The Best Minestrone Soup
Published Nov 08, 2023, Updated Nov 30, 2023
This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
This minestrone soup combines loads of fresh vegetables with beans and pasta in a delicious tomato broth. It’s healthy, comforting and sure to become a new family favorite!
Say hello to a bowl of hearty goodness that not only nourishes your body, but also delights your taste buds – my minestrone soup recipe!
Picture a steaming pot filled with a colorful medley of fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs, and wholesome beans, all simmering together in a rich, savory broth. This minestrone soup is a celebration of flavor, health, and simplicity. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is for you.
The first time I has minestrone soup was at Olive Garden and I was honestly blown away by the fact that a simple, vegetable soup could taste so good. I immediately went home and started trying to make my own delicious minestrone and this recipe is the result!
Why You’ll Love This Soup
- Healthy and delicious – It’s loaded with vegetables and packed with tons of flavor from all the herbs and spices, which makes it nutritious and super satisfying!
- Vegetarian – It’s a plant-forward meal that the whole family will love, perfect for meatless Monday.
- Meal prep – One pot makes a lot of soup so you can meal prep the soup on Sunday and have a healthy dinner ready for a couple nights!
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 stalks, gold potatoes, garlic, green beans, zucchini and spinach. It’s a great way to clean out the fridge and use what veggies you have on hand.
- 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! If you don’t need the soup to be vegetarian, feel free to use chicken broth, beef broth or even bone broth.
- 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 – fresh Parmesan cheese is great as a topping. And, as a bonus secret ingredient that will add a ton of flavor, you can toss a parmesan rind into the soup at the same time you add the other seasonings and spices. Just be sure to remove it when you remove the bay leaf.
How to Make Minestrone Soup
While it seems like there are a lot of ingredients in this soup, the majority of them are veggies ad it’s pretty easy to whip up.
Step 1: Start by heating the olive oil over medium-high 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.
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: Pour the soup into bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.
- Try to cut all the veggies the same size so they cook at the same rate.
- For the most efficient soup, I recommend chopping all of the veggies first so you’re ready to add them to the pot as needed.
- 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!
- Dairy-free – Make this soup dairy free by skipping the parmesan for topping or try using a dairy-free parmesan or vegan parmesan.
How to Serve Minestrone Soup
This soup is a filling meal on it’s own thanks to all of the veggies and pasta, and there are so many fun ways to serve it up! Here are some options:
- Bread: Serve your minestrone with a side of fresh bread (like sourdough). The combination of warm soup ad crusty bread is a classic and comforting choice.
- Pesto drizzle: Oh my goodness, drizzling a little basil pesto on top of your minestrone adds such a nice burst of fresh flavor.
- Croutons: Croutons are the perfect crunchy addition to minestrone. Use store-bought or try my sourdough croutons.
- Fresh herbs: Garnish with fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or thyme. These add a pop of color and freshness to the soup.
- Lemon zest: A sprinkle of lemon zest can brighten up the flavors of the soup and add a citrusy twist.
- Red pepper flakes: For those who like a little heat, offer a small dish of red pepper flakes so your guests can spice up their soup to their liking.
- Side salad: Serve your minestrone with a simple side salad of mixed greens, dressed with a light vinaigrette. This balances the heartiness of the soup. My spinach salad or kale salad would be 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 for a few days.
Just allow the soup to cool slightly before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 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. Or you can cook and store the pasta separately.
More Tasty Soup Recipes to Try
- Carrot Parsnip Soup
- Sweet Potato Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Cabbage Soup
- Turkey Soup
- Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken 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 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.