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Italian Minestrone Soup

Savor the rich flavors of traditional Italy with this mouthwatering minestrone soup recipe! A harmonious blend of fresh produce, herbs, and pasta, this beloved soup is the ultimate comfort food for a chilly day. Treat yourself to a satisfying bowl at lunch or dinner, perhaps accompanied by a crusty loaf for a wholesome meal.What sets an authentic Italian minestrone apart is its impressive nutritional profile. With beans, pasta, and seasonal vegetables working in perfect harmony, each spoonful is a treat for the taste buds. This classic recipe is a must-know for any soup enthusiast or those seeking a hearty, satisfying meal.

Why You’ll Love this Italian Vegetable Soup

Nonna’s minestrone soup recipe is a testament to the simplicity and flexibility of this beloved classic. At its core, making a great minestrone is all about combining ingredients in a pot and stirring occasionally. The foundation of a successful minestrone lies in its fresh vegetable content, which not only adds natural sweetness but also provides a boost of essential nutrients. Beyond the vegetables, the soup’s rich flavor profile is further enhanced by the vitamins and minerals contributed by the beans and broth. One of the most appealing aspects of minestrone, however, is its ability to be tailored to individual tastes. Traditionally made with leftover ingredients, this soup can be endlessly varied by experimenting with different broths, vegetables, beans, pasta types, and garnishes – making it a true crowd-pleaser.

How to Make Minestrone Soup

To bring the minestrone to life, start by sautéing the vegetables in oil until they’re golden brown. Next, season the mixture with your desired spices and seasonings, but only cook for a brief moment. Then, it’s time to add more depth to the dish. Pour in the broth, tomato juice, and bay leaves, followed by the beans and potatoes. After these ingredients are well combined, it’s time to introduce some pasta. Cooked al dente, the pasta adds a delightful texture contrast. Finally, mix in the wilted spinach and parsley for an added burst of freshness. To finish, add a pat of butter and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Serve hot and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Substitutions and Variations

This Italian soup recipe is designed to be flexible and accommodating to your personal taste preferences and dietary needs. Feel free to incorporate a variety of fresh seasonal vegetables into the dish, such as yellow squash, butternut squash, green beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, or other forgotten treasures hiding in your crisper drawer. The recipe lends itself well to cleaning out leftover vegetables, making it an excellent way to reduce food waste.

While traditional minestrone soup often calls for ditalini pasta, you can easily substitute this with elbow macaroni or another small pasta shape that suits your taste. Additionally, consider using gluten-free pasta if you need a suitable alternative.

In terms of beans, green beans, white beans, and cannellini beans are all fair game, so to speak. If you find yourself with an abundance of beans, consider setting some aside for a ribollita soup, another hearty option that showcases the star power of legumes.

Parmesan Cheese Rind

While Parmesan rind is not a requirement for this recipe, many enthusiasts swear by its inclusion as the key to unlocking the rich flavors of the best soup. When added, the rind dissolves into the broth, subtly thickening it and imbuing the dish with an unparalleled depth of flavor. As you near serving time, simply remove any remaining rind, allowing the true essence of the cheese to shine through. For optimal results, be sure to store leftover Parmesan rinds in airtight containers or plastic wrap, where they will maintain their potency indefinitely. Next time you’re preparing soup or stew, add this frozen treasure and savor the profound impact it has on your culinary creation. And for good measure, feel free to top off with freshly grated Parmesan, as the harmonious union of old and new rinds will only enhance the overall experience.

What to Serve with this Minestrone Recipe

This classic Italian minestrone soup is a one-pot meal that’s perfectly self-contained, but it’s also lovely served alongside some crusty bread to mop up every last drop of its rich flavors. Alternatively, you could present this comforting soup in small bowls as an appetizer before moving on to a more substantial Italian main course, such as meatball marinara subs or beef braciole. For a lighter option, omit the bread and focus on the satisfying bowl of minestrone instead.

Storage Instructions

When handling minestrone leftovers, proper storage is crucial to maintain their flavor and texture. Refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to three days, as they tend to develop an even richer taste by the next day. If you prefer a longer shelf life, consider freezing your leftovers. Place them in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container, ensuring they remain well-sealed, and store them in the freezer for up to three months. To enjoy your frozen minestrone again, simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. You can warm it gently on the stove or use the microwave until hot.

Minestrone Soup FAQs

You can definitely add more substance to your homemade minestrone by incorporating various meats, such as Italian sausage, ham, chicken, beef, pork or even bacon. Prior to adding the meat to the soup, make sure you cook it first. If you prefer a heartier option, consider using beef broth instead of chicken or vegetable-based stock. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different combinations – essentially, anything goes! The term ‘minestrone’ originates from the Italian word ‘minestra’, which simply translates to soup. As for making this recipe gluten-free, it’s a straightforward process: all you need to do is substitute the pasta with gluten-free alternatives.

Italian Minestrone Soup Recipe

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Italian Minestrone Soup

Indulge in the comforting warmth of traditional Italian flavors with this mouthwatering minestrone soup recipe. A hearty and satisfying meal, perfect for lunch or supper, that can be elevated by a crusty slice of bread.


In a large pot, cook the aromatics – onions, celery, and carrots – in olive oil over medium heat until they start to caramelize. Then, add the tomatoes one by one, crushing each by hand as you go. Reserve the juices from the tomatoes for later use. Next, stir in the tomato paste, parmesan rind, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Let it all simmer together for a couple of minutes. Add the reserved tomato juices, broth, and bay leaves to the pot, bringing it to a gentle boil before reducing the heat and letting it simmer for 15 minutes. Taste the soup carefully, adjusting the seasoning as needed with salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes. Now, add the beans and potatoes, letting them cook for another 15 minutes. Introduce the pasta and cook until the potatoes are tender and the pasta is al dente. Finally, stir in the spinach and parsley, then melt in some butter and parmesan cheese. The soup is now ready to serve, garnished with options like grated parmesan, black pepper, red pepper flakes, or fresh parsley.