Green Minestrone Soup

5 from 1 vote

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This green minestrone soup is a simple spring soup recipe that you can make in about 20 minutes. As the name suggests, this soup is loaded with green vegetables including leeks, peas, green beans, zucchini and kale. Even though this minestrone doesn’t have tomatoes, it still has plenty of beans.

You also can try this vegetarian minestrone soup recipe if you’re looking for a more traditional Italian recipe.

Bowl of spring minestrone soup.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Trust me, you need a few spring soups in your cooking rotation. In the Midwest we like to call it “faux spring.” Those are the unusually warm days that happen in March and April that trick you into thinking cold weather is over, but then it snows again. After a winter of soups, you need an optimistic recipe with spring ingredients.

You don’t have to always have to make traditional minestrone with tomatoes. Minestrone soup is essentially vegetable soup with pasta and beans. Why not take it from there and make adjustments to create a fresh take on the classic recipe?

This minestrone is a wholesome, nutritious and filling soup. In each spoonful, you get beans, vegetables and leafy greens.

Pesto and fresh lemon give the broth an instant flavor boost. Keeping with the idea of looking ahead, this is an easy way to add herby brightness to minestrone soup. 

The Ingredients

Ingredients including leeks, celery, green beans, zucchini, peas, kale, white beans, broth and olive oil.

This is what you need:

  • Peas: You can use fresh or frozen peas. You don’t have to thaw the peas before stirring them in.
  • Zucchini: I quarter a zucchini lengthwise and then slice it. That makes it sized just right for soup spoons. Look for a zucchini that has dark green skin with a slight sheen and no soft spots.
  • Green beans: To go with the white beans and veggies, I include fresh green beans cut into 1/2-inch long pieces.
  • Kale: Stirring in hearty chopped kale adds another nutritious ingredient to soups. You can use lacinato kale or green kale.
  • Cannellini beans are my first choice for beans in this soup, but you can also use navy beans or great northern beans, which are smaller.
  • Pasta: Small to medium pasta shapes such as ditalini, shells or orecchiette work best because of their size compared to the vegetables and beans.
  • Leeks & celery: Instead of traditional mirepoix with carrots and onions, I go for this pale green duo that’s the perfect starting point to build a spring soup.
  • Garlic: I sauté to minced garlic cloves with the leeks and celery. You can add another clove if you want it more garlicky.
  • Pesto: You can stir in jarred pesto or homemade basil pesto.
  • Lemon: When the soup finishes simmering, I squeeze in lemon juice for acidity. This is important because this recipe doesn’t have tomatoes.
  • Vegetable broth: I always prefer low-sodium vegetable broth because I want to control the seasonings, especially salt. You can use chicken broth if you don’t need it to be vegetarian.
  • Parmesan: I garnish the soup with shaved parmesan cheese. Skip it if you want the soup to be vegan or use a plant-based substitute.
  • Parsley: I sprinkle the soup with chopped fresh herbs before serving.
  • Olive oil is for sautéing the leeks and celery.
  • Salt & black pepper season the soup. 

How To Make Spring Minestrone Soup

1. Sauté the leeks and celery. Warm the oil in a large pot, and then add the leeks and celery, cooking them until they start to soften, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in the minced garlic, salt and pepper. Give everything in the pot a minute to become fragrant.

Sauté the celery and leeks in a large pot. Then add the garlic, salt and pepper.

3. Add the peas, zucchini, green beans, cannellini beans and veggie broth. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. The soup should thicken slightly.

4. Stir in the kale, pesto and lemon juice. The greens will soften in a couple minutes.

Simmer the soup with the vegetables and broth. Then stir in the kale, pesto and lemon juice.

5. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water in a small pot according to package instructions until al dente. You can do this while the soup simmers.

6. Ladle the soup into bowls along with the pasta. Top with Parmesan and parsley before serving.

Simmer the pasta in a separate pot. Then ladle the soup into bowls with the pasta, Parmesan and parsley.


Given the amount of pasta, beans and vegetables, this green minestrone soup recipe can be a meal on its own. If you want something else on the side, serve it with a piece of bread with crust that’s good for dipping.

Pair it with a simple arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette or a classic house salad. You can also make a grilled cheese sandwich and use a mix of asiago, provolone and mozzarella instead of cheddar cheese.

Leftovers, Storage & Freezing

You can store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. If possible, don’t stir all the cooked pasta into the soup. When you store them separately, the pasta will keep more of its al dente texture.

You can reheat the soup on the stove in a pot over low heat.  When it’s almost hot enough to eat, add in the cold pasta to warm for 1-2 minutes in the broth.

To keep the soup longer, up to 1 month, store it in the freezer. Do not freeze it with the pasta. Make another batch of pasta when you’re planning to eat it. Thaw the soup in the fridge or at room temperature and then reheat it on the stove.

Three bowls of minestrone soup.

Recipe Tips

Use fresh green beans. Canned green beans are very soft and won’t give you the right consistency in the soup.

Do not cook the pasta in the soup. It’s best to simmer the pasta in a separate pot. Then it won’t end up soggy

If you freeze leftovers, don’t freeze any pasta. As mentioned, make another batch of pasta when you thaw the soup and reheat it.

More Italian Soup Recipes

Rosemary White Bean Tomato Soup
Pasta e Fagioli
Roasted Tomato Soup
Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

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Green Minestrone Soup

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
With zucchini, peas, green beans, kale and white beans this vegetable-filled green minestrone soup is a spring twist on the classic Italian soup.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek, white and pale green parts finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shelled peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 zucchini, cut into quarters lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 cup trimmed green beans, cut 1/2-inch long
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped kale leaves
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 ounces small to medium pasta (shells, orecchiette, ditalini)
  • Shaved Parmesan for serving
  • Chopped parsley for serving


  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the leeks and celery until they start to soften, about 4 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic, salt and pepper and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the peas, zucchini, green beans, cannellini beans and vegetable broth. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the soup thickens slightly. 
  • Stir in the kale, pesto and lemon juice, giving the leaves a couple minutes to soften.
  • In a separate small saucepan, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package instructions until al dente.
  • Divide the soup into bowls, adding pasta and garnishing with Parmesan and chopped parsley.


If you want the soup to be gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta
To make the soup vegan, leave out the cheese or use a plant-based Parmesan.
Store the soup in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days. Keep the soup and pasta in separate containers. 
You can freeze soup up to 1 month. Do not freeze it with pasta in the broth. Make fresh pasta when you are planning to eat leftovers.
Warm the soup in a saucepan over low heat on the stove. Stir in the cold pasta when the soup is almost warm enough to eat.


Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1017mg | Potassium: 689mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1786IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    We loved this! I added a can of Navy Beans for some iron, but we loved the flavors of this soup. Even the kids! Thanks!