This classic vegetarian minestrone soup is the perfect bowl to warm up to! It’s packed with hearty vegetables and pasta for a filling and healthy meal.
Easy minestrone soup
Fall is in the air! I don’t care if it’s still 90 degrees here in Florida, Walmart started putting out there Halloween stuff so I guess it’s fall.
Minestrone soup is a hearty Italian soup that is perfect for all those cold days ahead! It has a tomato and vegetable broth soup base and is loaded with chopped vegetables and either rice or pasta. MMM pasta….
This easy to make minestrone soup is seriously the best soup ever. I love it because you can use all those veggies that have been sitting in your fridge that you need to get rid of!
This soup is loaded with flavor as the base is built with all sorts of delicious ingredients. It’s quick and easy to make, makes a ton (so share with your neighbors!), and is such a delicious lunch or dinner the next day!
Minestrone soup ingredients
- Soffritto– Known at the “Italian Holy Trinity,” celery, onion, and carrots are combined in a 2:1:1 ration and adds the perfect layer of flavor to just about any dish.
- Garlic– You can use jarred minced garlic to save time on chopping if that is easiest for you!
- Escarole– You can use any kind of leafy greens! Spinach, kale, and collard greens are all great options. Escarole is a very traditional Italian staple and wilts similar to spinach but it has a crunchy and thicker stem.
- Herbs– Basil, thyme, parsley, and rosemary make this soup flavorful and delicious! I prefer to use fresh herbs because their flavors are fresh but I will include how to sub this out for dried herbs if that is what you have on hand!
- Fresh vegetables– Fresh Roma tomatoes are deseeded and chopped to add texture to the soup and add more of a tomato-y flavor. Potatoes and zucchini not only add flavor but make this vegetable soup super hearty and filling!
- Tomato paste– The vegetables are first sautèd, then the tomato paste coats them before the vegetable broth is added… the aroma is outstanding!
- Vegetable broth– You can use vegetable broth or vegetable bullion and water, whatever you have on hand!
- Diced tomatoes– Canned diced tomatoes are found in the pasta and pasta sauce aisle of your grocery store. If you want to kick this recipe up a notch, you can grab a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes!
- Pasta– My favorite kind of pasta to use for this vegetarian minestrone soup is ditalini. Any kind of small pasta will work great! Orzo, small shells, or elbows are all easy to find and great options!
- Cannellini beans– To save time, I use canned cannellini beans. Give them a good rinse in a strainer first!
- Bay leaves- You are going to want to add a couple of bay leaves, they provide a very delicate flavor to the soup that adds a bit of hardiness.
Make it ahead of time
You can easily prep this meal ahead of time, so when you come home, all you have to do is combine a few ingredients on the stove, and dinner is served, baby!
You can prepare this vegetarian minestrone soup ahead of time by chopping the ingredients and storing them in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
The celery, onion, and carrots need to be placed in a separate container (with a lid, or it’ll stink up your whole fridge). Chop the garlic and Roma tomatoes and store them in the fridge as well.
If you are adding other ingredients like squash, potatoes, etc, you can add it to the same container as the carrots and Roma tomatoes.
I recommend cutting the escarole when you are ready to add it to the pan. Escarole is a more delicate leafy green (compared to something as tough and hardy like chard) and will get soggy in the fridge if it’s prepared ahead of time.
Make it your own
I have a few suggestions on how to really amp up this minestrone soup! I really like to have fun in the kitchen and sometimes challenge myself to see how many vegetables I can add to a dish… here are a few I have tried and loved!
- Squash– Any kind of squash works really well in this tomato-based soup. Butternut squash can sub out either carrot or potato, or you can add this to the pot! Summer squash is a great addition if you can’t get enough of that zucchini flavor!
- Beans– You can use a variety of beans to make this dish yours. Great Northern beans are very similar to cannellini beans and have a great neutral flavor. Red kidney beans add a deeper flavor to the soup, so use this if you want something extra hardy!
- Herbs– You can sub out the fresh herbs for dried herbs very easily! If you want to just skip all the herb mixing, you can opt to season your soup with 1 1/2 tbsp of Italian seasoning. If you want a little more control in your flavor, you can use a teaspoon each of dried parsley, rosemary, basil, and thyme.
How to quickly make a traditional Italian minestrone soup
- Sautè the vegetables. First, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the soffritto and sautè for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables except for the escarole (or whatever leafy green your using). Add the tomato paste and stir to make sure all the vegetables are coated. Sautè the vegetable mixture for 8-10 minutes.
- Build the soup base. Once the vegetables are done sautèing, add the vegetable broth and the crushed tomatoes. Give the pot a good stir. Add the fresh (or dried) herbs, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to the pot. Bring the soup to a light boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the beans, pasta, and escarole. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the pot. Measure the pasta and add it to the pot. Rough chop the escarole .. and you guessed it.. add to the pot. Cover the pot and bring to a light boil over medium-high heat. Cook the soup for another 10-15 minutes, until the pasta is al dente!
- Serve. Serve this vegetarian minestrone soup with crusty bread, shaved parmesan cheese more fresh parsley, and a good friend! Mangia!
How to store and reheat vegetarian minestrone soup
In the fridge
You can store this minestrone soup in the fridge by placing it in a large container with an airtight lid. This soup will stay good in the fridge for up to three days.
In the freezer
You can easily freeze this soup! This is such a great option because this soup makes a lot and it freezes really well, so you can pop it in the freezer, then pop it in the microwave when you want a quick lunch or dinner.
Place the soup into individual freezer safe containers with airtight lids. This minestrone soup will stay good in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Reheat on the stove top
You can reheat this soup on the stovetop by placing it in a small pot over medium-high heat. Cook the soup for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reheat in the microwave
If you are reheating refrigerated minestrone soup in the microwave, place the soup in a microwave-safe bowl and cook it for about 2-3 minutes. You may want to stir the soup at 2 minutes and taste test it to see if it needs more time.
If you are microwaving frozen soup, you may have to defrost the soup in the container first if it is not a microwave-safe dish. If it is a microwave-safe dish, place it in the microwave for 5 minutes. Give the soup a stir at the 4-minute mark. Taste test the soup after 5 minutes, depending on how large of a portion you are reheating, it may need more time.
More delicious fall recipes
- Creamy grape tomato bisque with pesto provolone grilled cheese is a perfect summertime meal that combines all the seasonal flavors. This easy vegetarian meal kicks this classic dish up a notch!
- Fall harvest brings you the best flavors in this creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce! This flavorful sauce is a great way to switch up your pasta night!
- This Mushroom Stroganoff is creamy, flavorful, and hearty, without the meat! This easy dish can be made in under 30 minutes.
- Unstuffed Pepper Skillet with Ground beef is seasoned perfectly with your favorite Mexican spices, white rice, and crunchy bell peppers. This easy one-pan meal is ready for the family to enjoy in under 30 minutes!
- Butternut squash stuffed shells with Italian sausage and a creamy sage sauce is the perfect fall meal! Each bite has layers of flavor that makes this the ultimate comfort food!
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped, (or 1 1/2 cups baby carrots)
- 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 cups red, yukon, or baby potatoes diced
- 2 Roma tomatoes deseeded, chopped
- 4 oz tomato paste
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary See notes if using dried herbs
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley plus more for topping
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 540 ml can of cannellini or Great Northern beans
- 1 cup ditalini pasta (or any kind of small pasta)
- 1-2 cup escarole (or any leafy greens) chopped
- Parmesan cheese for topping
- Sautè the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the celery, carrots, and onion and sautè for two minutes. Add the garlic, potatoes, and tomatoes to the pot and allow them to cook for another 10 minutes over medium low heat.
- Build the soup base. Add the tomato paste to the pot and stir well to evenly coat the vegetables. Add the crushed tomatoes and the vegetable broth. Add the rosemary, parsley, basil, thyme, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to the pot and stir well. Bring the mixture to a light boil over medium high heat.
- Add the pasta, beans, and leafy greens. Drain and rinse the beans, then add the beans, pasta, and escarole to the pot and stir. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
- Serve. Top each bowl with a generous amount of parmesan cheese and more fresh parsley. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.
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