This easy and healthy minestrone soup is loaded with vegetables, beans, and pasta.  This stovetop version tastes the best when served with a crusty Italian loaf to soak up the flavorful broth.  You can’t beat a homemade Italian soup!

Prep Time: 35 minutes
holding a bowl of minestrone soup
Soups & Stews, Vegetarian Main Course

Classic Minestrone Soup

Are you wanting to have a healthy soup recipe that you can add to your meal rotation?  This minestrone soup recipe is the answer!

holding a bowl of minestrone soup

Is minestrone soup healthy?

Traditionally, minestrone soup ranks up in the top 10 healthiest soups that are popular in America.  To classify as a healthy soup, it must be low in fat, rich in fiber, contain healthy carbs, low calorie, and low in sodium.  If you are interested in finding out how healthy my minestrone recipe is, scroll down to the end of the post to see the nutrition facts.  (If you’re on a low-sodium diet, just leave out the 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and it will reduce the salt to 631.8mg, or 22% of your daily value, per serving.)

bowl of minestrone soup with cheese and parsley

How do you make minestrone soup?

Start by cutting up the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, then measure out the spices and olive oil.

mirepoix and seasonings for minestrone soup

Cut up the zucchini, kale, parsley, and the cheese rind.  Rinse the beans, grate the cheese, and measure out the pasta.  Pour the chicken broth into a jug, and open the two cans of tomatoes.

some ingredients for minestrone soup

Now that all the prep work is done, start sauteing the aromatics until soft.

cooked mirepoix for minestrone soup

Add the spices and the zucchini and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently.

cooked veggies for minestrone soup

Add the tomatoes with their juices, then the chicken broth.  Stir in the small pieces of the cheese rind.  Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

pouring chicken broth into minestrone soup

Add the rinsed beans and the kale, then cook for another 20 minutes (or longer if you wish. I like to simmer this soup for a couple of hours.)  While the soup simmers, cook the pasta separately so it doesn’t absorb too much broth.  On the other hand, if you would prefer to add the pasta to the soup, now is the time.

adding beans to minestrone soup

Take out the two bay leaves, then adjust the seasonings to taste.

removing bay leaves from minestrone soup

To serve, add 1/4 cup of cooked pasta to each bowl and ladle 1 1/2 cups of soup on top.  Stir together, then garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.  Enjoy!

sprinkling cheese onto minestrone soup

Pro Tips

  • Start the soup with a base of aromatics (mirepoix): onion, celery and carrots.
  • Cook the spices and zucchini for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes and broth.
  • Use some fresh summer garden vegetables like zucchini or green beans.
  • Pour the juice from the canned tomatoes into the soup.
  • Adding kale will make you feel more full than if you add spinach.
  • Cube up the Parmesan rind and throw it in, it’s my secret ingredient.

ladle of minestrone soup

Minestrone soup is a not only healthy, but is also easy to make.  It’s a hearty, high fiber soup that will have your family asking for seconds.  Make this tonight!

spoonful of minestrone soup

These other hearty, comforting soups are perfect for dinner time.

ladle of ham and bean soup ladle of white bean soup bowl of kale and quinoa stew

Made this minestrone soup?  We’d love to hear how it turned out!  Leave a review or comment below.

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holding a bowl of minestrone soup

Classic Minestrone Soup


  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This easy and healthy minestrone soup is loaded with vegetables, beans, and pasta.  This stovetop version tastes the best when served with a crusty Italian loaf to soak up the flavorful broth.  You can’t beat a homemade Italian soup!


Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (reserve 1/2 tablespoon for the pasta)
  • 1 3/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 1/2 cups fresh zucchini, chopped
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, no salt added
  • 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese rind, chopped (34g)
  • 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 cup dry ditalini pasta (130g)

For the Garnish

  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (20g)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Pour the olive oil into a large soup pot over medium high heat.  Let it heat up for a minute, then add the onions, carrots, and celery.  Mix well to coat in oil, then cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Add the spices and the zucchini and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Pour in the canned tomatoes with their juices, the chicken broth, and the cheese rind, then bring the soup to a boil over medium heat.  Turn the heat down to medium low and let the soup simmer 15 minutes with the lid askew, stirring occassionally.
  4. Add the rinsed beans and the kale.  Mix well, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta separately for about 10 minutes, until al dente.  Drain and toss the pasta with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Just before serving the soup, remove the two bay leaves.  Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.
  7. To serve, add 1/4 cup cooked pasta to the bottom of each bowl, then ladle 1 1/2 cups of soup on top.  Stir and garnish with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and a grind of fresh black pepper.  Serve hot with a crusty loaf, like this Italian bread.

Notes

  • I choose to cook the pasta separate from the soup.  This allows each guest to add as much or as little pasta to their soup as they like.  It also keeps the pasta from absorbing the soup broth and swelling up.  If you choose to add it directly to the soup, add it in with the beans and kale.
  • If you want to make this vegetarian, swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
  • If you want to add meat, cook 1/2 pound of hamburger until it’s no longer pink.  Drain.  Add to veggie mixture after step #2.
  • This soup will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.  It also freezes well in an airtight container or a heavy duty freezer bag.

Keywords: minestrone soup, Italian, vegetarian

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