on Oct 18, 2021, Updated Feb 04, 2022
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With a wonderfully herby tomato broth, this easy vegetarian minestrone soup is hearty and full of green beans, kidney beans, kale and pasta.
Making a giant batch of soup that will last through the week is always on my Sunday to-do list during the fall and winter months.
Then, I am set with lunch and/or dinner no matter how hectic things inevitably get in the days ahead.
Nothing feels better than kicking off the week with a fridge full of leftovers, and soup is such a simple way to do that.
Classic minestrone soup is part of my rotation of tomato broths that are filled with vegetables and protein in the form of beans.
My version is easy making the most of pantry ingredients like canned tomatoes and kidney beans along with fresh vegetables such as green beans and hardy leafy greens.
Is Minestrone Just Vegetable Soup?
Minestrone is a kind of vegetable soup, but it packs more than veggies in its broth. Along with Italian seasonings like dried rosemary and oregano, it has beans and pasta.
On its own or with a piece of crusty artisan bread, minestrone soup is filling and the kind of vegetarian main that will stick to your ribs. I don’t think twice about serving it as a main for lunch or dinner.
Best Pasta For Soup
Don’t overwhelm the veggies and beans with big pasta. Small to medium pasta shapes make sense because they are appropriately sized for a spoon.
Try small shells, orecchiette or ditalini.
Also, I always cook the pasta in a separate pot and add it to the soup as I divide it into bowls to serve. This is the best way to avoid soup with soggy noodles.
This is what you need to make this vegetarian minestrone soup:
- Onions, carrots & celery are known as mirepoix. This combination acts as a flavor base in lots of soups and sauces.
- Olive oil: The onions, carrots, celery and garlic sauté in olive oil.
- Garlic: Once the onions, carrots and celery start to soften and turn translucent, I add 2 minced cloves.
- Dried seasonings: I use a mix of dried rosemary and oregano along with salt and pepper.
- Crushed tomatoes: The recipe calls for a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes.
- Vegetable broth: For soups, I always prefer low-sodium vegetable broth because I want to control the seasonings, especially salt. You can use chicken broth if you’re not trying to keep it vegetarian.
- Kidney beans: For this soup, I like kidney beans. You can swap them out for cannellini beans.
- Green beans: To go with the canned beans, I also add fresh green beans sliced into half-inch pieces.
- Kale: When the soup has nearly finished simmering, I stir in the chopped greens. This is one of my favorite ways to add another nutritious veggie to soups. You also can use spinach instead.
- Pasta: Small to medium pasta shapes such as shells or orecchiette work best because of their size compared to the vegetables and beans.
- Parsley: I finish each bowl of soup with chopped fresh herbs.
- Parmesan: Also, I like to sprinkle on shaved Parmesan. If you want it vegan, skip the cheese.
How To Make This Easy Soup From Scratch
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté them until they start to soften.
- Add the minced garlic and spices including dried rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper, giving them a minute to turn fragrant.
- Pour in the tomatoes, vegetable broth and kidney beans. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the green beans and kale and continue simmering for 5 minutes, letting the greens wilt.
- Cook the pasta in a separate saucepan until al dente.
- Divide the soup into bowls. Add the pasta and top with chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.
Storing The Soup
You can store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Always keep the soup and pasta separate.
I like reheating the soup in a saucepan over low heat. When the soup is almost hot enough to eat, add in the cold pasta to warm for a couple minutes in the broth.
To store the soup longer, keep it in the freezer. If you want, you can freeze the soup up to 1 month. Just make another batch of pasta when you’re planning to eat it.
How To Serve
Packed with beans and veggies, this minestrone soup recipe is is so filling that it eats like a meal on its own. If you do want something to with it, I always love a hunk of bread, bonus points if it’s garlic bread. And even better if it’s something Italian like ciabatta or focaccia.
You could also make a grilled cheese sandwich if you want a little something more. Rather than cheddar, use a mix of asiago, provolone and mozzarella.
Try These Other Italian-Inspired Soup Recipes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion roughly chopped
- 2 medium carrots peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1-15 ounce can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup trimmed green beans cut 1/2-inch long
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 3 ounces small to medium pasta shells, orecchiette, ditalini
- Shaved Parmesan and chopped parsley for serving
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions, carrots and celery until they start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper and continue cooking until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth and kidney beans. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the soup thickens slightly. Add the green beans and kale. Continue cooking for 5 minutes until the kale wilts.
- In a separate small saucepan, cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
- Divide the soup into bowls, adding pasta and garnishing Parmesan and chopped parsley.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.