Prepare to be amazed by the sheer simplicity and mouthwatering flavors of this Homemade Minestrone Soup recipe. Packed with an enticing medley of veggies, beans, tomatoes, pasta, and an aromatic blend of herbs, it's a delightful bowl of Italian-inspired vegetarian goodness.
Have you tried minestrone soup? You know the kind that Olive Garden sells. Well this recipe is nothing like the Olive Garden soup – actually IMHO it is 100 times better (and so is my Chicken gnocchi soup!). Their minestrone soup used to be one of Ms. Little A’s favorite so I decided to try making it at home one time. My southern Heritage cookbook (which I wrote about in the harvest apple cake recipe), came with a recipe of minestrone. So that is where I start my homemade minestrone soup journey.
Minestrone is really more of a lively process than a static recipe. This soup is made with fresh seasonal vegetables, and the common ingredients include beans, garlic, onions, celery, and carrots in a broth with tomatoes and aromatic herbs. It is an easy and delicious meal that you can make with a couple of pantry staples (just like the one pot vegan taco skillet) and whatever fresh vegetables you happen to have on hand.
This recipe makes a big pot of soup so it's a perfect for a crowd! Simply pair it with a fresh, rustic loaf of crusty bread or a slice of thyme and rosemary focaccia , and you're all set for a memorable feast.
This recipe starts with a humble beginning of mirepoix/soffritto (diced onions, carrots and celery sautéed in olive oil), flavor with garlic, add tomatoes, whatever seasonal vegetables you have, canned beans of your choice, broth of your liking, and herbs of your choice.
- Soffritto - That's the Italian name for a mixture of diced carrots, onions, and celery. These three ingredients form the aromatic flavor base of this hearty vegetarian soup.
- Veggies - I added zucchini in this version but feel free to use whatever you have on hand or is in season. Some options could be other seasonal squash like pumpkin or butternut and/or greens like swiss chard.
- Beans - Canned kidney beans are more traditional in this soup. You can choose to use dark or light red kidney bean, that is totally a personal preference. Cannellini beans also work great!
- Herbs - Fresh rosemary and basil in combination with dried oregano are my favorite to use in this soup. But if you cannot find fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs too.
- Pasta - Any small shaped pasta will work - elbow macaroni, small farfalle or penne. I have also made the soup with cheese or mushroom ravioli.
See recipe card for quantities and other ingredients.
How to make Minestrone Soup
Step 1: In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven heat up oil and add soffrito to it (diced onions, carrots and celery) along with minced garlic (Image 1). Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened a little bit.
Step 2: Add the rosemary sprig and chopped and/or canned tomatoes and continue to sauté for a minute or two (Image 2).
Steps 3 and 4: Add the zucchini, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes (Image 3). Take the lid off and add the beans (Image 4).
Steps 5 and 6: Add the broth and water (Image 5) along with oregano, basil, salt and pepper (Image 6). Cover, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Steps 7 and 8: Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and cook, covered for 20 minutes (Image 7). Add pasta and cook for another 10 minutes (Image 8). Check seasoning in the soup, adjust if needed, and serve warm. Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired.
Tips for this Recipe
- Ravioli - Traditionally, small sized pasta pasta is used in minestrone soup. But if you are not planning to enjoy this right away or have leftovers, the pasta will keep absorbing the broth. My tip is to used a filled pasta like cheese ravioli instead.
- Make Ahead - If you plan on making this soup ahead of time, you can cook the pasta separately and add it to the soup when ready to serve, bring it to boil with the pasta and serve hot.
- Italian style Tomatoes - If you can find them, use Italian style canned diced tomatoes with fresh tomatoes. The canned tomatoes have a deep herby flavor that is great in this soup.
- Vegan - Skip the parmesan and this minestrone soup becomes vegan! or use this vegan parmesan recipe.
- Rice - You can also use rice instead of pasta. Add the rice 15 minutes after the soup comes to a boil and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Gluten free - You can use a gluten free pasta (lentil or chickpea pasta) to make this recipe gluten free.
Storage and reheating instructions
You can store your cooked minestrone soup in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Reheat in a sauce pan of microwave. If planning to make this pasta ahead of time, cook the pasta separately. When ready to eat, add the cooked pasta to the soup and reheat together.
Serve your homemade minestrone soup hot topped with fresh grated parmesan, fresh basil, and freshly cracked black pepper. You can also add a topping of my nutfree pesto recipe to add a beautiful flavor to the soup.
This soup is packed with vegetables and provides a lot of fiber and the beans provide plant based protein. It is essentially a complete meal in a bowl.
Minestrone has a clear broth with lots of vegetables and beans in it whereas fagioli is made with just beans and the broth is thicker since some of the beans are blended into the broth.
Minestrone soup elevates the classic vegetable soup to a heartier, more satisfying level. So, in addition to other vegetables, kidney-beans, and pasta nutrient-rich potatoes can be a delightful addition.
Related Soup Recipes
Love – Vaishali
Homemade Minestrone Soup
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Minced garlic about 3 cloves
- 1.5 cup diced White onion
- 1 cup diced Carrots about 2-3, peeled and diced
- ½ cup diced Celery from 2 stalks
- 1 can can Italian style diced Tomatoes see notes
- 1 cup diced tomatoes use roma or on the vine tomatoes
- 1 ¼ cup chopped Zucchini 1 zucchini cut into 4ths lengthwise and chopped
- 4 cups Vegetable broth
- 2 cups Water
- 1 can Red kidney beans 14 ounce can, rinsed and drained
- 1 sprig Fresh rosemary see notes
- ½ teaspoon Dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil plus more for garnish see notes
- 1 c elbow macaroni pasta
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
- Set a heavy bottomed Dutch oven or stockpot on medium high heat and add olive oil to it. Once the oil heats up add the diced onions, carrots and celery along with minced garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened a little bit.2 tablespoon Olive oil, 1 tablespoon Minced garlic, 1.5 cup diced White onion, 1 cup diced Carrots, ½ cup diced Celery
- Add the rosemary sprig and the tomatoes and continue to sauté for a minute or two.1 can can Italian style diced Tomatoes, 1 cup diced tomatoes, 1 sprig Fresh rosemary
- Add the diced zucchini, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.1 ¼ cup chopped Zucchini
- Take the lid off and add the broth, water and beans along with oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Cover, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.4 cups Vegetable broth, 2 cups Water, 1 can Red kidney beans, ½ teaspoon Dried oregano, 1 tablespoon fresh basil, Salt and pepper
- Once boiling, lower the heat to medium and cook, covered for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, add the dried pasta and cook for another 10 minutes.1 c elbow macaroni pasta
- Check seasoning in the soup, adjust if needed, and serve warm. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired. Enjoy!Parmesan cheese
If you cannot find Italian style canned tomatoes, use regulare canned diced tomatoes and add more fresh and dried herbs. You can also use 2 sprigs fresh thyme instead of rosemary. The soup will have a slightly different flavor profile but will still taste great. If using dried basil, use 1 tsp.