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Our fresh Minestrone Soup is full of healthy legumes, green leafy vegetables, plenty of Italian herbs, a handful of pasta, and wonderfully rich tomatoey broth.
Soup must be one of the most brilliant recipe ideas ever created. In a bowl of this wonderful, healthy soup you get a complete and satisfying meal! I love a great pot of soup that’s good enough for company or simple enough for lunch or dinner any day of the week. Our Minestrone Soup is best served with a loaf of crusty bread and a sprinkle of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Does this Minestrone Soup taste like the soup at Olive Garden?
We believe our copycat Minestrone Soup recipe tastes much better than Olive Garden’s Minestrone soup! It has a lot less sodium so that’s a big plus. Now that restaurants post nutritional information, I’ve noticed that high amounts of salt seems to be a real problem with many restaurant menus. Sodium is the one thing I can’t have a lot of. It’s very important to me that my recipes taste fantastic even without tons of salt. Some salt is good in almost every sweet and savory recipe, and please feel free to taste this Minestrone soup as you go and make adjustments as needed for your family.
What kind of greens can you use in this Minestrone Soup?
I make, eat and create a lot of recipes for soups and stews. Some have many of the same ingredients, i.e. carrots, celery, onion, zucchini and fresh leafy greens like kale and spinach. You may be wondering if they all taste the same. Not a chance! This particular Minestrone Soup has an incredibly rich tomato flavor that is synonymous with authentic Italian cuisine. And just wait until you smell it cooking! For this recipe I’ve stirred in baby spinach leaves at the end but feel free to substitute kale or Swiss chard if you prefer. For me, leafy greens are all pretty interchangeable.
We like to serve this soup with a nice crusty bread and plenty of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
Sopping up the broth with a hunk of crusty bread is one of my favorite things about a bowl of soup. Add a nice bottle of wine and you have a complete meal fit for company. This soup is healthy and filling and really hits the spot all year long.
Can you freeze Minestrone Soup?
This Minestrone soup freezes very well, especially if you undercook the pasta. You’ll need to reheat the soup so you don’t want the pasta shells to turn to mush. Another option is to leave the pasta out, freeze the soup and then add the shells when you reheat the base. This soup doesn’t need to cook all day, it’s pretty quick to throw together. If you freeze the Minestrone complete with pasta, just be sure to rewarm gently.
You can smell the amazing flavor before tasting the very first spoonful.
The aroma of our Minestrone is homey and fresh and may transport you to a small Italian bistro with white table cloths and bottles of red wine. A mini-vacation! Leftovers may be even better than the first bowl. I think I’ll need to try another and let you know.
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A rich tomato broth loaded with healthy legumes, vegetables and Italian herbs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole firm onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced and quartered
- 3 whole small carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon basil, juilenned
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 6 cups vegetable broth (low salt)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (low salt) do not drain
- 1 (24-ounce) bottle Cento Rustica Passata *
- 1 cups hot water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian cut green beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach, lightly packed
- 1 cup small shell pasta
- Fresh grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom soup pot on medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and soft. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Immediately add the zucchini, carrots, celery, and all spices except bay leaf. Cook, stirring gently for about 2-3 minutes or until the oil has coated all the vegetables. Add the Vegetable broth, tomatoes with juice, Passata, hot water, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the green beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, baby spinach and pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente - about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Check the seasoning and add fresh ground pepper and salt if needed.
- Garnish individual bowls with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
* Cento Rustica Passata - found near the spaghetti sauce in your local grocery store
I could eat soup almost everyday and never seem to tire of trying new recipes. If you have an instant pot, you may want to check out this easy Vegetable Soup from The Recipe Rebel. How about this Comforting Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup from Ambitious Kitchen. It sounds and looks so good!
Here are a few more recipes you might also enjoy:
Slow-Cooker Chicken & White Bean Soup is an easy load-and-go favorite for busy weeknights or anytime we want a healthy, hearty meal. This soup is packed with flavor and plenty of tender chicken, healthy kale and creamy soft beans. Click HERE to get the recipe.
Pasta e Fagioli is a deliciously hearty, stew-like soup loaded with pasta, beans and Italian sausage. Every bite is rich with flavor and plenty of vegetables. Click HERE to get the recipe.
With a silky, creamy broth, tender chunks of chicken, loads of fresh spinach and pillowy soft gnocchi, our Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup is comforting, easy to make and super satisfying! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia