Meal-in-a-Bowl Minestrone

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups plus 1/4 cup water
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz) reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 cup small whole-wheat pasta (such as elbow macaroni)
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in chunks 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 can (15 oz) no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz broccoli rabe (see FYI), cut bite-size, or 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in chunks 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 oz green beans, cut in 1-in. pieces (1 cup)
  • 1 cup packed parsley leaves
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 1 lb plum ( Roma) tomatoes, chopped in 1/2-in. pieces (2 1/2 cups)


  1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a heavy 5- to 6-qt pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in onion; cover and cook 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tsp garlic; cook 30 seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add 4 cups water and the broth; bring to a boil. Add pasta and carrot; boil 5 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cannellini beans. Stir the rest into the pot along with broccoli rabe, zucchini and green beans. Return to a boil and boil 5 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, purée remaining cannellini beans with 5 teaspoons of oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic, 1/4 cup of water, parsley and cheese in a food processor or blender. Set aside.
  4. Remove the pot or Dutch oven from heat; stir tomatoes into soup. Stir in the parsley mixture or serve it alongside the soup.

FYI: Broccoli rabe stems cook tender, meaning that unlike collards and kale, you don't need to pull the leaves off the stems. Cut off (and discard) the stems just below the string or wire tie binding them. Remove the tie, and hold on to the bunch as long as you can while you chop the stalks and leaves. Wash well before cooking. A bunch of broccoli rabe usually weighs around one pound.


4 servings

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 327
Total Fat: 9g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 2mg
Sodium: 361mg
Total Carbohydrates: 51g
Dietary Fiber: 11g
Protein: 15g

From the food editors of Woman's Day