This Soup can Work as a Meal
Minestrone soup originated in Italy and translates to “big soup”. This is because typically it is made with an abundance of vegetables. Minestrone is a hearty vegetable soup that is made with a base of carrots, onions and celery. It also has pasta mixed in with the vegetables. Typically the vegetables used are whatever is in season. Sometimes the soup is very chunky and other times it is slightly thinner.
This Minestrone soup recipe could just as easily be called a Vegetable Stew. I add tons of broccoli, carrots, white beans, yellow squash and pasta so it is quite filling. Serve a smaller portion as an appetizer or a larger portion as a main dish for lunch or dinner. I love the spice that the pesto and touch of chili pepper add to the dish. I only put a touch of red pepper in the soup but you can add more if you like your food spicier.
This Minestrone Soup is super healthy. It’s loaded with vitamins and there is very little oil and absolutely no butter. The depth of flavor comes from the vegetables, spices and tomatoes simmering together. Feel free to add other vegetables to the soup like peas, string beans or kale. Use what you have in your refrigerator. The minestrone soup will be ready in about an hour and a half. You need to give it the time for all the flavors to come together. You will absolutely love the way your house smells when you are making this soup. My kids always come into the kitchen to see what’s cooking. I refrigerate the leftovers in individual portions so it is super easy to pop a bowl into the microwave for a healthy lunch or dinner.
You can refrigerate the vegetable soup for five days or put it in the freezer for up to two months. It is always a great idea to keep some soup in the freezer so you have a healthy meal to serve on a cold night.
Hearty Minestrone Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 15 oz can white beans
- ¼ lb broccoli florets cut bite sized
- 1 yellow squash cut into cubes
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1½ tbsp pesto
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ lb penne pasta cooked firm and cut in half
- heat olive oil in a large stock pot
- add onion, carrot and celery and saute until onion is soft and translucent
- stir in white beans, broccoli and yellow squash
- add crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth and water
- add pesto and remaining spices
- simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally
- add pasta and simmer for another 15 minutes
- Remove bay leaf and discard
- Spoon into bowls and serve with grated Parmigiana Reggiano on top