Quick Minestrone

Quick Minestrone

Minestrone doesn't have to be a long-simmering project. Adding pancetta means that the soup develops full flavor quickly, and the vegetables stay tender and tasty. To jump-start the recipe, use a food processor to get the soup base going, and then start prepping the vegetables. Canned beans are great for this recipe, but don't use other canned or frozen vegetables here -- the key to a good minestrone is the fusion of the fresh vegetable flavors.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Make the soup base: In a medium-size heavy soup pot, combine the oil and pancetta over medium-low heat to slowly render the fat and cook the pancetta, stirring occasionally.
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the onion or shallots, celery and carrot. Pulse until finely chopped. Add to pot with cooked pancetta and adjust heat so the vegetables soften and cook without browning, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Add the other vegetables: Stirring after each addition, add the kale or cabbage, celery, carrots, zucchini, beans and tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Step 4

    Add the stock and 1 cup water (or, if you prefer a soup that’s not as thick, add additional stock to taste, up to 2 cups). Add the herb sprigs. Cover, raise the heat and bring to a full boil. Uncover, lower the heat to a bubbly simmer, and cook 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove the herb sprigs.
  5. Step 5

    Serve in bowls, drizzling a little olive oil and sprinkling a big pinch of cheese over each serving.