El Niño has brought the good fortune of winter weather in the desert and I’m celebrating by making some beloved winter comfort foods. One of my all-time favorites is Minestrone Soup. There are as many versions as there are favorite veggies, and I have tried lots. But thanks to a friend I recently discovered the Da Silvano Cookbook. It has a great section of soups and I marked about 5 to try this next month.


One of my favorite comfort foods – Minestrone

I slightly adapted the Minestrone Soup recipe by using canned instead of fresh cannellini beans, and adding chicken stock instead of water. The result was a soup that was flavorful, filling, and cost effective. It’s sure to warm up the most frigid heart on a chilly winter’s day.

The book is out of print, but you can order used versions for incredibly reasonable prices on Amazon – I think my copy was under $5 with shipping. Trust me; it’s a great investment of $5.


A bowl of Minestrone is comforting on a cold winter night

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Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8

  • 2 – 8 ounce cans of cannellini beans with liquid
  • sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion – chopped
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes – two should be chopped into 1 inch slices the quartered, keep the third whole
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 celery stalks cut into ¼ slices
  • 1 – 12½ ounce bag carrot chips
  • 1 small Savoy cabbage roughly chopped after core removed and discarded
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper

  1. Place olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and saute until lightly colored, about 7 minutes. Add potato slices and cook until they begin to color, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the potatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, cabbage, beans and the whole potato. Add chicken stock to cover entire pot. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and cook until the whole potato is cooked through, approximately 20 minutes. (test for doneness by inserting knife into potato.) Remove the whole potato, mash or rice it and return it to the pot and stir to thicken soup. Add peas into the soup and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.