My Recipe Box

Minestrone with Green Beans and Fennel


Serves 4-6

Yields about 8 cups

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 98

There's nothing like a warming bowl of soup on a chilly day. For a vegetarian version of this feel-good hearty vegetable soup, use vegetable broth—preferably homemade.

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small fennel bulb, quartered, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-1/2-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup dried ditalini pasta or small elbows
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for sprinkling
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the garlic begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes; discard the garlic. Raise the heat to medium high, add the green beans, fennel, and 3/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until the beans and fennel begin to soften and brown in places, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the broth and the tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil. Add the cannellini beans and pasta and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the pasta and green beans are completely tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Stir in the cheese and basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with additional cheese.

Serving Suggestions

Start the meal off with a simple salad and serve with crusty bread.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 220, Fat (kcal): 9, Fat Calories (g): 80, Saturated Fat (g): 1.5, Protein (g): 10, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5, Carbohydrates (mg): 27, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1.5, Sodium (g): 510, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 6,

Photo: Scott Phillips

An easy and relatively quick healthful soup but it seems to be missing something. Will try again with some modifications to kick it up a bit.

This is an excellent recipe and easy to fix.

Absolutely delicious and minimal prep work. I added fresh turkey sausage, sauteed in a little olive oil and then drained, to the final step. Also added more broth, as suggested by another reviewer. Definitely a "make again" recipe.

Very good and very easy. Turned out a little thick for my taste - so next time I'll add more broth. Otherwise - GREAT!

Hearty and satisfying. The green beans kept most of their bright color, making a pretty contrast with the red tomatoes. My garlic-phobe husband poslished off a second helping, declaring this a "good soup, Honey." However, I neglected to stir the pasta, and it clumped together. The Parmesan had the consistency of melted plastic. Also, the soup seemed a little greasy. I'll definitely make this soup again, but next time I may reduce the olive oil. And i'll replace the parmesan with cottage cheese, which was delicious in the warmed-over soup next day. (When you shop for ingredients, you may find ditalini pasta labeled as "salad macaroni.")

I love this. I made a double batch and froze it in single size servings. Really yummy with garlic bread on a cold autumn day.

Very nice meal and,easy to make. I acompany with garlic bread.

This was really delicious; I like the flavor the fennel gives to the soup--a nice change. I didn't have the garlic or the basil, so I skipped them and it was still very, very good. I could take or leave the cheese.

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