Country-Style Soup (Minestra Di Campagna)

Total Time
25hrs 30mins
Prep 24 hrs
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

Creativity with simple ingredients is one of the themes of Sicilian cooking. There's no better example than this bean and vegetable soup, which some say evolved from food that fifteenth-century galley cooks made for mariners. From Bon Appetite, 1997.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place fava beans in medium saucepan.
  2. Place Great Northern beans in large bowl.
  3. Add enough cold water to each to cover by 3 inches and let soak overnight.
  4. Bring fava beans to boil in their soaking liquid.
  5. Boil 5 minutes.
  6. Drain fava beans and cool slightly.
  7. Using small sharp knife, make small slit in skin of each bean.
  8. Peel off outer skins and discard.
  9. Drain Great Northern beans.
  10. Bring 6 cups water to boil in large pot.
  11. Add all beans, onion, carrot and celery.
  12. Partially cover; simmer over medium heat until beans are half cooked, about 30 minutes.
  13. Add cabbage and lettuce.
  14. Partially cover; cook until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.
  15. Season with salt and pepper.
  16. Ladle into bowls.
  17. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  18. Drizzle with oil.
Most Helpful

I used Roman beans and red cabbage. This soup was very good and everyone enjoyed it. But the leftovers took on an interesting, not altogether pleasing, color - probably the red cabbage, next time, I'll use white.

Marsha Mazz February 09, 2008

I used great northern and cannelloni beans instead of the fava beans and doubled the recipe. The taste of the beans with the cabbage is so good!! Light, nice soup that would be a great beginning to a meal.

lauralie41 September 07, 2005

Great soup! I love the combination of fava and cannellini beans. Along with all the other vegetables (and the addition of a couple of parmesan rinds and 1 fat clove of garlic - I can't resist!) this was a really good soup to ward off the cold. I took your advise and added no oil as the soup was cooking but drizzled it over the soup at table - great touch - I used much less than I normally would and it added a flavour nuance that made it another ingredient rather than just a cooking fat. Into the keeper file with you.

evelyn/athens February 01, 2005