Minestrone Soup

This one-pot minestrone is a lifesaver for busy weeknights. It’s brimming with fresh vegetables, beans, and pasta, making it a complete and satisfying vegetarian meal. Plus, it’s easily adaptable to your preferences and dietary needs – perfect for using up leftover veggies or customizing for vegan or gluten-free eaters. It’s also freezer-friendly, so you can make a big batch and enjoy it throughout the week.

This soup is my go-to for getting a healthy dose of vegetables. It’s a challenge for me to incorporate enough veggies in my regular diet, and this soup is a delicious solution!

I’ve created other healthy versions of comfort food classics that sneak in extra veggies, but this minestrone might just be my favorite. Packed with colorful vegetables, protein-rich beans, and comforting pasta, all simmered in a flavorful broth, this soup is a winner.

What is Minestrone Soup?

Minestrone is a classic Italian soup featuring a hearty combination of vegetables, beans, and either pasta or rice. It’s a versatile dish that can be easily customized with your favorite ingredients.

Ingredients:

This vegetarian minestrone is loaded with good-for-you ingredients:

  • Oil: Any neutral oil like canola will work for sauteing the vegetables.
  • Veggies: The classic trio of onion, celery, and carrot forms the base of our flavor.
  • Tomato Paste: This thickens the broth and adds richness.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced garlic adds the best garlicky punch.
  • Seasonings: Salt, dried parsley, oregano, basil, black pepper, and a touch of red pepper flakes for a kick.
  • Spinach: Fresh spinach is ideal, but frozen can be used if added earlier to ensure it cooks through.
  • Broth: Low-sodium chicken broth provides a savory base. You can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.
  • Canned Tomatoes: Look for low-sodium diced tomatoes for convenience.
  • Beans: I use a combination of red and white kidney beans for a protein boost. Remember to drain and rinse them before adding.
  • Pasta: No pre-cooking needed! The pasta cooks perfectly right in the soup.
  • Parmesan Cheese: A sprinkle of salty Parmesan adds the perfect finishing touch.

Making Minestrone Soup:

This recipe comes together in just one pot, with minimal prep time:

  1. Sauté the Aromatics: Heat oil in a large pot and cook the carrots, celery, and onion until softened. Add the seasonings and cook for another minute to release their fragrance.
  2. Add Remaining Ingredients: Stir in the broth, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a simmer and cook until the carrots are tender.
  3. Cook the Pasta: Add the pasta, cover the pot, and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the pasta reaches your desired doneness.
  4. Finishing Touches: Stir in the spinach and serve hot, topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Crockpot Minestrone:

Soup is a perfect candidate for slow cooking, and minestrone is no exception! This method allows for even more hands-off cooking, perfect for busy days.

  • Simply combine all ingredients (except the pasta) in your slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 8-9 hours, or high for 4-5 hours, adjusting the time based on your slow cooker’s heat and the size of your vegetables.
  • For perfectly cooked pasta, I recommend cooking it separately on the stovetop. Alternatively, add it to the slow cooker 20 minutes before the end of cooking time, but keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking.

Variations:

Feel free to customize this soup to your liking!

  • Veggie Extravaganza: Add any vegetables you have on hand – frozen corn, green beans, broccoli, butternut squash, kale, zucchini – the possibilities are endless!
  • Hearty Option: Want to add some meat? Saute Italian sausage, ground turkey, or ground beef with the celery, carrot, and onion for an extra protein punch. Adjust seasonings if using unseasoned meat.
  • Gluten-Free Twist: Simply swap regular pasta for your favorite gluten-free variety. For the best texture, cook gluten-free noodles separately and add them to individual bowls when serving.
  • Creamy Comfort: For a richer soup, stir in a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half after cooking.

Enjoy this delicious and versatile minestrone soup!

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Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

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This one-pot minestrone is a lifesaver for busy weeknights. It’s brimming with fresh vegetables, beans, and pasta, making it a complete and satisfying vegetarian meal. Plus, it’s easily adaptable to your preferences and dietary needs – perfect for using up leftover veggies or customizing for vegan or gluten-free eaters. It’s also freezer-friendly, so you can make a big batch and enjoy it throughout the week.

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 celery ribs (sliced)
  • 3 large carrots (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon each: dried parsley, oregano, basil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes (no added salt)
  • 1 cup each: rinsed red & white kidney beans
  • 1 cup small pasta (shells, elbows, etc.)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sauté onion, celery, and carrots until softened (3-4 minutes).
  2. Stir in tomato paste, spices, and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add broth, tomatoes, and beans. Simmer for 10 minutes or until carrots are tender-crisp.
  4. Add pasta and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often, until pasta is cooked.
  5. Stir in spinach and serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  • Author: Anwar
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 358grams
  • Calories: 210cal
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Sodium: 1033mg
  • Fat: 49g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 11g

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