Minestrone Soup

Serves #
Serves 6 as a meal; Net carbohydrates >12 per serving

Notes from the Chef

It has to be the memory of the minestrone soup that a friend’s grandmother made that has kept the sense of wonderfulness so long in my mind. Her soup contained a lot of high carbohydrate ingredients AND pasta. Neither is necessary to recreate this wonderful soup.
You can create a vegetarian version of this soup using a vegetable stock. For ME it lacks the right ”something”.


  • 2 TBSP. Olive oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion sliced thickly
  • 2-4 garlic cloves grated
  • 1/3 cup raw barley
  • 1 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • 2 ½ quarts of low sodium beef broth (you can use ½ chicken ½ beef or even all chicken but…)
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (Italian brand preferred)
  • 8 ounces red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt to taste and your doctor’s recommendation.
  • 2 medium carrots, diced roughly
  • 3 stalks celery, diced roughly
  • 3 medium zucchini cut into half circles
  • 1 TBSP. olive oil
  • ½ pound fresh string beans

*note: ingredients should be listed in the order they come in preparation


  1. The first step.
  2. Heat a large soup pot.
  3. Add the olive oil and pepper.
  4. Add the sliced onions.
  5. Cook until the onions become golden in color.
  6. Add the garlic and stir to distribute.
  7. Add the raw barley and stir to coat in the oil.
  8. Add the wine and allow to come to a boil.
  9. Add the broth(s) and the tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  10. Add the beans, carrots, celery. Taste for salt and add if necessary.
  11. Sautee the zucchini in the 1 TBSP. of olive oil. When it starts to brown, add it to the soup. Bring to a boil.
  12. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 25-25 minutes.
  13. Remove from heat and add the green beans.
  14. Refrigerate overnight.
  15. Soup benefits from sitting in the fridge overnight.
  16. If you can’t wait, then add the green beans to the soup about 10 minutes before serving.
  17. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic

Not every recipe on our site is appropriate for every person with diabetes. Please follow the recommendations of your doctor, dietitian or nutritionist.


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