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Minestrone Genovese

Soups and Salads

Serves 6

From the word,”minestra”, meaning soup in Italian, this classic vegetable soup is made throughout every region of Italy. This recipe is from my family’s roots of Genoa, Italy. All the flavors of your garden are captured in a steaming bowl of Minestra.



Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot, then sauté the salt pork in the oil. Add the onion, celery and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the kidney beans, potatoes, chard, cabbage and leek and continue to sauté a little more. Add the water and/or chicken broth. Add the green beans, peas, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for one hour. Add pasta and cook for 30 minutes more.


Remove soup from heat, add the pesto, let stand for two minutes, then stir well and serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.



  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • Small piece of salt pork, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups kidney beans (may mix together 1 cup fava beans)
  • 1 cup peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded savoy cabbage
  • 1 leek, thinly slice white part only
  • 2 quarts water (may add chicken broth also)
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup peas
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 cup Pesto alla Genovese
  • Parmesan cheese