Delicious minestrone soup recipe mixes vegetables, beans, fresh herbs, and ditalini pasta simmered in a savory tomato broth. Pairing fresh ingredients with canned beans and tomatoes creates a quick stovetop dish.
Table of Contents
This easy minestrone soup is simple to prepare at home! It’s a popular appetizer served at restaurants like Olive Garden, but this version is even tastier. Using a variety of healthy ingredients adds flavor dimension. Knowing when and how to cook the bite-sized pieces of vegetables while timing the addition of the green beans and pasta is critical. The goal is to nail tender and vibrantly colored food in the bowl, not mushy and dull spoonfuls.
After making many pots of this soup, I learned that adding each ingredient in a particular order and duration gives perfect results. To create a dish full of flavor that saves time, crack open the pantry to use convenient ingredients. I share my essential techniques so you can proudly serve this hearty soup to your loved ones.
Saute the vegetables
Don’t just toss the vegetables in with the stock. Saute them first! Cooking the onion, carrots, celery, carrots, green zucchini, yellow squash, and garlic in olive oil lightly browns the surface. This enhances the natural sweetness of the produce, balancing the taste of the savory ingredients.
Add the fresh beans until the last few minutes of cooking the soup. They cook very quickly. This helps to achieve a bright green color and crisp-tender texture.
Make a flavorful soup base
Minestrone recipes are traditionally made with a tomato-flavored soup base. I use two types of canned tomatoes. Tomato paste is concentrated with sweet and savory notes and helps to thicken the vegetable broth or stock. Canned diced tomatoes are a quick and convenient way to add a burst of fruity flavor and chunky texture.
Simmering with rosemary, oregano, and bay leaves, add lingering aromatics to the soup, which infuses into the liquid. For a quick swap, use dried Italian seasoning.
Add beans and pasta
Canned red kidney beans provide a vegetarian and vegan protein source to the soup. Feel free to substitute with other types of beans like cannellini or navy white beans. The additional fiber makes the dish more hearty. Wait to add at the end of cooking to help retain their shape.
Use a small pasta like ditalini, elbow macaroni, shells, or orzo. As the pasta cooks, the wheat starches will slightly thicken the soup. It takes about 10 minutes to cook. Staggering the incorporation of each ingredient ensures the desired texture and color. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley right before serving. My family loves it topped with grated parmesan cheese.
Serve this with
Frequently Asked Questions
This vegetable soup is an excellent way to incorporate a diverse array of healthy ingredients. Fresh green beans and legumes add fiber and protein. A colorful medley of tomatoes, carrots, and celery provides phytonutrients like lycopene and vitamins like beta-carotene.
Minestrone is a type of thick vegetable soup flavored with tomatoes. Pasta or rice (for a gluten-free option) and beans are added to make the soup heartier.
This recipe for minestrone is the perfect base to add in more protein. Add shredded or diced marinated chicken or leftover roasted chicken to make it a one-pot meal. Alternatively, add pieces of mild or hot Italian sausage.
Do canned tomatoes compare to fresh tomatoes?
I use canned tomatoes for convenience and flavor for soups, chili, and sauces. When picked and processed at peak harvest, vine-ripened plum tomatoes or San Marzano provide excellent sweetness. Otherwise, it’s hit or miss at grocery stores, as tomatoes can be picked when still green and then treated with ethylene gas to ripen before it hits the stores.
Pin this recipe to save for laterPin This
Classic Minestrone Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, ½" dice
- 1 cup celery, ½" dice
- 1 cup carrots, ½" dice
- 1 cup zucchini, ½" dice
- 1 cup yellow squash, ½" dice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes, canned with juice
- 4 cups unsalted vegetable stock, plus more to thin out soup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon chopped oregano, or ½ teaspoon dried
- 15 ounces red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut ½" pieces
- black pepper, as needed for seasoning
- 1 cup dried pasta, Ditalini
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
- Saute the Vegetables – Heat a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat and add oil. Once hot, add the onions, celery, and carrots, and saute until lightly browned, 5 minutes.Add zucchini and yellow squash, and saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Thicken the Liquid – Add tomato paste and saute for 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary, bay leaf, and oregano, and stir to combine. Turn the heat to medium and bring the liquid to a vigorous simmer.
- Cook the Pasta – Add red kidney beans and pasta to the pot, and cook until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Add green beans to the pot and cook until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes.
- To Finish – Remove rosemary sprigs and add more vegetable broth to thin out the consistency, about 1 to 2 cups. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
- Recipe Yield: About 6 cups
- Serving Size: 1 cup (240 ml)
- Make it Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free pasta instead of wheat pasta.
- Storing: Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Cool and portion into resealable plastic bags for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: Cook on the stovetop over medium heat, occasionally stirring until hot. Add more stock or water to thin the consistency as needed.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
Tried this recipe?
Tag me on Instagram. I'd love to see how it turns out!