Wintertime is the perfect time to make soup. Minestrone is rather well-known, but this simple vegetable-based soup is something I cook up year round. You can find many versions online, but this recipe was passed down from my Italian great-grandmother Adelaida Catalano, who hailed from Naples. You will notice that there are not many exact measurements, and indeed there is a lot of room for flexibility here. It can also be modified for vegans (omit the bouillon cube/broth and butter) and vegetarians (omit the cube/broth).

You can use a wide variety of vegetables that are not listed here. You can also omit most of the ingredients and still enjoy quite the tasty concoction. This is a great way to use up small amounts of vegetables or produce that is starting to pass its prime. Just use your judgement and stir it up until, as my great grandmother would say, it “just come-a nice-a!”

Jennifer Grafiada is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who is a fan of butter, dark chocolate and Italian food. Follow her on Instagram at

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