Winter Minestrone Soup

Hearty kale and chewy barley add great textures to this vegetable soup.

You can use almost any vegetable lingering in your fridge to make this soup (although we might skip broccoli and cauliflower). It’s great with a can of white beans thrown in, too. The hearty kale stands up to the wheatberries, but you can use almost any green. You also can use barley in place of the wheatberries. Look for wheatberries next to the grains in the supermarket. Makes 16 cups.

55 min Prep: 10 min Cook: 45 min
Serves: 8 Save

Ingredients (16)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 -- green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 -- red or white onion, chopped
  • 1 -- celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 -- large carrots, chopped
  • 4 ounce finely chopped shaved deli ham
  • 3 cup water
  • 3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup wheatberries, rinsed
  • 1 -- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind (optional)
  • 2 -- bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • -- Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 -- (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil
  • 1 -- (1-pound) bag kale, chopped
  • 4 -- toasted pita breads

Ingredient Facts and Health Benefits

Discover fascinating facts and health benefits about some of the ingredients in the recipe, including other delicious recipes!


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add onions, celery, carrots and ham. Sauté 10 minutes. Add water and next 6 ingredients (water through pepper).
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until wheatberries are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and kale; cook until thoroughly heated. The longer the soup sits with the cheese rind, the more intense the flavor.
  3. Serve with toasted pita bread