Nothing’s better than making a big pot of homemade soup for the family!
Minestrone Soup is an Italian classic packed with vegetables, pasta, kidney beans, and tomatoes in a richly seasoned tomato broth.
This soup is easy to make and reheats well for lunches or quick dinners throughout the week. It’s simple but warm and cozy when everyone’s craving a belly-warming meal!
What is Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone soup is an Italian favorite. A flavorful tomato-based broth is packed with hearty goodness from vegetables, beans, and pasta or rice. It’s often served as a first course but makes a great hearty meal too. While you may have tried this soup at Olive Garden, it’s even better made at home.
Make it into a vegetarian Minestrone by substituting the broth. Serve with a chunk of homemade bread or French bread.
Why You’ll Love It!
- It’s fast, easy, and is on the table in about 30 minutes.
- It’s versatile: You can mix and match your veggies as you wish. Keep it meatless or add in your own favorite protein like cooked Italian sausage.
- It’s Healthy: This Minestrone Soup is packed with flavor but is also full of good-for-you ingredients for a healthy weeknight dinner.
- It’s Budget-friendly: Soup is great way to stretch the budget, especially if you’re serving with a good loaf of bread to fill hungry tummies. Vegetables in minestrone soup are easy to find and pasta won’t break the bank.
- It’s Hearty and delicious! Most importantly, this hearty Minestrone Soup recipe is so delicious and the beans and pasta make it nice and hearty!
Ingredients in Minestrone Soup
VEGETABLES: Homemade minestrone soup starts with carrots, celery, onions cooked in a little bit of olive oil. We add in zucchini, spinach (or kale), and a can of diced tomatoes.
This is a good soup for using up leftover veggies like green beans or roasted cauliflower (or if time is short, simply toss in a bag of mixed frozen vegetables).
BROTH: While this soup doesn’t contain meat, we do prefer chicken broth as the base (although vegetable broth works too). The juices from the tomatoes, seasonings, and garlic cloves add flavor. To give it a boost, add a parmesan rind or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the simmering soup.
If using fresh herbs, they should be stirred in at the end just before serving.
BEANS: Red or white kidney beans (cannellini) beans are firm and hold up well in this recipe. Swap them out for garbanzos if needed. Always rinse canned beans in cold water to rinse off any preservatives and extra sodium.
PASTA OR RICE: Minestrone soup can have one or more types of pasta or rice added to the pot to make it thicker and heartier. Rotini, penne, shells, ditalini, or orzo are good choices. Rice choices can range from plain white rice to brown to long-grain, again, any kind will do!
How to Make Minestrone Soup
For a hot lunch or even for “soup as a meal,” minestrone is always a great choice!
- Cook the carrots, celery, and onion in a large dutch oven or soup pot until tender.
- Add remaining ingredients per the recipe below except for the pasta and spinach and simmer until tender.
- Add pasta and cook until tender. Stir in spinach and serve with parmesan cheese.
Plan for Leftovers
If you’re planning for leftovers, cook the pasta separately and add it to each bowl individually. If pasta is cooked with the soup, it will get mushy if it sits in the fridge overnight or is frozen so drain it and store it separately.
If cooking the pasta separately, be sure to salt the pasta water or cook it in broth for the best flavor.
Cooking Option: Crock-Pot
- Follow steps 1 and 2 (as per the recipe below).
- Place sautéed vegetables in a Crockpot and cover with remaining ingredients except for pasta and spinach.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir in the spinach.
- Cook the pasta on the side and add to each serving.
Storing Leftover Soup
Keep leftover Minestrone soup in a covered container for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove. Freeze portions in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 8 weeks. Thaw in a pot on low heat until ready to serve.
Savory & Satisfying Soups
- Easy Taco Soup – so fast!
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup – a classic fave
- Ham and Bean Soup – so hearty!
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortellini Soup – a complete meal in a bowl
- Italian Sausage Soup – perfect for a crowd
- Chicken Rice Soup
- Turkey Tetrazzini Soup – rich & creamy
Did your family love this Minestrone Soup? Leave us a comment and a rating below!
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 large carrots finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- ½ medium onion finely diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 540 ml canned red kidney beans rinsed (about 2 cups)
- 1 ½ cups Rotini pasta dry
- 2 cups fresh spinach finely chopped
- Parmesan for serving, shredded or grated
- In a large pot cook and stir the oil, carrots, celery and onion over medium-high heat until the onion has softened, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, and beans. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- Add the pasta and stir, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta reaches desired tenderness. Stir in spinach and let sit for 2 minutes.
- Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese as desired.
- You can substitute rice for pasta, you'll need about 2/3 cup uncooked rice.
- You can mix and match your veggies as you wish. Keep it meatless or add in your own favorite protein like cooked Italian sausage.
- This is a good soup for using up leftover veggies or, if time is short, use mixed frozen vegetables.
- Always rinse canned beans in cold water to rinse off any preservatives and extra sodium.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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