Green Vegetable Minestrone

Green Vegetable Minestrone

Minestrone is sort of a catch-all Italian term for soup, but it’s always a welcome meal, especially when it’s fortified, as it is here, with plenty of vegetables and protein-packed chickpeas. If you want a little more bite, consider substituting mildly bitter escarole for the chard.

From EatingWell: September 1998, EatingWell One-Pot Meals
Yield: 8 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 45
Total Time: 70


  1. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  2. 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, quartered, washed and sliced
  3. 2 small stalks celery, diced
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  6. 2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  7. 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  8. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  9. 8 cups water
  10. 1 cup whole-wheat short pasta, such as elbows, bowties or shells
  11. 8 cups chopped green chard leaves
  12. 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  13. 1 cup frozen peas
  14. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  15. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  16. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add leeks, celery, onion and 1┌2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add zucchini, potato and garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more. Add water and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add pasta and chard; cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and peas and simmer until the pasta is just tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Season with pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Top with Parmesan and parsley (or basil). Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat before continuing.


Nutrition Per Serving: 217 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 4 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein; 5 g fiber; 686 mg sodium; 502 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (58% daily value), Vitamin C (38% dv), Magnesium (19% dv), Folate (17% dv), Iron (15% dv).

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat