Minestrone Soup is a nutritious vegetable soup with fresh veggies, light tomato broth, Italian seasoning, and short cut pasta. It’s naturally vegan, ready in 30 minutes, and loved by the whole family!
A reliable, homemade minestrone soup should be a staple in anyone’s healthy meal rotation.
Classic minestrone typically includes vegetables, vegetable or bone broth, and pasta. It’s versatile enough to add in your favorite plant-based proteins or animal proteins.
You can use fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables, and sky’s the limit with the combination you use. Go crazy…use ALL your favorites!
Beans are another popular ingredient and, although not required, they do add fiber and protein to minestrone. I left them out of this recipe, but you can easily add them! (See recipe below)
What is the difference between minestrone soup and vegetable soup?
Minestrone soup is essentially a vegetable soup with pasta noodles.
Pasta adds volume and texture to the soup. I think this makes it more exciting to eat, especially for kids…and for me LOL.
What pasta do you use for a Minestrone Soup recipe?
I love these short cut spaghetti noodles, also called fideo. They cook more quickly than most pasta noodles…and kids love them!
The pasta is cooked right in the soup, making this a one-pot recipe. So, no need to dirty up more dishes!
You could cook the pasta separately and add it to the soup before serving.
I prefer to cook it together so the noodles soak up the flavors.
How to make the best minestrone soup on a busy weeknight
Step 1. To save time, chop fresh vegetables in advance, or use frozen or canned vegetables.
Step 2. When ready, sauté veggies in a soup pot with oil over med-high heat until tender. This caramelizes the veggies and adds flavor to the soup.
Step 3. Add diced tomatoes, canned or fresh beans (if using), vegetable broth, and dried seasonings. I didn’t use beans for this recipe, but you can add your favorite variety at this point in the cooking process.
Step 4. Bring everything just to a boil.
Step 5. Reduce heat to simmer, add the pasta, then simmer about 15 minutes until noodles are fully cooked. Serve warm…and devour!
* See full recipe below
How do you add flavor to minestrone soup?
- Oven-roast the vegetables first, to caramelize them, which adds umami flavor.
- Add a splash of wine during the cooking process.
- Use chicken broth or beef broth (instead of vegetable broth).
- Simmer the soup longer to reduce the liquid and build flavor (you decide how long).
- Serve with cayenne pepper, hot sauce, chili sauce, chili oil, etc.
- Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Squeeze fresh lemon (or lime) into the soup when serving.
- Add chopped, fresh herbs when serving.
This recipe is scrumptious on its own, but I’ve listed some other ways to add flavor to minestrone soup, or any vegetable soup.
What are the best herbs to use in minestrone soup?
You can use fresh herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, sage, or parsley towards the end of the cooking process.
If you use dried herbs, you’ll want to add them to the soup early in the cooking process.
You can also garnish with chopped, fresh basil, thyme, oregano, or parsley when serving. I’m personally a fan of chopped parsley!
Minestrone Soup Ingredients:
- extra virgin olive oil
- canned diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes)
- reduced sodium vegetable broth
- salt and pepper
- fideo noodles (short cut spaghetti)
- fresh parsley (for garnish)
Tools needed for this recipe:
Want more healthy vegan soup recipes?
Here’s another Italian soup made with pasta right in the soup
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 cloves Garlic chopped
- 3 medium Carrots chopped
- 2 stalks Celery chopped
- 1/2 medium Red Onion diced
- 2 small Zucchini diced
- 2 14.5-oz cans No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes keep juice
- 6 cups Reduced Sodium Vegetable Broth
- 1 tsp dried Oregano
- 1 tsp dried Parsley
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup Short Pasta Noodles
- Parsley for garnish optional
- In a 4 quart soup pot, saute CARROT, CELERY, ONION, GARLIC, and ZUCCHINI in OLIVE OIL until tender.
- Add DICED TOMATOES (with juice), VEGETABLE BROTH, OREGANO, PARSLEY, SALT, and PEPPER.
- Turn heat to HIGH and heat until soup starts to boil; turn heat to medium low (to simmer).
- Add PASTA NOODLES, continue simmering about 8-10 minutes until pasta is tender; serve warm.