Recipe: Summer Minestrone

IMG_4971 All posts this week are inspired by Michael Pollan’s new book: Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. He includes four rather involved recipes in the book, which I’ll report back on some day after I try them. One of the overall messages of the book is that there is power and value in cooking for yourself and your family. On this, Pollan and I see eye to eye.

One of my favorite things to cook for my family are nutrient rich soups. This is a little tricky during the 90+ degree days of summer, but I’ve found that a little soup starter at the beginning of the meal is very nourishing, hydrating and eaten quickly because everyone is hungry. I plan to make a pot of soup each week throughout summer for dinner starters and my lunch. It’s also a great way to clear out the veggie bins of things that may be just past their prime.

Recipe: Summer Minestrone


  • 2T Olive Oil, Butter or Tallow
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 chopped Carrots
  • 2 chopped Celery Stalks
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 finely chopped Kale or Chard
  • 1 small chopped Potato
  • 1 chopped Summer Squash
  • 1 chopped Bell Pepper
  • 15-20oz diced Tomatoes
  • 1 fresh sprig Rosemary
  • 1 fresh sprig Oregano
  • 1 can drained, rinsed Kidney or Cannellini Beans
  • 1 cup dry Pasta, I used Orecchiette (optional)
  • 1qt organic Beef, Chicken or Veggie Broth
  • 2T chopped Italian Parsley
  • Splash of Red Wine Vinegar (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Shredded Parm for topper


  1. In large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Saute the onion, carrot, celery, garlic with a little salt until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add potato, bell pepper, and summer squash for two minutes.
  4. Add kale, tomatoes, rosemary sprig and oregano sprig.
  5. Add broth and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add pasta and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Remove rosemary and oregano sprigs.
  8. Add beans and Italian parsley.
  9. Add salt, pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar to taste.
  10. Top with shredded Parm and serve (not too hot if it is 90+ degrees out!)

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Michael Pollan quotes I Yin, a Chinese chef from 239 B.C. – “The transformation which occurs in the cauldron is quintessential and wondrous, subtle and delicate. The mouth cannot express it in words.”

Love that. Enjoy your cauldrons everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Recipe: Summer Minestrone

  1. Pingback: Simple Squash Soup - Lean.Green.Kitchen

  2. Pingback: Recipe: Greens and Beans Soup - Lean.Green.Kitchen

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