As cooler weather moves in, we naturally begin to migrate back inside to our kitchens and away from outdoor grilling. Soups can help transition from summer to fall. Plus they are easy to make and provide delicious leftovers for another meal or two during the week. if you’re looking for a great minestrone recipe with a “twist,” this one is a keeper!


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/4 lb thinly sliced pancetta, cut into strips (*you can also buy the pre-cut cubes)
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 head savoy cabbage, finely sliced, blanched and drained
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss chard, finely sliced
  • 1 large Yukon potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded & diced (alternate: 14oz can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 bouquet garni (create by using kitchen twine to tie together 1 sprig of rosemary, 4 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf, and 1 bunch parsley)
  • 3 cups cannellini beans (canned or cooked dried beans)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • Grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese


  1. Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, celery, garlic, carrots, and pancetta and cook, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 4 cups water, cabbage, chard, potato, chicken or vegetable stock, tomatoes, and bouquet garni. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Cook 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Place half the beans (1 1/2 cups) in a food processor and process until smooth.
  6. Add the bean puree and the remaining whole beans to the soup
  7. Simmer 10 minutes.
  8. Add spinach and cook 2 more minutes.
  9. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  10. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cheese.

For a little extra flavor, add homemade croutons and a teaspoon of pesto (can be store-bought). It’s a simple trick that takes any soup to the next level.