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Garden Minestrone

A deliciously simple minestrone soup that starts in many layers, all in one pot, done in 30 minutes!  Recipe adapted from Nika Hazelton's recipe originally published in the NYT, September, 1973, then adapted by Amanda Hesser in 2010.
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: soup
Servings: 6
Author: Nicole Coudal, My Delicious Blog


  • 2 large ripe tomatoes peeled & sliced
  • 2 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 large zucchini sliced
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce shredded
  • 1 10-oz package frozen petite peas
  • 2 Tb. minced fresh basil
  • 1 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 10-oz package frozen lima beans
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (use more if desired)


  • Put sliced tomatoes in the bottom of a deep, large casserole (soup pot).  Top with onion slices and garlic.  Top with zucchini slices, then shredded lettuce, then peas.  Sprinkle the basil.  Sprinkle half the parsley, then the lima beans.  Sprinkle remaining parsley on top, then pour olive oil over the entire mixture.  DO NOT CHANGE THE ORDER OF THE VEGGIES!  DO NOT MIX!
  • Cover the pot and cook over medium heat 10 minutes (so vegetables on the bottom start to release their liquids).  
  • Uncover, season with salt and pepper and stir with a large spoon until well-mixed.
  • Return cover to the pot, reduce heat to low, then stir every few minutes for the next 15-20 minutes.  DON'T ADD ANY ADDITIONAL LIQUID!  
  • Turn off heat, then stir about 1/4 cup of the grated cheese into the soup.  Taste for seasoning.  Top each serving with more of the grated cheese.   Serve hot or lukewarm.


Like Amanda Hesser, I used frozen frozen peas and lima beans (both delicious).  And, like Amanda, I adjusted Nika’s cooking time for the 2nd round from 30 minutes to only 15 or 20 minutes because of those frozen veggies (had I used fresh longbeans as in the original recipe, cooking time would have been longer).