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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC


Tuscan Minestrone


Warming and satisfying, it is a meal in itself - chockfull of the fruits of the earth: herbs and aromatics, beans, mixed leafy greens and vegetables, and potatoes. In Italian minestrone means “big soup” and big it is. This recipe makes a mammoth amount to feed a crowd, to nurse over a few days, or to freeze for another time.


Serve minestrone with whole grain schiacciata or crackers and dust with miso parmigiano. It makes a splendid lunch or supper. It is a godsend when the mercury dips or when you feel rundown. All its ingredients fall low on the food chain and are very low carbon emitters.


Prep 8 hours to soak beans plus 1 hour                         

Cook 1 hour                                                        

Makes 10 quarts


1 pound dried white beans, soaked overnight or 3 15-ounce cans of no-sodium white beans, rinsed

4 fresh sage leaves

6 cloves garlic - 3 left whole, 3 cut in a medium dice

1 large red onion, cut in a large dice

No-sodium vegetable broth or dry vermouth to deglaze pan

3 stalks celery, cut in a large dice

2 carrots, cut in a large dice

1 pound green beans, cut in bite-sized pieces

1 pound mixed green and yellow squash, sliced lengthwise, and cut in ¼-inch pieces

2 medium russet potatoes, cut in a large dice

3 quarts no-sodium veggie broth or water, as needed

1 14-ounce carton whole or chopped tomatoes

1/2 small savoy cabbage, cut in ¼-inch ribbons

1 bunch lacinato kale, cut in ¼-inch ribbons

1 large bunch Swiss chard, cut in ¼-inch ribbons

1-2 tablespoons tomato paste, or as needed (see below)

Fistful of fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped

Grinds of black pepper to taste

1 heaping teaspoon aka (red) miso paste for each individual serving, or to taste

Garnish with miso-parmigiano


Rinse the dried beans and soak overnight in an ample amount of cool water. Drain, transfer to a pot, cover with 2 inches of water. Add the fresh sage and 3 whole garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to gently simmer until the beans are tender but intact, usually about 30 minutes but older beans may take longer. White beans, especially cannellini, are fragile, so keep the simmer low to prevent the beans from falling apart. When they are ready, remove the pot from the heat, discard the sage and garlic, but leave the beans and broth.


In a 10-quart soup pot sweat the onion, carrot, and celery over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. In 5 to 10 minutes the vegetables will release their liquid and begin to soften.  If the mix dries and begins to adhere to the pan, lower the heat and deglaze the pan with a few tablespoons of broth or dry vermouth.


Stir in the minced garlic, the tomatoes and tomato liquid. If using whole tomatoes, use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break them up.  Add the squashes, green beans, and potatoes. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Add the beans and bean broth, stirring them gently.  Fill the 10-quart pot two-thirds with broth or water. Bring the soup to a boil and immediately lower to a simmer.


Add the ribbons of savoy cabbage and lacinato kale. When all the vegetables are nearly tender, add the Swiss chard and cook for a final 10 minutes. Minestrone is not at all a tomato soup, but if all the greens have turned the broth greenish, add a tablespoon or more of tomato paste. The color of the broth should be neither reddish nor greenish but a warm orange.


Sprinkle in the chopped fresh parsley. Season to taste with grinds of black pepper.


Ladle the minestrone into warmed bowls. Add a good spoonful of aka miso, stirring it to dissolve fully. Garnish with a sprinkle of miso parmigiano and pass it around the table.

Tuscan Minestrone

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