Winter Minestrone Soup with Kale


Love minestrone soup?

With the Polar Vortex wreaking havoc on friends and family in Toronto and the nights getting cooler in Los Angeles, I decided it was the perfect time to warm up with a bowl of soup. I spotted this Winter Minestrone Soup recipe in Real Simple this month and did my little take on it.

Don’t stress if you don’t have every single vegetable and if you can’t find savoy cabbage – use kale instead! I also threw in some celery into my minestrone because I had a whole bunch to get rid of. I also sprinkled on some green onion and red pepper flakes for a flavour kick. This minestrone soup rings in at around 350 calories, so its healthy and chock full of vegetables – which I’m trying to eat as much of in January.

This recipe makes a huge batch! Whip it up at the start of the week and serve some up for dinner, take it to work for lunch and freeze the rest in a giant ziploc bag to enjoy on another cold winter day.

Follow the JUMP for the recipe!





(adapted from Real Simple)



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

kosher salt and black pepper

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 small pre-cut bag of butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 medium carrots, chopped

3 stalks of celery, sliced thick

1 15-ounce can navy beans, rinsed

1 3-inch piece Parmesan rind (optional), plus grated Parmesan for serving

1/2 cup small pasta shells

1/2 cup kale, torn

crusty bread, for serving



1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes (and their juices) and simmer until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the squash, carrots, celery, beans, 6 cups water, and Parmesan rind, if desired, and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the pasta and kale. Simmer until the pasta is tender.

3. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and with crusty bread on the side.



My Le Creuset Dutch Oven is my winter kitchen staple. I know they can be expensive, but I use mine at least once or twice a week for cooking soup, stews, casseroles and even for frying chicken. They’re a bit cheaper online – around $275 on Amazon. I was lucky to have been gifted mine from my college friends when I got married and I know it will last forever.


Enjoy! Do you have a favourite soup recipe that you make in the winter? How are you surviving the Polar Vortex?