White Winter Minestrone Soup | Recipes | Cook For Your Life
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White Winter Minestrone Soup

Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 33 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 30 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 6 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 15 ingredients

Once you’ve prepped the vegetables, this soup cooks fast yet tastes as though it has been cooking for hours. It tastes even better the next day. This soup is thick, more like a stew, so...


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into a ½ inch dice
  • 1 stick celery, cut into ½ inch slices (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 sprig thyme or winter savory, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, broken
  • ⅓ cups hulled pearl barley
  • ½ small head of Savoy cabbage, cored and cubed (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan rind, plus more for grating (optional)
  • 6 to 8 cups of stock or water, or to taste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of water-cooked cannellini, Borlotti or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed, or 2 cups home-cooked cranberry, Great Northern, or Cannellini beans in their broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
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Nutrition Facts


319 cals


11 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

7 g


42 g


10 g


9 g


16 g


1158 mg


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot on medium-high heat. Add garlic. Saute until it turns to a light gold.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, celery, sage, thyme, and bay leaf. Saute for a minute. Cover and turn the heat to medium-low. Sweat the vegetables for about 10 minutes, until they soften. Stir from time to time. Do not let them stick and burn!
  3. Add the pearl barley and cabbage. Mix well with the other vegetables. Cover again and sweat for another 3-5 minutes, or until the cabbage begins to soften. Add the parsley and cook for another minute or so. Add the stock and Parmesan rind and bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Cover, turn the temperature to low, and simmer gently for 25 minutes, or until the barley is nearly cooked.
  4. Add the beans. If home-cooked, add their liquid, too. Bring back to a simmer. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Dice the Parmesan rind and return it to the pot. Adjust seasoning and grind a little black pepper on top. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Chef Tips

When using canned beans always rinse them before use, even for soups. The liquid they sit in tends to be loaded with sodium, even the low-sodium brands. When you do use drained canned beans in this soup, add an extra 2 cups of liquid.

If you are having oral problems such as cankers or post-radiation dryness, this delicious soup can be pureed for easier swallowing by whizzing a couple of cupfuls in a blender with a little extra water or stock. Let the soup cool somewhat before eating.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society