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This Minestrone is not your typical minestrone – in that it has been muscled up for my carnivore menfolk.

"Not-So-Mini-Strone" - Beefed up Minestrone Soup & 40 More Soup Recipes from Around the Web | Cosmopolitan Cornbread

To begin, cut up 5 slices of bacon into half inch pieces.


Heat a tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven and toss the bacon in. Allow this to begin cooking over medium heat.


Mince 3 cloves of garlic and dice up a onion, and toss them in with the bacon.


While those get comfy, cut up some meat. I used just over a pound of beef chuck boneless ribs.


Toss the beef in with the rest, and let it begin to brown a little.


While those are doing their thing, cut up 4 stalks of celery with the tops, and 4 carrots.



Once your onions are tender and the meat has a little color, add the veggies into the Dutch oven, along with 28 ounces of diced tomatoes.


Rinse a cup and a half of chopped spinach, and press the water out.


Stir it in.


Pour in 4 cups of beef broth.


And for the seasoning…add in 1 Tb parsley, 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary, 2 bay leaves, a teaspoon fresh ground black pepper and a teaspoon of salt.


Finally stir in 1/2 cup of barley.


Bring this all to a gentle boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer on low for an hour.


After an hour, peel and cut up 2 russet or gold potatoes. Add them in.


Then take a 14 ounce can of great northern beans, drain and rinse them. Put half of the beans in the pot, and the other half in a bowl. Ladle in some of the liquid from the soup.


Mash the beans with a fork until they are a pasty consistency.


Stir it all in and let it cook about 20-30 more minutes on low, until the potatoes are done.


Top with a little shredded parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


Yield: 6

Not-So-Mini-Strone - Hearty Minestrone Soup

This Minestrone is not your typical minestrone – in that it has been muscled up for my carnivore menfolk.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb beef chuck boneless ribs
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery with tops
  • 1 1/2 c frozen, chopped spinach
  • 2 (14 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c barley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 Tb dry parsley
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 white potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 14 oz can great northern beans
  • parmesan for topping


  1. To begin, cut the bacon into half inch pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and add in the bacon.
  3. Mince the garlic and dice the onion and add them to the pot.
  4. Cut up the beef into in inch pieces, and add them in.
  5. While they are cooking, chop your carrots and celery.
  6. When the onions are soft and the meat has some color, add in the carrots, celery, tomatoes, beef broth, herbs, salt, pepper and barley.
  7. Rinse and drain the spinach. Press out the water and add it to the soup.
  8. Bring this all to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  9. After an hour, peel and cut up the potatoes.
  10. Rinse and drain the beans and add half of them to the soup, along with the potatoes.
  11. Place the remaining beans in a bowl and ladle in some of the broth from the soup. Mash them with a fork until they are a pasty consistency. Stir the mash into the soup.
  12. Continue to simmer this on low for another half hour, covered, until the potatoes are cooked through.
  13. Serve with some shredded parmesan on top.
  14. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 435Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1332mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 10gSugar: 4gProtein: 41g

This data was estimated and provided by Nutritionix. Accuracy not guaranteed.

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33 thoughts on “Not-So-Mini-Strone”

  1. Oh wow this sounds like the most amazing version of Minestrone I have ever seen
    My recent post Comment on Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef by Laura

  2. Constance, this soup is amazing!!! I will have to make it soon and am sure that everyone in the family will love it. It just has everything in it – as you said it is not a mini "minestrone" ~ Bea

  3. I had to giggle when I saw the name of your soup! This is the kind of minestrone my hubby and sons would like, too! Well done, my friend!!!

  4. I like the play on words in your post/recipe titles. And I wish I could cut vegetables as well as you do. Great knife skills! Barley is always a good addition to a soup as it ups the heartiness factor. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Minestrone with barley and meat, that´s a fantastic twist Constance! I bet this kind of soup is normal fare in Alaska.
    My recent post Bread and Tomato Soup – Gazpacho Style #SundaySupper

  6. Your soup is a winner, Constance! Love that you are using spinach and barley in your recipe along with all the the other lovely spices and tomatoes of a classic minestrone.


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