Minestrone Soup

October 24, 2012 by Ali

When I was a kid, our extended family used to love meeting up for big dinners regularly at our neighborhood Italian restaurant, DeFazio’s. Everyone would order these huge steaming plates of delicious pastas, salads, sides and more. And Yours Truly would order…”plain spaghetti”. Oh yes. I was the token picky eater in the family. And no thank you, I did not want to “just try it”. ;)

Luckily, though, everyone at DeFazio’s always received a steaming bowl of minestrone soup as an appetizer. And over the years, I began to grow more and more fond of this yummy pasta soup, even though I would have had a small heart attack at age 10 if anyone had told me that there was zucchini snuck in there!

Years later, I still adore a good bowl of classic minestrone soup. And as a veggie-lover, I often use this soup as a delicious and easy way to use up various extra or leftover veggies that I may have on hand. And even better, while this is simple to make on the stove, you can also easily throw everything in a slow cooker and come home to a wonderful dinner all ready to go. So comforting, and always delicious.

may or may not even make a bowl of “plain spaghetti” to go with it sometimes. ;)

Minestrone Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small yellow squash, diced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • 5-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 (15 oz) cans beans, rinsed and drained (I used 1 can each of black beans and Great Northern)
  • 3 cups chopped fresh baby spinach or kale
  • 1/2 cup dried pasta
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly-grated Parmesan for serving

Method

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, celery and garlic and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender. Add the red wine and stir to deglaze the pan, using a spoon to scrape up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes to reduce slightly.

Then add the chicken or vegetable stock, oregano, thyme, black pepper, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, tomatoes, and beans. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for at least 15-20 minutes.

10 minutes before serving, stir in the spinach (or kale) and pasta noodles. Stir occasionally until al dente. Remove the bay leaves and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve hot garnished generously with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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20 thoughts on “Minestrone Soup

  1. I, too, have a similar experience with minestrone soup. It makes me smile everytime I think about it. Thanks for sharing! I cannot wait to try it!

    - Carrie@BakeNoPrisoners

  2. The best minestone soup I’ve had! I made this soup last night. The only change I made was to double it as my husband and I eat a ton of soup! I also purchased low sodium or salt free products and as many fat free options as possible. It was incredible! My only complaint is with my husband… who forgot to put it in the refrigerator before he went to bed last night so it sat out over night!! I am making another batch this evening though. :)

    - Kristen

  3. Just a note about this recipe:
    kale and pasta take a lot longer than 10 minutes at the end to cook.
    Put it in the soup when everything else goes in at that 20 minute mark.
    The last 10 minutes should be the beans which do not need cooking at all.
    Great soup overall.

    - Michelle

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    - Lakesha

  5. Your photos of the soup are beautiful. So often we think of winter food as lacking the same vibrant colors of spring or summer produce, but that’s clearly not the case for this recipe. I’ve added it to my must-make list of winter recipes. Thank you for sharing.

    - Beth

  6. I really love minestrone. This looks beyond fabulous!

    - Cassie

  7. I love that this recipe uses up leftover veggies! It’s the perfect way to clean out the fridge, plus it’s healthy!

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

  8. I just love how hearty this soup is!!

    - Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

  9. Minestrone is an amazing soup, love this one!

    - Anna @ Hidden Ponies

  10. I can’t tell you how delicious this soup was!! Love love love it

    - Christin

  11. I love minestrone, this looks loaded with heatlhy goodness!

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  12. This looks so delicious and I love how many veggies you managed to pack in there. It makes such a great meal in a bowl.

    - Kathryn

  13. One of my favorite soups! And I love how veggie-packed it is. :)

    - Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray

  14. This is so colourful! What a lovely, healthy, soup!

    - Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

  15. My husband would LOVE this – looks delish. Love the greens.

    - Liz @ The Lemon Bowl