Minestrone Soup

A nice vegetable soup for autumn or winter. If you enjoy beans, stir some in.
Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: Soups, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion approximately 1 cup, 1/4" diced
  • 1 large leek approximately 2 cups, 1/4" diced, tough green leaves removed, washed well
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic approximately 2 average cloves
  • 28 ounces canned no sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth heated, (substitute vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
  • 1 Parmesan rind
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots approximately 4, peeled and 1/4" diced
  • 1/2 cup celery with leaves approximately 1 large stalk, 1/4" diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Idaho or Russet potato approximately 1 large, 1/2" diced
  • 3/4 cup green beans cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 cups zucchini approximately 2 small, trimmed and 1/2" diced
  • 3/4 cup dry small shell pasta or other small pasta
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup basil - pine nut pesto or grated Parmesan cheese


  • In large 8- quart stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and leeks; cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; continue cooking until onion is golden, about 5 minutes.
  • To the pot, add diced tomatoes and tomato juices, crushed red pepper, bay leaves, heated chicken broth, and Parmesan rind and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add carrots, celery, and potato. Return to boil, reduce heat  and simmer 25 minutes. Add  green beans, return to a simmer, and cook 20 additional minutes. Add zucchini to stock pot and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in separate small pot boil water and cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
  • Remove bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Stir pasta into soup. Let stand off heat to cool slightly for 5 minutes. If necessary, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of pesto or Parmesan, or alternatively, pass pesto and Parmesan


If you enjoy beans add them in with carrots and celery; cooking time may need to be extended.
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