Three Bean Minestrone alla Emilia Romagna Style

To download a Spanish translation of this recipe click here.



  • 1/2 cup olive oil                                                                         
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 2 cups onions, small dice
  • 1 cup carrots, small dice
  • 1 cup celery, small dice
  • 1 cup mixed beans, dried, soaked (*see note)
  • 2 qt. stock, chicken or vegetable
  • Parmigiano, crust from, 3 X 3, cleaned
  • 1 cup Yukon gold potatoes, small dice
  • 2 cups zucchini, small dice
  • 1 cup tomatoes, plum, canned
  • 4 cups spinach, shredded
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup parmigiano, grated

Number of Servings : 8

Serving Size: 1 cup

To download a Spanish translation of this recipe click here.


  1. Melt butter with olive oil over low heat, add onions, and sweat until wilted and soft, about 10 minutes. Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery, soaked beans, stock, and parmigiano rind and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the beans are al dente.
  2. Add diced potatoes and zucchini and cook for another 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices.
  3. Partially cover and cook at low simmer for at least 30 more minutes. Add more broth as necessary.
  4. Add spinach and a splash of olive oil; season with kosher salt and black pepper.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some of the grated parmigiano.

Note: *Beans need to be soaked overnight in a container with cold water to cover by 3 inch. Drain the water and use in the soup. Mixed beans can be pink, pinto, kidney, white beans, butter beans, or cranberry.

The Italians are masters at making vegetables flavorful. Minestrone is another example of a soup inspired by the seasons. The name comes from the Italian term minestra, meaning soup. Using multiple varieties of beans adds a multitude of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures that make this light, flavorful soup comforting, satisfying, and appealing to the eye.

Recipe developed by The Culinary Institute of America as an industry service to the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.