Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup Video – scroll down for recipe

It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with this site that I-talian food ain’t exactly my specialty. Not to say I don’t like it — I mean what red-blooded American girl doesn’t like noodles and cheese and tomatoes and basil and whatever else Olive Garden orders from Sysco? I’M JOKING OBVIOUSLY. Olive Garden gets their pasta and stuff from Tuscany. Der.

ANYWAYZ. I made this soup, and many variations of this soup, quite often when I was single, poor, and vegetarian. I could make a big pot of it with whatever wilty, weird vegetables my roommate left in the fridge and all the broken pasta pieces I could sweep from the floor of the pantry and eat it all week long and still feel like I was eating like a king, or a queen, or whichever royalty figure is better known for drinking an entire bottle of pink wine every night and then raving about dinner.

Traditionally made with Cannellini beans (I think?) and macaroni noodles (also just thinking here) it’s good with any type of beans or pasta, especially chick peas, navy beans, and Great Northerns. The vegetables are up to you, too; add cabbage, zucchini, even potatoes or peas and corn. Don’t matter. Really as long as you have pasta and beans in it, I think you can still call it minestrone without Sylvia Petrillo showing up to smack-a your face-a. If you happen to have some homemade chicken stock around, too, that makes it extra tasty (though using vegetable broth will make it vegetarian-friendly). If you have fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese, that’s quite a nice addition, but not really necessary.

Minestrone Soup Recipe — Printable!

minestrone soup


Minestrone Soup

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4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 1” lengths
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes or 1 15 ounce can
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 cup small pasta
  • 12 cups cooked drained beans
  • 2 cups fresh spinach or chard, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • For serving: Parmesan cheese, fresh basil


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat
  2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and green beans and saute a few minutes until just beginning to soften and brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and garlic and spices and stir about.
  4. Ad the broth.
  5. Cover and bring to a boil.
  6. Once boiling , add the pasta and set a timer for however long your package says.
  7. When the timer dings, add the beans and greens and parsley and cook until the greens are wilted.
  8. Serve with grated cheese and/or fresh basil on top.

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  1. Anson on October 4, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    This looks amazeballs, cannot wait to make.
    Hilah drinking game… Take a shot whenever Hilah says “translucent”
    BTDubs– cute combination of the sailor shirt and anchor tattoo ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hilah on October 5, 2012 at 8:08 am

      Omigosh, did I say that multiple times?? Man, I was out of it that day. Glad I managed to coordinate my shirt with my tattoo at least. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Anson on October 5, 2012 at 8:31 am

        Only about once an episode ๐Ÿ™‚ You do you boo-boo!!

  2. larry kimball on October 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Great soup! I make a mean pasta e fagioli, which is similar, but I love the simplicity of your soup. And it has all the essentials, beans and pasta make a complete protein, and the great veggies make it all even better. BTW, Olive Garden’s pasta e fagioli is not bad. Kudos to your ministrone!

    • Hilah on October 5, 2012 at 8:16 am

      Hey Larry! I haven’t had pasta e fagioli in years! I lived in Boston about 10 years ago (oh gawd, more like 13 years) and it was popular fare at many restaurants on Fridays. Simple and good.

  3. jeff stanhope on October 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    HAAA! after 29 yrs in the food biz, i’m too bitter and dead inside to laugh at much of anything… but “whatever else olive garden orders from sysco” has me peeing myself with giggles and mirth! hmm.. if i pee myself while eating this soup, is it still vegetarian? luv ya!

    • Hilah on October 5, 2012 at 8:17 am

      Hahaha! Good! That makes me glad to hear, Jeff. And I think as long as it’s your own pee, you’re in the clear.

  4. Great Stone Face on October 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Great recipe! I especially like the addition of fresh greens near the end. That’s real stick-to-the-ribs soup.

    How I make it my own? I like it a little beefier and use beef broth or stock, with maybe some meat strands floating around; and red kidney beans.

    • Hilah on October 5, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Ooh, a beefy minestrone! I don’t believe I’ve had that, but there’s nothing that compares to a rich beef stock. Just thinking about that makes me hungry for French onion soup…

  5. Kristin Deverin on October 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    This looks yummy!
    I’m heading to Corpus Christi this week to visit my sister..do you have any recommendations on places to eat?? Thanks!

    • Hilah on October 6, 2012 at 10:04 am

      Thanks, Kristin!
      Oh my gosh, I haven’t been to Corpus in years! Taqueria Jalisco on Cimarron is consistently good Mexican/Tex-mex, though, from what I remember. Have fun!

  6. Frank on October 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Hi Hilah

    I’m Swiss and since you’ve been asked to come up with more soup recipes for the colder season, well, let me suggest this soup from the eastern Swiss alps: It’s called “Bรผndner Gerstensuppe” (meaning “barley soup from the canton of Graubรผnden or Grisons), and it’s full of hearty goodness and makes people smile when it’s cold out.
    It’s main ingredients are stock, barley, veggies (similar to a minestrone) and either smoked bacon, ham or local dried beef (you could substitute that with Italian dried beef, for instance bresaola). I found one recipe in English that is very close to how I would make it: http://janetching.wordpress.com/2008/06/17/swiss-bundner-gerstensuppe-barley-soup/
    Now, i don’t know this blog and don’t want to promote other blogs on your site, so feel free to delete the link or this post. It’s just the one recipe that I find is the closest to the traditional version of the soup. Maybe it’ll inspire you!

    • Hilah on October 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Thanks, Frank! That sounds really good. I love barley soups and that one looks SO good and hearty. Affordable, too!

  7. Diane on October 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    How did minestrone fall off my radar??? Used to make it a lot when I was married, as my then husband is half Italian. Thanks for the reminder . . . especially as we’re getting cooler weather this weekend!

    • Hilah on October 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

      I know! I felt that way about shepherd’s pie – I used to make it all the time and then. just. stopped. Hope you like it, Diane! xo

  8. Annie on October 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Love the minestrone! I like to add spicy Italian sausage to mine, and a chunk of Asiago in the pot while it’s cooking really thickens up the broth (which I like). I’ve never used bowties (I usually use Ditalini). How do the bowties hold up in leftovers?

    • Hilah on October 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Thanks, Annie! I’ve never tried the hunk’o’cheese in the pot, though I’ve heard of it. Good to know it adds some body, too; I always thought it was just for flavor, which sounds good enough on its own, honestly. ๐Ÿ™‚ This batch only stuck around for two days, but at that point the pasta was still good and al dente after reheating in the microwave. I have made it sometimes and had the pasta get really soft after a day in the fridge and I wonder if it’s more to do with the brand/quality than the shape? That just occurred to me as I’m typing this…

  9. Dana on October 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I just discovered your videos yesterday and I already have made you one of my favorite “tv” chefs! You rock girl! Next soup I make will be this (polishing off my last quart of homemade White Bean and Kale Soup with Chicken Sausage and Tomatoes). Love the fact that you use red pepper flakes – makes all the difference. Thanks!!

    • Hilah on October 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Thank you, Dana! Your white bean soup sounds super yummy. I love the addition of sausage. Hope you like the minestrone!

  10. acg on October 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I made minestrone this evening from your video using what was in my vegetable drawer: onion, celery, carrots; in addition to a fennel bulb, baby bok choi (the white, bottom parts in at the beginning, leaves at the end), parsley, garlic, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of garbanzo beans, and some orzo. I threw in some salt and a habanero pepper too. Thanks for the inspiration on this cool, rainy night! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hilah on October 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      What a creative supper! I bet the fennel was really nice. Thanks for sharing, ACG!

  11. Marika on April 9, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Oh man, it’s the best soup I’ve ever made! Even my boyfriend said the only bad thing i it’s without meat (but i’m vegetarian, so never mind:P). Thank’s Hilah!

    • Hilah on April 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      Haha! I’m glad he liked it. I know it can be tricky to cook for a meat-eater when you aren’t one yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thom Millage on September 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    LOVE this recipe and video!!! The first time I made it, there wasn’t enough. Now I make double batches and put my own spin on it (mild Italian sausage, habanero, and others). Everybody that has tried it loves it, thanks for an easy and delicious recipe Hilah, I enjoy many other videos/recipes as well. Keep up the good work!

    • Hilah on September 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Thank you Thom! So happy to hear it’s become a regular recipe for you, and especially glad you are putting your own yummy twist on it! That makes cooking really fun.

  13. Cherry on November 23, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I loooooove minestrone. I’m with Annie- I always make chicken stock for it and add whatever old rind of cheese I have- usually parm. I love the flavor and the thickening bit, too. Sometimes, instead of regular pasta, I add cheese tortellini. This soup and fresh bread is the best fall/winter meal- with lots of good wine;-)

    I love your videos- please don’t ever quit making them!!

    • Hilah on November 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Yum! I love the cheese rind in there. I never thought to use anything but Parmesan rind, so thanks for that! And thanks for reminding me about this soup now that it’s freezing cold and rainy here. Tortellini sounds wonderful. Thanks, Cherry!

  14. Marika on December 3, 2013 at 6:06 am

    Hilah, I’ll never thank you enough about this soup! I’m a student and vegetarian so it’s the best recipe I have in my collection. It’s realy yummy, healthy, easy and filling. And my boyfriend also eats it, which is a big success:P

    • Hilah on December 3, 2013 at 8:49 am

      Hooray, Marika! ๐Ÿ™‚ Super happy to hear that! This is one of my favorites, too, because it’s so adaptable to whatever you have in the kitchen. Thanks for writing!

  15. amandaa on August 18, 2014 at 6:06 am

    This soup was delicious!! So flavorsome!!! Even my boyfriend enjoyed it and asked for extras!! Thank you much for such a tasty recipe!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hilah on August 18, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Fantastic, Amanda! So glad you both enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Stephanie on September 22, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Do you have the nutritional information on this soup (calories, fiber, protein…etc)? It taste so good! Thanks so much for the recipe

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