From a Monastery Kitchen: Minestrone Soup

In honor of Easter, The Austerity Kitchen brings you a recipe for a tasty, springtime soup from the Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery, located near Millbrook, New York. Throughout the centuries, monastic cooking has been distinctive for its emphasis on frugality, wholesome ingredients and the seasonality of the fruit and vegetables used in its recipes. You can find more monastic recipes in Brother Victor-Antoine d’ Avila-Latourrette’s From a Monastery Kitchen: The Classic Natural Foods Cookbook.

18th century monastery near Magdeburg Germany
An eighteenth-century monastery near Magdeburg, Germany

Minestrone Monastico

(Serves 6-8)

3 quarts water
4 carrots
1 cup dry white beans
4 potatoes
1 cup green beans
2 celery stalks
3 onions
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 cup macaroni
tarragon, minced
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese

Wash the vegetables and peel the carrots, potatoes, and onions. Cut all the vegetables in small pieces. Pour the water into a large pot and add all the vegetables, except the onions. Cook slowly over medium heat for 1 hour.

Saute the onions in the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan until golden. Reserve.

After an hour of slow cooking, add the onions, wine, olive oil to taste (up to 1/2 cup), macaroni, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Cover the pan and allow soup to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve the minestrone hot, with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve this soup with a crusty, Italian bread.


Baumgarthuber, Christine. Fermented Foods: The History and Science of a Microbiological Wonder. Reaktion Books, 2021.

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