Minestrone is sort of a catch-all Italian term for soup, but it's always a welcome meal, especially when it's fortified, as it is here, with plenty of vegetables and protein-packed chickpeas. If you want a little more bite, consider substituting mildly bitter escarole for the chard.

Deborah Madison
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September 1998


Recipe Summary

1 hr 10 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add leeks, celery, onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add zucchini, potato and garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more. Add water and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

  • Add pasta and chard; cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and peas and simmer until the pasta is just tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Season with pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Top with Parmesan and parsley (or basil). Serve immediately.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat before continuing.

Nutrition Facts

216 calories; protein 8g; carbohydrates 31.1g; dietary fiber 5.4g; sugars 3.6g; fat 7.6g; saturated fat 1.6g; cholesterol 4.3mg; vitamin a iu 2925.7IU; vitamin c 22.7mg; folate 66.8mcg; calcium 115.8mg; iron 2.6mg; magnesium 75.1mg; potassium 504.9mg; sodium 700.2mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (2)

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6 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
Delicious AND healthy I agree with a prior review that suggested using chicken broth for at least half of the liquid... I used the fat free low sodium. I also added a bag of frozen shelled edamame to the soup....A protein addition that tastes great as well. I added a 16 oz. Bag of chopped frozen chard or kale and cooked soup as directed. Yummy!! Pros: Lots of veggies easily adapts to revisions or additions. Cons: None noted... Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Delicious and Comforting! This recipe makes a tasty filling soup that still feels virtuous. I added a parmesan rind to the broth and subbed white beans for chickpeas and used shredded kohlrabi leaves for the greens (because that's what we had) and we three generations found it very tasty. My 9 year old daughter asked for more! A keeper. Pros: Easy Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Extremely bland Bland despite adding extra garlic and garlic salt and using vegetable broth after reading reviews Pros: healthy easy Cons: bland Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Be prepared to doctor this one up I used leftover veggie broth and chicken broth (about 5 cups total) and three cups of water. Because I used broth I didn't use as much salt. In addition I used yams (because I'm not eating white starches at this time) and I don't like chick peas so I opted for lima beans. Lastly I had farmers market mustard greens that I had blanched and froze so I used those over the chard. Excellent! This is a great foundation recipe so you can interchange ingredients as necessary. Also use some of your cooking skill and think about your palate. If you like salter food add salt if you like spicier food add spice etc. I will be making my version of this recipe again! Pros: Great foundation recipe Cons: Have to add things Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Blandest Soup Ever Substitute chicken broth for the water and you have MUCH richer and pallatable creation. Pros: Good veggies Cons: VERY VERY bland Read More
Rating: 4 stars
A great canvas for improvisation I just love the idea of green minestrone and I'm kinda jealous I never thought of it before! I skipped the greens to insure that our kid would eat some too. So you might say I made white minestrone. I chose to replace the zucchini because I think it gets too mushy in soups and I replaced the frozen peas because my family are not that found of them. I instead used half a medium celeriac my kid's favorite veggie and a small leftover piece of rutabaga. I grated the potato for a thicker soup. I used half vegetable stock/water and doubled the liquid ratio to fit my family's preferences. I used white kidney beans because that's what I had in the pantry. Great color. Great taste! A definite keeper. Pros: Low fat easy quick chock-full of vegetable no tomatoes Cons: A bit thin with water Read More