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




Ingredient Checklist


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.

  • 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.


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.

Reviews (4)

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