Quick & Easy Minestrone Soup
Try this easy minestrone soup recipe for a comforting meal you can whip up in 40 minutes! Hearty, nourishing, vegetarian & vegan—it’s a super simple one pot dinner that can make busy weeknights easier. Learn how to make minestrone soup with loads of healthy vegetables, beans, & your choice of pasta.
What’s minestrone soup made of?
A classic minestrone soup is like a hearty vegetable soup with pasta and beans, in a savory base of tomatoes and vegetable stock. Simple, comforting, and vegetarian! The traditional Italian soup uses whatever vegetables are in season, so this homemade minestrone recipe is easy to customize. Interestingly, the word minestrone comes from the Italian word minestra, meaning “soup”—or, translated literally: “that which is served.” So, minestrone is essentially THE definition of soup in the Italian language, which must be why it’s so good.
A surprise secret ingredient?!
As a twist on the classic recipe, this healthy minestrone soup also features a scrumptious secret ingredient: chopped prunes! With their chewy texture and natural sweetness, prunes perfectly balance and complement the acidity of the tomatoes in this soup. Although they’re not an authentic minestrone ingredient, prunes elevate the flavors in this dish—while also adding a hearty dose of fiber!
Is minestrone soup good for you?
This easy minestrone soup is loaded with healthy vegetables, fiber, vitamins and minerals, energizing complex carbs—but what about the pasta? Is it “good” or “bad” for you? Personally, I used to have so much fear and restriction around carbs, particularly pasta. Years ago, I never would’ve eaten minestrone soup—a nourishing dish that’s full of vegetables—just to avoid the pasta! Or, I would have made a version without the pasta that left me unsatisfied.
As I’ve worked on my relationship with food, letting go of “good” and “bad” food labels, I can now admit that pasta is actually one of my favorite foods. And allowing myself to eat it again has opened up so much enjoyment and joy that wasn’t available to me when I restricted it. Now, I get to enjoy this homemade minestrone soup because of the pasta—and all the vegetables along with it!
Homemade Minestrone Ingredients & Substitutions
- Vegetable Mirepoix. As the aromatic base for this soup, I saute onion, carrot, celery, and garlic—but you can use just one or a few of these. If you don’t need this to be a vegan minestrone soup, saute in butter for added flavor & comfort!
- Seasonal Vegetables of Choice. Chopped green beans add vibrant color and crunch to this hearty fall soup, or you can substitute with whatever vegetable(s) you prefer—fresh or frozen. Carrot, zucchini, squash, spinach, collard greens, peas, or potatoes are all tasty options.
- Seasonings. Feel free to customize with your favorites—I use bay leaves, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper for classic Italian minestrone flavor.
- Tomatoes. Using canned diced and crushed tomatoes keeps this easy minestrone soup recipe extra convenient! If you can’t find crushed tomatoes, use additional diced tomatoes + tomato paste instead.
- White Beans. If needed, you can substitute with other beans—like garbanzo, cannellini, or kidney beans—or omit the beans altogether.
- Vegetable Stock. Use vegetable broth for a vegan or vegetarian soup, or you can use chicken or beef broth. Check the sodium levels on your broth, choosing a low-sodium option if needed.
- Prunes. This secret ingredient takes this classic Italian soup to a new level! Prunes’ sweet, fruity flavor complements the salty, savory goodness here so perfectly, but feel free to skip them if you’re not a fan.
- Pasta. I used ditalini pasta for an authentic minestrone noodle, but you can use any shape: elbow, rotini, orecchiete, small shells, alphabet pasta—whatever you like!
How to Make Minestrone Soup at Home
- First, saute onion, carrots, and celery in a large pot for 7-8 minutes. When the mirepoix has softened, add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Next, add green beans and seasonings and cook for another 3 minutes. Or, replace green beans with 1-2 cups of whatever veggies you’d like.
- Add canned tomatoes and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- After simmering, add beans, prunes, pasta, and parsley. Turn heat up to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, until pasta and vegetables are tender.
- Serve warm topped with parmesan, or garnish a bowl of vegan minestrone soup with parsley, red pepper flakes—whatever you like!
Watch my Healthy Fall Soups video to see the process for making this easy minestrone soup!
How long does homemade minestrone soup last in the fridge?
You can store this simple minestrone soup in an airtight container in the fridge, and it will last for around 5 days. It depends on your preference, but since this recipe is totally meatless and vegetarian, it can really last up to a full week. Be sure to allow the soup to cool completely before transferring into the storage container(s).
Can I freeze minestrone soup?
You can also freeze your homemade minestrone once it cools—just store it in freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. You can freeze the soup as a large batch, or divide it into individual portions for easier reheating. Rather than reheating straight from frozen, let the soup thaw in the fridge overnight before you plan to reheat it.
What to Serve with Homemade Minestrone Soup
You can enjoy this satisfying vegetable soup as a meal on its own, or serve it with some tasty accompaniments! These are some of my favorite side dishes that go well with minestrone soup:
- Bread: toasted bread, diner rolls, garlic bread, bruschetta.
- Salad: Italian salad, Caesar salad, Mediterranean cucumber tomato salad.
- Roasted or Sauteed Vegetables: like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, squash, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- Sandwich: grilled cheese, or even pizza.
Easy Vegan Minestrone Soup
- 2 Tbso oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup green beans, chopped, (fresh or frozen)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt, (to taste, depending on sodium in broth)
- black pepper, to taste
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 14 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 15 oz canned white beans
- 6 cups vegetable stock, (48oz)
- 1 cup prunes, chopped
- 1 cup ditalini pasta, (or 6oz noodles of choice: elbow, rotini, orecchiete, small shells, alphabet, etc.)
- ⅓ cup parsley, (reserve some for topping)
- grated parmesan
- red pepper flakes
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, carrots, and celery for 7-8 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
- Stir in green beans and seasonings. Cook another 3 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in white beans, prunes, pasta, and parsley. Turn heat up to medium and cook until pasta and veggies are tender (about 10 minutes).
- Serve with parmesan, red pepper flakes, parsley—whatever you like!
- Yields ~11 cups homemade minestrone soup.