This is the quintessential Italian vegetable soup! Whether I prepare it to accompany that leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, for a light Christmas Eve dinner or a stand-alone bowl of comfort, my signature minestrone is always made with a whole lot of love!

This particular pot simmering on the stove today is more than mere vegetables and broth. It is a vessel full of good memories that will nourish the soul as much as it will fuel the body … and it’s going on a road trip. This love in a jar is going to be enjoyed by a very special young man. A man who is strong in his convictions, kind and compassionate and takes the time to appreciate the moments of each and every day. This is a man whom I admire and respect, who lives generously and victoriously … a man who still enjoys his mamma’s cooking!


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 leek, (white part plus 1″ of green) quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4 ” thick slices
  • 2 zucchini, , cut in half  lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dry oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry basil
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup ditali pasta or other small pasta
  • 1/4 cup ( plus more for grating on top) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In olive oil, cook garlic, onions, carrots and leek until wilted (10-15 min). Add zucchini, potato, both broths and tomato paste. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, add half of the parsley, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat approx. 20 min.
  3. Add cannellini, kidney beans, and diced tomatoes. Adjust seasonings to taste and add remainder of parsley.
  4. Add grated Parmesan cheese on top, let simmer.
  5. In a separate pot, cook pasta with 2 teaspoons salt (according to package directions). Add to soup. This soup is even better the next day!
  6. To serve, sprinkle additional cheese on top of each bowl.
Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta & Bean Soup)
If These Jars Could Talk …