Photo of Minestrone with kale by WW

Minestrone with kale

Total Time
1 hr 2 min
27 min
35 min
Brimming with tender vegetables, this version of the well-loved Italian soup includes orzo and Great Northern beans. The kale adds a nice dose of leafy greens, and their bitter flavor when raw mellows as they cook in this soup. The kale becomes tender in the brothy liquid and all its nutrients stay right there in the bowl. Minestrone can be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand; we chose zucchini, carrots, onion, tomatoes, and Great Northern beans. To enhance the flavor, consider stirring in ¼ cup of coarsely chopped fresh basil and the grated zest of one lemon into the soup, and simmer for five minutes before serving.


Olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked zucchini

2 medium, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick

Baby carrots

10 medium, halved widthwise if large


1 medium, chopped


2 cup(s), coarsely chopped

Canned diced tomatoes

28 oz, with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained

Vegetable broth

4 cup(s)

Canned great northern beans

15 oz, drained and rinsed

Cooked orzo

1 cup(s)

Table salt

¼ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Grated Parmesan cheese

¾ cup(s), Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended


  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add zucchini, carrots and onion; sauté over high heat until onion is transparent, about 7 minutes. Add kale; sauté until wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add diced tomatoes, broth and beans. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in cooked orzo, salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, pour into bowls and sprinkle with cheese. Yields about 1 cup of soup and 1 1/2 tablespoons of cheese per serving.
  4. This recipe is part of our Cook Once, Eat all Week: Soups, Chilies and Stews series. To learn more about this cook-and-freeze feature, click here.