This easy minestrone recipe is rich and hearty but with the brightness of fresh vegetables. It’s ready really quickly making it a great soup for a weeknight dinner.
Minestrone Soup is a favorite to order at restaurants, and it’s really easy to make at home with whatever vegetables are around. You can get this easy Italian-style soup onto the table in under 15 minutes. Add some nice crusty bread spread with garlic butter and call it a day!
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
What Is Minestrone Soup?
Did you know that minestrone literally means ‘big soup’? Minestra is the Italian word for soup. Minestrone is the augmentative version, leading to the ‘big’ interpretation.
There is no real single recipe for Minestrone. It is traditionally made from whatever vegetables are in season, with additions like beans, pasta, or rice. It typically has a tomato-based broth and is flavored with Italian herbs like oregano and basil.
Is Minestrone The Same As Vegetable Soup?
While Minestrone soup is full of delicious veggies, what sets it apart from a regular vegetable soup is the addition of beans and pasta. This makes it a little heartier than a standard veggie soup. And even though it does typically contain beans, I wouldn’t call it a bean soup recipe either (looking for a delicious bean soup? Try this 13 bean soup recipe…yessss).
Of course, as you see in the recipe below, while I do add in cannellini beans, I’ve chosen not to include pasta. This is because my easy minestrone soup recipe cooks in just 15 minutes and I wanted to save time. If you do want to include pasta in yours, go for a small pasta shape like ditalini or mini shells that can cook in just a few minutes.
How To Make Easy Summer Minestrone Soup
The basics of making Minestrone are quite simple. You’re heating up some broth, canned beans, and canned tomatoes, and adding flavorful ingredients to it, like garlic and oregano. Once the broth is good and hot, you add in some seasonal vegetables.
I’ve called for zucchini and summer squash below, but any vegetable that tastes good when simmered will work. Carrots, celery, broccoli, green beans, and spinach are all good choices. You just need to simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender.
Quickly Boost The Flavor Of Soups
The final step adds a major flavor boost to this soup. You take it off of the heat and stir in some pesto, homemade pesto or store-bought. The freshness and depth of the flavor is really incredible. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil, and then serve. Don’t forget that crusty bread!
Podcast Episode On Making Minestrone Soup
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this soup, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:Print
This summer minestrone soup is full of slow-simmered flavor and yet it comes together in only 15 minutes. The secret ingredient that makes it so tasty so quickly is the basil pesto stirred into the soup at the end of cooking.
To make the soup as quick as possible, first read through the recipe. As you read, gather up all the tools, pots, bowls and ingredients that you’ll need. Then start cooking. Yield: 8 cups
- 2 cups low-sodium or no-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 (28 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 (15.5 oz.) can low-sodium cannellini beans
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp. dry oregano
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 medium summer squash
- 3 Tbsp. pesto
- Fresh basil
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Put a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat on your most powerful burner. Pour in the broth, diced tomatoes (with liquid) and beans (with liquid). Stir and cover.
- Peel the garlic and then chop it finely. Add it to the pot along with the oregano and chili powder. Put the lid back on.
- Chop the zucchini and summer squash by cutting each one lengthwise into 4 long strips (i.e. cut it in half lengthwise and then cut each half in half lengthwise) and then chop widthwise into 1/2 inch pieces.
- When the broth is really hot and starting to bubble add the zucchini and summer squash. Cover. Cook until tender stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minute (turn down the heat to a simmer if it starts boiling like crazy). Meanwhile, grate 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and pick 8 or so fresh basil leaves from the stems.
- Remove soup from heat. Stir in pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with the grated Parmesan cheese (if using) and the fresh basil leaves.
Love this recipe? I’d appreciate it if you could scroll down and add a *5 star rating* to help others know they’ll love it as well!
This post originally appeared in August 2022 and was revised and republished in July 2023.