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Catholic Recipe: Minestrone


  • 1/2 lb. fresh beans
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 small cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1 small stalk celery (remove leaves)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 oz. ham, diced (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste or sauce (optional)
  • 2 oz. rice, cooked
  • Parmesan cheese, grated


Prep Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:11+

Origin: Italy


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Also Called: Vegetable Soup

St. Joseph the husband of Mary and foster father of the Child Jesus, is one of the most beloved saints. He is the symbol of goodness and humility, the protector of families, the patron of the poor and unfortunate, and the special saint of carpenters and craftsmen. His day is celebrated especially by Italians as one of the favorite festivals of the year. This soup is one of the many dishes that are served for the Italian tradition of the St. Joseph Table or Altar. The Altar traditionally has meatless dishes.


Clean and wash vegetables. Place beans and carrots into a pot, cover with water and let simmer until half done. Add cabbage, peas, potatoes, celery, onion, and squash. Fry diced ham lightly with garlic and add ham, lard, and chopped parsley to soup. Salt and pepper to taste. If soup is too thick, add more water and let simmer for half an hour. A little tomato paste or sauce may be added to soup. Add cooked rice. Before serving, sprinkle generously with grated Parmesan.

Recipe Source: Festive Recipes and Festival Menus by Sula Benet, Abelard-Schuman Limited, 1970