Minestrone Soup

This minestrone soup recipe is a delicious version of the classic Italian vegetable soup. Serve it with crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

Minestrone soup

Today, I have two goals: to bake a batch of Christmas cookies and to make a pot of minestrone soup. To me, the two go hand-in-hand. After I spend an afternoon baking (and eating!) something sweet, I want nothing more than a warming, nourishing pot of soup for dinner at night.

I love this minestrone soup recipe in particular because it’s so satisfying, but still light and fresh. Onions, carrots, and celery add depth of flavor to its herb-flecked tomato broth, and starchy beans and pasta make it nice and thick. I toss in green beans for texture, and, as a final finishing touch, I top it off with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. It’s super easy and flavorful, and all you need is crusty bread to make it a meal. Cookies for dessert are optional, but highly recommended.

Minestrone soup recipe ingredients

Minestrone Soup Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this minestrone soup recipe:

  • Onion, carrot, and celery – These vegetables create the aromatic base of the soup, known as a soffritto in Italian. You’ll sauté them in olive oil before adding the other ingredients.
  • Garlic – It adds additional depth of flavor to the soup. You’ll stir it in after cooking the onions, carrots, and celery so that it doesn’t burn.
  • Diced tomatoes – For sweet, tangy flavor.
  • Green beans – They add vibrant color and crisp-tender texture to the soup.
  • White or kidney beans – Navy beans, cannellini beans, and red kidney beans all work great!
  • Vegetable broth – Use store-bought, or make your own.
  • Bay leaves, oregano, and thyme – My easy version of a homemade Italian seasoning! These dried herbs add so much complexity to this simple minestrone soup.
  • Small pasta – Think elbows, little shells, orecchiette, or ditalini. I like to cook it right in the soup so that it releases its starches into the broth.
  • Fresh parsley – For garnish! Fresh basil would be excellent here too.
  • Red pepper flakes – Optional, for heat.
  • And Parmesan cheese – This salty, umami garnish takes the soup over the top.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Onions, carrots, and celery in a Dutch oven with wooden spatula

Variations

If you don’t have these exact ingredients on hand, don’t worry. As Alice Waters writes in The Art of Simple Food, minestrone soup is endlessly customizable. Part of the beauty of this recipe is that you can change it up to use what’s in season or what you have on hand. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Substitute chopped fennel for the celery.
  • Replace the green beans with diced zucchini or yellow squash, or use a mix of all three.
  • In the summer, use diced fresh Roma tomatoes instead of canned ones.
  • Stir in fresh greens, like spinach or kale, near the end of the cooking time.
  • No pasta? Swap in a quick-cooking grain like pearled farro or barley.
  • Instead of using canned beans, cook your own! Then, use the aromatic cooking liquid in place of some or all of the vegetable broth in this soup.

Let me know what variations you try!

Vegetarian minestrone soup with crusty bread

Minestrone Soup Serving Suggestions

This recipe is best right after it’s made, as the pasta absorbs the broth as it sits in the leftover soup. If you want to make it ahead of time, I recommend cooking the pasta separately and stirring it into the soup as you’re ready to eat. Alternatively, you can skip the pasta and add an extra cup of beans to the soup. Prepared this way, the soup will keep well for up to four days in the fridge.

When you’re ready to eat, top each bowl with a sprinkle of parsley, red pepper flakes, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If you’re vegan, feel free to skip the cheese, or garnish your bowl with a scoop of vegan pesto instead. (Non-vegans take note: regular pesto is also a great topping for minestrone soup!).

Serve the soup with good crusty bread and call it a day, or round out the meal with a side salad. This arugula salad, this beet salad, and this pear salad would all be fantastic with this minestrone soup. Enjoy!

Minestrone soup recipe

More Favorite Soup Recipes

If you love this minestrone soup, try one of these delicious soup recipes next:

Minestrone Soup

rate this recipe:
4.99 from 161 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves 4 to 6
This vegetarian minestrone soup recipe is my take on the classic Italian vegetable soup. It's hearty, fresh, and flavorful - just add crusty bread to make it a meal!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups white beans or kidney beans, cooked, drained, and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup small pasta, elbows, shells, orecchiette
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Pinches of red pepper flakes
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional, for serving

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, salt, and several grinds of black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the garlic, tomatoes, beans, green beans, broth, bay leaves, oregano, and thyme. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the pasta and cook, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked through.
  • Season to taste and serve with parsley, red pepper flakes, and parmesan, if desired.

96 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Erin
    01.22.2023

    5 stars
    Thanks for posting this recipe! It was delicious. I ran out of kidney beans so I had to use a bean blend but it still worked out well. My husband loved and we have a lot left over to freeze. Pairs amazing will grilled cheese sandwiches.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.26.2023

      Hi Erin, I’m so glad you loved the soup!

  2. Aggie Mac
    01.17.2023

    I think I screwed up by using chicken broth. It makes the dish taste too salty.

  3. Amie Mykisen
    01.16.2023

    This recipe was absolutely fabulous!!!!! I added chopped fresh spinach too. I will be making this again and again:).
    Thank you!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.20.2023

      Hi Amie, I’m so glad you loved the soup!

  4. Sylvie
    01.15.2023

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! So tasty! I have made it twice now, and it’s already a favorite at our house. This time, I added a thinly sliced zucchini, and I’ll try some kale next time.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.16.2023

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  5. Jan
    01.10.2023

    5 stars
    This was the first time I’ve ever made homemade minestrone, but I will look no further for another recipe. This was so easy and was “restaurant quality”. I garnished each bowl with a pinch of red pepper flakes, freshly chopped parsley, and nutritional yeast (instead of Parmesan to keep it vegan) and served it with crusty bread. Thanks for another winning recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.13.2023

      Sounds delicious! I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup.

  6. Dee
    01.10.2023

    5 stars
    The best minestrone soup I’ve made. I don’t like green beans so I added a large handful if chopped kale five minutes before the end of cooking.
    Thank you for the lovely recipe

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.13.2023

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Jill
    01.04.2023

    5 stars
    Wonderful flavours, very tasty! Had a rind of parmigiana cheese that I popped in as well. Thank you.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.04.2023

      Sounds delicious! So glad you enjoyed the soup.

  8. Elizabeth Howard
    12.24.2022

    5 stars
    I’m a fan of Minestrone Soup so when I came across this recipe I didn’t hesitate to try it. I was so impressed and my family loved it. The very next day I had to cook another pot. I did choose the dark kidney beans to go in my pot. This recipe is definitely a hit.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.28.2022

      Hi Elizabeth, I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it!

  9. sabrina t malkovich
    12.24.2022

    wow made this vegan and it was awesome.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.28.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  10. Melanie
    12.22.2022

    5 stars
    Delicious as is! If I has. Parmesan rind I would have thrown that in for more depth of flavor, but I thought this was quite delicious!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.23.2022

      So glad you loved it!

  11. Arusha
    12.21.2022

    Tried ur recipe came out as I wished all thanks to you

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.22.2022

      So glad you enjoyed it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.