Go Back
+ servings
Homemade Winter Minestrone is a healthy and hearty winter soup full of cold weather favorites like kale, squash, beans, bacon, pasta, and savory beef brot
Print

Winter Minestrone

Homemade Winter Minestrone is a healthy and hearty winter soup full of cold weather favorites like kale, squash, beans, bacon, pasta, and savory beef brot
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 244kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bacon sliced bacon or bacon ends and pieces, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 medium sized carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks with leaves diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 cups beef stock homemade beef stock is far and away the best
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small winter squash carnival or butternut recommended, peeled and chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 cups kale cut into small pieces, stems removed
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • salt and pepper as desired
  • 14 ounce can canellini beans drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup tiny uncooked pasta
  • additional grated parmesan for serving

Instructions

Stove top directions:

  • In a heavy bottom stockpot over medium high heat, cook the bacon pieces until crispy. If you have about excess oil from the bacon drippings, keep about 2 tablespoons and discard the rest. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir, and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add beef stock, water, squash, kale, rosemary, bay leaf, and parmesan rind to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low so that soup remains at a mellow simmer, cover with the lid cracked, and cook for about 60 minutes.
  • Remove parmesan rind, bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Prior to serving, add beans and pasta and continue cooking until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Pasta can also be added separately (see note below). Serve with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Slow Cooker directions:

  • In a heavy bottom stockpot over medium high heat, cook the bacon pieces until crispy. If you have about excess oil from the bacon drippings, keep about 2 tablespoons and discard the rest. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker.
  • Add beef stock, water, squash, kale, rosemary, bay leaf, and parmesan rind to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for about 60 minutes or low for 4-6 hours.
  • Remove parmesan rind, bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Prior to serving, add beans and pasta and cook soup on high until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Pasta can also be added separately (see note below). Serve with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Instant Pot directions:

  • Using SAUTE mode on your Instant Pot, cook the bacon pieces until crispy. If you have about excess oil from the bacon drippings, keep about 2 tablespoons and discard the rest. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir, and cook another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add beef stock, water, squash, kale, rosemary, bay leaf, and parmesan rind to the Instant Pot. Close and seal lid and cook on HIGH PRESSURE (or SOUP setting) for about 15 minutes. Release pressure and check the squash. If it isn't soft, cook for another 5 minutes under high pressure.
  • Remove parmesan rind, bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Prior to serving, add beans and pasta, change setting to SAUTE and allow to simmer 6-8 minutes until pasta is al dente. Pasta can also be added separately (see note below). Serve with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Notes

Pro tips to consider when making this recipe:

  • You can either use the rind from a block of parmesan where you've already used all of the cheese and only have the rind remaining, or most stores like Whole Foods will simply just sell you the rind.  
  • Winter squash like butternut is easily found pre-cut at the store, so feel free to use that option if you like super easy.
  • If you're using a whole winter squash like butternut, carnival, or acorn, you can either peel and chop it raw, or you can roast it whole for 30 minutes in a 350 degree F oven to make it a bit softer and more manageable. 
  • It's also okay to use frozen cubed squash.
  • If you like crisp bacon, remove it from the pan once cooked (leaving only the grease) and do not add it back to the soup until you're ready to serve.
  • The pasta cooks in the soup but will get mushy and soft if not eaten right away. If you don't like mushy pasta, consider cooking the pasta separately and adding a handful to your serving of soup.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 794mg | Potassium: 697mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5519IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 2mg