This Minestrone Soup is not only delicious and comforting, but it’s also really nutritious! It makes a hearty meal or side.
This hearty Minestrone soup is a flavorful Italian soup, packed with various colorful vegetables. Olive Garden Breadsticks and Italian Bread are perfect pairings for this soup or serve it up in a fresh Bread Bowl.
Best Minestrone Soup Recipe
We LOVE soup, especially in the fall. This best Minestrone Soup recipe is vegetable packed and quite nutritious!
Minestrone is a heartier version of Vegetable Soup. In fact, Minestrone is an Italian soup defined as a soup made with vegetables and pasta. It often has beans and sometimes meat. Though equally delicious, Vegetable Soup is simply vegetables and broth.
This is actually a copycat recipe of Ristorante della Fontana which 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 the long list of ingredients may be intimidating, 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.
How to Make Minestrone Soup
VEGGIES. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat and add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are tender. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
BEANS. 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.
PASTA. Add the pasta, garbanzo beans, and cabbage, cover, and simmer for 10 more minutes.
MORE VEGGIES. Add the green beans and peas and cook covered for another 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach.
SERVE. Serve the soup topped with Parmesan.
Minestrone is great to use up any leftover vegetables in the fridge so go ahead and add that last bit of zucchini, kale, butternut squash, potatoes, or leftover corn.
Make in a 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.
Here are a few Minestrone Soup Ingredients tips and suggestions to make your soup perfect!
Pearl barley 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 is known for not having as complex a taste as black pepper. To use black pepper, reduce the amount to ¾-1 tsp or to taste.
Fresh herbs. Using fresh herbs adds a bit of brightness to the soup. For every teaspoon of dried herbs use 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs.
Bouillon is a French word for broth. This recipe uses 7 teaspoons of beef broth and 6 teaspoons of chicken broth. Use 13 teaspoons of all chicken broth, all beef broth, or all vegetable broth.
Bouillon also comes in concentrated dried cubes which you activate in water. Typically one cube is dissolved in 1 cup of water. Once it has been dissolved you can use the allotted amount listed in the recipe.
Mirepoix. This is a great cooking term. It refers to the flavor base that is made up of sautéed veggies. This recipe is made up of carrots, celery, and onion. It provides a great flavor profile to build off in this soup.
Make it healthier. This is a pretty healthy soup to begin with because it has a lot of veggies and beans. To make this Minestrone Soup recipe 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.
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup. Substitute the beef and chicken bouillon for vegetable broth.
Gluten-free. Aside from the pasta and pearl barley, all the ingredients are gluten-free. Substitute the pasta with gluten-free pasta and the pearl barley can be replaced with wild rice or quinoa.
Change the texture. 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 extra water.
Adding meat. To make Minestrone even heartier, add browned ground turkey, ground beef, sliced Italian sausage, or meatballs. Soup could also be served alongside a dish of chicken, beef, or pork.
Serve Minestrone Soup in a Bread Bowl, with a side of Cheesy Garlic Bread or Garlic Knots.
Make ahead of time. Wait to add the pasta until you are heating up to serve. Cooked soup can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stovetop and add pasta before serving.
STORE cooled Italian Minestrone Soup in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
FREEZE leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container. Note that the pasta may be a little mushier than normal.
Reheat in the microwave or stovetop.
For more soup recipes:
- 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 minced 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 the onions are tender. Add the garlic and cook for 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 for 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.
hey girl- this looks so good!
Hello there when do you put in the tomato paste and diced tomato’s?
I would add them when you add the other seasonings 🙂 Hope that helps!
Such a nice hearty soup!
This is the best minestrone recipe ever! It’s our family’s favorite.
I love the variety of ingredients in this soup. You get a little bit of everything, plus it’s loaded with flavor.
Oh how I love soups. So comforting and so good!
There’s a lot of Different elements to the soup, but it all comes together deliciously.
Love a good comforting soup! This was so flavorful and delicious, thank you for the recipe!
This is one of the best minestrone soup recipes I’ve tried. Absolutely delish, I’m about to heat up a bowl of leftovers now, yum.
this is an amazing soup, and I love it all so much! thank you for sharing this tasty recipe