Rating: 3.88 stars
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1

This version of the Italian classic soup Minestrone is packed with leeks, potatoes, beans, zucchini, spinach and orzo, making it perfect for a hearty lunch or supper on a cold winter's night. To make a vegetarian version use vegetable rather than chicken broth. Top each bowl with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for a zesty burst of flavor.

Kathleen Desmond Stang
Source: EatingWell Magazine, Holiday Issue 1996

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Recipe Summary test

total:
45 mins
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add broth, water, potato, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

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  • Add orzo and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 5 minutes. Add beans and zucchini and continue to cook, partially covered, until the vegetables and pasta are tender, about 8 minutes more.

  • Stir in spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season the soup with vinegar. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan.

Tips

Tip: To clean leeks, trim and discard green tops and white roots. Split leeks lengthwise and place in plenty of water. Swish the leeks in the water to release any sand or soil. Drain. Repeat until no grit remains.

Nutrition Facts

299 calories; protein 18.2g; carbohydrates 54.5g; dietary fiber 13.8g; sugars 7.1g; fat 4.8g; saturated fat 0.9g; cholesterol 2.2mg; vitamin a iu 11989IU; vitamin c 62mg; folate 374.8mcg; calcium 250.5mg; iron 7.1mg; magnesium 140mg; potassium 1683.1mg; sodium 1080.3mg; thiamin 0.2mg.
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Reviews (8)

8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
03/12/2021
I loved this quick, easy and flavorful soup! I would never have thought of adding Orzo, or wilting my greens in it, and I loved the addition of adding apple cider vinegar in the end. If you are used to a high salt high fat diet, then you may not like the addition of the greens or apple cider vinegar but I love the flavor, and the texture of the orzo and beans together. It made the soup stand out! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/24/2020
This would was delicious and hearty just like its name! I added a squeeze of lemon to every bowl! I also did add the vinegar in the recipe. Highly recommend! Read More
Rating: 1 stars
01/11/2021
Husband and I found the recipe lacking in flavor, so I went ahead and added the two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, which rendered the dish inedible. In hindsight, two tablespoons seemed a rather high amount for a dish this size. Read More
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Rating: 2 stars
01/27/2021
The extreme disappointment of this soup can be avoided by eliminating one fatal ingredient- the cider vinegar. You might be able to season with a distilled white vinegar instead and still maintain that savory soup taste, but only use about half as much. The cider vinegar gives a fermented, sweet, and almost rotten taste to the whole dish. Nobody in my family would eat it. You’ll need to season with salt and pepper to taste, possibly add more broth/water, and be careful not to overcook the orzo even a few seconds. Serve immediately or put it in the fridge quick to stop it from continuing to cook, as the whole soup can get slimy quick. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
03/04/2021
I won’t be making it again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/27/2020
Did not add the vinegar, but it was absolutely delicious...My Husband is not a big soup eater, but he went back for seconds with this one...Thank-you :) Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
03/05/2021
I began making Hearty Minestrone before reading the reviews that said it was inedible! Oh, well! I did use information in the reviews to make the recipe delicious. I made it a little less healthy by using 2 T olive oil instead of 2 t. Do you really need to limit healthy fat that much? I also used 1 t. kosher salt instead of 1/4 t. I did NOT use the apple cider vinegar because everyone seemed to hate that. Instead, I offered parmesan and bottles of premium olive oil and balsamic vinegar to sprinkle at the table. I used a bit of balsamic on my soup and thought it added a certain je ne sais quoi. People who say the recipe is "slimy" may be referring to the large quantity of spinach. It does have the texture of spinach and, if you don't like that, there might be a problem. You could use kale, escarole, or other greens. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/05/2021
I love this recipe! I never thought of minestrone as a white soup. Lots of amazing ingredients come together so well here. Not difficult to make, but takes some time. Prep all of your ingredients so they are ready, then get comfortable with a good read a timer....add, stir, read some more. I added a bit more liquid, as the soup got to be a bit thick. Delicious. Read More