This is the best minestrone soup recipe, a hearty, vegetable-rich Italian soup made from scratch with plenty of fiber from the beans and vegetables. Perfect for serving with crusty bread.
This healthy soup is a classic vegetarian minestrone soup made with white beans, vegetables, fresh herbs, and pasta. Pureeing the beans in the blender thickens the soup, making it great for picky kids who don’t care for beans. I love adding a parmesan rind for extra flavor, but it’s totally optional. If you want a slow cooker minestrone soup recipe or an Instant Pot one, check out my version here.
Why You’ll Love This Soup
- Healthy – the beans add fiber and it’s packed with veggies.
- Freezer Friendly – perfect for meal prep!
- Cozy – comfort food you can feel good about eating.
- Vegetarian – if using vegetable broth and vegetarian Parmesan.
- Easy to make gluten-free – just use your favorite gluten-free pasta, or make it low carb and skip the pasta.
Minestrone Soup Ingredients
- Beans: Drain and rinse one can of white beans, like cannellini or navy beans.
- Broth: Get reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian minestrone.
- Vegetables: Sauté diced carrots, onion, and celery in olive oil.
- Garlic: Mince two cloves of garlic.
- Tomatoes: Canned petite diced tomatoes – regular-size tomatoes are also fine.
- Parmesan Cheese: The parmesan is optional, but I recommend using it. I always store leftover rinds in my fridge to use later in soups and stews. Let the rind simmer in the broth, and sprinkle grated cheese on your soup before eating.
- Herbs: Fresh rosemary sprig, chopped basil, Italian parsley, bay leaves
- Salt and Pepper
- Zucchini: You can swap the zucchini with yellow squash.
- Leafy Greens: Fresh or frozen, defrosted spinach or baby kale will work.
- Pasta: Choose a small pasta, like ditalini or orzo.
How to Make Minestrone Soup
- Beans: Puree the beans with a cup of broth in a blender.
- Sauté: Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and sauté the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic for about 15 minutes.
- Simmer: Add the remaining broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, parmesan cheese rind (if using), salt, pepper, and all the herbs. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot, and cook on low for 40 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and spinach, cover the pot, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Serve: Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, and parmesan rind, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls with pasta and top with extra parmesan if desired.
What is the difference between minestrone soup and vegetable soup?
Traditional minestrone soup is heartier than vegetable soup since it has pasta and beans.
How to Freeze Minestrone
I like to cook and store the pasta separately so that it stays al dente and doesn’t soak up the broth. You can keep the leftover pasta and soup together or separate. The minestrone will last in the fridge for five days and in the freezer for three months.
To freeze the soup, let it cool and then transfer it to freezer-safe containers. Thaw it the night before in the fridge, and microwave it or reheat it on the stove.
- No Pasta: If you want to make minestrone without the pasta, you can omit it and add diced potatoes or another can of beans.
- Beans: If you want to add more beans, try a mix, like red kidney beans, along with the white beans.
- Veggies: If you want more vegetables in the soup, add some chopped broccoli, cauliflower, and/or green beans.
- Herbs: Feel free to use any herbs you like. Oregano or thyme would also be lovely.
More Soup Recipes You’ll Love:
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
- 15 ounce can white beans, drained, rinsed (cannellini beans or navy beans)
- 32 oz container reduced sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth for vegan
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- Parmesan cheese rind, optional
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- fresh black pepper
- 1 medium zucchini, about 8 oz each, diced
- 2 cups chopped fresh, or frozen defrosted spinach or baby kale
- 2 cups cooked small pasta such as ditalini or orzo, al dente (or gluten-free pasta)
- extra parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and stir, saute until tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes.
Add the remaining broth, tomatoes, pureed beans, parmesan cheese rind if using, salt and pepper. Add the rosemary, bay leaves, basil and parsley, bring to a boil, then cover and cook on low 40 minutes.
Add the zucchini and spinach, cover and simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves, rosemary sprig, Parmesan rind and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Ladle 1-1/4 cups soup into 8 bowls with 1/4 cup pasta in each and top with extra parmesan cheese if desired.
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Serving: 1 1/2 cups, Calories: 175 kcal, Carbohydrates: 31.5 g, Protein: 8 g, Fat: 2 g, Sodium: 358 mg, Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 5 g