Ina Garten’s Winter Minestrone is a beloved recipe in my home. Tender vegetables like carrots, celery, onion and butternut squash with pancetta, cannellini beans, pasta and spinach. It’s the perfect soup for a cold winters day. Serves 6 – 8.

When a soup recipe is so good, it needs to be shared.

And that’s exactly how I feel about Ina Garten’s Winter Minestrone. I’ve made it so many times over the years and I’ve only adapted it slightly and I mean slightly – like upping the pancetta. Because I do love a hearty soup and this doesn’t disappoint. It’s loaded with vegetables, beans, spinach, pancetta and pasta – no bite is the same as the one before it.

And it’s pure perfection served with grilled bread and parmesan cheese. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Ina Garten's Winter Minestrone ingredients

To Make Ina Garten’s Winter Minestrone Soup You Will Need:

  • olive oil spray
  • pancetta
  • carrots
  • onion
  • celery
  • garlic
  • fresh thyme
  • kosher salt
  • butternut squash
  • crushed tomatoes
  • unsalted chicken stock
  • bay leaf
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cannellini beans
  • small pasta
  • baby spinach
  • dry white wine
  • basil pesto
  • parmesan cheese, for serving

pancetta in pan

Start by lightly spraying the bottom of your dutch oven with olive oil spray. Add in 5 ounces diced pancetta.

crispy pancetta

Cook until crispy. This takes about 8 to 10 minutes.

diced carrot, celery, onion, garlic and thyme

Meanwhile, prep the veggies. You will need 2 cups both diced carrots and celery and roughly 2-1/2 cups diced yellow onion, 4 cloves minced fresh garlic and 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves.

pancetta on towel lined plate

Once the pancetta is crisp, transfer it to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the fat in the pot.

vegetables and herbs added to pot

Next add in all the prepared veggies, garlic and thyme with a pinch of kosher salt. If using fresh butternut squash, add it in here (roughly 12 ounces or 2-1/2 cups) with the vegetables. I only had frozen (steam-able) butternut squash on hand and I believe it’s previously steamed? So I add it in later.

partially cooked veggies

Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

broth, crushed tomatoes, squash and bay added to pot.

Next add in 2-1/2 cups (or 12 ounces) diced butternut squash, 6 cups unsalted chicken broth, 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, 1 bay leaf, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes

Give it a stir to combine. Cover with the lid askew and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

ditalini pasta

Halfway through, bring a (covered) medium pot of salted water (small palmful of sea salt) to a boil. Add in 1 cup ditalini pasta and cook following the package directions. Try to time it so that it is done when the soup is done simmering.

cooked ditalini

Once al dente, drain the pasta into a colander.

soup that has simmered

Once the soup has simmered, remove the bay leaf.

pasta, beans and crispy pancetta added to pot

Add in the cooked pasta, 1 (15 ounce) can rinsed and drained cannellini beans and the crispy pancetta.

spinach and arugula added to soup

Add in 5 ounces of baby spinach, arugula or baby kale. Typically I just do spinach or kale, but I had baby arugula in the fridge that needed to be used so I added that in instead. Personally, I prefer baby spinach or kale.

wilted spinach and arugula

Stir until the greens wilt.

pour in dry white wine

Lastly pour in 1/2 cup of dry white wine. I use sauvignon blanc, however chardonnay that you like to sip will be perfect!

add in pesto

And add in 2 tablespoons basil pesto. Every summer I make a batch of pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays so I can enjoy it all year round.

taste and season

Give it a stir and a taste.

For me, I usually add in another teaspoon kosher salt and a few more grinds of black pepper. However, season to your personal taste.

serve when heated through

Keep in mind, this soup should be thick. However add some or all of the remaining 2 cups broth, if the soup is too thick.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated fresh parmesan cheese.

I love grilled bread with minestrone. However this cheesy garlic bread would also be delicious.

This soup is soul warming and hearty. Wholesome and delicious. I absolutely adore the butternut squash in this soup and of course the pasta and pancetta.

Enjoy! And if you give this Winter Minestrone recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Ina Garten's Winter Minestrone
Yield: 6 to 8

Ina Garten's Winter Minestrone

Ina Garten’s Winter Minestrone is a beloved recipe in my home. Tender vegetables like carrots, celery, onion and butternut squash with pancetta, cannellini beans, pasta and spinach. It’s the perfect soup for a cold winters day.

Ingredients

  • olive oil spray
  • 5 ounces diced pancetta
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 and 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 large)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2-1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (see notes)
  • 1 (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 6 to 8 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup small pasta
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (or baby kale)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc or chardonnay)
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. Start by lightly spraying the bottom of your dutch oven with olive oil spray. Add in the diced pancetta. Cook until crispy. This takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Once the pancetta is crisp, transfer it to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the fat in the pot.
  2. Next add in all the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and thyme with a pinch of kosher salt. If using fresh butternut squash, add it in here. (see notes) Stir and cook 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add in diced butternut squash (if using steamable), 6 cups unsalted chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Give it a stir to combine. Cover with the lid askew and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Halfway through, bring a (covered) medium pot of salted water (small palmful of sea salt) to a boil. Add in 1 cup ditalini pasta and cook following the package directions. Try to time it so that it is done when the soup is done simmering.
  6. Once al dente, drain the pasta into a colander and add to the soup with the beans and pancetta.
  7. Stir before adding in the baby spinach, stir and cook until wilted.
  8. Lastly pour in the dry white wine and add the basil pesto. Give it a stir and a taste. For me, I usually add in another teaspoon kosher salt and a few more grinds of black pepper. However, season to your personal taste.
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated fresh parmesan cheese.

Notes

I only had frozen (steam-able) butternut squash on hand and I believe it’s previously steamed? So I add it in later.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 442Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 1291mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 38g

All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on SimplyScratch.com should only be used as a general guideline.