Black Beanie Minestrone

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

This recipe has it all.  It’s high in protein, high in vitamins and minerals, has lots of phytochemicals, and it’s high in dietary fiber. You can serve this with homemade cornbread to round out the meal.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:  341 calories, 13 grams protein, 16 grams of fat, 39 grams of CHO, 11 grams dietary fiber,  610 mg sodium.

Preparation Time: 

Serves:  6


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup canned light or dark kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup canned Great Northern beans, rinsed & drained
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 medium red tomatoes, diced or 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups baby spinach, fresh or 2 cups frozen, thawed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 6 tsp olive oil for drizzling on top
  • 6 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated


In a large pot over medium heat, sauté oil and onions until they are tender about 10 minutes. Add carrots and cook for about 3 minutes. Add celery, beans, & water and cook for about 20 minutes.  Add diced potatoes & zucchini & cook for another 20 minutes. Add tomatoes & juices & cover and simmer for additional 30 minutes. Add spinach and pepper and cook for additional 3 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil over each serving with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Shopping List

  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • celery stalk
  • black beans
  • light or dark kidney beans
  • Great Northern beans
  • Yukon Gold potatoes or red skinned potatoes
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 medium red tomatoes
  • baby spinach, fresh or frozen
  • Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano

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Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition,, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 13 grandchildren.     

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