Minestrone Soup

This minestrone soup recipe is a delicious version of the classic Italian vegetable soup. Serve it with crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

Minestrone soup

Today, I have two goals: to bake a batch of Christmas cookies and to make a pot of minestrone soup. To me, the two go hand-in-hand. After I spend an afternoon baking (and eating!) something sweet, I want nothing more than a warming, nourishing pot of soup for dinner at night.

I love this minestrone soup recipe in particular because it’s so satisfying, but still light and fresh. Onions, carrots, and celery add depth of flavor to its herb-flecked tomato broth, and starchy beans and pasta make it nice and thick. I toss in green beans for texture, and, as a final finishing touch, I top it off with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. It’s super easy and flavorful, and all you need is crusty bread to make it a meal. Cookies for dessert are optional, but highly recommended.

Minestrone soup recipe ingredients

Minestrone Soup Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this minestrone soup recipe:

  • Onion, carrot, and celery – These vegetables create the aromatic base of the soup, known as a soffritto in Italian. You’ll sauté them in olive oil before adding the other ingredients.
  • Garlic – It adds additional depth of flavor to the soup. You’ll stir it in after cooking the onions, carrots, and celery so that it doesn’t burn.
  • Diced tomatoes – For sweet, tangy flavor.
  • Green beans – They add vibrant color and crisp-tender texture to the soup.
  • White or kidney beans – Navy beans, cannellini beans, and red kidney beans all work great!
  • Vegetable broth – Use store-bought, or make your own.
  • Bay leaves, oregano, and thyme – My easy version of a homemade Italian seasoning! These dried herbs add so much complexity to this simple minestrone soup.
  • Small pasta – Think elbows, little shells, orecchiette, or ditalini. I like to cook it right in the soup so that it releases its starches into the broth.
  • Fresh parsley – For garnish! Fresh basil would be excellent here too.
  • Red pepper flakes – Optional, for heat.
  • And Parmesan cheese – This salty, umami garnish takes the soup over the top.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Onions, carrots, and celery in a Dutch oven with wooden spatula

Variations

If you don’t have these exact ingredients on hand, don’t worry. As Alice Waters writes in The Art of Simple Food, minestrone soup is endlessly customizable. Part of the beauty of this recipe is that you can change it up to use what’s in season or what you have on hand. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Substitute chopped fennel for the celery.
  • Replace the green beans with diced zucchini or yellow squash, or use a mix of all three.
  • In the summer, use diced fresh Roma tomatoes instead of canned ones.
  • Stir in fresh greens, like spinach or kale, near the end of the cooking time.
  • No pasta? Swap in a quick-cooking grain like pearled farro or barley.
  • Instead of using canned beans, cook your own! Then, use the aromatic cooking liquid in place of some or all of the vegetable broth in this soup.

Let me know what variations you try!

Vegetarian minestrone soup with crusty bread

Minestrone Soup Serving Suggestions

This recipe is best right after it’s made, as the pasta absorbs the broth as it sits in the leftover soup. If you want to make it ahead of time, I recommend cooking the pasta separately and stirring it into the soup as you’re ready to eat. Alternatively, you can skip the pasta and add an extra cup of beans to the soup. Prepared this way, the soup will keep well for up to four days in the fridge.

When you’re ready to eat, top each bowl with a sprinkle of parsley, red pepper flakes, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If you’re vegan, feel free to skip the cheese, or garnish your bowl with a scoop of vegan pesto instead. (Non-vegans take note: regular pesto is also a great topping for minestrone soup!).

Serve the soup with good crusty bread and call it a day, or round out the meal with a side salad. This arugula salad, this beet salad, and this pear salad would all be fantastic with this minestrone soup. Enjoy!

Minestrone soup recipe

More Favorite Soup Recipes

If you love this minestrone soup, try one of these delicious soup recipes next:

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Minestrone Soup

rate this recipe:
5 from 434 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
This vegetarian minestrone soup recipe is my take on the classic Italian vegetable soup. It's hearty, fresh, and flavorful - just add crusty bread to make it a meal!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, salt, and several grinds of black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the garlic, tomatoes, beans, green beans, broth, bay leaves, oregano, and thyme. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the pasta and cook, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked through.
  • Season to taste and serve with parsley, red pepper flakes, and parmesan, if desired.

208 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Holly Coble
    04.11.2024

    5 stars
    This has become a family favorite!!! The flavors are perfect! I did notice that it did make a difference to use a “good” quality tomato brand be store brand. (I usually chop canned San marzano….but used regular store brand diced tbjs last time, and we could tell a difference!)

  2. Christine
    04.10.2024

    5 stars
    This is fantastic; followed the recipe exactly as is and took suggestion to add a rind of Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. So so good. Thank you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      04.05.2024

      Hi Sandy, the pasta expands as it cooks. The recipe serves 4 to 6.

  3. Ellen G
    03.23.2024

    5 stars
    I made this for my family tonight, including mother and aunt and I was told this might be one of the best soups I’ve ever made. I have to agree. The flavor was totally on point and it was very presentable. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.25.2024

      Hi Ellen, I’m glad you all enjoyed it!

  4. Acsana
    03.20.2024

    5 stars
    Excellent soup. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.21.2024

      Hi Acsana, I’m so glad you loved it!

      • Lisa.rogera
        04.16.2024

        I’m making.it.tmrw.

        Hope it turns out.

        I’m.hopless.

        Come.to Melbourne and teach me pleaee

  5. Stephanie
    03.14.2024

    5 stars
    Delicious and easy soup! I will definitely be making this a lot. It’s so customizable to your taste and whatever you have on hand. I added chickpeas and 1 medium yellow potato. Next time I’ll add kale. Delicious and healthy!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.15.2024

      Hi Stephanie, I’m so glad you loved the recipe!

  6. Lisa Inks
    03.08.2024

    5 stars
    I made this once according to recipe. Now, it’s just a base for a variety of vegetable soups. My favorite starts with tomato paste(Italian), plus chunks of zucchini and a Parmesan rind (or 1/2 cup grated). Everything else remains the same. Spinach is great addition to your veggie mix. Sometimes, I make it even easier by using frozen mixed veggies from the grocery store.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.08.2024

      Hi Lisa, Amazing! This recipe is a great flexible base. I’m glad you’re making it your own!

  7. Kerry
    02.27.2024

    Has anyone doubled the beans and left out the pasta?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.01.2024

      Hi Kerry, I think that would work great!

      • Kerry
        03.01.2024

        I did it and it turned out great. I only had fire roasted tomatoes. I wouldn’t recommend that – were a little overpowering. Next time I might even 14oz diced and 14oz tomato sauce.

        • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
          03.01.2024

          Great idea! I bet that would be delicious.

  8. Cherie L Kennedy
    02.26.2024

    I make this regularly. Especially when the veggies are in season and fresh. Occasionally I add some left over beef roast to make it a little hardier in the winter. Broken up spaghetti is what my kids love instead of other pastas, Warm crusty bread is a must! Don’t forget to Thank God for this wonderful meal

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.01.2024

      Hi Cherie, I’m so glad you love the recipe!

  9. Mark
    02.13.2024

    5 stars
    Really good and simple recipe for a hearty and quick soup. I used chicken stock in place of vegetable but otherwise as per recipe. Highly recommended and very authetic.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.13.2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

    • Janet
      02.16.2024

      5 stars
      I used chicken stock as well to give it a little more flavor … I didn’t change anything else in the recipe and it is wonderful, thank you we love it 💖

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.