Green Minestrone with Farfalline

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

This is a light spring version of the traditional Italian vegetable and bean soup. You can make it with any small pasta shape. Farfalline (small butterflies) are pretty here.


  • 1 pound leeks, green tops trimmed, washed, and diced (¼ inch)
  • 1 cup diced (¼ inch) carrot
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6 to 8 cups Chicken Broth or reduced-sodium canned broth, fat skimmed
  • ½ cup farfalline or other small pasta shape
  • 1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup sliced (¼ inch) green beans
  • 1 cup diced (¼ inch) zucchini
  • 1 cup diced (¼ inch) yellow squash
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen small green peas
  • 1 cup diagonally sliced trimmed fresh asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon (packed) cut-up fresh dill or basil sprigs
  • 1 scallion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 strip lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)


    1. Combine the leeks, carrot, olive oil, and water in a large wide saucepan, preferably nonstick. Cook over low heat 30 seconds. Cover and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 15 minutes. Do not brown.
    2. Add 6 cups of the broth to the leek mixture and bring to a boil. Add the farfalline and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cannellini beans, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, peas, and asparagus. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
    3. Finely chop the parsley, dill, scallion, lemon zest, and garlic all together into a fine mixture. Stir into the simmering soup.
    4. Add additional broth to thin soup, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and serve with a light sprinkling of grated parmesan, if desired.