Not only is this Minestrone soup delicious and comforting, but also really nutritious! Perfect for lunch or dinner on a cool autumn day.
This hearty Minestrone soup is a flavorful Italian soup, packed with various colorful vegetables, broth, beans, and pasta. Olive Garden Breadstick and Italian Bread are perfect pairings for this soup, or serve it up in a fresh Bread Bowl.
Best Minestrone Soup Recipe
Who else lives off soup in the fall? I love this time of the year when you can cook up a soup on the stove, wear a big cozy sweater and comfy leggings, and eat soup for lunch. It warms you up from the inside out. So comforting! And in the case of this Minestrone Soup, also quite nutritious!
This is actually a copycat recipe of Ristorante della Fontana that used to be in downtown Salt Lake City. My mom still talks about how good their Minestrone Soup was and this tastes just like it!
While you might get a little intimidated by the long list of ingredients in this soup, just know that it is truly worth it. The flavor of this soup is divine! And it’s fairly simple to cook on the stovetop. As much as I love making soup in the slow cooker like my Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup and Butternut Squash Chili, it’s really not that much work to make soup on the stovetop. The plus side is that you can eat it a lot sooner. And the smell of cooking the mirepoix (onion, carrots, and celery) is divine and just takes me back to my childhood home.
How to Make Minestrone Soup
VEGGIES. Chop up veggies. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat and add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions are tender. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
BEANS. Stir in the seasonings and then the water, bouillon, tomatoes/tomato paste, kidney beans, barley, and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
PASTA. Add the pasta, garbanzo beans, and cabbage, cover and simmer 10 more minutes.
VEGGIES. Add the green beans and peas and cook covered for another 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach.
GARNISH. Serve soup topped with Parmesan.
Tips + Storing Info
Pearl barley: It is barley that has had the outer shell removed and has been polished to remove most of the bran layer. This type of barley is easier to eat because the harsh parts have already been taken off through processing.
White pepper: White pepper is known for not having as complex a taste as black pepper. If you want to use black pepper then reduce the amount to ¾-1 tsp or to taste.
Mirepoix: This is a great cooking term. It refers to the flavor base that is made up of sautéed veggies. In this recipe it is made up of carrots, celery, and onion. It provides a great flavor profile to build off in this soup.
Crock Pot: Sauté the onion, carrots, celery and garlic as directed in step one. Scrape the ingredients into the crockpot. Reduce the amount of water to 10 cups and add tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon, kidney beans, barley, Parmesan rind, garbanzo beans, and cabbage. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or low heat for 6-8 hours. Add green beans, beans and spinach. Cook for 30 more minutes. Finally, stir in cooked pasta.
This is a pretty healthy soup to begin with because it has a lot of veggies and beans. To make it healthier, use low sodium bouillon or broth, no cheese, and whole wheat pasta.
To make this vegan, exclude the beef and chicken bouillon and parmesan cheese and substitute it for vegetable broth and vegan cheese.
To make this vegetarian, substitute the beef and chicken bouillon for vegetable broth.
Thicken the soup by letting it sit on the stovetop for an extra 10-20 minutes, more of the water will evaporate and help the soup thicken. Thin the soup by adding in some extra water.
STORE cooled soup in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or stove top.
If you are making this soup ahead of time, wait to add the pasta until you are heating up to serve.
FREEZE leftovers in an airtight container. Just note that the pasta may be a little mushier than normal.
For more soup recipes, check out:
- Black Bean Soup
- Italian Tortellini Soup
- Italian Chicken Vegetable Soup
- Chicken Parmesan Soup
- Zuppa Toscana
- Wild Rice Soup
Minestrone Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 sweet onion diced
- 1 1/2 cups carrots diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can (15 ounce) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste
- 1 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 13 cups water
- 7 teaspoons beef bouillon
- 6 teaspoons chicken bouillon
- 1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
- 1 cup miniature shell pasta
- 1 can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cabbage chopped
- 1 cup frozen green beans
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup fresh spinach packed
- Parmigiano Reggiano freshly shredded
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat and add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes until onions are tender. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in the seasonings and then the water, bouillon, kidney beans, barley, and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the pasta, garbanzo beans, and cabbage, cover and simmer 10 more minutes.
- Add the green beans and peas and cook covered for another 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach. Serve soup topped with Parmesan.