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Chunky Summer Minestrone

Typically, minestrone is a hearty, wintry soup thickened with lots of beans and pasta. This version, from Trevor Kaufman, is much lighter. The peas help make it summery; for convenience this recipe calls for frozen peas, but fresh ones would be terrific too--just let them simmer for a few extra minutes.

Plus: More Soup Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 leeks, coarsely chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 quarts cold water
  • 8 small zucchini (about 2 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 19-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh thyme leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. In a stockpot, heat 1/3 cup of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the wine, leeks, celery and bay leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Add the water and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the stock into a large saucepan and discard the vegetables. Keep the stock warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil until shimmering. Add the zucchini and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini soften, about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and the cannellini beans to the vegetable stock and simmer until the zucchini are very tender, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and parsley and simmer for 1 minute longer; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with the thyme, Parmesan shavings and a drizzle of olive oil.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

A bright, straightforward Italian white, such as a Soave, will act as a foil for the mix of flavors here.

Contributed By Published June 2004

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