Recipe Review

I Tried Martha Stewart’s Most “Beloved” Cozy Soup and I’ve Already Made Two Pots in a Week

published Oct 24, 2023
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Minestrone soup in bowl with bread on the side.
Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

This time of year I can’t help but crave a hot bowl of soup. As the year comes to an end, soup becomes that meal I can totally rely on to warm me up and give me the nutrients I need as I power through the rest of the day. I’m a big fan of all different types of soup (I recently experimented with a delicious take on Dolly Parton’s Stampede Soup that set me off on my current soup kick).   

After stumbling upon a how-to video for a classic Italian minestrone shared to TikTok by Martha Stewart Living, my interest was piqued by the “use what’s in your fridge” nature of the recipe. In the video, Stewart schools viewers on the meaning of minestrone, stating that it “generally means bigness,” noting how it fits due to it having so many ingredients. Minestrone can vary depending on who is making it, but it mainly contains lots of vegetables, leafy greens, and beans. A combination of celery, carrots, and onions (known as a soffritto) acts as the foundation of flavor within minestrone.  

As a devout fan of the Queen of Domestic Arts, naturally I was immediately searching my refrigerator for ingredients. After acquiring all the pieces I needed, as well as a fresh loaf of bread to toast and complement the soup, I was ready to dive into making this Italian minestrone.

How to Make Martha Stewart’s Minestrone

As noted earlier, there are many minestrone variations. If you are in a time crunch, this version of Stewart’s recipe, which I opted for in this review, is what you’ll want to follow. However, if you would like to make this soup as authentically as possible, using dried beans which need to be soaked overnight, the TikTok version above is going to be more of your jam.  

Start by heating olive oil in a large pot over medium heat to make the soffritto. Add onions, carrots, celery, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and salt and pepper; cook until the onions turn golden, stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 8 minutes. 

Add the tomatoes and cook for about a minute, allowing for some of the liquid to evaporate. Toss in the potatoes, cabbage, cannellini beans, then add 7 cups of water. If you are using canned cannellini beans, be sure to drain and rinse thoroughly. Bring everything to a boil, then stir in the chopped green beans. 

At this point, you’ll want to reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the vegetables until they are all tender, which will take about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper before stirring in the garlic and torn basil for the finishing touches. Once seasoned to your liking, serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil, a dollop of pesto, freshly grated Parmesan, and a sprinkle of torn basil.

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

My Honest Opinion of Martha Stewart’s Minestrone

There is really no possible way to hate this soup. I did take a tip from the TikTok recipe, in which Stewart suggests adding an end piece of prosciutto to the mix before simmering. However I couldn’t find a full chunky piece of prosciutto in my neighborhood in time, so I opted for a package of smaller cubed prosciutto instead. I added the cubed prosciutto after adding the water, allowing it to simmer with the rest of the soup. The results, in my opinion, were still just as fantastic and I appreciated the flavor that the prosciutto brought to the mix. 

I think what I loved most about Stewart’s beloved minestrone is just how easily it all comes together. Most of the work lies in the prep, but after that it is smooth sailing to Flavortown. I’ll be keeping this recipe in my back pocket, as I’m excited to try some other variations as we head into the cold winter months. If you’ve been on the hunt for an authentic Italian peasant soup, this is a fantastic recipe to start with.

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

3 Tips for Making Martha Stewart’s Minestrone

  1. Try different variations. Swapping zucchini for green beans, kale for cabbage, and chickpeas for cannellini beans is an excellent way to start experimenting with different ingredients and flavors. Dig through your fridge for leftover vegetables for inspiration. 
  2. Soak the beans, or use canned. Stewart opts to use dried cannellini beans rather than the canned alternative, meaning you’ll have to soak your beans overnight before being ready to cook. If you want to save some time, using canned cannellini beans will still yield delicious results — just make sure to drain and rinse the canned beans well. 
  3. Add prosciutto for flavor. Although not necessary, for those who are not vegetarian, the addition of a piece of prosciutto will do wonders for this recipe. Stewart suggests going to your local butcher and requesting the leftover prosciutto end; however I found a package of cubed prosciutto, which also did the trick in my experience.