Classic Minestrone Soup Recipe

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Minestrone soup is a beloved Italian dish that’s perfect for a cozy meal any time of year. This versatile soup can be adapted to include a variety of seasonal vegetables and can be enjoyed vegetarian or with the addition of protein like sausage or chicken.

This recipe is inspired by the version featured on Food Network, offering a delicious and satisfying take on the classic minestrone.

Vegetarian Minestrone
Vegetarian Minestrone

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup small pasta (such as elbow macaroni or ditalini)
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

  • Instructions:

    1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until softened.

    2. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.

    3. Stir in diced tomatoes, chicken broth, cannellini beans, and kidney beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

    4. Add pasta, green beans, and zucchini. Simmer for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through and vegetables are tender-crisp.

    5. Stir in fresh basil and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

    6. Serve hot, with grated Parmesan cheese on the side if desired.

    Nutrition Facts:

    (Per serving, without Parmesan cheese)

    Calories: 400

  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg
  • Sodium: 600mg (depending on the chicken broth used)
  • Carbohydrates: 55g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 15g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

    Conclusion

    Minestrone soup is a satisfying and nutritious meal that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or a casual weekend lunch. It’s a great way to use up leftover vegetables and can be easily customized to your liking. With its simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I make this soup vegetarian?

    Absolutely! Simply omit the sausage or chicken. You can also add additional vegetables, such as mushrooms or spinach, for extra heartiness.

    2. What type of pasta can I use?

    Any small pasta shape will work well in minestrone soup. Some popular options include elbow macaroni, ditalini, or orzo.

    3. Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried?

    Yes, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil for every 1 teaspoon of dried basil. Fresh herbs will add a brighter flavor to the soup.

    4. How can I thicken the soup?

    If you prefer a thicker soup, you can mash some of the cooked beans before adding them back to the pot. You can also add a cornstarch slurry (mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water) and cook for a few minutes until thickened.

    5. How can I store leftover minestrone soup?

    Leftover minestrone soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through.