Whole-Grain Minestrone With Parmesan Crisps


Nothing says comfort food like a steamy bowl of vegetable-packed minestrone, which is made extra hearty here with whole grain farro in place of pasta and DIY parm crisps for bites of umami on every spoonful. Speaking of parm, don't throw out those rinds; you'll use one here to infuse the broth with deep flavor. As you come to the end of a wedge, stash the end in a ziptop bag in your freezer to add to a simmering soup or a batch of stock. For a gluten-free version of this soup, swap in brown rice for the farro.

Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
6 serves


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 quart vegetable broth

  • 1 28-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, undrained, coarsely crushed

  • 1 cup farro

  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 ounces baby kale (about 2 cups)

  • Store-bought pesto, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato paste has darkened and vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in broth, beans, tomatoes with juices, farro, and rosemary; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in up to 3 cups water if soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle cheese in an even layer in a medium nonstick skillet to form a large round. Cook, without stirring, over medium, until melted and browned, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in skillet for 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool briefly; break into pieces.

  3. Stir kale into soup and cook until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Garnish each serving with Parmesan crisps and drizzle with pesto, if using.

    Whole-Grain Minestrone Recipe
    Caitlin Bensel
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