Minestrone Soup

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.

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


  • 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 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 (or vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini or great northern white beans, drained (about 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish


1 Sauté onions, carrots, celery, garlic in olive oil: 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 herbs, potato, vegetables, stock: Add the bay leaf, thyme, fennel seeds. Add the potato, cabbage, zucchini, and tomatoes. Add the chicken stock.

3 Simmer until vegetables are cooked through: 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.

4 Add beans, parsley, salt, pepper: 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.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Jeanine

    Made it for our family of teen boys and we all loved it! I followed the recipe exactly except I used Napa cabbage and squeezed in fresh lemon juice (I also used chicken bone broth for extra protein). It was delicious, thanks!


  • Leigh

    Just tried this today for the first time–turned out great! Couldn’t find savoy cabbage so used regular and I also added baby spinach; otherwise followed the recipe pretty much exactly. Everyone in the family loved it, and they’re glad I doubled the recipe so there is plenty to have during the week. Thank you!


  • Diane

    I love minestrone soup but have not made it for a while. It’s a great break from meat soups because it has substance so you feel satisfied. Some of our family members have sensitive tummies and this soup always meets everyone’s needs. Thanks for reminding me and I’ll be making some soon. We live in Minnesota so this is definitely the season for soup!

  • Alyssa

    It’s so cold here in RI, soup is my best friend these days. Minestrone soup is one of my favorites…any soup with beans and I’m in :)

  • Catharine

    This soup is great, but extra delicious with the following add-ons if available: a tablespoon of tomato paste (with the herbs), a big glug of white wine, and a parmesan rind (both with the chicken stock). Huge hit in our house — thank you!


  • Leslie

    I’m an Oregon grandma. Some of my family is vegetarian / vegan. Perfect family meal with crusty sourdough bread and blackberry cobbler. I’ve already been asked to share my recipe!


  • Lynn

    Excellent First time I even attempted to make minestrone soup it turned out Excellent using this recipe. My kids loved it and are already asking for me to make it again. Thank you


  • Marsha

    I took about a third of it and puréed it and added it back to make a thicker soup. I also added about a half cup of tomato sauce. I think in the future I would add more beans too.


  • Barbara

    I don’t usually comment on recipes, but my husband could eat this wonderful minestrone every night!


  • Amanda

    What’s the best way to use meat in this recipe? I’m looking for more protein in my meals, but perhaps the beans are enough?

    • Oscar

      Have the soup with a nice grill cheese sandwich. Or grilled ham and cheese. But….This soup is a great way to have a vegan lunch. Just eat more. Have you proteins for dinner.

    • Lisa B.

      You can brown a pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed if you’d like more protein.

  • Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen

    Hey! I could never say no to a minestrone. This is my favorite food ever! My mamma used to make it for me every week and now I make it as often as I can. So healthy and nutritious!

  • Virginia Murrell

    This sounds great, we love soup. I would omit the potato, for personal taste reasons, but, I’ll make this.

  • Sara @ Last Night's Feast

    This looks so comforting

  • Keena

    Love this soup! Only 2 things I’d add. Italians put in the heel of a Parmesan rind which adds so much umami and is sooo tasty. I also throw in a small 4 oz can of V8 and it adds just a little extra veg punch. Bonus if you make too much, it freezes well and is so nice to just heat up on a busy night.


  • Brooklyn Murtaugh

    Minestrone is by far my favorite soup, I could eat it every day I swear. I’ve never made my own though!

  • Martha

    This is the best minnestroni I’ve made in a long time. The fennel was subtle in the finish, the zucchini contrasted so well with the soft potatoes. Yum!

  • Janet

    Want to make this for lunch! Just wondered if I could substitute other vegetables for the cabbage & zucchini (only ingredients I don’t have & I don’t want to go to the store). Thank you!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Janet, minestrone can be made with any vegetables, the best ones to use are the ones that are in season where you are.