Italian Vegetable Stew is perfect hearty yet healthful, guilt-free comfort food that's loaded with goodness!
The inspiration behind this recipe:
I've been craving a vegetable soup and set out to make minestrone. Now, I'll also be the first to admit that although I'm not Italian, I LOVE Italian food. The last thing I want to happen is to set off any fireworks with anyone who feels their minestrone is the right minestrone.
Therefore, I think I'm on the safe side by calling this Italian Vegetable Stew.
I also set out to make a thinner, brothier soup because I was also in somewhat of a soup-slurping mood. Using the rind from a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano and adding potatoes turned my soup dream into a stew!
It's all good though, friends! You're going to love you some Italian Vegetable Stew!
How to make Italian Vegetable Stew:
- Grab a nice big, heavy soup pot from your kitchen cabinet.
- Heat some olive oil and toss in some diced pancetta. Pancetta is a little different from bacon in that it's not smoked but cured. Bacon is taken a step farther because it's smoked. You'll generally find pancetta it in the deli section. It's a little pricier than bacon and if you don't want to go the expense, simply use bacon.
- Brown the pancetta until it's close to getting crispy.
- Then, add chopped onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook that until it's all nice and melty soft.
- Add another round of vegetables: Zucchini, yellow squash and green beans.
- Add diced potatoes, chicken or vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, cannellini beans, Italian seasoning, a bay leaf or two along with a rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano and simmer until the vegetables are nice and tender.
- Some kale...
- I splashed it with some dry red wine at the end...
- And friends! A hearty, healthy, wonderful, winter treat you can feel good about!
- Sprinkle with some freshly grated Parmesan (or Parmigiano-Reggiano) and fresh parsley and that's it!
Healthy, hearty comfort food you can feel good about! I shared some with a neighbor because it makes a big pot! Chances are you know someone who could use some vegetable goodness this time of year!
For more delicious Italian-inspired soup recipes, be sure to try my:
- Pumpkin Soup with Marsala and Mascarpone
- Spicy Kale, Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup with Bacon
- Green Minestrone with Radish Greens Pesto
- Creamy White Bean, Rutabaga and Roasted Garlic Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup with Thyme and Taleggio
- Italian Sausage Soup
- White Bean and Vegetable Soup with Artichokes
- Sausage and Lentil Soup with Kale
- Vegetable Barley Soup
Italian Vegetable Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta - diced
- 1 large onion - finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 large carrots - finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery - finely chopped
- 1 medium zucchini - quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 medium yellow squash - quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 handful green beans - cut into 1-inch lengths (to make approximately 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 rind (3-inch) from a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 6 cups chicken broth - or vegetable rice
- 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cans (15-ounce) cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes - cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 small bunch kale - stems removed and coarsely chopped
- Splash of dry red wine
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley plus more for topping
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese - for topping
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the pancetta, reduce heat to medium and cook 2-3 minutes or until beginning to get crispy.
- Add the onion. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 3-4 minutes or until beginning to soften.
- Add the carrots and celery. Cook another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, yellow squash and green beans. Cook 2-3 minutes or until green beans turn bright green.
- Add the Italian seasoning, bay leaves and crushed red pepper flakes and stir briefly.
- Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano rind, chicken or vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add the beans and potatoes. Simmer uncovered until potatoes and all the other vegetables are tender.
- Add the kale and cook until it wilts.
- Throw in a splash of red wine and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Remove the cheese rind and bay leaves.
- Add chopped fresh parsley.
- Serve in bowls garnished with chopped fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
Going to attempt to make a similar stew tomorrow - do you think it would work well in a slow cooker? Perhaps adding in kale (and my added pasta) toward the end so they don't get mushy?
Hi, Gillian, Thanks so much for your question. I haven't made this in a slow cooker but it should work. I'd definitely add pasta near the end which I would cook first. You could probably add the kale halfway if you don't want it too soft. I actually prefer my kale softer in a soup or stew. Thanks again and please let me and my readers know how it went.
Thelma Louise says
Oh my stars! Years ago I set out to make minestrone soup. After reading and trying many recipes I finally created one I liked. But since I’m not a fan of pasta floating around my soup I never used it in my recipe and therefore didn’t think I could call it minestrone. So I named it Nonna’s Vegetable Soup, kind of giving it a nod to its Italian-ish recipe heritage.
Well I’m here today to tell you that your recipe is pert near spot on to mine! As I read down the list of ingredients I said, “yep, yep, yep” to myself.
The only differences were subtle.
- water instead of stock or broth
- a quarter teaspoon of white pepper
- no squash
And yes, if a bottle is open, a splash of vino!
So much better than minestrone out of a can or from a restaurant.
Heading off to read through some of your other recipes.
Hi, Thelma Louise, Thanks so much! Sounds like great minds think alike! 🙂
This made a lovely Sunday lunch today. I made it vegan by missing out the pancetta and using vegan Parmesan. You don’t really get a rind on vegan Parmesan so just put a chunk of the cheese in while cooking and grated some on top to serve.
Hi, Suzanne, Thanks so much and so glad you enjoyed! This soup is very versatile and can definitely be made vegan or vegetarian. Thanks again and hope you'll try some of my other vegetable soups.