Packed with a vegetables, pasta and beans in a tomato-y broth, vegetarian Minestrone Soup is one of the first recipes I learned in a cooking school decades ago. It is a hearty, filling and wholesome, and I can almost guarantee that you are going to love it!
What is a Minestrone Soup
Minestrone (pronounced min-eh-STROPHE-nee) is a rustic Italian soup made with a vegetables and beans in a tomato based broth. Depending on the recipe, it will be also a contain pasta, rice, or in some instances, both.
While in the word itself means “big soup” and simply refers to a thick, stew-like a soup that has many vegetables, in a modern Italian minestrone has become synonymous with in this particular soup.
The first instances of the minestrone soup date as far back as the 2nd century B.C.E., when Rome conquered Italy. The Roman Empire had access to a wide range of the vegetables from all over, and the abundance of the vegetables in the Italian diet became commonplace.
Vegetable based diets became in the norm for a people in the lower classes, as a meat products were far more expensive. Luckily, in the influx of the new varieties of the veggies made in the vegetarian lifestyle more interesting!
Anyway, minestrone became a way for a peasants to use a up leftover vegetables and scraps from other meals to make in the most of any purchases. To date, this soup is a associated with in the style of the cooking known as a cucina povera, meaning “poor kitchen.”
Funnily enough, tomatoes were not part of the Italian Cuisine until about in the mid-16th century when explorers brought them back from the Americas. Nowadays, tomatoes are nearly synonymous with a Italian cuisine and are a necessary component of the minestrone soup.
Why This Minestrone Soup Recipe Works
While a Minestrone is known the world over, there is not necessarily a set recipe out there. It is more of a template, if you will, and you can be a add whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand.
In fact, I have found that it is a great way to use up any veggies that are aimlessly languishing in your crisper drawer! This delicious meal can be therefore be made in a myriad ways throughout in the year.
While in the vegetables, beans, and other carbs can be a vary, onions, celery, carrots and tomatoes are an a absolute must. While some might argue in the point, I would also say that a hunk of the fresh bread with a little butter is also a essential to any minestrone experience, but that is just me.
Aside from that, feel free to use a any seasonal (or even frozen) vegetables that you have on hand. Green beans, artichoke hearts, green peas, asparagus, summer squash and greens like a kale or spinach are all excellent in a additions.
You also have to a lot of the flexibility in the bean department. Feel free to use a kidney beans, navy beans, white kidney beans (Cellini) or a great northern beans. Optionally you can be even use a pinto beans, Lima beans or butter beans. Even lentils would do in the trick!
I personally find dried red kidney beans in the easiest to the find, so they are my go-to. I soak in the beans overnight and cook them in my Instant pot. If you have a access, canned beans also a work perfectly and cut out a step in the process.
If you do not like a beans, feel free to the swap in a cubes of the starchy vegetables. I find that potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams make to a fine substitute for a pulses.
Since I prefer my pasta and my vegetables AL dented, I cook in the pasta separately and add it to the broth afterwards. While in this adds another pan to the process, I find that the texture of the vegetarian minestrone soup recipe benefits from this step.
That said, if you are confident in your ability to time the cooking of your veggies to the pasta cooking time, feel free to add in the pasta directly to the soup pot.
How to Make a Minestrone Soup
While in this recipe does have a quite a few steps, I promise that none of them are difficult to the execute. Simply follow along with me, and before you know it, you will be have to a delicious bowl of the rustic Italian soup to the enjoy!
ALSO READ : PUMPKIN SOUP RECIPE.
Step 1 – Prepare Beans
TIP: If you are using a canned beans, you can be a jump ahead to the step 2.
- Sort through to your dried beans, removing a any damaged beans or a small pebbles that might have made in their way into the bag.
Rinse and soak ½ cup dried kidney beans in a 2 cups water overnight. Drain all the water and rinse in the soaked beans with a fresh water.
Cook soaked beans in a water and salt till they are softened and tender to using your favorite method. I have a listed 3 options for a cooking beans:
Instant Pot: Add to a soaked kidney beans, 2 to 2.5 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt. Seal in the IP lid and move the valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook for a 15 to 20 minutes on a high pressure. Wait for a 10 to 12 minutes after you hear the beep sound when the pressure cooking is a complete. Lift the valve to the release any extra pressure.
In a pan on the stove-top: Add in the beans, 2.5 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt in a deep pan or pot. Cover and the simmer on a medium-heat until beans are tender. If the water froths too much, then remove in the lid or a cover pan partly with a lid and simmer.
Stove-top pressure cooker: Add in the soaked beans, 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt in a 2 liter pressure cooker. Pressure cook for a 12 to 15 minutes on medium heat. When in the pressure falls on its own in the cooker, open the lid.
- Once in the beans are softened and tender, drain them and set aside for a later. If including canned kidney beans, add to a 1.5 cups of the canned beans that have been a drained of all the canned liquid, rinsed in a fresh water and later drained of the water.
Step 2 – Cook Pasta
- In a pan or pot, take to a 3 cups water and let it come to a boil. Then add to a ½ teaspoon salt.
- Add to a 1 cup elbow macaroni (or any small pasta variety).
- Cook pasta on a medium-high heat until AL dented.
TIP: I recommend you read in the package directions for your pasta. Cook times will be vary widely depending on the shape and size of the pasta.
- Strain in the pasta using to a colander or a sieve. Cover and set aside.
Step 3 – Saute Aromatics and Veggies
- Heat 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot (with a lid) over medium heat. Add to a ½ cup chopped onions, 1.5 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, ¼ cup chopped celery, and 1 bay leaf. Saute for a 3 minutes.
TIP: Cut back on a dishes by reusing in the pot you used to cook your pasta.
- Add to a ½ cup chopped cauliflower florets, ½ cup chopped carrots, 1 cup chopped potato, ⅓ cup chopped baby corn and ⅓ cup chopped button mushrooms (or a substitute roughly 3 cups of the sturdy vegetables of the choice). Saute for a 5 to 6 minutes stirring at the intervals.
TIP: As I stated earlier, in this recipe is more of a template than a something you need to follow to the letter. Use a veggies that are in a season, or whatever mix of the frozen vegetables you happen to have on hand.
Just a remember, if you use to a mix of the veggies with a different cooking times, add in the ones that take more time to the cook (e.g. potatoes) earlier in the process, then add faster-cooking veggies (e.g. spinach) last.
Step 4 – Add a Tomato Puree and Seasonings
- Add to a 1.5 cups tomato pure (or crushed tomatoes), ¼ cup tomato paste, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper and salt as per taste. Do not skimp on the tomato paste! It offers a lot of the depth of the flavor by a lending a bit of the umami.
TIP: If you want to make your own tomato pure, simply blitz, chopped 3 medium to the large tomatoes (300 grams) in a blender until smooth.
- Mix well and cook for one to two minutes. Cooking in the tomato paste makes in the flavor more intense.
Step 5 – Add Liquid
- Add a 4 to 4.5 cups Vegetable Stock (or water). Mix thoroughly.
TIP 1: You can be a adjust the consistency by a adding more stock or water, so if you have to a starchy blend of the veggies that makes in the minestrone too thick for your liking, simply add more.
TIP 2: Do prefer to the include homemade vegetable stock or broth in your minestrone. For a packaged veggie stock, opt for a low sodium or no sodium stock. Or else simply add water and the taste will still be a good.
- Cover in the pan and let veggies simmer until fork tender on low to the medium-low heat for about 30 to the 40 minutes.
- Check to a couple of the times when the veggies are cooking, ensuring that they do not a overcook. Mushy vegetables are not meant for a minestrone soup recipe!
TIP: To the avoid having to your some of your vegetables end up over- or under-cooked, be sure to cut them into a even pieces.
- As soon as in the vegetables are fork tender, assemble in the soup components.
Step 6 – Assemble Minestrone Soup
- Add in the cooked kidney beans. (If using a canned beans, add to a 1.5 cups canned beans drained of all the liquids, rinsed thoroughly in a water and drained of the water.)
- Mix and simmer for a minute or a more until in the beans are warmed through.
- Add in the cooked pasta.
- Mix a gently and and simmer for a minute or more until in the pasta is just warmed through, being careful not to overcook it.
- Switch off the heat and move in the pan to a trivet on your counter-top. Add to a ¼ cup chopped basil and ¼ cup grated vegetarian Parmesan cheese (optional).
TIP: While a fresh basil is a preferred for it is a bright color and aroma, feel free to the substitute approximately 1 tablespoon of the dried basil. (For a future calculations, 1 teaspoon of the dried herbs is a approximately in the same as a 1 tablespoon of the fresh herbs.)
- Stir gently to the incorporate. Taste and season as a necessary.
- Pour soup in a bowls (or mugs!) and serve hot. Garnish with a some grated Parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves. Add to a drizzle some extra virgin olive oil while a serving for a bit of the extra richness. Enjoy, preferably with to a hunk of the crusty bread in a tow.
Scaling: This recipe makes to a approximately 4 servings. Feel free to the scale in the recipe up or down according to your needs!
Meal Prep: In the same vein as a tip #1, feel free to use in this minestrone soup recipe for your meal prep day. The soup will be keep for up 3 to the 4 days in the refrigerator, or up to one month in the freezer. Do not add to a cheese and basil if you plan to the freeze. Bonus tip: Freeze to your soup in a muffin tins, then store in a zip top plastic bag. Anytime to a craving for a soup strikes, pop 2-3 pucks of the soup into a mug and warm in the microwave or in a pan on the stove-top for a healthy, homemade meal!
Use In a Season Veggies: Vegetables that are ripe unquestionably taste more delicious. Be sure to the opt for a veggies that are in a season, or, if they are not, opt for a frozen vegetables (or a canned tomatoes!) instead. These veggies have been a picked at the peak ripeness and flash frozen, meaning they will be of the better quality than out of the season fresh veg.
Vegan in a options: Omit in the cheese or use a vegan Parmesan or cashew Parmesan.
What is the best shape of pasta for a making minestrone recipe?
Any a short pasta will do! I have used a elbow macaroni in this recipe because it is a easy to find. Feel a free to use a zit, rotting, pasta wheels, ditalini or a even broken lasagna noodles. Just be sure to cook according to the package directions, as a different shapes and even different brands will be have different cook times.
What is the best kind of the bean for a making minestrone?
Part of the beauty of the minestrone is how versatile it is. The entire idea of the recipe is to use what you have on a hand. I personally find it is a easiest to the procure dried red kidney beans, but any bean or a pulse will do. Just be a sure to know in the cook time of the whatever dried bean you opt to the use.
Canned beans (or a lentils) are also a perfectly acceptable. Be sure to the drain them and rinse them in a water before adding to the soup. If you are concerned about a salt consumption, it is a better to rinse the canned beans prior to the adding them.
Add about a 1.5 cups of the preferred choice of the canned beans. Be sure to the drain them and rinse them in a water before adding to the soup. Do a taste test first as a sometimes canned beans can be a bitter. If they are bitter discard them.
Can I make a minestrone soup recipe without a beans?
Absolutely! I suggest a including some starchy vegetables to the replace some of the texture, though. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, green peas and the even cauliflower are good in a options. Alternatively, you can be a opt to the add rice instead.
Can I make a gluten free minestrone recipe?
Yes! Either opt for a gluten free pasta brand, or a substitute rice or other vegetables. Like I said, this is more of a template than to a strict recipe, much in a keeping with the true origin of this beautifully rustic soup.
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▢½ cup dried kidney beans – read notes section for a other beans
▢2 to 2.5 cups water
▢½ teaspoon salt
For a Cooking Pasta
1 cup elbow macaroni or a any small pasta
▢3 cups water
▢½ teaspoon salt
▢3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
▢½ cup chopped onions
▢1.5 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
▢¼ cup chopped celery
▢1 bay leaf
▢½ cup chopped cauliflower florets
▢½ cup chopped carrots
▢1 cup chopped potato or a 1 large potato
▢⅓ cup chopped baby corn
▢⅓ cup chopped button mushrooms – optional
▢1.5 cups Tomato Pure or crushed tomatoes or 300 grams/3 medium to the large tomatoes – pureed
▢¼ cup tomato paste
▢½ teaspoon dried oregano
▢½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
▢salt as required
▢4 to 4.5 cups Vegetable Stock or water
▢¼ cup Parmesan cheese (vegetarian) – optional
▢1 to 2 tablespoons chopped basil