Minestrone2Yesterday, I got the cooking urge and wanted to find a healthy, hearty winter vegetable soup. A quick search on the web, et voila!

A delicious recipe I could start with and adapt for my own tastes as I usually do. This soup is literally packed with fresh veggies like chard, sweet potato, tomato, carrot, onion and celery.

It’s hearty and healthy, and will definitely hit the spot!

Plus, with the cold snap we’ve been having lately, it was a warm bowl of comfort on a cold winter’s night.

As an added bonus: because of the fresh rosemary, parsley and garlic I used, cooking it made the whole house smell amazing!

Adapted from foodnetwork.com and tested in my kitchen

Total time: 55 minutes, prep: 15 minutes, cook: 40 minutes, makes 4-6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 small carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 3 “smallish” garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed (you could use a russet potato, but I prefer sweet potatoes)
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed (I substituted low-sodium red kidney beans)
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium beef broth (I substituted low-sodium chicken broth)
  • 1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind (buy a small chunk and grate it to garnish the soup when served)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Minestrone 1Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the Swiss chard and potato; sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in the whole beans and parsley.

Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Search the soup pot for the Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off the stem) and discard these. Don’t forget this step, or someone will get an icky surprise in the bowl!

Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I overdid the cheese a little, as usual) and serve. I paired this with a glass of Hanna Merlot (which is delicious).


Nutrition Information

Calories per serving: about 375; Total Fat: 15 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Protein: 19 grams; Total Carbohydrates: 43 grams; Sugar: 10 grams; Fiber: 10 grams; Cholesterol: 19 milligrams; Sodium: 1,391 milligrams (if you need to follow a low-sodium diet for health reasons, make sure you use low-sodium versions of all canned ingredients and broth, and consider skipping the pancetta).

Know someone who loves healthy soups? Please share this recipe!

Do you have a soup recipe you love that you’d like to share? Leave a reply in the comments below.

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