Minestrone Soup Recipe

Dinner, Soup | December 31, 2019 | By

Minestrone Soup recipe ~ hearty, healthy meatless Italian soup. Rich tomato broth loaded with vegetables and beans. Serve with a good bread for a complete meal.

This easy Minestrone Soup recipe is one I’ve been making for years. I almost always have a container or three in the freezer all year. The vegetables may change a bit depending on what’s in season, but the flavor is always spot on.

Rich tomato broth with two kinds of beans and loaded with vegetables. It’s the perfect balance of healthy and comfort food.

overhead view of soup

Every year I plan to eat better but the darn comfort food gets in the way. This year I plan to go about it a little smarter ~ healthier, comfort recipes balanced with a little decadence and a bit more exercise in my routine, like long walks with our new dog Ruby, a rescue from the local animal shelter.

This Minestrone Soup recipe is classic, similar to the Olive Garden version, but without an excessive amount of salt. I’ve also added red wine for another layer of flavor and lots of vegetables, including a couple of big handfuls of spinach.

What’s in Minestrone Soup?

  • olive oil
  • onion
  • celery
  • carrots
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic cloves
  • tomato paste
  • dry Italian seasoning
  • dry red wine
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • canned crushed tomatoes
  • chicken stock
  • canned beans 
  • fresh spinach
  • fresh or frozen green beans
  • elbow macaroni or other small pasta
  • Italian parsley chopped
  • good quality parmesan cheese

How to make Minestrone Soup:

Add the olive oil, onion, celery and carrots to a soup pot then season with salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally.

Grate in the garlic then add the tomato paste and dry Italian seasoning and cook 2 minutes stirring frequently. Cooking the tomato paste caramelizes it and adds flavor to the soup.

Reduce the heat, pour in the wine and simmer 2 minutes letting the wine reduce.

Nest pour in the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and chicken stock. Drain the chick peas then drain and rinse the kidney beans and add to the broth.

If your parmesan cheese came with a rind, cut it off and add it to the broth as well. 

Increase the heat, bring the soup to a boil, season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ tsp pepper then reduce the heat cover and simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Fold in the spinach, green beans and pasta then continue simmering 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Remove any of the remaining parmesan cheese rind (it will look like a cheesy gooey blob) then chop the fresh parsley and stir it in. Taste and adjust salt and pepper then serve hot. 

overhead view bowl of minestrone soup

What goes with Minestrone Soup?

The best addition to a bowl of hot Minestrone Soup is fresh bread. My favorite with this soup is either rosemary focaccia or a good quality whole grain bakery-style bread.

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes ~ Minestrone Soup freezes really well. I store mine in individual serving containers (16 – 20 ounce each) for easy lunches. It saves in airtight freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months. 

Tips for making any soup the BEST soup ever:

Regardless of what kind of soup you’re making, these tips will help each batch the best ever:

Consider each ingredient’s cook time: Green beans cook faster than carrots for example, so stagger adding the vegetables and pasta so they finish cooking about the same time.

Chop the ingredients so they’re spoon size: That way the soup ingredients will fit on the spoon and will be easier to eat.

Make sure to taste and adjust salt and pepper at the end of cooking: Often a recipe needs just a dash more salt to elevate all the flavors.

Simmer the soup: Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer. Otherwise vegetables will be mushy and meat tough.

Adding pasta to the soup: Don’t cook pasta separately. Instead add it directly to the soup broth so it takes on the soup’s flavor.

Enjoy and happy new year!

overhead view olive garden minestrone soup bowls

If you tried this Minestrone Soup recipe or any other on the blog then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating!

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Minestrone Soup Recipe

Minestrone Soup ~ hearty, healthy meatless Italian soup. Rich tomato broth loaded with vegetables and beans. Serve with a good bread for a complete meal.
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Print Recipe
CourseSoup
CuisineItalian
Keywordminestrone soup, minestrone soup recipe, copycat olive garden minestrone
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Servings8
Calories393kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dry Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup red wine dry, not sweet
  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock may substitute vegetable stock
  • 15 ounce canned chick peas
  • 15 ounce canned dark red kidney beans
  • 2 cups fresh spinach rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry elbow macaroni or other small pasta (may use wheat/whole grain)
  • 3 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley chopped
  • fresh parmesan cheese (+ its rind)

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil, onion, celery and carrots to a soup pot then season with salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes over medium heat stirring occasionally.
  • Grate in the garlic then add the tomato paste and dry Italian seasoning and cook 2 minutes stirring frequently. Reduce the heat, pour in the wine and simmer 2 minutes letting the wine reduce. 
  • Next pour in the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and chicken stock. Drain the chick peas then drain and rinse the kidney beans and add to the broth. If your parmesan cheese came with a rind, cut it off and add it to the broth as well.
  • Increase the heat, bring to a boil, season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ tsp pepper then reduce the heat cover and simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Fold in the spinach, green beans and pasta then continue simmering 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Remove any of the remaining rind (it will look like a cheesy gooey blob) then chop the fresh parsley and stir it in.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper as you like.
  • Serve hot with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Facts
Minestrone Soup Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 393 Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value*
Fat 5.7g9%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 775mg34%
Potassium 1219mg35%
Carbohydrates 66.2g22%
Fiber 16.4g68%
Sugar 11.5g13%
Protein 19.7g39%
Calcium 155mg16%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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