Slurp away on this warm and healthy hot winter soup!

By: Jodie Shield, RDN

Brrrrr! It’s cold outside. Time to make a warm pot of homemade soup. Thought I would try the Barefoot Contesssa’s Winter Minestrone. Don’t let the prep time scare you because it’s a super easy recipe. Simply chop all of the veggies earlier in the day. When you’re ready to eat, toss everything into a large pot, and let it simmer. Serve this thick, hearty soup with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some hot, crusty whole grain bread. Some other satisfying soup recipes you’ll want to try are my Manhattan Clam Chowder and Turkey Tortilla Soup which are also on my app Time to Eat Healthy.

 Winter Minestrone Soup

 12  servings

Prep Time = 1 hour

Cooking Time = 1 hour


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, ½-inch-diced
  • 1½ cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) carrots (3 carrots)
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch diced) celery (3 stalks)
  • 2 ½ cups (1/2-inch diced) peeled butternut squash
  • 1½ tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons shopped fresh thyme
  • 1 (26-ounce) can or box diced tomatoes, such as Pomi
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked small whole wheat pasta, such as tubetti
  • 8 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup good dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
  2. Add onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme to pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add tomatoes, 6 cups chicken stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper to pot. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  4.  Discard bay leaf. Add beans and cooked pasta to pot and heat through (about 5 minutes). Soup will be thick, if too thick, add extra chicken stock.
  5.  Just before serving, add spinach to pot and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until wilted. Stir in wine and pesto. Serve soup with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Nutritional Information per (1 cup)  Serving:

167 calories, 8 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fat, 1 grams saturated fat, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams fiber, 745 milligrams sodium

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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

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