Delicious, Hardy & Healthy Soup
This satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta.
Vegetable soups are a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs and vegetables you have available. So while this hardy vegetable minestrone soup recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients.
Planned-overs – Make Extra to Save Time
We always double, triple and even quadruple the recipe quantity when we’re cooking, (depending on how many the original recipe serves). Instead of leftovers, we called it “plannedovers”.
It doesn’t take much extra time to double the quantities of ingredients versus making another pot of something new. So we love to start the week with a large pot of healthy soup or one pot meal or casserole that we can enjoy throughout the week.
Make it once, enjoy it many times. Because it’s so good, no one gets tired of it of it. You can also vary and alternate what you pair it with, from salads to cornbread, sandwiches or quesadillas, cheese and crackers or even a side slice of pizza or focaccia bread, and different versions of each.
Change up the sides and salads and the same soup or main course takes on different nuances.
Hardy Ingredients and Tasty Healing Herbs
As gardeners growing fresh herbs, we love that this vegetable minestrone soup recipe gives us a chance to use our fresh garden vegetables and herbs. Although you can use dried herbs if you don’t have fresh ones.
What is the Fresh to Dried Herb Ratio?
Use twice as much fresh herb, so use half the amount of dried herbs as you would of fresh herbs.
Fresh Herb to Dried Herb Ratio is 2-to-1.
E.g., 2 Tbsp. fresh herb to 1 Tbsp.
Cook Pasta Separately
For best results, some prefer to cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. We rarely do this as we prefer to save time and pots by as much “one pot” meals whenever we can.
However, if you want your minestrone to have that extra “chef” touch, your may want to try cooking your noodles on their own. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft and mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day and better results if freezing for future use.
- 3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 3 large stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 28-oz. can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 c. organic vegetable broth*
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or 1 t. dried)
- 1 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t. dried)
- 1 T. fresh oregano leaves (or 1 t. dried)
- ½ T. crushed red pepper flakes
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Optional: 3” Parmesan cheese rind
- 2 c. Fusilli pasta
- 2 c. fresh green beans, cut into ½” pieces
- 2 c. fresh arugula
- Optional Garnish:
- ¼ c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- * Use additional vegetable broth to reach desired consistency, if needed
1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium- high heat. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.
2. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are soft and tender.
3. Add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes to pot and stir to combine. Add Parmesan cheese rind, if desired, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.
4. While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta. Rinse pasta and transfer to a medium bowl and toss with remaining olive oil. Cover and set aside.
5. Remove cover from pot or Dutch oven and add green beans and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and continue cooking, uncovered, another 20-25 minutes or until green beans are crisp tender.
6. Add arugula and additional vegetable broth, if needed, and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until arugula begins to wilt.
7. To serve, divide cooked pasta among individual serving bowls and top with hot soup. Top with chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with crusty bread and/or a crisp, green side salad for a hearty meal.