Simple, hearty Italian minestrone soup, brimming with vegetables, beans and a little pasta. The draw here is in the thick, flavorful tomato broth with piney rosemary, lots of fresh herbs, and Parmesan rind, a secret ingredient that Italian grandmothers have been using for years!
- 1/4 extra virgin olive oil (see our olive oil options here)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 zucchini or yellow squash, diced
- 1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, if needed
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1 15-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups broth (vegetable or chicken broth)
- 1-inch Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 to 3 springs fresh thyme
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans
- Large handful chopped parsley
- Handful fresh basil leaves
- Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
- 2 cups already cooked small pasta such as ditalini or elbow pasta
- In a large Dutch oven or cooking pot, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, carrots and celery. Raise heat to medium-high, if you need to, and cook, tossing regularly, until the veggies soften a bit (about 5 minutes or so). Add garlic and cook another minute or so.
- Add yellow squash (or zucchini) and green beans. Season with paprika, rosemary, and a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Now add crush tomatoes, broth, fresh thyme, bay leaf and Parmesan rind (if using.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and partially cover the pot. Let simmer for about 20 minutes or so.
- Uncover and add kidney beans. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Finally, Stir in parsley and fresh basil. And, if serving immediately, stir in the cooked pasta and simmer ever so briefly till the pasta is warmed through; do not overcook. (See Cook’s Tip #2)
- Remove cheese rind and bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve minestrone hot in dinner bowls with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan (optional.)
- Note: Pasta is already cooked before adding to the soup, simply follow package instructions. You will start with 1 cup of dry pasta, which will yield 2 cups cooked pasta.
- Cook’s Tip #1: Minestrone is meant to be adapted, so feel free to make this recipe your own by using what vegetables and beans you have on hand. Adding a handful of spinach or diced potatoes is common. You can use white beans instead of kidney beans, or use a combination of both. If you’re looking for a low-carb option, feel free to omit the pasta. And if you need something meaty, add cooked ground turkey or even left-over rotisserie chicken. You can add that early on, once you’ve cooked the onions, carrots, and celery.
- Cook’s Tip #2: If you are not serving this minestrone soup immediately, do not add the cooked pasta to the pot until you are ready to serve. This will give you best results and will prevent the pasta from soaking up too much of the broth and getting too mushy.
- Cook’s Tip #3 for Meal Prep: Related to the note above, if you plan to make minestrone to use for lunch over server days, definitely keep the cooked pasta out. You can just add a small portion of the pasta directly to your bowl, and then add an appropriate portion of hot minestrone on top.
- Recommended for this recipe: from our all-natural and organic spice collections, sweet paprika and rosemary. And be sure to see our selection of extra virgin olive oils including Private Reserve and Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil.
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- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Minestrone, Vegetarian Minestrone Soup, Italian Vegetable Bean Soup