Classic Minestrone Soup
Published Nov 29, 2021, Updated Jan 27, 2023
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This classic recipe for minestrone soup combines loads of fresh vegetables with beans and pasta in a delicious tomato broth. It’s healthy, hearty, comforting and sure to become a new family favorite! Skip the parmesan to make this recipe vegan.
This classic minestrone soup recipe is perfect for a chilly winter night. Clean out the fridge and throw a bunch of fresh veggies in this soup for the ultimate fiber-packed soup.
Why You’ll Love This Soup
- It’s loaded with vegetables and flavor and is super satisfying for a vegetable soup!
- The perfect vegetarian (or vegan if you skip the cheese) meal that the whole family will love.
- Make one pot of soup and eat healthy all week long!
Here’s What You Need
- olive oil – to sauté the vegetables in and mix in at the end of cooking for additional flavor.
- vegetables – this soup has a mixture of chopped yellow onion, carrots, celery, gold potatoes, garlic, green beans, zucchini and spinach. It’s a great way to clean out the fridge!
- seasonings and spices – a combination of dried basil, thyme, oregano, a bay leaf, sea salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes add a ton of flavor to this soup!
- fire roasted tomatoes – I used diced, canned fire-roasted tomatoes. You could also use regular diced tomatoes but I like the added flavor the roasted tomatoes add!
- vegetable broth – I recommend using low sodium vegetable broth so you can control the amount of sodium that goes into the soup!
- kidney beans – I used canned kidney beans for a shortcut but you can make your own as well. If using canned, just make sure you drain and rinse them well before using.
- pasta – I used ditalini pasta but any small shell pasta works great. If you need gluten-free pasta, I love lentil pasta for extra fiber and protein.
- lemon juice – a squeeze of fresh lemon juice adds acidity to the dish which makes all of the flavors pop!
- fresh parsley – I love adding fresh herbs right before serving for an extra burst of flavor.
- Parmesan cheese – optional but I recommend grating Parmesan cheese as a topping for added flavor and texture.
How to Make Minestrone Soup
While it seems like there are a ton of ingredients in this soup, the majority of them are veggies! For the most efficient soup, I recommend chopping all of the veggies first so you can assemble this soup quickly.
Start by heating the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Next, add the onion, carrots, celery and potato and cook until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Stir in the garlic, basil, thyme and oregano and sauté for 2-3 more minutes.
Add in the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the green beans, zucchini, kidney beans and pasta and continue simmering, uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is al dente and all of the vegetables are tender.
Remove the pot from the heat, remove the bay leaf and stir in the spinach, lemon juice, remaining oil and fresh parsley. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Pour the soup into bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.
pro tip! try to cut all the veggies the same size so they cook at the same rate.
- Dairy-free – Make this soup dairy free by skipping the parmesan for topping or try using a dairy-free or vegan parmesan.
- Swap noodles – Ditalini noodles are classic in minestrone soup, but elbow, small shells or orecchiette would all be great options. You could also mix in cooked grains if you’d like! I think rice or quinoa would be delicious. If you’re looking for a pasta-free minestrone try my slow cooker minestrone soup instead.
- More protein – I made a batch with 1 can of kidney beans and 1 can of white beans and liked having the variety of beans. So, feel free to add in more beans for an added protein boost if you want! Adding in ground turkey or beef when you sauté the onions and veggies would be another delicious option for added protein. I’ve actually made it with ground turkey and ground beef for a hearty soup that packs even more protein.
- Use what you have – This is a great “clean out the fridge” soup! Have different vegetables you want to get rid of? Throw them in!
How to Make in the Slow Cooker
To make this soup in your slow cooker, add all of the ingredients except for the pasta, spinach, parsley, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil and parmesan to your slow cooker.
Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours or until veggies and beans are fork-tender. Next, stir in the pasta and spinach cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
Remove bay leaf and stir in lemon juice, remaining oil and fresh parsley. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and additional spices, to taste.
How to Serve Minestrone Soup
This soup is a meal in one thanks to all of the veggies and pasta! I do like to add bread or crackers to dip in the brothy soup – it would be delicious with fresh sourdough or my homemade almond crackers. If you’re looking. to serve this soup with a side salad this garlicky kale salad or spinach salad are great options.
How to Store Leftovers
Like I mentioned, I love making soup for meal prep because you can make one pot and enjoy it all week long. Allow the soup to cool slightly before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. I don’t recommend freezing this soup as the vegetables, bean and pasta texture will change.
note! the pasta will soak up more liquid as it sits, so when serving leftovers you might need to add more broth or water to the soup.
More Soup Recipes to Try
- Detox Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Quinoa Vegetable Soup
- Vegan Potato Soup
- Black Bean Soup
- Carrot Parsnip Soup
- Sweet Potato Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Cabbage Soup
Be sure to check out all of the soup recipes here on EBF!
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 medium gold potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 28 ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped into small cubes
- 1 15 ounce can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 cup ditalini pasta or small shell pasta
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for serving
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and potato and cook until onions are translucent and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Add in garlic, basil, thyme and oregano and sauté for 2-3 minutes more.
- Next add in diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir in green beans, zucchini, kidney beans and pasta. Continue simmering uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is al dente and vegetables are tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat, remove bay leaf and stir in spinach, lemon juice, remaining oil and fresh parsley. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and additional spices, to taste.
- Pour soup into bowls and serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.
- Note: Pasta will soak up some of the liquid so if serving leftovers you might need to add more broth or water to the soup.
- Want more protein? Add in another 15 ounce can of beans or ground turkey or beef. Cook ground turkey or beef along with onions, carrots and celery in the first step.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.