Minestrone Soup – Hearty one-pot veggie soup, full of rich nutritious vegetables and beans. So delightfully good, tasty and healthy! A complete meal in a bowl!
Happy second week of January, everyone! How are you warming up on these cold winter days? Are you still sticking to your health goals for 2019?
Today’s recipe is a great addition to your list of soup recipes in your recipe box. A very flavorful, nutritious and filling soup that leaves you feeling full for hours and well-nourished. This has got to be my favorite healthy soup for this year, by far.
What is minestrone soup?
Minestrone soup is a thick soup of Italian origin usually made with beans, celery, carrots, tomatoes, pasta or rice, or sometimes both. It’s a pretty versatile soup and could be in the form of thick soup with very boiled-down vegetables, to a broth-y kind of soup with a large variety of diced and lightly cooked veggies. Some variation of this recipe also includes meat to add flavor. Ground chicken or turkey with be a great addition here.
What vegetables are in minestrone soup?
This minestrone soup is a complete meal on its own. It has pasta and loads of veggies! There’s just so many nutrients you can get with just one serving. By why stop at one, when you can have two?
Don’t get intimidated with the long list. Trust me, this soup is worth every bit of your energy. It has the onions, garlic and celery as base, plus spices and herbs to amp the flavor. I added smoked paprika for some heat which is kinda perfect for this chilly season.
If you’ve noticed, I use two kinds of beans here: Kidney beans and Great Northern beans. Aside from the color, I love the combination of the two as Kidney beans hold its shape well as it cooks with a slight sweetness and meaty taste. Great Northern beans on the other hand has this smooth, creamy texture with that nutty flavor. If you can’t easily find Great Northern Beans, you may replace it with other white beans like navy beans or cannellini beans.
This soup here also features carrots, green beans, corn (ugggh, I simply love corn even if it’s this time of the year) and zucchini as they are affordable and I still had some left after I made this Stuffed Zucchini here.
Actually, it’s the best recipe to use when you’re trying to clean out your fridge ’cause you can throw in almost any vegetables you have. It’s pretty forgiving, so don’t worry.
Why is this the best minestrone soup?
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this minestrone soup here is the best. It ticks off all the boxes list on your list.
√ It is easy to prepare. You can either prepare ahead and dice the veggies and store them in the fridge OR make a big batch of this soup and freeze.
√ It is flexible. You can use this recipe to clean out your fridge and use all those veggies left. Add in mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, butternut squash, potatoes or peas. Whatever rocks your boat! 😉 And you can even add meat if you want to – stewed meat or ground.
√ It is budget-friendly. This is an awesome recipe to stretch your budget. Vegetables are more affordable compared to meat (especially frozen and canned veggies). And you can easily pair it with a loaf of bread to fill up those tummies easily.
√ It is hearty. It has loads of protein and fiber-rich veggies that keeps you full. And not to mention the addition of pasta in it for some carbs.
√ It is nutritious. Need I say more? It’s not just packed with so many flavors but with nutrients from all those veggies to nourish your body.
Now that we’re enduring the cold days and nights, I hope you’ll consider making this hearty and flavorful Minestrone soup here. And not just that; it’s so easy to prepare, too. It’s a wonderful warm one-pot meal for a cold night!
Tips and Notes:
- If you wish to cook this in a slow cooker, you can dump all the minestrone soup ingredients into the slow cooker, except for pasta, and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Stir in pasta in the last 20 minutes, cover, and let it cook until it reaches to your desired tenderness (of course, depending on your pasta cut as well).
- You may add in mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, butternut squash, potatoes or peas and even meat.
- You can substitute Great Northern Beans with other white beans like: navy beans and cannellini beans.
- It’s okay to completely eliminate the pasta, if you are watching your carbs intake.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 large onion , diced (about 1 1/2 cups )
- 2 stalks celery , diced (about ½ cup)
- 4-5 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1-3 teaspoons thyme
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth or more (adjust with more or less to desired thickness)
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 large carrot , diced
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 can great northern beans , drained and rinsed
- 1 cup pasta (ditalini, macaroni, and tubett)
- 1- 1 ½ cup frozen corn
- 1- 1 ½ cup zucchini , diced
- 1/2 -1 Lemon Freshly squeezed
- Salt and freshly ground white or black pepper to taste
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium-heat, then add in onions, celery and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes or until onions are wilted.
- Add Italian seasoning, bay leaves, dried oregano, and thyme. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
- Whisk in flour in the pot and stir until it completely dissolves. Then throw in paprika, stir and pour in chicken broth. Bring to a rolling boil and add diced tomatoes, followed by carrots, green beans, kidney beans and northern beans. Cover the pot and bring to a boil and simmer over medium-heat for 5-7 minutes ..
- Add uncooked pasta, corn and zucchini. Stir, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or until pasta reaches desired tenderness. Adjust seasoning with ground white or black pepper and salt and stock.
- Remove from pot. If desired squeeze lemon to cool to the cooled down soup. Serve with crusted bread or with shredded parmesan cheese, if desired.
How to Make Minestrone Soup
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-heat, then add in onions, celery and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onions are wilted. Add Italian seasoning, bay leaves, dried oregano, and thyme. Stir and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in flour in the pot and stir until it completely dissolves.
Then throw in paprika, stir and pour in chicken broth.
Bring to a rolling boil and add diced tomatoes,
Followed by carrots, green beans, kidney beans and northern beans. Cover the pot and bring to a boil and simmer over medium-heat for 10-12 minutes or until carrots are tender. Add uncooked pasta, corn and zucchini. Stir, cover and simmer for another 7-8 minutes or until pasta reaches desired tenderness. Adjust seasoning with ground white or black pepper and salt. Remove from pot. Serve with crusted bread or with shredded parmesan cheese, if desired