Minestra (Cabbage & Beans)

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This recipe is one from childhood. My grandmother made it with Savoy cabbage. I make it with any green cabbage. My husband is a carrot lover and I will occasionally add a few to the mix. It's a nice flavor. I've also used purple cabbage for this and mixed it with cooked rice in the end to make a filling meal.

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  • add   crusty bread
  • add   1 (29 ounce) can cannellini beans
  • add   1 cup chicken broth
  • add   salt and pepper
  • add   3 tablespoons olive oil
  • add   3 cloves garlic
  • add   1 head cabbage
  • add   red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Wash and cut cabbage head.
  2. I usually quarter, then cut in half again.
  3. Be sure core is removed and discarded.
  4. In large pot, sautee garlic in hot olive oil until tender.
  5. Add cabbage, chicken broth, salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cover.
  8. After about 45 minutes, add beans, then re-cover pot.
  9. Cook until everything is heated and tender throughout and all flavors have blended.
  10. You can add hot pepper flakes when serving, if desired.
  11. We also like to drizzle a bit of fine quality olive oil on the top of our bowls before eating.
  12. Enjoy with good crusty bread and you have yourself a healthy meal!