This classic family minestrone soup recipe is filled with a variety of vegetables, beans and pasta that makes for a hearty, healthy and vegan dish that the whole family can enjoy anytime of year. Personally, I use fresh veggies when in season & love the convenience of frozen veggies during the cooler months. It is also a great way to use up produce that may be whilting in your fridge.
- Servings: 4
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- In a large pot, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, carrots and celery. Raise heat to medium-high, if you need to, and cook, tossing regularly, until the veggies soften a bit (about 5 minutes).
- Now add the crushed tomatoes, broth & extra bay leaf (if using.) Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and partially cover the pot. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and green beans. Season with Francesca's Herbs, a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Uncover the pot and add the kidney beans. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the parsley, basil and other herbs if you have them (Basil is my favourite!). And, if serving immediately, stir in the cooked pasta and simmer ever so briefly till the pasta is warmed through; do not overcook.
- Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve the minestrone hot in dinner bowls with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan (optional).
Cook's Tip #1 (Make it Your Own):
Minestrone is meant to be adapted, so feel free to make this recipe your own by using what vegetables and beans you have on hand. Adding a handful of spinach or diced potatoes is common. You can use white beans instead of kidney beans, or use a combination of both. If you're looking for a low-carb option, feel free to omit the pasta. And if you need something meaty, add cooked ground turkey or even left-over rotisserie chicken. You can add that early on, once you've cooked the onions, carrots, and celery.
Cook's Tip #2 (Make-Ahead):
If you are not serving this minestrone soup immediately, do not add the cooked pasta to the pot until you are ready to serve. This will give you best results and will prevent the pasta from soaking up too much of the broth and getting too mushy.
Cook's Tip #3 for Meal Prep:
Related to the note above, if you plan to make minestrone to use for lunch over server days, definitely keep the cooked pasta out. You can just add a small portion of the pasta directly to your bowl, and then add an appropriate portion of hot minestrone on top.