 ml cans diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth)
Coarse salt and black pepper to taste
Grated romano cheese
Basil leaves for garnish


  • Heat oil in large soup pot
  • Saute onion and fennel until soft
  • Add broccoli, green beans and carrots; stir fry on low medium heat for 2 minutes and then add zucchini, squash and celery; stir fry a further 1 minute; keep a close eye on this and stir often; don’t let your veggies get mushy
  • Add diced tomatoes and chicken broth
  • Mash ½  fava and white beans coarsely; add to soup; this will thicken it and add texture
  • Add remaining whole fava and white beans
  • Add elbow pasta
  • Add coarse salt and pepper to taste
  • Let soup simmer on very low for 1hr
  • Serve garnished with basil leaves and fresh grated romano cheese

*you can substitute any small pasta of your choice