This delicious Minestrone soup is packed with fresh colorful vegetables, beans, spinach and spices that is simmered in a tomato based broth and served with ditalini pasta. A bowl of this soup not only keeps you warm but it’s healthy too !
This has fast become one of my all time favorite soups. Minestrone is a hearty Italian soup that was made from what was available or leftovers. It is made up of vegetables, pantry items and spices with rice or pasta.
That’s the traditional meaning behind this soup… to use up what you have on hand before it goes bad.
This soup makes A TON. If you don’t have a stock pot large enough a Dutch oven works just as well. Also, feel free to cut the recipe in half, which will still serve at least 4-6 people.
- Fat – both oil and butter are used
- Vegetables – start with a mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) and add in green beans, zucchini, spinach, potatoes. The great thing about this soup is to use what is in season. Try squash in stead of potatoes, kale instead of spinach etc.
- Beans – I use dark red kidney beans because I like them, but any kidney bean or cannellini bean will do.
- Pasta – Ditalini is the most common pasta used. It looks like a short tube. Any pasta will work. I’ve also used small shell pasta.
- Broth – Both chicken or vegetable broth will work. Obviously if you want to keep it vegetarian, vegetable broth would be the way to go.
- Spice – Italian seasonings, basil, oregano – basic and simple
WHAT IS SO GOOD ABOUT MINESTRONE SOUP?
Low calorie soups fill you up. They reduce the feeling of hunger and can help you take in less calories if eaten with lunch or before dinner.
- The beans are ultra affordable and readily available. They are HIGH in antioxidants (this is very important as our bodies are becoming more and more inflamed) and they also contain fiber.
- Onions, which are probably the #1 cooking staple, are also really good for you. They have flavonoids which help protect the liver.
- And tomatoes as we all know have lycopene! Great for your skin.
- Chicken broth is all the rage now, but only if you make it yourself to get the collagen.
How To Serve It
I like adding some shaved Parmesan cheese along with some fresh Parsley on the top served with some fresh Italian crusty bread. If you have the time, I encourage you to try making your own bread.
For a light lunch or dinner, serve it alongside a light salad, such as Greek.
CLASSIC MINESTRONE SOUP
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Minestrone Soup is a mixture of fresh colorful vegetables, pantry items and spices that is simmered in a tomato based broth. A bowl of this soup not only keeps you warm but healthy too !
- 2 Tbsp. Light Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- ¾ Cup Onion, diced medium
- 1 ½ Cups Carrots, washed, peeled and diced (2 large)
- 1 Cup Celery, washed and diced (2 stalks)
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- ½ Cup Potato, washed peeled and cut into small cubes (1 small)
- 1 Cup Fresh Green Beans, washed and cut into ½” pieces
- 1 Cup Zucchini, washed and quartered with skin on (1 med zucchini)
- 2 Cups Baby Spinach, washed and roughly chopped
PANTRY ITEMS AND SPICES:
- 15 oz. Diced Tomatoes with liquid
- 3 Cups Vegetable (or Chicken) Broth
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 ½ Cups Tomato Sauce (try and find one with very low sugar or make your own)
- 1 Can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed (I used red)
- 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried Basil
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 Cup Ditalini Pasta
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese, shaved or grated
- Add the oil to a LARGE stockpot over medium heat. When warm, add the butter and allow it to foam. Add the onions and sauté for 4 minutes.
- Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the diced carrots, and celery and sauté an additional 4 minutes, stirring often.
- Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the garlic, oregano, basil, Italian seasonings and sugar. Stir to combine.
- Add the broth, water, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the potatoes, beans, green beans and zucchini. Partially cover the pot with a lid and allow the soup to simmer for 25 minutes or until the carrots and green beans are fork tender.
- Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
- Lastly, add the spinach and simmer (partially covered) 5 more minutes.
- Before serving, cook pasta according to instructions and ladle soup over the pasta in a bowl.
- Top with fresh shaved parmesan cheese.