“A classic minestrone soup bursting with flavor! Full of fresh herbs, spices, vegetables, pasta and beans, and topped with shaved parmesan cheese!”

Watch me make this Minestrone Soup from start to finish.


Call me butter because I’m on a roll, baby!!! (I never thought I’d repeat my husband’s corny sayings, but here I am) This past week, I’ve been on this extreme kitchen organizing kick.  

I’ve redone my spice drawer, donated sooooo many pots and utensils (why in the world did I have so many?!?!), and revamped all of my kitchen cabinet storage.

Everything is so neat and tidy! Now, if I can just keep my behind off that dadgum Amazon! 

Oh, and I also cleaned out the fridge and freezer, which leads me to today’s recipe for the ultimate Minestrone soup recipe!!

best minestrone soup recipe

While cleaning, I found a bag of frozen corn, green beans, an onion that I diced and forgot about a long time ago, a few carrots still holding on, and a half-empty container of spinach. 

Of course, my first thought was, ” vegetable soup time!”

I always make vegetable soup when I have random vegetables to get rid of, but then I saw a commercial for Olive Garden Minestrone soup, and it was on a poppin’!!

I love Minestrone soup, and I never need much convincing when it comes to recipes with pasta and cheese on top!! 

It really is the ultimate “clean out the fridge, freezer and pantry” soup!

Gone ‘head and scoot over Olive Garden and make some room because this Minestrone soup recipe is insanely good!!

You’re gonna love this ultra hearty meal!

olive garden minestrone soup

What is Minestrone Soup?

The word Minestrone means “a thick vegetable soup.”  Minestrone soup is an Italian soup that is pretty much like a kicked-up, chunkier version of vegetable soup. 

It’s a tomato-based soup loaded with vegetables (usually seasonal) as well as beans, pasta, and sometimes potatoes if you want. 

Yeah, you can see why this soup is so filling, right? You can pretty much add whatever vegetables you like, which makes this Minestrone soup recipe a great “clean out the freezer” meal.

Is this an authentic Italian Minestrone Soup recipe?

Uhhh…seriously doubt it! This is how my Southern, African-American grandmother made it, LOL. She loaded it with fresh herbs, tons of spices, and fresh vegetables from her garden. 

 It’s full of flavor, and people have told me it’s the best Minestrone soup they’ve ever had.

But hey, you be the judge! It certainly beats out any Minestrone I’ve had at restaurants, so “I’m sticking beside it.”

minestrone soup recipe

How to season Minestrone Soup

Ok let’s just get this out of the way; it must be said. Having a well-seasoned soup base is vital to any soup recipe, especially recipes with there are a lot of vegetables that like to steal the seasoning! 

 I can’t tell you how many soups I’ve had where all I tasted was salt.  It’s so sad and makes me wonder how the gazillion herbs and spices of the world feel. 

This Minestrone soup recipe has a base made from garlic, oregano, basil tomato sauce, and seasoned vegetable broth, which already has a decent flavor.

However, there is always room to kick it up a notch! 

I added an array of savory dried herbs and spices like basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and course, a bay leaf!

To add an extra level of aroma and fresh herb flavor, I threw in some chopped fresh basil, oregano, and parsley at the end! Talk about fragrant!!!

Feel free to play around with it and add other spices. I’ll be trying smoked paprika and applewood salt on my next batch. 

easy minestrone soup recipe

The best pasta for Minestrone Soup

The most common pasta used for Minestrone soup is ditalini. However, any small pasta will work! If you can’t find ditalini, try using mini elbow macaroni, orzo, cavatelli, or even small shells will work.

Tomato Sauce VS Tomato Paste

Most Minestrone soup recipes use tomato paste for a bolder tomato soup base flavor. However, I have found that my family prefers a less “tomatoey” base.

So I use flavored tomato sauce and a lil sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. It creates a  “calmer” tomato soup base that is just perfect, IMO!

olive garden minestrone soup recipe

What makes this Minestrone Soup Recipe So Good?

Lord have mercy, I don’t even know where to start! If you’re a veggie soup lover, prepare your tastebud for flavor and freshness! 

I love how the flavor of the fresh veggies still shines through, even with the bold and savory tomato base! 

What makes this soup so good? Maybe it’s the perfect balance of fresh herbs and spices or the combination of hearty beans, pasta, and vegetables!  

Or maybe it’s the way that shaved parmesan just melts into the soup.

Ok, it’s everything! A perfect symphony of textures, colors, flavors, and aromas! 

minestrone soup

Wanna add meat to Minestrone?

Some folks believe Minestrone should be an all-vegetable soup and you shouldn’t add meat. However, I go by the rule of “your kitchen, you rules” so if you want meat, ADD IT! 

I’m here to support you in all of your rebellious ways!

Popular meats to add to minestrone soup are pork or ground beef.

Additional Ingredient Ideas to Add to Minestrone Soup 

The beauty of Minestrone soup is that you can swap ingredients to your liking. Here are a few more suggestions besides the ones in the recipe.

  • squash, butternut squash
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • sweet peas
  • mushrooms
  • cannellini beans
minestrone

How to Make The BEST Minestrone Soup Recipe

INGREDIENTS

WAIT! Hear me out…don’t let this looooong list of ingredients scare ya! It really does come together so easily, as you can see in the directions! The printable recipe with measurements is down below!

  •  olive oil
  •  carrots, diced
  •  onions, diced
  •  celery diced
  • minced garlic
  •  diced tomatoes, undrained (I used the basil, oregano, and garlic flavor)
  • tomato sauce (I used  the basil, oregano, and garlic flavor)
  • vegetable broth (I used Better Than Bouillon seasoned vegetable base)
  •  granulated sugar
  •  garlic powder
  •  onion powder
  •  sea salt
  • dried basil
  • dried parsley
  •  Italian seasoning
  •  paprika
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • bay leaf
  •  kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • garbanzo or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  •  frozen green beans
  • frozen sweet corn
  •  zucchini, chopped 
  •  baby spinach
  • ditalini  pasta, cooked
  •  fresh basil, chopped
  •  fresh oregano, chopped
  •  fresh parsley, plus more for garnish if desired
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese for topping
vegetable minestrone soup recipe

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add carrots, onion, and celery.
  2. Cook until carrots are tender, and then add garlic, cooking until garlic is golden and fragrant.
  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and sugar.
  4. Mix together the spices and stir them into the pot, including the bay leaf.
  5. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, sweet corn, and zucchini. Simmer until the zucchini is tender.
  7. Add in spinach and simmer until spinach is tender.
  8. Stir in cooked pasta and chopped basil, oregano, and parsley. 
  9. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  10. Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning * See Note*
  11. Ladle soup into bowls and add a generous amount of shaved parmesan and fresh parsley to garnish.
  12. Serve hot with toasted French bread.

Tips for making the Minestrone Soup

  • Don’t skip the sugar. Sugar helps tone down the sharp tomato taste. Don’t worry it won’t make the soup sweet.
  • Don’t forget to taste. Your taste buds are the boss, so taste the finished product and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Remember,  this soup has cheese on top, so be careful not to over-salt.
  • Swap out ingredients for your favorites. Feel free to swap out ingredients to your liking. Want more beans? Add them or switch them out for your favorites. You can also increase or decrease the vegetables.
Italian minestrone soup recipe

FAQs

Is this a vegetarian Minestrone soup? Yes, it is!

Can I use chicken broth? Yes, you may use chicken broth, beef broth, or vegetable broth.

How do I store leftover Minestrone soup? Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  For reheating, use the microwave or stovetop.

Can I add wine? Yes! you can add a bit of wine to the sauce before bringing it to a boil.

Can I freeze Minestrone soup? Yes, this soup freezes well for 2-3 months.

I hope that you enjoy this soup as much as we do! Get creative with it, and have fun!


minestrone soup

Get the Recipe: Ultimate Minestrone Soup Recipe

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This Minestrone Soup is full of flavor! Loaded with fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, beans, pasta, and lots of shaved parmesan cheese!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 10

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes , (I used basil, garlic, oregano flavor)
  • 24 oz tomato sauce, (I used basil, garlic, oregano flavor)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, (I used Better Than Bouillon brand)
  • 1 tablespoon granulate sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 16 oz canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15.5 oz canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup frozen green beans
  • ½ cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1-2 cups baby spinach
  • ½ cup ditalini pasta, prepared (You'll have 1 cup when it's prepared)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnishing)
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for topping

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot and add carrots, celery, and onions.
  • Cook until carrots are tender, and then add garlic, cooking until garlic is golden and fragrant.
  • Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, and sugar.
  • Stir in the next 10 ingredients.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, while stirring occasionally. This will help the spices blend well.
  • Add kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, sweet corn, and zucchini. Simmer uncovered until zucchini is tender (this won't take long)
  • Add in spinach and simmer until spinach is tender.
  • Stir in cooked pasta and fresh basil, oregano, and parsley. 
  • Remove the bay leaf. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and add a generous amount of shaved parmesan and fresh parsley to garnish.
  • Serve hot with toasted French bread.

Video

Notes

TASTE & SEASON: I used tomatoes, sauce, and vegetable broth that was already salted and seasoned. If you use other brands that aren’t as seasoned, you will need to adjust the spices. Let your taste buds guide you.
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Main
Tried this recipe?Mention @divascancook on Instagram or tag #divascancook.