With white beans, farro, sausage, and tomatoes, Minestra is hearty, easy to make, and ready in under 30 minutes! Serve as a main dish or side.
This recipe was originally published December 11, 2019. It was updated September 29, 2021.
In this post we will be making minestra. A warm and comforting Italian bean soup, this recipe is easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes. Serve it with grated parmesan cheese, black pepper, and crusty bread. Read on to learn how to make the soup, read recipe pro-tips, and more.
Table of contents
This minestra soup is a restaurant copycat recipe from one of my favorite restaurants in Fort Collins, RARE. Usually, I like to switch things up when I eat out, but when at RARE I have a hard time not ordering this Italian sausage and bean soup or their beef and sausage ragu.
Given that I order the soup every time, I figure it's well enough time that I create my own recipe of it to enjoy at home... in my pajamas... at any hour I want (I mean, have you ever had soup for breakfast?!) at any time I want. 'Cause why else does one cook at home??
Sure, sure. There may be other reasons to cook at home, but with rapidly shorter growing days, it's the only one I can really get into more than curling up with a good book or going to bed at 7 PM.
But before I scare you away with what a granny I am, let's get into this beauty of a farro soup, shall we?
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This Italian bean soup is...
... and a great quick dinner option for cooler fall and winter days.
- Farro - either instant and traditional farro
- Sweet Italian Sausage - either chicken or pork raw/bulk sausage
- White or yellow onion
- Canned diced tomatoes - the better quality tomatoes, the better the soup will taste
- Canned cannellini beans
- Beef or chicken stock - preferably beef
- Garlic - fresh is best
- Dried basil
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Italian sausage - raw/bulk hot Italian sausage (either chicken or pork) can work in place of the sweet Italian sausage for some extra heat.
- Farro - many other grains can substitute for the farro. Cooked orzo, quinoa, or couscous are all delicious.
- Beans - canned navy beans, garbanzo beans, or kidney beans can substitute for the cannellini beans.
How to make Italian minestra soup:
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it sputters when flicked with water.
- Add onion & sausage to the pan and cook stirring frequently to break up the sausage until the sausage is cooked through.
- Add garlic and basil and sauté until fragrant.
- Add in the broth & tomatoes to the pot. Turn the heat up to high. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to medium-high heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Add in beans and farro. Simmer the soup for 2 minutes, or until the beans are heated through.
- Season the soup with salt to taste. Ladle the soup into large bowls, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and a few cracks of pepper. Serve hot!
- Cook the farro ahead of time. See below for farro cooking directions. To save on farro cooking time, use instant farro (found at Trader Joe's.)
- Use beef broth, if possible. This will add the best depth of flavor to the soup. Chicken broth certainly works as a back up but doesn't have as much savory depth of flavor as does beef.
- Salt the soup adequately. Salt makes the world of difference in the flavor of a soup. Season the soup sufficiently, or until all of the soup flavors pop.
To decase raw sausage, pinch the sausage in the middle with both hands. Pull your hands away from each other while continuing to pinch. The sausage will come out the ends of the sausage. Repeat with additional sausages.
You cook farro just like pasta. Heat up a few quarts of heavily salted water (2-3 teaspoons salt) until it's boiling.
Pour the farro into the water, and cook according to the package directions cooking time, stirring every 5 or so minutes. Drain the farro in a colander and use a directed.
Serve this soup as a main dish with grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and black pepper alongside a crusty bread or focaccia.
This soup can also be served as an appetizer or first course for a family dinner, Sunday dinner, or dinner party. It's delicious served with:
- Instant Pot Beef Ragu
- Mushroom Farro Risotto
- Instant Pot Cheese Risotto
- Chicken Bolognese Sauce
- Baked Italian Sausage Pasta
This recipe is naturally gluten-free. To make it dairy-free, simply omit the parmesan cheese or substitute it with vegan parmesan cheese.
- Refrigeration: leftover soup keeps covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days
- Freezing: cooled soup can be frozen in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
More easy soup and chili recipes:
- Italian Lentil Soup
- Turkey Rice Soup
- Creamy White Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup
- Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Instant Pot Bean Soup
- Steak Soup
- Pressure Cooker Spiced Red Lentil & Butternut Squash Soup
- Jackfruit Chili
- Pumpkin Sausage Soup
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