Chef John's Minestrone Soup

55 Reviews 3 Pics
  • Prep

    20 m
  • Cook

    1 h 25 m
  • Ready In

    1 h 45 m
Chef John
Recipe by  Chef John

“This is the type of dish I never make the same way twice, but I hope you give this amazing minestrone recipe a try soon, but only once.”

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Adjust Servings

Original recipe yields 6 servings



  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; cook and stir until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in onions and celery; cook and stir until onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Pour chicken broth, water, and plum tomatoes into the pancetta and onion mixture. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Stir cranberry beans, cabbage, garbanzo beans, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and 2 teaspoons salt into broth mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook until cranberry beans are tender, adding more water as needed if the soup becomes too thick, about 45 minutes.
  4. Stir in Swiss chard and simmer until softened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Stir in pasta and increase heat to medium-high and simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and Italian parsley.

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Reviews (55)

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Wow. What a big soup indeed. Not only did my husband offer the unprovoked, "this is the best soup I've ever had," there were clean bowls at the end of the meal- four of them. The significance? My children ate vegetables- and liked it. First of all, I'm one of these cooks that shamefully can't leave well enough alone and cannot, will not, has not, ever left a recipe as is. It's not in my genes. Graciously, Chef John gives us all creative license in his video to waver from the recipe and I did. So, let me tell you what I changed, mostly due to what I had on hand and wanted to use up, and also because I'm pretty sure I was in the wrong grocery store to find "cranberry beans." I used frozen chopped onions- (I know, but it's what I had) two 14 oz cans diced tomatoes, 1 can small white navy beans in lieu of the cranberries, and a large bunch of romaine lettuce instead of swiss chard and cabbage. I refused to pay $4.99 for the chard and I forgot to buy the cabbage. I did throw in about a half cut of large carrot dices that held up well, and fresh green beans cut into 1/2 in pieces. Lovely. That being said, everything else I left untouched- except- I did cut a bit of the parm rind and throw it in while it simmered- awesome call. It was amazing. We had a beautiful loaf of three cheese garlic bread from our local bakery to dredge up the beautiful sauce between hearty bites. I will be placing this recipe in my PERMANENT collection, and you should too.



This soup is excellent! I made as written with the exception of the beans. I couldn't find cranberry beans and I don't really care for garbanzo beans. In their place I used light red kidney beans and cannellini beans. Also, I never cook my pasta in the broth....I always cook it separate and add to the individual serving bowls. This helps the pasta not get mushy and soak up all of the broth if I want to save some for later or give some away. If I do give some away, I always give a bag of pasta to go with it! I will definitely be making this one again.



Excellent dish. Liked the pancetta and I would recommend adding more to the recipe. My husband who is Portugese loved this dish and even said his parents would have enjoyed. Grocery store unfamilar with cranberry beans but I looked it up on the internet and now know what they are. John excellect selection of spices as it has the right amount of spicyness. Highly recommend!

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Amount Per Serving (6 total)

  • Calories
  • 484 cal
  • 24%
  • Fat
  • 23 g
  • 35%
  • Carbs
  • 53.9 g
  • 17%
  • Protein
  • 17.9 g
  • 36%
  • Cholesterol
  • 16 mg
  • 5%
  • Sodium
  • 2084 mg
  • 83%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet



previous recipe:

Chef John's Ham and Potato Soup


next recipe:

Bek's Minestrone Soup