• Minestrone Romagna Style

    14 votes
    Minestrone Romagna Style
    Prep: 20 min Cook: 180 min Servings: 8
    by John Spottiswood
    300 recipes
    This is the way minestrone is made in Romagna. It's not a lot of prep time, but you simmer the soup for a long time until all of the vegetable flavors mellow into one mild but delicious soup. The subtle flavors of this soup are even more delicious the next day, so it is a good dish to prepare in advance of guests arriving for a weekend, or to bring on a ski trip. Other than the onion, pretty much all of the vegetables can be substituted for other vegetables that are available, on sale, etc. I recently cooked it without the zucchini and it was still delicious. This is another dish adapted from Marcella Hazan.


    • 1 pound fresh zucchini
    • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 T. butter (optional: I leave this out and it tastes great)
    • 1 c. onion sliced thin
    • 1 c. diced carrots
    • 1 c. diced celery
    • 2 c. peeled, diced potatoes
    • 1 c. fresh green beens chopped
    • 3 c. Napa, Savoy, or regular cabbage shredded
    • 1.5 c. canned cannellini or white kidney beans drained
    • 3 c. vegetable broth (beef or chicken broth are OK too. Use 6 cups is you have fresh broth which is less salty. We use "better than bouillon" in a jar.)
    • 3 c. water
    • 1 c. canned Italian plum tomatoes with juice
    • Salt to taste (requires generous salt)
    • 1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese (parmesan) freshly grated
    • Optional: Crust/rind of the parmigiano-reggiano cheese that you grate for the soup, cut free from the cheese and cleaned.


    1. The preparation (mostly dicing) for this dish can be done while the vegetables are being sauteed. Here is the ideal order, but only the Onion needs to be done in this order.
    2. Soak Zucchini for 20 min. Then trim ends and dice fine.
    3. Choose a large stock pot, put on medium-high, and add the oil, butter (optional) and sliced onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until onion is translucent.
    4. Add the diced carrots, cook 2-3 minutes stirring at least once.
    5. Add the celery and cook 2-3 more minutes.
    6. Add the potatoes and cook 2-3 minutes.
    7. Add the green beans and cook 2-3 minutes
    8. Add the shredded cabbage
    9. After a few minutes, add the broth, water, cheese crust (optional), tomatoes with juice, and a sprinkling of salt. Thoroughly stir the pot. Cover and lower the heat, adjusting so that the soup bubbles slowly at a steady simmer.
    10. After 2.5 hours add the drained cannellini or white kidney beans. Stir well and cook for another 30 minutes. You can turn off an resume heating later at any point. The consistency should not be thin and should be thick with vegetables. If it is too thick for your liking, though, you can dilute with a cup of broth or water.
    11. When the soup is done, remove the cheese rind, add the grated cheese, taste and correct for salt. It will likely need quite a bit more.
    12. I would recommend turning off the soup and letting it sit for at least thirty minutes uncovered to cool. Serve with freshly ground pepper on the table and encourage adding pepper to taste. Serve with a dry, crusty Italian bread.

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    • John Spottiswood
      John Spottiswood
      This soup does not have as much tomato flavor as you are probably used to in many minestrones. I like it that way. However, if you love tomato you can easily add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste with the broth. Try it first with less tomato though and give it a chance! Subtle but delicious!
      • Mihir Shah
        Mihir Shah
        This is a really good and good-for-you minestrone. Would definitely make this after trying it at John's house. It's not as rich as other minestrone's I've tasted - I believe John left the butter out. I'd do the same!
        • Nancy Miyasaki
          Nancy Miyasaki
          I enjoyed this as much the second day as the first. Our kids continued to eat it all week. Tasty and healthy!
          • Christine
            I haven't made it yet but when you said you left out the zucchini and there isn't a lot of tomato taste I have to try it. I won't eat zukes and hubby doesn't like tomato soup.
            • Eddy Winn
              Eddy Winn
              This soup is delicious. The tomato flavor is very light which I like a lot. It's very thick and rich. I didn't use the entire amount of olive oil but I did add the butter. My husband even likes this and he doesn't like soups, claims they aren't filling enough. Keep 'em comin' (the recipes that is). Thank you.
              • John Spottiswood
                John Spottiswood
                Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed review, Eddy. That really helps others make a decision on the recipe. Thanks for taking the time and glad you and your husband enjoyed it!
              • Patricia Camarillo
                Patricia Camarillo
                I am not a soup eater, but I loved this as did my husband.
                • Jason Freund
                  Jason Freund
                  A perfect minestrone recipe. The key is the long simmer time.

                  I'm not sure if the timing and order of the initial cook makes much difference. I just added everything together and stirred until it started to sweat before adding the liquids.

                  I also added about 1/2c finely shredded parm since I didn't have a rind, and I think that blended pretty well to add some richness.


                  • Kent
                    Made this last week. I used half the amount of olive oil and rough chopped the veggies. I also added three vine ripened tomatoes, chopped into smallish pieces. It was delicious!
                    • Gourmet Mama
                      Gourmet Mama
                      Great sounding recipe! I think this is something my whole family would eat (and that's rare!), so I'll have to try it.

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