This beloved Italian soup isn't just hearty and healthy -- it's really flexible. Minestrone typically includes lots of leafy greens, other veggies, and beans. Which to choose? You're only limited by the contents of your refrigerator and pantry.

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
6
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery, red-pepper flakes, rosemary, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes.

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  • Add tomatoes; cook until some of the liquid evaporates, 1 minute. Add potato, cabbage, cannellini beans, and 7 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in green beans.

  • Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; stir in garlic, if using, and basil. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan and, if using, torn basil. Drizzle with more oil, if desired.

Variations

For variations on this classic version, try swapping zucchini for green beans, kale for cabbage, and chickpeas for cannellini beans.

Reviews (14)

272 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 57
  • 4 star values: 86
  • 3 star values: 83
  • 2 star values: 38
  • 1 star values: 8
Rating: 5.0 stars
01/31/2020
I put all the toys ingredients in a crock pot and it is delicious!!!!!
Rating: 5 stars
12/04/2018
Great basic recipe. I made this almost as written - however, I did add zucchini as I had some on hand. But - I cooked it all in my Power Pro Pressure Cooker XL in 8 minutes after I sauted all of the vegetables in the pressure cooker pot for 8 minutes as it said in the recipe. I also changed out the water with 7 cups of Better than Bouillon Beef Base.
Rating: Unrated
01/28/2015
I made this recipe as written with the addition of a parm cheese rind as the soup simmered. It was very good, but I think I would sub veg broth for half the water to boost flavor even more next time.
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Rating: 5 stars
11/27/2014
Fabulous! Made exactly as directed. I will make this soup again, delightful!
Rating: 5 stars
10/20/2013
This recipe was a good base, and I liked the suggested modifications. Followed the advice of another review and caramelized first the onions, then carrots and celery, then diced tomatoes until nice and rich fond developed on my pan, then deglazed with some white wine. I then added the canned tomatoes and other veggies. I did kale instead of cabbage and zucchini in place of green beans. Huge hit for a dinner party of teen girls - even the non vegetarians came back for seconds!
Rating: Unrated
04/05/2013
Nice recipe... I had a couple of huge cabbages that needed using, but no celery. I know it adds a nice little flavor in minestrones but it's fine without it too. I did use beef broth and 7 cups water, and it was anything but bland. The fresh herbs at the end halp a lot too, and I added the traditional pasta in time for it to get al dente. Minestrones can be just about anything you want, around a basic texture and taste matrix.
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Rating: Unrated
12/13/2011
This is the best soup I have ever made and my daughters who enjoy vegetarian meals are thrilled too. For those who want to add pasta, I suggest making some in a seperate pot and add to each bowl of soup as the pasta will absorb liquid if it sits in the pot until another meal.
Rating: Unrated
10/06/2011
I dont know if this is a silly question but if I wanted to add some shell pasta to this, how would I go about doing so without making them overcooked?
Rating: Unrated
08/16/2011
Full-on flavor! So fresh... the fresh green beans were so much better than the canned I usually use in soups. I made this recipe as it is written & it's delicious! As is any soup, it's even better left-over.
Rating: Unrated
02/18/2011
This soup was amazing, but I changed it in three ways. I replaced the celery with 1 c. corn, the tomatoes with 1 1/2 c. spicy tomato sauce, and the cabbage with a box of frozen spinach. Everyone loved it! I'm writing down my version to do again :) So hearty, healthy and flavourful (probably from the pasta sauce).
Rating: Unrated
10/22/2008
Made this tonight and it was Sooooo Good! Can't wait for left overs tomorrow night!
Rating: Unrated
10/13/2008
I heavily carmelized the onion, carrot and celery with salt and pepper then carmelized the drained tomato (used petite diced) before adding the water, juice and rosemary to the pan. By that time there was heavy fond so the resulting stock did have a lot of flavor. But I bet it was more like 30 minutes for the carmelizing.
Rating: Unrated
10/06/2008
I DIDNT EVEN READ THAT IT WAS 7 CUPS OF WATER.. I BOUGHT CHICKEN BROTH SO I AM MAKING IT TONIGHT... I WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT COMES OUT. I SURE WISH I HAD SOME SQUASH TO PUT IN IT... WELL MAYBE NEXT TIME
Rating: Unrated
10/01/2008
Variations Replace green beans: 2 c. diced zucchini/summer squash. Replace potato: 1 1/2 c. peeled, seeded, cubed butternut squash. Extra vegetable: 1 1/2 c. frozen peas (add after 15 min. of simmering in step 3). Replace cabbage: sm. bunch robust greens (add after 15 min. of simmering in step 3): trimmed and thinly sliced Kale (tough stems removed), Escarole, or Swiss chard. Replace cannellini beans: 15 oz. can of another variety (rinsed and drained Kidney, Chickpea, or Pinto beans).
Rating: Unrated
09/30/2008
I think there may be a mistake in the recipe. If you use 7 cups of water (like the recipe suggests) the soup comes out very bland. Next time, I will use vegetable broth.