Italian Winter Minestrone Soup

Italian Winter Hearty Minestrone Soup – Healthy, Whole Grain, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Vegan Recipe





Medium |  Servings: 5 |  Ready In: 25 minutes |  Yield: 8 cups

Hearty minestrone soup brings simple Italian flavor to whatever vegetables are in season.  This winter version  uses hearty Swiss chard, potatoes, and red kidney beans.  You can “clean out the fridge” with any vegetables in this fat-free, vegan recipe.  Serve with Big ‘Ole Italian Chickpea Salad, Kale Waldorf Salad, or Red Quinoa Citrus Salad.


  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or 1 vegetable bullion cube)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pasta shells
  • 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How it’s Done

Preheat a medium pot over medium heat.

To prepare the Italian Winter Minestrone Soup: While the pot pre-heats, dice the onion, celery, and carrot.  Add the diced veggies to the preheated pot. Cover and let sweat 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
For the Swiss chard, tear the leaves away from the stalks.  Dice the chard stalks.
Add the diced chard stalk to the onion mixture and cook another 2 minutes, to soften.  Chop the chard leaves and reserve for later. 
When the veggies are done sweating, add the vegetable broth, 2 cups of water, diced tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5-7 minutes.

After 5-7 minutes, bring the soup to a rolling boil.  Add the pasta shells and cook for about 10 minutes (or 2-3 minutes less than the box’s cooking directions).
When pasta is tender, add the beans and chopped chard leaves.  Turn off the heat, stir the soup, and then cover. Let sit until chard has wilted, just a couple of minutes.  Taste to adjust seasoning.

Serve with a warm hug.

Serve with Big ‘Ole Italian Chickpea Salad, Kale Waldorf Salad, or Red Quinoa Citrus Salad.

Yield: 8 cups

Chef Katie’s Tips:

Any Dark Greens: Swiss chard is just one of the dark winter greens that goes well in this soup.  You can use any of your favorites, though, like spinach, arugula, collards, or kale. If using kale, though, don’t use the stems in the soup.  They tend to have a bitter taste after cooking in a soup.

Gluten-Free: To keep it gluten-free, simply swap out for gluten-free pasta.  You can use brown-rice shells, chickpea macaroni, or lentil pasta.

Chef’s Homage: This recipe is based on a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.  Her version uses pancetta, beef broth, parmesan, and loads of olive oil.  My version is oil-free, plant-based vegan.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (about 2 cups)

Calories 228.63
Calories From Fat (5%) 11.54
% Daily Value

  • Total Fat 1.38g 2%
  • Saturated Fat 0.15g <1%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 393.39mg 16%
  • Potassium 967.79mg 28%
  • Total Carbohydrates 46.65g 16%
  • Fiber 12.6g 50%
  • Sugar 10.24g
  • Protein 11.43g 23%
  • Calcium 26.28mg 3%
  • Iron 105.79mg 588%
  • Vitamin A 5615.13IU 112%
  • Vitamin C 5428.47mg 9047

Watch to Learn More:

Shopping and Gear List

  • McCORMICK Culinary Thyme Leaves
  • Delallo Organic Whole Wheat Pasta Shells No. 91, 1 Lb
  • Edward & Sons Low Sodium Veggie Bouillon Cubes, 2.2-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)


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