How to: Big Batch – Minestrone Soup

So it’s officially fall. The heat is on permanently, I’ve stopped biking to work because the days are too short and all I want is to stuff my face with casseroles and pastas and all things warm and cheesy.

Soups tend not to fit in to these categories, but minestrone is different.  It’s a SOUP. Know what I’m sayin’?

Minestrone is a perfect option for big batch cooking.  It’s easy to double with very little extra effort and it freezes perfectly.  It’s easy to adjust the healthy factor too – for my batch I bought no-salt added stock and tomatoes to control the sodium content, and seasoned to my taste when the batch was cooked.  Feel free to swap the pork sausage with chicken or turkey too.

Using a sharp knife, make a slice in the sausage casing and remove the meat.

Try to chop all the veggies in to roughly equal size pieces – yes, it looks pretty but they’ll also cook more evenly.

Remove stems of the swiss chard, slice large leaves in half, stack them all up and slice. Kale would also work like a dream in this soup, but would change the flavour a bit more.

Looks like it’ll be too much, but it wilts – promise!


This optional bit adds loads of flavours – this is about a 1/2″ piece of parmesan with the rind.  I’ve been saving it for something like this.  As the soup simmers down, the rest of cheese melts into the soup.

Many versions of minestrone also include pasta, which I love.  I don’t find the pasta freezes especially well, so I’ll cook it separately and add it after the fact if I want to make even more of a meal out of it.  I plan on serving this batch with homemade bread!


Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 5 minutes
Website Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 mild italian sausages (casings removed)
  • 2 Medium carrots (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 Medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 bunch swiss chard (stems trimmed and roughly chopped)
  • 1 Medium russet potato (or 4 or 5 small white potatoes - cubed)
  • 1 19 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes1
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 900 mL tetra pack no salt added beef broth
  • 1 14 oz can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  • 1 1 oz piece of parmesan cheese rind


Don't be shy to double this batch - it freezes perfectly.


1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add italian sausage and cook until lightly browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.
2. Add carrots, celery, onion and cook until slightly soft and translucent, about 8-10 minutes
3. Add swiss chard and potatoes, stirring and until chard cooks down and is slightly wilted, about 2-3 minutes
4. Add diced tomatoes, whole rosemary sprig, beef broth and parmesan cheese rind and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes
5. Add beans and simmer until heated through
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve

Happy cold weather eating!



6 thoughts on “How to: Big Batch – Minestrone Soup

  1. Thx for the inspiration Erin! I’ve been making at least one recipe a week off your blog for a while now. Minestrone soup is perfect for a grey day like today 🙂

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