Red Minestrone Soup Recipe


Red Minestrone Soup

The pesto produced from the greens of the beets and turnips, as well as the kale, is my favorite part of Red Minestrone Soup. Yes, I’m going from top to bottom. Beets provide the soup with its gorgeous red color. If you have extra pesto after making the soup, serve it over pasta or store it for future soups. Serve the minestrone with a salad and crusty bread.

Prep:20 mins

Cook:45 mins

Total:1 hr 5 mins



Winter Greens Pesto:

  • 1 bunch beet greens(chuqander leaf)
  • ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch turnip greens(green shaljim)
  • 1 bunch kale(bnd gobi)
  • 2 cloves garlic(lehson)
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated(kadukash)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Red Winter Minestrone:

  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary(herb)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf(taijh pat)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 leek( A plant related to the green onion) , white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, cleaned, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • ½ pound turnips(shaljim), peeled and cubed
  • ½ pound beets(chukander), peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup dry white wine(fruit wine or grapes wine)
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans(phalia or kideny white beans)
  • ½ cup green beans(sabz phalli or lobia), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pinch dried chili flakes
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley(herb)
  • ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste (Optional)


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Strip beet greens(chukander leef), turnip greens(green shaljim), and kale (bnd gobi) from their coarse stems and wash leaves well. Working in batches, cook each bunch in boiling water until bright green and slightly limp, about 1 minute. Transfer immediately to ice water and repeat with remaining greens. Discard cooking water.
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  • Remove greens from ice water and squeeze out as much water as possible.
  • Combine greens, 2/3 cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Transfer pesto to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap.
  • Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in onion, grated tomato, 4 cloves minced garlic, rosemary(herb), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, bay leaf(taijh pat), and chili flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes; reduce heat to low. Continue cooking and stirring until vegetables are a deep golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Pour remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over onion mixture. Stir in leek(green onion type), carrot, turnipsshaljim), and beets(chuqander). Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  • Pour white wine over vegetable mixture and scrape browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Mix cannellini beans(phalia) and green beans(lobia) into vegetable mixture; pour in 5 cups water. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until green beans are tender, about 5 minutes more. Stir in parsley (herb)and lemon juice.
  • Divide soup among heated bowls and serve with a generous dollop of the winter greens pesto.

Cook’s Notes

  • Instead of purchasing canned beans, I strongly advise you to cook your own beans. The texture is improved, and the bean cooking liquid can be added to the soup broth for added taste. 3 cups bean cooking liquid should be set aside and used in place of 3 cups water in step 6.
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  • If you’re using fresh Roma tomatoes in the soup, blanch them for 30 seconds before transferring to an ice bath. When the skins are cold enough to handle, remove them.
  • If you’re making pesto ahead of time, keep it refrigerated.
  • The first step in making the soup is to make a sofrito, which is made by slowly simmering onions, tomatoes, and garlic into a savory mixture. If you have the time, make a double or triple quantity and store the leftovers to serve on pasta, eggs, or rice. The sofrito freezes wonderfully.
  • Instead of fresh tomatoes, you can use 2 canned plum tomatoes, grated.

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