Hearty Minestrone Soup

This classic Italian recipe is a family favorite. My hearty minestrone soup is packed full of veggies and lots of flavor, making it perfect for chilly weather!

Even though this soup is hearty, it’s not heavy. With all the nutritious vegetables, I could eat bowl after bowl! Whenever I make it on a cold day, I like to serve it with a warm loaf of No Knead Artisan Bread or slices of Focaccia.

Minestrone soup in a white bowl with a spoon

Minestrone Soup (Plus a Twist!)

I’m ashamed to admit that this is only the second time in the past 8 years that I’ve made minestrone! My Italian family would be so disappointed, but when you love soup as much as I do, it’s hard to eat the same kind over again.

I’m kind of a mad scientist in the kitchen when it comes to soup, just ask my husband. I stayed pretty true to this classic though, with the exception of one ingredient: pesto! Our family is obsessed with basil pesto… it’s FULL of herby flavor and I think it adds a nice flavor that really takes this soup from good to amazing!! 

How to make minestrone soup in a stock pot

Ingredient Tips

Traditional minestrone soup was initially created with the intent to use up leftover vegetables, so you really can use almost any veggies your heart desires! The vegetables I used for this recipe include:

  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Green Beans
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach

Some other vegetable options you might use in your soup could be:

  • Potatoes
  • Yellow Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peas

Pasta: You can see in the pictures I used anellini pasta, but you can use any small pasta such as shells, elbows, or ditalini. 

Parmesan Rind: Our grocery store sells them next to the specialty cheese—ask if you’re having trouble finding it!

A ladle full of Italian Minestrone Soup

How to Make Minestrone Soup

SAUTE. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

SIMMER & COOK. Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, great northern beans, vegetable broth, chicken broth (or water), tomato paste, pesto, bay leaves, oregano, salt, pepper, rosemary, and parmesan rind. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

ADD/COOK PASTA. Remove the cover and turn heat to medium-high. When the liquid is boiling, add the pasta, zucchini, and green beans, stir well. Cook until the pasta is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

SPINACH. During the last 5 minutes, add the spinach and allow it to wilt.

SERVE. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Close up of minestrone soup ingredients

Variations and Storage Tips

Vegetarian Minestrone: This recipe doesn’t include meat, but if you want it to be truly vegetarian, just use water in place of the chicken broth.

Add Meat: You can easily add ground beef, sausage or turkey for a protein-packed version too.

STORE: Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat large batches in a pot on the stovetop, or individual portions in the microwave.

FREEZE: The pasta contained in the soup won’t hold up well in the freezer, so if you’re planning from the start to freeze the soup, leave the pasta out. The soup will hold up in the freezer for 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge, and add cooked pasta if desired as you’re reheating the soup.

Hearty Minestrone Soup in a white bowl with a spoon

I hope you’ll give this hearty minestrone soup a try, it’s bound to become a cold weather favorite!

For more delicious soups packed with veggies, try:

Hearty Minestrone Soup | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe

This classic Italian recipe is a family favorite. My hearty minestrone soup is packed full of veggies and lots of flavor!
5 from 5 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 176kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup yellow onion - diced
  • 1 cup celery - diced
  • 1 cup carrots - diced
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced (raw or roasted)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can red kidney beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can great northern beans - drained and rinsed
  • 5 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cup low-sodium chicken broth - or water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 1 1/2 cup small shells - OR small elbows, ditalini or anellini
  • 1 1/2 cup zucchini - quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 1 cup frozen green beans - thawed
  • 2 cup baby spinach - roughly chopped

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, great northern beans, vegetable broth, chicken broth (or water), tomato paste, pesto, bay leaves, oregano, salt, pepper, rosemary, and parmesan rind. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and turn heat to medium-high. When the liquid is boiling, add the pasta, zucchini, and green beans, stir well. Cook until the pasta is tender, about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, add the spinach and allow it to wilt. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Notes

-Try adding 1 pound ground sausage, turkey or beef to this recipe!

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 443mg | Potassium: 444mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3775IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

    1. Yes! I’d suggest simmering everything for a half hour or so longer do the meat gets nice and tender, then add the pasta.

  1. Excellent! Let it stand overnight then reheated & added spinach next day. Also added a touch of red wine. This hit the spot!! YUM! Thanks for the recipe! Will be in winter rotation for sure?

  2. loved it, used cup or so of your leftover beef stock unsalted use chicken stock unsalted and the rest water. used what I had on hand and it was fabulous. Thanks for the recipe

  3. 5 stars
    It is definitely soup weather here in Utah! This is one of my favorite soup recipes! Trying it out this weekend! YUMMY!

  4. Do you drain the diced tomatoes before you put them in? What about the beans, rinse and wash?

    Can’t wait to try it!