Italian Minestrone Soup

5 from 2 votes

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This hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe is a delicious, light, and healthy soup perfect for cold weather. An Italian classic packed with vegetables and beans in a light tomato broth. Vegetarian and vegan.
A bowl of Italian Minestrone Soup with a spoon in it.

Italian Minestrone Soup is a classic Italian soup that is full of vegetables, beans, and some pasta. A great way to warm up on cold winter months with a healthy and hearty vegetable soup.

A bowl of Italian Minestrone Soup with a spoon in it.

Why You Will Love This Recipe  

The versatile soup is so simple yet fresh, healthy, and filling.  A tomato broth is filled with hearty vegetables, beans, and a little bit of pasta. There are so many variations and modifications that you can make to it with what you have on hand or what you like.

This is one of my favorite soups to make, especially in the winter months.  It is healthy, fast to make, fills you up, and can be done with whatever you have in your refrigerator.

All you need for this hearty meal is some canned beans, a variety of vegetables, and pasta!

Looking down closely on a bowl of Italian Minestrone Soup.

Ingredients

Full quantities and recipe details can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Let’s talk about what you need to make this classic Italian minestrone soup!

Red Kidney Beans

Cannellini Beans – or Great Northern Beans, or other white beans

Small Pasta – I love to use small shells, a classic pasta shape for minestrone soup. But you can use any small pasta or even a shaped pasta as desired. It is also a great way to use up leftover pasta you have in the refrigerator!

Vegetable Broth – or stock. You can also use chicken broth if you do not need it to be vegetarian

Celery Stalk

Fresh Zucchini

Mushrooms

Carrots

Yellow Onion

Garlic Cloves

Diced Tomatoes

Tomato Sauce

Dried Basil

Dried Oregano

Vegetable Oil

Salt

Black Pepper

Fresh Herbs – perfect for garnishing. I love to add some fresh parsley!

Minestrone Soup

Instruction Overview

Heat a large pot or large Dutch oven over medium heat.

Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes.

Add zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach and cook until they begin to soften, approximately 3 minutes.

Add garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper to vegetables and stir. Let the spices sauté for approximately 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and stock to pot. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While simmering, cook pasta in separate pot as per package directions until al dente.

Stir in the pasta and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Finish the classic minestrone soup off with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and/or some fresh parsley. I also love serving it up with some crusty bread like my No Knead Rustic Rosemary Bread!

Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container. Leftover soup is even better the next day, in my opinion! This minestrone reheats incredibly well.

Modifications and Substitutions

One thing I love about a minestrone soup is how versatile it is! It is so easy to swap out or add any ingredient based on your preference, seasonal fresh vegetables, or what you have on hand. Here are some ideas of ingredients you could add to the soup:

  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Green Beans
  • Seasonal Vegetables – whatever is available!
  • Yellow Squash
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Red Pepper Flakes – if you want a little heat
  • Ground Beef
  • Ground Turkey
  • Italian Sausage
  • Fresh Basil
  • Parmesan Rind – adds amazing flavor! Just add it when cooking and remove for serving

Keep it a vegetarian minestrone soup by sticking to vegetable broth, no Parmesan (unless it is vegetarian friendly), and vegetarian additions.

This recipe is similar to the Olive Garden Minestrone Soup. If you want it like the restaurant, make sure you add some green beans!

FAQs

Why is pasta cooked separately for soup?

If you cook pasta within the soup itself, it will absorb moisture from the soup. But more importantly, all of the starches released from the pasta are then trapped in the soup. If you prefer, you can definitely cook the pasta in the soup itself however you will tend to get better outcomes by cooking it separately and then adding it when serving.

What are the ingredients in Italian minestrone soup?

The exact ingredients in an Italian minestrone soup varies slightly. It is made with various vegetables, beans, and pasta in a light tomato broth.

Does minestrone traditionally contain meat?

Minestrone is known for using in-season vegetables. It does not commonly contain meat, but meat can definitely be added if desired.

Pin of Italian Minestrone Soup in a white bowl with title at top.

More Meatless Soups

A bowl of Italian Minestrone Soup with a spoon in it.

Minestrone Soup Recipe

This hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe is a delicious, light, and healthy soup perfect for cold weather. An Italian classic packed with vegetables and beans in a light tomato broth. Vegetarian and vegan.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: 30 Min or Less, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 large servings (3 quarts, or 12 cups)
Calories: 345kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup white onion diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1 medium carrot diced
  • 1 small zucchini diced
  • ¾ cup mushrooms diced (I like to use Portabello and/or white button)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach chopped (or 1 cup frozen) (or kale)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 28 ounces diced tomato large can
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed (or great northern) (approx 15 ounces)
  • 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed (approx 15 ounces)
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable stock (learn how to make your own below!) (increase to 6 cups if you like thinner soups)
  • 1 cup small pasta of choice (ditalini, small shells, etc)

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in large pot on medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
    1 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup white onion, 1 stalk celery, 1 medium carrot
  • Add zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach and cook until they begin to soften, approximately 3 minutes.
    1 small zucchini, ¾ cup mushrooms, 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Add garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper to vegetables and stir. Let the spices sauté for approximately 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, and stock to pot. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    28 ounces diced tomato, 15 ounces tomato sauce, 1 can cannellini beans, 1 can kidney beans, 3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • While simmering, cook pasta in separate pot as per package directions until al dente.
    1 cup small pasta of choice
  • Stir in the pasta and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Notes

Learn how to make your own vegetable stock here!
*If you are using a larger shape of pasta, such as medium shells, rotini, etc., you may want to increase the volume of dry pasta to 1 1/2 cups.
Add more or less stock as desired based on how thin or thick you like soup to be.
This soup is amazing served with our Rustic No Knead Rosemary Bread!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (1/4) | Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 2087mg | Potassium: 1505mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 5274IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 7mg
By on January 13th, 2016

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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