An Italian classic that originated as a vehicle for leftovers, minestrone soup is now typically cooked with fresh vegetables, garlic and, most traditionally, Cranberry Beans.

Prep time: 45 min

Cook time: 120 min

Total time: 165 min

Minestrone with Cranberry Beans
Copyright Recipe © 2015 Woodland Foods


Makes 6 servings

  • 1 1/4 Cups Cranberry Beans

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 1 Medium Onion, diced

  • 1 Small Fennel Bulb, diced

  • 2 Carrots, peeled and diced

  • 2 Celery Stalks, diced

  • 1 Teaspoon Mexican Oregano

  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced

  • 2 Medium Zucchini, diced

  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste

  • 3 Cups Water

  • 28 Fluid Ounces Chicken Broth

  • 1 (14-1/2 Ounce) Can Petite Diced Tomatoes, with juices

  • 1/2 Cup Uncooked Small Pasta, such as ditalini, orzo or small shells

  • 2 Cups Fresh Spinach, packed

  • Kosher Sea Salt Flakes

  • Chopped Fresh Basil, (optional)

  • Grated Parmesan Cheese, (optional)


  1. Carefully sort beans and rinse thoroughly. Soak beans in three times their volume of cold water for 6 to 8 hours.

  2. Drain beans and add fresh water to cover beans by 3 inches. Bring water to simmer, and cook beans, uncovered, until tender, approximately 1-1/2 hours. Drain.

  3. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, carrots and celery, and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add oregano and garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add zucchini, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

  4. Add tomato paste, and stir to cover vegetables. Add water, broth and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

  5. Add cooked cranberry beans, and continue simmering 30 minutes.

  6. Add pasta, return to a simmer and cook as specified on pasta package, until al dente.

  7. Remove from heat, and stir in spinach until wilted. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

  8. Serve garnished with basil and Parmesan cheese.