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Recipe for family meals :

Italian Harvest Soup

This is one of the recipes that has been provided by Shirley Cline from San Fransisco. (You can contact Shirley by emailing her - click here). Shirley said:

"This recipe is from "The Campagna Table". I've made it a couple of times and it's really great, especially if you like meat & veggies".


1 cup dried white beans (cannelini, navy or Great Northern)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
12 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 small head escarole, coarsely chopped (optional)
1/2 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced crosswise into 1" pieces
One 28 oz. can milled or crushed canned Italian plum tomatoes
1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 lb. bottom or top round of beef or beef stew meat,
cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
5 quarts homemade chicken stock or canned low sodium
fat free chicken broth, or water
1 Tblsp. freshly chopped rosemary laves
1 Tblsp. freshly chopped sage
1 piece rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, about 2" square
Salt to taste (optional)
1/2 cup dried small pasta shape
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tblsp. per serving freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Extra virgin olive oil for serving

  • The day before making the soup, cover the beans with at least 4 cups of cold water. Soak 12 - 24 hours, changing the water every 8 hours or so. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
  • In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring until the onion is wilted, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring 1 minute.
  • Add all of the vegetables, the soaked beans, beef, wine, stock, rosemary, sage, and cheese rind. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered about 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are tender.
  • Add 2 cups water and the pasta, return the soup to a simmer and cook 20 minutes more until the pasta and beans are both very soft. Add more water if necessary to thin the soup.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan and drizzled with olive oil.


In a chunky soup like this one, you can adjust the vegetables to suit your taste. Feel free to add carrots, celery, squash and other kinds of greens.

Serves 8 - 12

Shirley Cline