Tested till perfect Hearty Minestrone
Photo: Hearty Minestrone
Photography by Hasnain Dattu

Hearty Minestrone

This meal-in-a-bowl from our November 2005 "Loaf & Ladle" story will disappear quickly, but if you do have leftovers, adjust consistency with a little liquid.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: November 2005

  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Portion size 8



  • 1 tbsp 1tbspextra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1large oniononions, chopped
  • 3 3celery stalkcelery stalks, sliced
  • 3 3carrotcarrots, sliced
  • 3 3cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 2bay leafbay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspeach salt and pepper
  • 1 1can (5.5 oz/56 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 1smoked ham hocksmoked ham hocks, (about 1lb/500 g)
  • 1 1large potatopotatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1sweet red peppersweet red peppers, diced
  • 1 1small zucchinizucchinis
  • 1 cup 1cupsmall pasta, (such as garganelli, radiatori or macaroni)
  • 1 cup 1cuprinsed drained canned red kidney beanred kidney beans
  • 1 cup 1cuprinsed drained canned white kidney beanwhite kidney beans


  • 2-1/2 cups 2-1/2cupscubed trimmed Italian bread
  • 3 tbsp 3tbspextra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspcoarsely cracked pepper
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Minestrone: In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat; fry onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper until softened, about 4 minutes.

Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add ham hock and 8 cups (2 L) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off foam. Add potato and red pepper; simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

Remove ham hock and let cool enough to handle. Discard skin, fat and bone. Using fork or fingers, shred ham and return to soup. Discard bay leaves. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate, uncovered, until cold. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days.)

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; slice crosswise. Add pasta, red and white kidney beans and zucchini to soup; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is tender but firm, about 12 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with pesto and crostini. Serve with Parmesan Crisps.

Crostini: In bowl, toss together bread, oil and pepper; spread on rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven, tossing once, until golden and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool; store in airtight container for up to 24 hours.)

Nutritional Information Per serving: about

cal 361 pro 12g total fat 18g sat. fat 4g
carb 40g fibre 7g chol 10mg sodium 715mg

% RDI:

calcium 13 iron 20 vit A 81 vit C 68
folate 34
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