Minestrone Soup

According to the Wikipedia, minestrone is an Italian soup made with fresh seasonal vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes.

There is no set recipe for minestrone, since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season. It can be vegetarian, contain meat, or contain a meat-based soup base (such as chicken stock).


(Recipe updated August, 2015)

Minestrone Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

You can use canned beans (use a good quality brand, I recommend S&W or Bush's) or you can cook dry beans.

If starting with dry beans, soak about 3/4 cup of dry beans overnight in cold water (or pour boiling water over the beans and soak for 1 hour). Drain. Cover with a couple inches of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour, or until tender enough to eat. Then drain and use in this recipe as directed.



  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or a teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 cups sliced savoy or curly cabbage
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 medium fresh ripe tomatoes (romas if available), cored, peeled, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can of cannellini or great northern white beans, drained (about 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish


1 Heat oil in a 4 to 5 quart thick-bottomed pot on medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

2 Add the bay leaf, thyme, fennel seeds. Add the potato, cabbage, zucchini, and tomatoes. Add the chicken stock.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.

3 Add the beans and parsley to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.

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  1. Cin

    I love this photo, Elise. I mentioned to a work colleague once that we were going to a restaurant that served provincial Italian food, and she said, “Isn’t that just minestrone?” Yeah, that’s all they serve!

  2. Marc Canter

    Pasta Fagiole is a great variant. The texture is superb and there’s nothing like a warm, smothering Italian version of comfort food to brighten your day.

    Also anothe version from Friuli Venezia-Guilia is called ‘Yota’ – which includes Sauerkraut. It was the old Pope’s favorite soup.

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