Tender veggies, hearty beans, and pasta settled into a tomato-y broth … Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is what cozy dinners were made of. We’ve been living on minestrone all winter long, and we’re not slowing down for spring, either.
What is Minestrone?
Minestrone is a hearty Italian soup made with beans, veggies, and pasta in broth. Whether or not your minestrone recipe is considered genuine depends on a few factors – like what area of Italy or the Mediterranean does your recipe come from? (Read more about the definition of minestrone here.)
I will disclaim that this recipe is my very own, straight from my American kitchen. I have no Italian blood flowing through my veins (sadly) – at least, none that I know of. I do think my version of minestrone is simple and delicious! And I hope you like it too.
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup Ingredients
I often think of minestrone as more of a formula than a recipe – a mirepoix, some garlic, tomatoes, broth, and beans (sometimes I’ll add some winter squash and/or potatoes too), and then after it all simmers for awhile, I’ll add any tender veggies and the pasta, and finally a finish of greens and parsley.
Usually, I take stock in what veggies I have in the fridge that need to get used up. Next, I make sure I have a can of beans on hand, a bit of pasta hanging around at the bottom of a box somewhere, and some veggie broth in the pantry or freezer.
Some minestrone recipes call for pancetta or chicken broth, but this one is an entirely vegetarian minestrone recipe. I rely on a parmesan rind for flavor, but if you leave it out, it can be vegan too.
- We begin with a mirepoix – onions, carrots, and celery sautéed in olive oil.
- Next up we have garlic, a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, beans (kidney beans are my go-to), vegetable broth, and a parmesan rind. If you’re okay with dairy, the parmesan rind is key for adding loads of flavor. So good.
- Once the soup has simmered for a bit, I then add zucchini and pasta.
- And then lastly, we add baby spinach and parsley along with any additional salt and pepper.
Why We Love Minestrone
I love that vegetarian minestrone uses up the bits and ends in the fridge, is super budget-friendly to make (that matters these days!), and always makes for delicious leftovers. One pot lasts us almost all week sometimes! So I thought it was high time I shared the recipe. Scroll on for the printable full meal deal!
More Hearty Soup Recipes
- Oh hey! I published another minestrone soup recipe back in 2013! This one is a bit different with optional sausage and more broth, but it’s the formula I’ve been working with for many years now. (Also, I remember thinking those photos were pretty darn good!)
- Lemony Chickpea Soup with Orzo & Dill is another brothy bean-and-pasta situation. I like the lightness of this one as the weather gets warmer.
- Curried Vegetable Barley Soup is a lightly spiced spin on a classic; I love the chickpeas and the barley in place of the pasta.
- This Tuscan Bean Stew with loads of beans, kale, and rosemary is a total keeper.
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion (diced; about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots (peeled and diced; about 1 cup)
- 1 stalk celery (diced; about 1/2 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled and minced; about 1 tablespoon)
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 15 ounces fire-roasted diced tomatoes (1 can)
- 15 ounces cooked kidney beans (1 can; drained and rinsed)
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes (diced; about 2 cups [optional])
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 parmesan rind (about the size of a domino)
- 1 small zucchini (diced; about 1 cup)
- 1 cup pasta (I prefer small-to-medium tubular pastas like ditallini, macaroni, penne, torchio, casarecce, etc.)
- 1 ounce baby spinach (lightly chopped; about 1 cup packed)
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley (chopped)
- Freshly shredded parmesan cheese (for topping)
- 1 3.5 quart or larger stock pot
- Add olive oil to a large pot over medium-low heat. When hot, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for another minute, until fragrant.
- Stir in the broth, tomatoes, kidney beans, potatoes (if using), salt, and pepper. Drop in the parmesan rind. Increase heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low until the soup is at a simmer. Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potato (if using) is tender.
- Stir in the zucchini and pasta. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, just until the pasta is barely tender.
- Remove from heat. Stir in the spinach and parsley until wilted. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
- Ladle into bowls and pass with plenty of parmesan and crusty bread.