Comfort minestrone

Comfort minestrone with Primary Beans

Creator notes

Minestrone has stood the test of time in Italian kitchens for a reason – it's vegetable-heavy yet indulgent and complex. All you need is the veggies you have access to at the moment and a few quality pantry ingredients to create that long-simmered vibe with minimal effort. My keys to the richness? From-scratch beans in their broth, high quality stock, and pasta cooked right in the pot. I also like the depth of flavor Italian sausage adds, but it can be made vegetarian or vegan with only a few simple substitutions.

– Lesley


Comfort minestrone with Primary Beans

Featured bean: Ojo de Cabra

Other beans to try: BayoSangre de Toro

Take 'em from dried to cooked with our guide


Print recipe here



  • ½ lb dried meaty firm beans like Ojo de Cabra, Bayo, or Sangre de Toro
  • A couple sprigs of thyme and rosemary and bay leaf (for flavoring beans)
  • 2 links spicy Italian sausage
  • Extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • ½ large white onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard, stems diced and set aside, leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups homemade or store bought bone broth (chicken or beef work well), or water
  • Parmigiano Reggiano rind (optional)
  • ½ lb high quality pasta in a bite sized shape like macaroni, conchiglie, or ditalini (preferably bronze extruded)
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving


      Prepare the beans: Combine beans and flavorings in a pressure cooker (or cooking vessel of your choice). Cover with water and cook according to our bean cooking guide. Once tender, remove aromatics and set aside in their broth.

      Cook veggies and sausage: Remove sausage from casings, break apart, and brown in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a drizzle of olive oil. Once sausage is cooked, add chopped onions, carrots, and celery and cook until soft. Add chard stalks and garlic and sauté another couple of minutes. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper.

      Simmer tomatoes and beans: Add tomatoes and their juice, crushing with your hands. Stir in cooked beans with some of their broth, stock, and  Parmigiano Reggiano rind (if using). Simmer about 20 minutes to let the flavors meld.

      Cook pasta and chard: Stir in pasta and chopped chard leaves and cook, stirring occasionally until pasta is al dente, taking care to not overcook. (You may need to add a little water if the soup gets too thick). Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with grated Parmesan and more olive oil.

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