minestrone alla romagnola soup

Marcella Hazan’s Minestrone Soup

  • Author: Flavia Scalzitti


Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan


  • ½  cup (125 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons (40 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (132 grams) diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup (130 grams) diced carrot
  • 1 cup (122 grams) diced celery
  • 2 cups (307 grams) peeled, diced potato
  • ¼ pound (115 grams) fresh (or frozen) green beans, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
  • 1 pound (453 grams) zucchini, trimmed and diced
  • 3 cups (260 grams) shredded cabbage
  • 4 cups (946 mL) chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups (473 mL) cold water
  • ⅔ cup (170 grams) canned diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste if necessary
  • 1 15-ounce (425 grams) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
  • 1 cup (116 grams) ditalini pasta, cooked to al dente (optional)


Stove Top

  1. Place a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add in the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add in the onion and cook it until it softens and is pale golden.
  2. Add in the carrot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the potatoes following the same method.
  3. Next, add in the green beans and after they have cooked for 2 to 3 minutes, add in the zucchini and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking the vegetables for an additional 1-2 minutes, and then add in the shredded cabbage, cooking for 5-6 minutes, stirring often until it is wilted. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent the vegetables from scorching and sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock (or vegetable broth) and water, and add in the diced tomatoes, Parmigiano rind (if using), and salt and stir well to combine. Cover the pot and lower the heat to medium-low so that the soup simmers gently. Stir the soup occasionally for the next 2 ½ hours, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the soup at a steady, gentle simmer.
  5. After the soup has cooked for 2 ½ hours, add in the cannellini beans and then cook partially covered for an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The soup should have a fairly dense consistency but not be absent of liquid. If it looks too dense (like a stew), add in a little bit of water to dilute the soup.
  6. Once the soup is finished cooking, remove the Parmigiano rind, taste the soup for salt and adjust if necessary. Serve hot.

Instant Pot

  1. Turn the sauté function on to HIGH. Add the olive oil and butter to the insert. Once the butter is melted, follow the exact same procedure for adding the vegetables as the stove top method ending with the addition of the chicken stock (or vegetable broth), diced tomatoes, Parmigiano rind, and salt. Make sure that the liquid level does not go past the ⅔ MAX mark on the insert.
  2. Close and lock the lid into place, and turn the pressure valve to sealing. Select pressure cook and press the button repeatedly until Normal is highlighted on the display. Press the pressure level button until High is highlighted. Using the + and – buttons, set the cooking time to 1 hour.
  3. Once you hear a beep, the Instant Pot has started preheating. The cooking time will start counting down once the Instant Pot has come to full pressure (the stainless steel float valve will be completely raised), and you will hear a beep and see the cooking time counting down on the LCD display.
  4. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then release the pressure manually. Add in the cannellini beans and stir to incorporate them into the soup. Remove the Parmigiano rind, taste the soup for salt and adjust if necessary. Serve hot.


  • Add a portion of the cooked ditalini pasta to each soup bowl and then ladle the minestrone over the pasta. Do not add the cooked pasta to the entire pot of soup. Cooked pasta will get soggy in any leftover soup. It is best to cook only the amount of pasta you want to eat and combine it with the minestrone in individual soup bowls at the time of serving.
  • Storage: Allow the minestrone to cool to room temperature and store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 3 months in a tightly sealed, freezer-safe container.
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Omit the ditalini pasta, or substitute gluten-free pasta (a small shape).
  • Make it Vegan: Omit the butter and use 3 tablespoons more olive oil. Omit the Parmigiano rind and shredded Parmigiano cheese. Use vegetable broth.