Best-ever minestrone

Raid the pantry and whip up this comforting minestrone for a hearty and budget-friendly meal. It’s packed to the brim with delicious goodness.

6

10m

25m

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups (1L) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 400g can borlotti beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup (65g) small pasta shells
  • 60g pkt Coles Australian Baby Spinach, finely shredded
  • 1/3 cup (90g) basil pesto

Method

STEP 1

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, garlic and bacon. Cook, stirring, for 5 mins or until onion softens.

STEP 2

Add the tomato and stir to combine. Add the stock and tomato paste and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 mins or until the soup thickens slightly.

STEP 3

Add the beans and pasta to the tomato mixture in the pan and cook for 8 mins or until pasta is al dente. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Season.

STEP 4

Ladle the soup evenly among serving bowls. Top with pesto.

Dietary information

Vegetarian
Egg-free
Peanut-free
Sesame-free
Soy-free
No added sugar

Minestrone Soup Recipe

Is it soup season yet? On colder days or whenever you’re in need of a hearty soup with lots of veggies, a homemade minestrone soup will hit the spot. Traditional minestrone soup is rich and thick with a mixture of different vegetables and pasta and has big flavour from ingredients such as bacon, garlic and parmesan. This rustic soup is filling, simple to make and great for feeding a crowd, plus it’s perfect to freeze ahead for nights when you don’t have time to cook. Plus, this easy minestrone soup is made with ingredients you probably already have in the fridge and pantry. It’s easy to vary the veggies, beans and pasta to use up what you have, too.

Equipment you will need for minestrone soup

This easy minestrone soup recipe is made all in one pot – you just need a large saucepan along with a chopping board and sharp knife to finely chop the ingredients. A food processor or pestle and mortar will come in handy if you want to make your own basil pesto to serve on top.

If you have more time and want to make this soup in a slow cooker, you can – just start cooking the ingredients in a large frying pan, then transfer to your slow cooker before adding the tomatoes and stock. Cover and cook for 2 hours on high or 3-4 hours on low, then add the beans and pasta, cover and cook on high for 30 mins or until al dente.

Ingredients you will need for minestrone soup

When it comes to veggies, the key minestrone soup ingredients are onion, carrot and celery. This trio creates an aromatic flavour base for many Italian dishes including bolognaise. From there, you can add other vegetables, such as zucchini. It’s best to finely chop all the vegetables for the soup base so they cook evenly. Add extra flavour to the soup base with crushed garlic cloves and finely chopped bacon. You’ll need to cook these ingredients in olive oil until they’re soft. Next, stir in a can of diced tomatoes and add 4 cups or 1 litre of salt-reduced chicken stock and some tomato paste to enrich the broth.

Beans are a healthy addition to your minestrone. Some traditional minestrone soup recipes use dried beans, but canned beans are a handy shortcut to make this a quick and easy dinner. It doesn’t matter what beans you use for minestrone, but Italian-style beans such as borlotti or cannellini beans look and taste great in this soup. It’s best to add the drained canned beans towards the end of cooking as they only need to heat through and may go mushy if overcooked.

It's traditional to add pasta to minestrone and any small pasta is ideal, such as the shells in this recipe, macaroni or risoni. If you only have long pasta such as spaghetti, you can still use it – just break it into small pieces before adding the soup.

Throwing in some greens such as spinach adds extra goodness and freshness to your minestrone. These don’t take long to cook, so add them just before you take the soup off the heat so they don’t overcook and lose their colour.

How to serve minestrone soup

When you’re ready to serve the soup, ladle it into serving bowls or put the whole pot on the table for everyone to serve themselves. For the perfect finish, top with a dollop of basil pesto and some shaved or grated parmesan. Make this meal even more hearty by serving the soup with toasted sliced sourdough or crusty bread.

Now get cooking

This is a great basic minestrone recipe to have up your sleeve so you can make a hearty minestrone soup for your family any night of the week. If you have more time, make it even heartier with our slow cooker ham hock minestrone. Curtis Stone’s pasta soup with beans and greens is a flavour-packed twist on the traditional Italian minestrone. Find more great ways with pasta in our pasta recipes collection. For a feel-good minestrone without the meat, go for our vibrant green minestrone and find more vegetarian dinner ideas in our Vegetarian recipes collection. Want the ultimate shortcut? Look for a minestone kit in the fresh produce department at Coles and whip up our 5-ingredient meatball minestrone. Plus, for more quick and easy dinner ideas, head to the What’s for Dinner collection.

Nutrition Information

Per Serve

Energy: 1065kJ/255 Cals (12%)

Protein: 10g (20%)

Fat: 15g (21%) 

Sat fat: 3g (13%)

Carb: 19g (6%)

Sugar: 3g (3%)

Fibre: 5g (17%)

Sodium: 1083mg (54%)

 

FAQs

  • How to store minestrone soup?
    Any leftover minestrone soup can be cooled and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat before serving.

  • Can I freeze minestrone soup?
    Freeze the cooled minestrone soup in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat as above. If you want to freeze portions, try dividing among sealable bags rather than airtight containers and freezing them flat for easier storage.

  • What else can I do to prep minestrone soup ahead?
    You can finely chop the ingredients up to 1 day ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

  • Can I make this minestrone soup without pasta or beans?
    You can add lentils instead of beans or leave them out altogether and just use pasta. Or leave out the pasta and make a hearty bean and veggie soup instead. 

  • How can I thicken minestrone soup?
    If you want a thicker soup, try simmering the soup for longer to reduce it. If the soup is too thick, add a little extra stock.

  • How do I make this minestrone soup healthier?
    The bacon, parmesan and pesto add extra flavour, but you can leave them out to lower the kilojoules and sodium.

  • Can I make this minestrone soup vegetarian?
    For a vegetarian soup omit the bacon and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Check the labels on the cheese and pesto to make sure you’re using vegetarian ingredients.

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.