Minestrone Soup

This flavorful Italian soup is both hearty and healthy… what could be better? Minestrone recipes are all pretty similar… lots of veggies… sometimes with meat added… you can use vegetable stock or a meat (chicken or beef) stock or broth as a base…. a soup for everyone…

This soup cooks up in a jiffy.. so it’s definitely a weeknight meal… we made a meal out of it with some fresh bread.


I used beef broth as a base… I found chicken broth to be too bland… but either will work.

I used frozen cut string beans and chopped spinach… you can use fresh… if you use fresh string beans, then add them when you add the beans so they cook well enough by serving time.

I used baby carrots that I sliced… they just look better in the soup.

I used a “quick’ cooking dried pasta from Ronzoni … they have long thin elbows that cook in 3 minutes… it worked perfectly with this soup.

This soup recipe makes about 8 servings.. there really isn’t a good way to cut it back… since you are using full cans of beans… unless you use a half can of each type of beans.. and save the remaining beans for another use.

I used red wine… a Cabernet Sauvignon .. this is an optional ingredient.. but in my opinion adds a lot to the soup.. it gives it a full bodied flavor…

Hearty and Healthy!

Recipe: Minestrone

All you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 small zucchini, peeled and chopped
1 cup cut green beans
1 cup baby carrots, sliced
5 cups beef broth
2 cans (14.5 oz)Hunts Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (the Hunts Tomato can) water
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup frozen spinach
½ cup red wine (optional)
2 cups dried pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese (to serve with the soup)

All you need to do:

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.

Add the onions, garlic, carrots and zucchini and cook, stirring frequently until onions are soft and translucent.

Add the beef broth, canned tomatoes, kidney beans, cannellini beans, water and spices. (Also add the green beans if using fresh green beans..if using frozen green beans add them later… see below)

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat.

Add the red wine and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the frozen green beans and spinach and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the pasta and cook until the pasta is cooked (use the cooking time on the pasta box).


Johnny said...

Can I do this in a crock pot? What changes would I have to make if any.

Johnny said...

Can I do this in a crock pot? What changes would I have to make if any. Thanks for sharing a great recipe! Can't wait to try it out.

Linda said...

I would think this would be fine to do in the crockpot.... add everything except the zucchini, spinach and pasta... sautéing the veggies first is optional when using a crockpot... I'd probablymit that step and just put them in the crockpot. Cook on low 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high.

* I would use fresh green beans otherwise if they're frozen, add them later with the zucchini and spinach... since crockpots really don't "boil" on high... thaw them first then add them otherwise it will bring down the temperature of your crockpot and the timing will be off.

Add the zucchini and spinach about 1/2 hour (if on high) an hour (if cooking on low) before the end of cooking time.

Pasta can be made separately and added at the end.. or if using small pasta, something like ditilini, add that when you add the zucchini. Larger, tubular pasta will probably take longer to cook in the crockpot.

Good luck and let me know how it works out for you. Any tips you'd like to add.. please let me know.

Looking for More Recipes?

If you are looking for more recipes click the "Older Posts" link to page back to older posts or go to the archives in the right column. The list of labels at the bottom in the right column will help you find specific types of recipes or try our search engine at the top and search by name or ingredient.

What's more comforting on a cold day than Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup? .. and it's so easy to make!

Chicken Noodle Soup