The Best Minestrone Soup starts with the basics.
Here’s what I love the most about this recipe– it gives all the basic ingredients and then allows the chef to mix it up, depending on ingredients and the individual taste of each person. This is indeed a very basic recipe, and I am happy to share because it still tastes fabulous.
My daughter often requests this soup, and it is great for all months of the year because it is fairly light in consistency. Just enjoy this simple little soup whenever, as it is easy to make and the ingredients are totally mainstream. For our family, I double the recipe. I have teenagers and hearty eaters. I can eat any leftovers for lunch!
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or water
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans, or bean of your choice
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- In a large pot, heat the oil or water over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic and saute until onion has softened, about ten minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, basil, oregano, broth and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and beans and cook until the zucchini is softened, another 15 minutes or so.
- Stir in the spinach and simmer just until wilted– a couple of minutes. Add the parsley when serving.
Now mix up your minestrone soup ingredients to make it your own.
Here’s the fun part! Taking on some variations makes the soup interesting every single time. Sometimes I use frozen peas and carrots instead of beans. I love kidney beans instead of white beans. Sometimes I use swiss chard (you will need to wilt it a bit longer) instead of spinach. If I don’t have zucchini, I might go crazy with some celery root or parsnips.
That’s the beauty of this soup– keep the seasoning consistent and vary your vegetables for a delicious contrast. The other variable you can use is using fire roasted tomatoes or stewed tomatoes instead of the regular diced variety. You can also add orzo or small pasta, but I don’t recommend pasta– I am wheat free for less inflammation. That is up to you and your diet style.
Finally, I add a dollop of my vegan pesto for a rich burst of flavor instead of parsley. Or I can chop up any fresh herb I choose, such as thyme, marjoram or basil. They are all delicious and add more variation to the classic minestrone soup.
This soup is totally fun and always a pleasing dish. I adapted it from the cookbook Vegan on the Cheap which you can purchase if you like. It has been a winning cookbook for me and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Enjoy!