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This minestrone is my go-to meal when I want to make something healthy but also hearty. Minestrone is one of the few meat-free meals that I can prepare for my family without them noticing its absence. This dish has plenty of protein with all of the delicious cannellini beans. I love that I can throw this minestrone together inside an hour without having to cook it all day long.
This minestrone recipe makes a lot of soup, so you are going to need a large pot. One of my favorite things in my kitchen is my enameled cast iron dutch oven. This soup is an excuse to pull it out and use it! It’s one of the pieces that I consider a “must-have” for feeding a larger-than-average family. Since it holds 6 quarts, I am always able to make enough soup, sauce, chili, or whatever to feed my family of 7. Plus, it looks beautiful sitting on the stove!
This hearty, meat-free soup is wonderful any time of year for a delicious, healthy meal! Try serving with some crusty bread and a side salad.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 2-3 gold potatoes, peeled, diced
- 1 bulb of fennel, diced
- 2 15-oz cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 30-oz can diced tomatoes
- 8 cups chicken stock (substitute vegetable stock to make this vegetarian)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed, rolled and sliced thin (substitute kale if desired)
- 2 cups tubetti/ditalini pasta
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt & pepper, to taste
In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the olive oil. Add onion, garlic, celery, potatoes, and fennel. Cook, stirring, until no longer firm.
Add beans, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Add oregano. Lightly salt & pepper. Stir. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
In a separate saucepan, cook the pasta according to directions until al dente. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
Stir the swiss chard into the simmering soup. Add the red wine vinegar. Taste and season with salt & pepper again as needed.
To serve, spoon some pasta into a bowl and top with hot soup.