Course Soups
Difficulty Easy
Pulse Type Dry Peas
Specialty Diet Gluten Free
Recipe Contributed By Claudia's Mesa

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Minestra Verde

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 lb pancetta, sliced and chopped small
  • 1 medium leeks, white and green parts, chopped
  • 1 small fennel, fresh; bulb chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, dried
  • 1 bay leaf, dried
  • 1/2 tsp paprika, smoked
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups peas, green, dried; cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 cups zucchini, diced in 1/2" pieces
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, black
  • 1/2 cup basil, torn up with your hands, as garnish
  • parmesan cheese, shaved, as topping


  • In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil at medium heat. Add chopped pancetta and cook for about 3-4 minutes or when it starts to brown. Lower heat to medium-low.
  • Add the cut leek and the fennel and stir to combine; saute for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the water and the peas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for about 10
  • Add the zucchini and spinach. Stir in the baking powder, it will keep the green vegetable looking bright green. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
  • Remove bay leaf.
  • To serve, portion the minestra into 6 bowls and top each with basil and shaved parmesan.