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Summer Minestrone with Shell Beans

From Lynne Wilson


2 slices bacon, diced (or 1 ½ tbsp. oil)
¾ cup onion, coarsely chopped
6 cups Beef Broth
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced (1 - 1 ½ tsp).
2 cups fresh shell beans, shelled
1 bay leaf
¾ cups green beans, ½-inch pieces
½ cup carrots, peeled, ¼-inch
½ cup celery, sliced
¾ cup potatoes, peeled, ½-inch diced
2 cups zucchini, ½-inch diced pieces
1 ½ cups toma toes, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped or ½ tsp. dried (or more to taste)
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped (preferably Italian flat leaf)
2 cups cabbage or escarole, chopped
½ cup small-shell pasta (or elbow macaroni)
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan or Romano cheese, Grated


Cook the bacon in a 6-quart pot until a little fat cooks out, or heat the oil. Add the onion and saute until soft. Add the broth, tomato paste, garlic, shell beans, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes or until the beans are very soft. Remove the bay leaf and add the green beans, carrots, celery, potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, and parsley.

Return to a boil and stir in the cabbage or escarole and pasta. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese on the side.