hearty minestrone

On a recent trip to Montreal, we started our meal with a bowl of minestrone.  Not just any minestrone.  This one was so over the top full of flavor …I had to figure out how to make it.  I checked online for Da Emma Minestrone.  Nothing.  Why didn’t I ask if they would share the recipe when we were there?  In person.  I just didn’t.  No problem …I really do like a challenge.

So here we are.  After quite a few attempts, this minestrone may not be exactly the same but it’s just as good.  You know what?  I think it may be better.

This soup is chock full of fresh ingredients.  To be honest, there’s quite a bit of prep involved.  But you can chop as you go …as the soup simmers with each flavorful addition.

You will be blending some of the solids …creating a rich thickened broth.  It is advisable to use an immersion blender.  For the recommended heat-proof container, I use my pyrex 4-cup glass measuring cup.  It keeps messy clean-ups to a minimum.

Everyone has their own style when it comes to trimming fresh string beans.  I like to line them up nicely on the cutting board and trim away.  That may say something about my personality.  Not sure it’s a good thing.

After the final simmer, be sure to have your fresh herbs prepped.  Once they’re added to the pot, it is removed from the heat.  And your creation is complete.

You may want to add some salt and/or pepper.  But really, that’s it.  Top with some cheese, grab a hunk of crusty bread and you’re set.



hearty minestrone

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 quarts


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (5 ounces / 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (5 ounces / 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups green cabbage, chopped (12 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, cored & chopped (12 ounces)
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled & cut in 1/4" cubes (7 ounces / 1 1/2 cup)
  • 1 - 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in 1/4" cubes (7 ounces / 1 1/2 cup)
  • 12 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed & cut in 1" pieces
  • 2 large carrots, cut in 1/4" pieces (9 ounces / 1 1/2 cup)
  • 1 - 15 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 8 large basil leaves, cut in thin strips
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated (1 1/2 ounce)


  1. Melt butter and olive oil in dutch oven or stock pot of at least 5 1/2 quart capacity. Set heat to medium and add onion, celery, garlic and cabbage. Mix ingredients well; add salt and pepper. Saute' for about 10 minutes.
  2. Once vegetables are translucent, add vegetable stock along with the tomatoes, potato and chickpeas. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove about 4 cups of mixture (mostly solids) to a heatproof container. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Return blended ingredients to pot to incorporate with soup. Alternately, a blender can be used for this process.
  3. Add zucchini, green beans, carrots and kidney beans to pot and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for an additional 25 minutes.

  4. Stir in the fresh herbs. Remove from heat and, if necessary, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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