Things I Learned Making Ina’s Winter Minestrone Soup


I’ve read about this soup from several different blogs and finally decided to give it a whirl.  This soup is yummy, but a big undertaking. I love finding new great recipes, but I dread making it that first time. Everything seems like it happens so quickly, I feel all spastic. Everything turned out great, and now this is my go-to recipe for having people over, but here are some good tips if you’re making it for the first time:

Here’s the recipe. Get excited.

In no particular order:

* Make sure you’ve got about 2 free hours (or a sous chef) to prep and make this bad boy. It takes a while. In other words, don’t start it at 8pm on Sunday night. You’ll be eating way too late. Not that I did that or anything… I’m just wanting to make sure you don’t do it. ; )

*If you actually want the bruschetta that is supposed to accompany it, start even earlier.

*Depending on where you live, make sure you’ve got at least $30 for all the ingredients. At the store, while I was putting ingredient after ingredient in my cart, I was thinking, “This is soup better be yummy AF, ’cause its cost keeps going up…” buuuut then I realized it feeds around 6-8 peeps, so it’s a great deal per person if you think about it in those terms.

*Pancetta means Italian bacon… that’ll save you some googling while you’re traipsing around the grocery.

* When it tells you to put the first few ingredients into a large pot, it means the largest pot you have on hand. She’s not playin’.

*Unless you’ve got the chopping skills of a professional chef, give yourself even more time.

*If you’ve never dealt with a butternut squash before, you should read up on it before you start cutting away. It’s harder to peel after you’ve started chopping. This article is great though to show you how to MacGyver that b*tch.

*Sunglasses make excellent eye protection while chopping onions. Ski goggles work well too!

*Maybe have a snack on hand to have while you’re waiting for everything to cook.

* When pouring yourself a glass of wine to drink, make sure you measure out the wine you need to cook with first and set aside. I did this in reverse and had exactly a half cup left, which is what was needed. Whew! #gotlucky

*Have a good playlist or pandora station on hand while this is all going. If you hate cooking, like I do, you’ll need some happy music on to make you stay in the kitchen for that length of time.

*I didn’t have a bay leaf. The soup was still awesome.

*If you live alone or with one other person, invite 4 more over to share this. Or just be pumped to eat it over the entire week… especially since your roommate is leaving for spring break the next day. Didn’t plan that one out.

*Lastly, be ready to enjoy some some good eating. This soup is completely worth all that time and effort… and more. YUM! Ina never disappoints. I recommend this soup to anybody. It’ll make a great lunch/dinner the next day and you’ll be getting lots of veggies in!

Good night, y’all!

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  1. brooke lyn says

    i made this soup during a snow storm earlier this year and had all the same thoughts. i really hope you wore the ski goggles while chopping too 🙂

    • haha! unfortunately I left all my ski gear in Canada on my last trip up so I had to just wear the sunglasses… i wore them when i was making soup though and my man-friend was highly entertained! : )

  2. Lauren A. Ogden says

    I highly recommend Frank Sinatra Radio on Spotify while cooking! Otherwise, you just might not be doing it right! ?

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