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 461 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.

235 comments

5 from 461 votes (372 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Smith
    02.04.2024

    4 stars
    This has been great. Changed the green beans to zucchini and used tomato paste instead of diced tomatoes. It’s handy as a quick lunch.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.09.2024

      Hi, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the soup!

  2. Kellygirl
    02.04.2024

    I added some left over diced Italian sausage, and grated fresh parmesean and basil on top. Great recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.09.2024

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Marshall
    01.27.2024

    5 stars
    Yummy recipe! Made as written, but also added diced pumpkin and sweet potato, and as recommended by a friend, a can of diced SPAM. With the extra additions, I ran out of room in my dutch oven, so I made the pasta seperately. Very nice. Thanks for the great (and versatile) recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.30.2024

      Hi Marshall, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Natasha
    01.23.2024

    5 stars
    Made this with quinoa instead of pasta and it came out so good! Can’t wait for leftovers for lunch tomorrow

  5. Laura
    01.22.2024

    5 stars
    Delish. I added a fresh sprig of rosemary and used chicken broth instead of vegetable.

  6. Dana
    01.20.2024

    5 stars
    Made this for family and everyone loved it!

  7. Michele
    01.20.2024

    5 stars
    Thanks for the encouragement to be creative and make substitutions. I added pumpkin puree and used large couscous for my starch. Yum!

  8. Carrie
    01.19.2024

    I need the nutritional list on this?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.19.2024

      Hi Carrie, unfortunately we don’t calculate nutrition info for our recipes. The best way to get an estimate is to use an online nutrition calculator like MyFitnessPal. I hope this helps!

  9. Jenni
    01.18.2024

    5 stars
    Super good, a great way to eat some veggies. My family loved it and so did I. I think I could’ve gone for a tad bit more broth. Made the pasta separately and added it to my bowl when we were ready to eat, a plus because I could put in as much as I wanted. Thanks so much, for the delicious dinner!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.19.2024

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

  10. Karin C.
    01.14.2024

    5 stars
    Is the nutrition or calories per serving information available please?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.15.2024

      Hi Karin, I’m sorry, we don’t post nutrition facts but you could plug the ingredients into an online nutrition calculator.

  11. Peanut
    01.08.2024

    Planning to make this week. For the canned tomatoes, do you add liquid as well? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.09.2024

      yes, the liquid goes in too. I hope you enjoy!

  12. Fern Leibowitz
    01.06.2024

    5 stars
    Never made Minestrone soup before. Your recipe looked very healthy and delicious so I tried it. My husband and I both loved it. I will be making it again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.09.2024

      I’m so glad you both loved it!

  13. Lia
    01.01.2024

    5 stars
    This is my second time making this recipe. I love this soup so much! So healthful and delicious. I added a dollop of pesto to my bowl and it is a game changer!

  14. Heather bandy
    12.28.2023

    We want to make this soup for a large drop by anytime open house type party. Sounds like adding the pasta will bloat the pasta. Will farro do the same? Should we plan to keep the farro separate or is it OK to add it to the soup after it is cooked? Thank you for your great recipes!!

    • Lily
      12.30.2023

      Hi there! I made this tonight with a cup of elbow pasta instead of 3/4 cup and I added 2 yellow squash without changing anything else and it tasted fantastic and did not bloat the pasta at all. I didn’t have vegetable broth on hand so I used chicken broth instead. I imagine it’s just as delectable with the veggie broth.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        01.01.2024

        I’m so glad you loved it!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.01.2024

      Hi Heather, sorry for my slow reply – farro will be great, I’d add it when you add the broth. If it makes the soup too thick, add a little more broth or water to thin it out.

  15. peggy LeBlanc
    12.27.2023

    I made this soup for as soup course for Christmas dinner.
    What a hit even with the non vegans 😀

    Not a drop left !!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.01.2024

      I’m so glad everyone loved it!

  16. Erica P
    12.27.2023

    5 stars
    Loved this! I made a few adjustments to suit our taste (fried up some pancetta and cooked the veggies in it after rendering it down a bit, and simmered with parm rind), but otherwise made it as written. It was really delicious! My only caution is the pasta. It really soaked up the broth, which was a bummer because it was so good. I will try 1/2 cup next time. Otherwise, this is amazing and will become a staple in my home! I always have good luck with your recipes!

  17. Amanda
    12.27.2023

    5 stars
    where has minestrone soup been all of my life. I bought soup shell pasta (with no plan on what to make and stumbled upon minestrone soup/this recipe and decided to go for it.

    i prepped my veggies yesterday (i put onions, carrots, and celery in one bowl, and the cut green beans, grated garlic + red pepper flakes in another bowl- the green beans turned so green!) and it was so fast to whip up! I will be making this A LOT as it gets colder!

  18. Nikita
    12.24.2023

    5 stars
    Just tried making a batch of this – it came out GREAT! It’s perfect to have piping hot in cold weather.

  19. Carol
    12.17.2023

    5 stars
    First time making Minestrone
    Followed your recipe and my sons raved
    There’s nothing like a home cooked meal Mom
    I DID give you all the credit
    Thanks so much 💕

  20. Sheila
    12.12.2023

    5 stars
    I am not a good cook, and am trying to go vegan. This entails a lot more cooking than I am used to. I made this soup and it was delicious! I brought it to lunch at work and my co-workers couldn’t believe that I actually made it.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.13.2023

      Hi Sheila, I’m so glad it was a hit!

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.