In Italian, the word minestrone means “big soup,” referring to how the dish originated as a mix of whatever vegetables home cooks had on hand. In that spirit, this minestrone uses veggies available in spring, like green beans, kale and peas. Chop the ingredients for a rustic texture, or dice them for a more refined soup.
- 2 Tablespoons Challenge Dairy Butter
- 1 leek, white and pale green parts only, tough outer layer removed, sliced into ¼"-thick rounds
- 3-4 small spring carrots (about 4 ounces), peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups unsalted chicken stock, plus more as needed
- ½ pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves sliced into ½-inch ribbons
- ¾ cup small pasta (such as shells or ditalini)
- ¾ cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leek, carrots and celery; season with salt and black pepper. Sauté until softened but not browned, 8-10 minutes.
2Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook until darkened, 2-3 minutes. Add cannellini beans and chicken stock; season with salt and black pepper.
3Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook 15 minutes for flavors to meld. Stir in green beans and kale and simmer until vegetables are cooked, another 10-15 minutes. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
4Stir in peas and remove from heat. Divide soup among 4 bowls and serve hot.