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This flavorful classic Minestrone Soup recipe is warm, satisfying, and packed full of nutrition. Perfect for the colder months and even more perfect in a homemade bread bowl.
What is Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone Soup is a hearty Italian soup that includes vegetables, broth, and pasta (or rice). It’s one of those great soups that are delicious, vegetarian, and packed full of nutrition. I personally love the stuff and could eat the entire pot. It’s warm, satisfying and one bowl will fill you up! Like lots of other dishes, the longer it cooks the better it tastes. I’d recommend lightly simmering this soup for as long as you can and then 10 minutes before serving, put in the pasta to cook OR just cook it separately and serve it alongside. Top the whole dish with some parmesan cheese and crusty bread and that’s dinner!
Main Ingredients Needed
Overall, Minestrone Soup is a pretty healthy meal! If you don’t like certain vegetables in the recipe then you can omit them or substitute them for other ones. Here’s what you need:
- Olive Oil – this is used to saute the veggies that need a little more cooking time than the rest.
- Onion, Carrots + Celery – these three form the base of this soup. Lots of vitamins and minerals here.
- Chicken Broth – use a high-quality chicken broth for the best results. If you are looking to keep this recipe vegetarian, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
- Dark Kidney Beans + Garbanzo Beans – rinsed and drained. I used these to add in some protein to make this meal more filling.
- Tomato Sauce + Diced Tomatoes – these are added to help make and flavor the broth.
- Cabbage – if you don’t like cabbage then substitute it for zucchini. Zucchini is a pretty traditional ingredient for Minestrone–I didn’t have any on hand but feel free to add it in.
- Basil, Oregano, Salt + Pepper – don’t forget the salt and pepper when it comes to the seasonings.
- Short Cut Pasta – I used mini shells but you could use whatever short cut pasta you have, or even use rice or couscous!
I am a firm believer that you should use ingredients that you have on hand or ingredients that you like. Because of this I encourage my reader’s to make variations to my recipes if they want to. Here are a couple ideas for Minestrone Soup:
- Add Meat: I made a meatless soup but you can easily add in ground beef, chicken, Italian sausage or another type of protein.
- More Vegetables to Use: you could sub out any of the vegetables listed about to make this soup your own. Some ideas include: spinach, potatoes, corn, zucchini, kale, green beans, peas, butternut squash, or collard greans.
- Flavor Enhancing Ingredients: this could be anything from adding garlic to adding lemon juice/zest. There are a lot of variations out there so go crazy and experiment away.
How to Make Minestrone Soup
For full details on how to make Minestrone Soup, see the recipe card down below 🙂
In a large pot, sauté onions, carrots and celery in olive oil over medium heat until slightly softened (the rest of the cooking will continue later in the recipe)
Add Broth + Other Ingredients
Stir in broth, beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings and cabbage.
Simmer + Cook Pasta
Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. The longer it cooks the better the flavor becomes. 10 minutes before serving, pour in pasta to cook or boil it separately.
Top with Parmesan
Serve with parmesan cheese and good quality crusty bread.
Storing Minestrone Soup
Any leftover Minestrone Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If the soup seems too thick after storing it, just add some more broth when you are heating it back up in the microwave or on the stove top.
Because this is a broth-based soup it freezes beautifully! Cool completely then simply store in a freezer-safe container, leaving an inch or two of space at the top to account for expansion, for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight then heat over the stovetop.
More Italian Soups to Try!
If you liked this Minestrone Soup you are bound to like my other Italian soup recipes!
The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy 🙂
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 large carrots peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery washed and chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 15 oz dark kidney beans 1 can, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz garbanzo beans 1 can, rinsed and drained
- 15 oz tomato sauce 1 can
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes 1 can
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano or marjoram
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup short cut pasta such as shells
- In a large pot, sauté onions, carrots, and celery in butter and oil over medium heat for 7-10 minutes.
- Stir in water, chicken broth, beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings, and cabbage.
- Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. 10 minutes before serving, pour in pasta to cook or boil it separately.
- Serve with parmesan cheese and good quality crusty bread.