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Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup is easy, healthy, hearty, comforting, versatile and all made in one pot! This Classic Minestrone Soup is loaded with vegetables, tomatoes, beans and pasta in a dynamic, rich tomato broth.  It is warm, satisfying, can be made with your favorite veggies, with or without meat and with or without pasta.  It is 1000X better than Olive Garden Minestrone Soup, makes a ton and tastes even better the next day for easy lunch or dinner! 
Servings Prep Time
8servings 15minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
Servings Prep Time
8servings 15minutes
Cook Time
30minutes
up close of a ladle full of Italian Minestrone Soup with pasta
Ingredients
  • 1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tablespoon buttermay sub olive oil
  • 1 small oniondiced
  • 2 medium size carrotschopped (1 cup)
  • 3 stalks celerychopped (1 cup)
  • 4-6 garlic clovesminced
  • 5oz. fresh green beanstrimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchinithickly sliced (1/4”) and quartered
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans diced fire roasted tomatoes with juices
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15.5 oz. can kidney beansdrained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2tsp EACH dried basil, dried parsley
  • 1tsp EACH dried oregano, salt, sugar
  • 1/2tsp EACH black pepper, dried thyme
  • 1/8-1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6cups low sodium chicken brothmay sub vegetable broth
  • 2cups water
ADD LATER
  • 1 1/2cups uncooked small pasta shells
  • 2-3cups baby spinach
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basiloptional
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in olive oil in a large Dutch oven/soup pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  2. Add all remaining soup ingredients through the water. Cover soup and bring to a boil. Uncover and reduce to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add pasta and cook just until al dente.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Let wilt (about 1 minute). Add additional water if desired for a less “chunky” soup.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan.
Recipe Notes
  • Correct Pasta: My favorite pasta to use for this Minestrone Soup recipe is small/mini pasta shells.  Small pasta shapes that are about the size of your chopped veggies ensure you get the right ratio of pasta to veggies in every slurpful. Other small pastas such as ditalini (the small short tubes) and mini penne will also work.  I don’t recommend medium pastas.
  • Al Dente Pasta: Cook the pasta just until al dente (meaning it has a little bite) to it because it will still cook a little once you remove it from the heat and nothing is worse than ruining a whole pot of Minestrone Soup than with soggy pasta.
  • Cook Pasta Separately: As this Minestrone Soup Recipe is written, the pasta cooks in the pot with the veggies.  If you aren’t prepared to babysit your pasta towards the end of cooking, then simply cook your pasta separately and add to individual bowls.  You will also want to cook your pasta separately if you plan on freezing your Minestrone Soup.
  • Customize Veggies: This Minestrone Recipe is very forgiving when it comes to customizing the veggies with whatever you have on hand. You can swap the spinach for Swiss chard or baby kale, add potatoes (chopped ½” and add with green beans), add frozen peas, cabbage (both at end when you would add spinach), etc.
  • Zucchini: The zucchini takes the least amount of time to cook, so take care you cut it on the thick side – at least ¼” chunks.
  • Green Beans: I like fresh green beans but they are not my favorite vegetable – but guess what?!  They are my favorite vegetable in this Minestrone Soup Recipe – I highly recommend them!
  • Add protein. I love this Minestrone Soup as the base for whatever meat we have on hand or whatever we’re craving.  It’s fabulous to throw in some shredded rotisserie chicken, any type of ground meat (turkey, beef or Italian Sausage) or even mini meatballs!
  • Pre Chopped Veggies: This Minestrone Soup comes together very quickly – the only prep work you have to do is chop your veggies.  To save time and make this recipe almost “dump and simmer,” you can purchase pre-chopped veggies.
  • Scale Down: This recipe makes a lot of servings so I would recommend scaling down if you don’t have a large family and don’t want leftovers.  If you do love leftovers (raising my hand high), then you will love leftover Minestrone Soup for an easy lunch or dinner!
  • Rice for Pasta: I am a HUGE wild rice fan, so I will sometimes use wild rice instead of pasta in this Minestrone. If you choose to use rice, I recommend cooking it separately to ensure proper cooking of the rice and not overcooking of the veggies.
  • Consistency: The “chunkiness” of a soup is totally personal preference.  For a less chunky Minestrone Soup, simply add additional water at the end of cooking.

 

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