Red Bean Minestrone Soup

Red Bean Minestrone Soup

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Delicious and widely varied versions of minestrone soup make great comfort food meals.

This recipe is based on a recipe suggestion from Sendik’s real food magazine. My brother has struggled with Crohn’s disease for years and has been extremely careful about what he eats, and frugal with what he actually likes, so if it gets his approval, I consider it a success. This was a successful minestrone soup recipe, and I hope others with food allergies and medical conditions can eat it, too. If you try it, do comment and rate the recipe, so others can benefit from your experience.

The ingredients are simple but the soup is hearty & delicious.

  • onion
  • carrots
  • celery
  • garlic
  • barley
  • tomatoes
  • kidney beans
  • parmigiano cheese
  • bay leaf

The base is simple, traditional: diced carrots, onion & celery, sauteed in olive oil with a bit of garlic.

Add water, barley, bay leaf, salt & pepper and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Add tomatoes, beans and cheese and simmer for 10 more minutes.

You might like to slice the celery instead of dicing them, for heartier chunks, or you might like to cook it a bit longer for softer vegetables.

Serve with a side of sliced french baguette or toasted Italian garlic-cheese bread.

Minestrone Alterations

  • Add fresh, trimmed green beans (1 ½ c), cut into ½” pieces
  • Season with 1 tsp. crushed rosemary, parsley or oregano
  • Use stewed tomatoes and 1 Tbsp of tomato paste instead of diced tomatoes
  • Try White Cannellini or navy beans, or blend lightly with a hand mixer for a thicker stew
  • Add spinach or zucchini or cabbage and cubed potatoes when you add the beans.
  • Cook with chicken broth instead of water
  • Add pasta (1 ½ c) instead of barley (during the last ten minutes of cooking)
  • make it vegan by excluding the cheese

This high-fiber soup calls Italy its home, and while vegetarian in nature, it can be made vegan, or contain meat, such as beef or bone stock. It is meant to be a whatever-you-have-in-the-fridge meal: throw in your asparagus, mushrooms, turnips, lentils or cauliflower. Traditionally a dish for the poor, it grew in nobility. Its meager beginnings included flour and eventually bread or croutons. Try it old-school Roman style with rice or spaghetti!

About Sendik’s

Sendik’s is a local grocery chain started by the Balistreri family after the migrated from Italy in 1926. They’re a high-quality fresh market, that offers a carpeted grocery shopping experience. They have wonderful Italian deli items, and always cover the basics for an American picnic, too. If there’s an ingredient I can’t get at Pick N Save, they will have it at Sendik’s.

Red Bean Minestrone Soup

This rich kidney bean soup's tomato base pairs well with cheesy french bread toast.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Servings: 6
Calories: 246kcal
Cost: $7


  • 1 c onion, chopped
  • 1 c carrots, chopped
  • 1 c celery, chopped
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 c water
  • ½ c barley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 t salt
  • t pepper
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can dark red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • ½ c parmesan romano cheese, grated


  • Warm oil in large pot, sautee onion, carrot, celery on medium heat about 10 minutes. Add garlic reduce heat to low, stirring for one minute
  • Add water, barley, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 – 40 minutes. Add tomatoes and beans and cook under cover until it begins to simmer again (about 10 minutes).
  • Stir in cheese, and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately with cheesy toast.


red bean minestrone soup nutrition label

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