Serves 4


  • 1/2 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup dried red beans, soaked overnight
  • 2-1/2 quarts cold water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 head of escarole, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 lb fresh string beans
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 small can plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 lb pasta (small cut, your choice)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put the pre-soaked beans in a heavy pot, cover with water, and cook for 1½ hours or until the beans are tender. Strain and set aside. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion with the olive oil until the onion is transparent, adding the carrots, potatoes, celery, and escarole. Simmer at a low heat for ten minutes, stirring gently, mixing the vegetables as they cook. Add the water, tomatoes, peas, zucchini, string beans, and the cooked white and red beans. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, add the pasta, and cook for ten minutes. Take note: it may be necessary to add more water to keep the pasta and vegetables well covered. Serve in your favorite bowl with the grated parmesan cheese on the side.
  2. Recipes for Minestrone are based on interpretations which vary not only from region to region in Italy, but also from restaurant to restaurant. Other variations depend upon the prevailing regional produce and what the cook has available. It customarily implies vegetables in the soup, accompanied by a starchy supplement such as small pastina, cubed potatoes, dried beans, or rice. This hearty soup will serve you well as a start to your meal as this winter season approaches. Buon Appetito!