This is my favorite Italian Minestrone Soup! Loaded with summer vegetables like zucchini, fresh tomatoes and green beans. A comforting and hearty soup, perfect to enjoy year round. You won't miss the Olive Garden Minestrone that everyone loves!
Jamie Oliver's Minestrone
This recipe is based on Jamie Oliver's Minestrone recipe from his Venice Food Escape series. He visited a women's prison, and prepared this Minestrone soup with the fresh ingredients picked from the garden. I was hooked and needed to try to make this veggie packed soup.
There are a only few things that aren't readily available in my fridge or garden that Jamie uses in his recipe. Zucchini flowers, radicchio, a boney end of a prosciutto. However, if you have these available, add them in!
Broth for Minestrone
Every great soup starts with a great soup stock. Many Italian Minestrone Soup recipes are made with a tomato broth, which is rich in flavor but too acidic for me. You'll love this recipe because it uses bone broth with fresh tomatoes, which strikes the perfect balance.
Instant Pot Soup Stock always has the richest flavors, and I default to making beef broth. You can also make broth in a large pot on the stove (but this takes longer). In a hurry, of course you can buy stock from the supermarket.
Vegetables Minestrone Soup
I love using fresh vegetables to make soup, and this recipe doesn't disappoint. Nothing canned in here! Even in the winter, vegetables are available to buy year round, adding a taste of summer to your soup rotation. Here's the vegetables you'll need;
- Green Beans
- Beet Leaves with stems (save the actual beets for borscht)
Can You Eat Beet Leaves and Stems?
Yes! Beet leaves and stems are a fantastic addition to meals, and can be used in place of Spinach, Swiss Chard or even Bok Choy or other greens. They can be steamed, eaten raw, added to a stir fry, sautéed or added to soups. The beet greens need very little cooking time, and I throw them into my Vegetable Minestrone Soup at the end, just before the serving.
The beet stems require a bit more cooking, and need to be sautéed with the vegetables. They have a mild flavor and add fibre, antioxidants and vitamins do your meal. Do not throw them away!
Minestrone Soup with Pesto
The secret to amazing Minestrone is adding Pesto! It's easy to make homemade pesto as you can buy basil year round in the supermarkets. Don't add pesto directly into the soup pot, as it can overpower the Minestrone. Simply add a dollop directly into your bowls when serving. Trust me, freshly made pesto will elevate your Italian Minestrone experience!
How to Make Italian Minestrone
- Prepare your soup broth
- Saute onions and carrots and celery for 5 minutes
- Add green beans, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, peas, beet stems and parsley until caramelized
- Pour soup broth into the pot and add pasta. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes
- Stir in chopped beet leaves, prosciutto and basil and season
- Serve with grated parmesan and a dollop of pesto
Can You Freeze Minestrone Soup?
This is a Yes and No answer. Cooked frozen pasta will be mushy when you reheat your soup. It won't be a pretty soup, but all the flavors will be there. Some people love the flavors of pasta with the soup absorbed into it.
If you don't like mushy pasta, set aside the portion of soup that you want to freeze before you add the pasta to it. When defrosted and reheated, add the pasta and cook like normal.
This summer soup recipe makes a large stock pot, making enough for leftovers and then some. Not everyone loves eating soup 2 days in a row, so planning to freeze half will be a timesaver for another easy meal.
- Prosciutto can be expensive and hard to find, substitute with Pancetta, or ½ cup of bacon
- Use what ever vegetables are in season in your garden or local market. There isn't a right or wrong vegetable for Minestrone Vegetable soup!
- Ditalini Pasta is perfect for Minestrone, but you can use any pasta you like like Orzo or Macaroni
- Substitute Beet Greens with Spinach, Kale, or Swiss Chard
- Mix in a few tablespoons of tomato paste to your sautéed vegetables for a richer tomato broth
- Add canned kidney beans, canned chickpeas, or canned white beans for more protein
- For a meaty Minestrone, add shredded chicken, ham or pulled beef
Italian Recipes You'll Love
A classic comfort food, delicious, healthy and hearty. At the end of the day, this Italian Minestrone Soup is just a vegetable soup with pasta. Simple and delicious. Perfect for weeknight dinner with plenty leftover for lunch the next day! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 carrots sliced
- 3 celery stalks sliced
- 1 cup green beans sliced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed and sliced
- 1 zucchini sliced
- 4 tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- stems from 4 beets chopped into bite sized pieces
- ¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- beet leaves from 4 beets roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 litres soup stock beef, chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup of pasta Orzo, Macaroni or Ditalini
- 2 oz 50 grams of Prosciutto optional
- grated parmesan cheese
- handful basil leaves roughly chopped
- dollop of pesto
- Heat oil in a large stockpot on high. Saute onions and carrots and celery for 5 minutes.
- Add green beans, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, peas, beet stems and parsley until caramelized.
- Pour soup broth into the pot and add pasta. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in chopped beet leaves, prosciutto and basil and season with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with grated parmesan, fresh basil and a small dollop of fresh pesto.