Italian Green Minestrone di Verdure Recipe

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An authentic Italian vegetarian minestrone soup recipe made without tomatoes, using Pesto, cabbage and potatoes instead, for a hearty, classic, traditional green minestrone di Verdure.
Healthy, easy, homemade and really good for you. What more can you want from a soup ? Maybe just a piece of homemade crusty bread
Minestrone “ a thick vegetable soup literally meaning “ that which is served ”. The way I see it kids: you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit! 
Green Minestrone Soup
As is the case with many rustic Italian recipes, there isn’t an exact recipe out there. Every household has their own variations consisting of whatever they have growing in the garden and what is in season. 
Italian Green Red Pot of Minestrone di Verdure Soup with Pesto, Cabbage and Potatoes
It is common to find a mixture of beans and pasta, even rice in most recipes. Being that I chose to do a potato version I omitted the pasta. Feel free to add some precooked small shape macaroni, orzo or ditalini if you like, barley, quinoa or some lentils.
Believe it or not, yours truly, the self proclaimed Tomato Queen just made a minestrone soup without tomatoes. Say whaaat ?
That’s just because basil was calling my name this week. Not to mention that potatoes and pesto in a soup, together with beans and cabbage is a pretty amazing and comforting meal even on a warm summer evening. 
Italian Green Bowl of Minestrone di Verdure Soup with Pesto, Cabbage and Potatoes
Basil is abundant right now, but as soon as the weather really cools off you can make the pesto with kale, arugula or even parsley
Keep it vegan or throw a Parmesan cheese rind in there for a buttery silky broth, if you must you can add some ricotta meatballs too, for the not yet vegetarians 😉

Italian Green Minestrone di Verdure Soup with Pesto, Cabbage and Potatoes


5 from 1 vote

Italian Green Minestrone di Verdure Recipe

An authentic Italian vegetarian minestrone soup made without tomatoes and using Pesto instead, cabbage and potatoes, for a hearty, traditional green minestrone di Verdure.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes
Total Time:35 minutes


  • 1 onion - diced (small)
  • 4 cloves garlic -sliced
  • 1 carrot -diced
  • 1 stick celery -diced
  • 2 cups green cabbage -shredded
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 qt low sodium vegetable stock + more as needed
  • 1.5 cups golden potatoes -diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt + more to tatse
  • 15 oz canned borlotti or cannellini beans - drained and rinsed well
  • 1 cup baby arugula or spinach
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns



  • Heat up a soup pot on medium flame with a lug of olive oil.
  • Add the onion, celery and carrot and saute together with a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme and peppercorns and toss to coat.
  • Stir in the cabbage and cook another 5 to 10 minutes until wilted.
  • Add the diced potatoes, Parmesan rind and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cook together until the potatoes are cooked through, another 10 minutes. 
  • Stir in the cooked beans and adjust seasonings to taste with more sea salt.While the minestrone is cooking make the pesto. 


  • Add the basil, olive oil, garlic, nuts and half of the lemon juice to a food processor and puree until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste with sea salt and more lemon juice.
  • Ladle the minestrone into bowls and serve with spoonfuls of the pesto on top. 


For the Vegan option simply omit the Parmesan rind from the broth, and the grated cheese from the pesto sauce.


Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 1772mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2500IU | Vitamin C: 14.5mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 2.6mg
Course: Soups
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6
Calories: 312kcal
Author: Florentina

Italian Soups:

Italian Vegetable Farro Soup
Easy Carrot Ginger Soup
Tuscan Tomato Soup Recipe (Pappa al Pomodoro)
Tuscan Tomato Soup
Vegetarian Kale soup Recipe
Vegetarian Kale Soup

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  1. I made this last night for dinner, and both my husband and I loved it! We used store bought pesto because we had some in the fridge we needed to use up and served this with some parmesan and herb biscuits. It was delicious. Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    We love in this household. It’s nutritious and delicious. I sometimes use unsalted chicken broth, more cabbage, no celery, etc. Just depends on what is available. I use store-bought pesto. Most recently I took a chance on Aldi’s Priano all Genovese pesto – the first 3 ingredients are olive oil, basil, and nuts. Important. In addition to the arugula in the pot, I add a generous helping per bowlful when serving. That and the addition of a heaping tablespoon of pesto make the soup broth green.

  3. I wish i read everything before i started to make this, it does smell wonderful but it does not say when to add the 1 cup of arugula it calls for…..
    the picture shows it as not vey wilted, so i will just add some in the bowl at the end. is that what you would have done?