Yield: 8-10 servings

Make like the Italians and use a rind of Parmesan cheese to give this soup some depth. A nice dollop of pesto on top adds a splash of color and a burst of flavor. Delicious! This recipe makes a lot, so freeze it and treat yourself at a later date. It just gets better with time.


  • 2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-in. dice
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-in. pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups shredded savoy or green cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed thoroughly, leaves chopped
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3- to 4-in. parmesan cheese rind
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • garnish: pesto and shredded parmesan


  1. Blend 1 can of cannellini beans with 1/2 cup water in a blender, or in a measuring cup with a stick blender, until smooth. Set bean purée aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add carrots, zucchini, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and cabbage. Cook, stirring, until cabbage wilts, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add chard leaves, remaining cannellini beans, diced tomatoes, bean purée, chickpeas, parmesan rind, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until all vegetables are tender and flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Remove parmesan rind. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Serve soup topped with pesto and/or shredded parmesan.

NOTE: It’s also nice to just mix some pesto into the soup for flavor and color. Add more broth, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency.

Adapted from Sunset Magazine’s Edible Garden Cookbook

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