Minestrone soup is hearty, healthy, nourishing, and delicious. This classic Italian soup is packed with vegetables like carrots, celery, zucchini, and green beans, and is simmered in a rich tomato broth with white kidney beans and pasta. It's quick and easy to make in one pot and freezer-friendly! Serve this vegan and vegetarian soup on cooler days for lunch or dinner with crusty bread and a side salad.
Why You'll Love Minestrone Soup
- It’s healthy and nourishing. With all the vegetables that are packed into this minestrone soup, you get two major perks: (a) tons of nutrients including fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and (b) delicious, rich flavor that comes together when combined. Plus, this soup is vegetarian, vegan, and can be made gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta.
- The delicious broth. The highlight of any soup is the quality of the broth, and this minestrone soup passes the test. Made rich with tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, and water (you don't even need vegetable broth!), the broth comes out a deep red color with so much flavor and warmth.
- Easy to make and freezer-friendly. This soup is quick and easy to make in one pot and freezes well for up to 3 months. It’s a great for a quick and frozen meal when you don’t have time to whip up dinner. It's also great to make when entertaining on a chilly fall day when you want to make something cozy and delicious but without a lot of effort.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this homemade minestrone soup, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in recipe card below):
- olive oil
- vegetables - onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, and green beans.
- broth - made with fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water. You can also substitute the water with vegetable broth for extra flavor.
- seasoning - Italian seasoning and salt. If using vegetable broth instead of water, then cut the salt by half, and seasoned to taste.
- protein - white kidney beans (Cannellini beans).
- pasta - I used shell pasta but any small shape works. Try it with elbow pasta, shellbow, or rotini.
- toppings - top the soup with fresh parsley or Parmesan cheese if desired (optional).
When it comes to minestrone soup, the more veggies you want to add, the better it will be. That's right, this soup is totally customizable. Consider adding or substituting your favorite fresh vegetables such as: potatoes, asparagus, eggplant, squash, or spinach. You can even add in ground beef or turkey for extra protein (sauté it with the onions and veggies).
How To Make the Best Minestrone Soup
- Sauté aromatics. Heat oil in a large stockpot or 4-quart Dutch oven for 2 minutes over medium-high heat until the hot oil sizzles. Add onion, carrot, celery, and zucchini. Sauté until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and Italian seasoning and stir well to combine.
- Add ingredients. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, green beans, and white beans. Cover the lid and lower the heat to medium. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir occasionally, about 10-15 minutes.
- Cook the pasta. Add water and shell pasta. Continue to cook covered for another 10 minutes until pasta is cooked to al dente. Stir occasionally to ensure pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Serve. Garnish with parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese if desired.
How to Serve
Serve this warm and cozy minestrone soup with some crusty bread for major dipping and dunking, and a side salad. My favorites to pair with this are:
- Italian Breadsticks
- Garden Salad
- Small Batch Ciabatta Rolls
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Cheesy Garlic Dinner Rolls
- Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad
Storing and Freezing Instructions
- How to store: Store leftover minestrone soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- How to freeze: Minestrone soup is best frozen without the pasta. So if you are planning to make a big batch for the freezer, make it without the pasta. Then cook the pasta separately and add it in when reheating. You can still freeze the soup with the noodles but they will become mushy. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- How to reheat: Reheat on the stove over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until warmed through. You may have to add a splash of water to thin out the soup if it has thickened too much when storing. If frozen, allow the soup to thaw first and then reheat.
- How to thaw: Thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight or on the kitchen counter at room temperature for a few hours. If you’re in a rush, run warm water over the container or freezer bag to loosen the soup. Then, reheat in a saucepan.
More Soup Recipes
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Light Cream of Broccoli Soup
- Creamy Turkey Orzo Soup
- Creamy Tortellini Soup with Sausage
- Beef Cabbage Barley Soup
- Creamy Tomato Potato Soup
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