Quick Summer Minestrone Soup

Today’s Summer Minestrone Soup recipe is fresh, bright and hearty. It’s secret ingredient makes it taste like it simmered for hours but it’s actually ready in under 15 minutes.

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.

This summer version of Minestrone definitely measures up to its name. It’s a big soup packed with fresh vegetables, beans, and lots of flavor.

Overhead shot of summer minestrone soup with squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and more.

Summer Minestrone in 15

The best part about this soup is that it’s ready in under 15 minutes. From start to finish. What you need to do before you start is read through the recipe once. As you read, gather together the ingredients and all the tools, pots, bowls, etc. that you’ll need. Then it’s time to: Ready. Set. Relax and Make Soup.

Really. Relax. You don’t need to run around your kitchen like a crazy person to make these soups in 15 minutes. Move at a relaxed cooking pace and you’ll be fine.

There are a lot of secret ingredients and special tips that make these 15-minute soups delicious in such a short amount of time. Every week when I share a new soup recipe I’ll also share the Souper Tip that makes the soup possible. You can read all the Souper Tips here. I’ll be adding to them as I go.

Secret Ingredient

The Souper Tip for this soup is the use of a special ingredient: Pesto. Homemade or store-bought, pesto is packed with the fresh flavor of basil and with the richness of pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Add this ingredient to the pot at the very end or serve it alongside for people to stir in. It finishes the soup off and makes 15 minutes taste like a full day of simmering.

Summer Minestrone Soup topped with fresh basil leaves.

For another delicious vegetable loaded soup, be sure to also check out my recipe for Tomato Potato Soup.


Summer Minestrone Soup

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


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
  • 128 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 115.5 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
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove soup from heat. Stir in pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the grated Parmesan cheese (if using) and the fresh basil leaves.
Quick Summer Minestrone Soup

10 responses to “Quick Summer Minestrone Soup”

  1. This looks so outstanding! I was just thrilled when you launched your 15-minute soup series, but got so busy with summer-kiddo-fun that I fell behind in reading all your great posts! Well, I’m jumping back on track today … and this was the perfect soup to get me back in the spirit! Excellent tip about maximizing the big flavor of pesto! Love it … totally pinning! Double-yum!

  2. Lisa says:

    My husband loves minestrone soup, especially with fresh vegetable out of garden. We never thought abut adding pesto and basil.

  3. katie says:

    yes please. I love minestrone soup and love the idea of sourcing in-season ingredients! I eat soup all year long and can’t wait to try this recipe. Especially since it will be ready in 15 minutes!!!

  4. SO GORGEOUS!! Love this soup! Minestrone is one of my very fave soups – can’t wait to try this!!

  5. Totally perfect for summer, especially that it cooks up so fast. I work, but my garden still wants to be nurtured. Sooooo I am
    outside a lot when I am home. Quick and easy is the name of the game.

  6. I love this! I am a year-round soup eater, so this is perfect for me. Great way to use up zuc too!

  7. Julie says:

    This looks tasty, and such perfect timing – just harvested a full pound of basil yesterday to make a giant batch of pesto!

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