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Minestrone with Black-Eyed Peas and Kidney Beans

The Good News The fiber-rich beans in this soup make it satisfying enough to be a main course. This version gets an extra healthy boost from cabbage, a completely underrated vegetable that's loaded with fiber as well as vitamins A and C.

slideshow  More Healthy Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek—white and tender green parts thinly sliced, 1 dark top reserved
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound Savoy or other green cabbage, coarsely shredded
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 parsley sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 ounces penne
  • 1/2 cup shredded basil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. In a pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the pancetta, onion, celery, garlic and sliced leek and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, until the vegetables are softened, 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook until slightly wilted, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas and water; bring to a boil. Wrap the parsley, bay leaf and thyme in the reserved leek top and secure with kitchen twine. Add to the pot.
  2. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat until the black-eyed peas are tender, 45 minutes. Discard the herbs. Add the kidney beans and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
  3. Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente. Drain and cool under running water. Slice the penne crosswise into 1/4-inch rings.
  4. In a nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the penne in a single layer and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden, 5 minutes. Drain the penne rings on paper towels.
  5. Stir the pasta and basil into the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of the cheese and serve.


One Serving 361 cal, 14 gm fat, 3.5 gm sat fat, 43 gm carb, 11 gm fiber.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published November 2009

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