This hearty minestrone soup gets its delicious flavor from a combination of ingredients such as stock, tomatoes, fresh vegetables, beans, and pasta.
It’s already been a few weeks since I got back from Italy, but all the memorable dishes I ate there are still resonating in my head, and as a result I’ve spent the last few days trying to recreate some of them. Currently I’m working on perfecting a homemade pizza recipe, but until I do, here’s one for a simple yet delicious minestrone soup.
This minestrone soup recipe is healthy, simple to make, and doesn’t consist of a long list of ingredients (I know how much you love that). The dominant flavor comes from the tomatoes, but there are many vegetables and other goodies in there that add plenty of flavor and make the soup rich and thick. It’s perfect either as a first or main course.
Making the Soup is Easy
Start by cooking the onion, then the garlic, then the other vegetables, and let them cook for a few minutes just until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and you’re done.
To make a recipe that’s as simple as possible, I tried to avoid a long list of ingredients, but without compromising on flavor. As a result, I ended up with a list of optional ingredients that you can add that will provide plenty of extra flavor (you can add all of these ingredients). Vegetables should be added along with the carrots, thyme/basil along with the oregano, and all other ingredients along with the chicken stock.
1 small zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 teaspoons dried basil
2 bay leaves
a few teaspoons of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
A few tablespoons of dry red or white wine
For a vegetarian soup, replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 cloves garlic , minced
- 4 medium carrots , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
- 2 stalks celery , cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 cans (400 g/14 oz each) diced tomatoes, with juices
- 6-8 cups chicken stock
- 4 medium potatoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 can (400 g/15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-2 cups cooked pasta
- Salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese , for serving
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add carrots and celery and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in oregano.
Add tomatoes, 6 cups chicken stock, and potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in beans, cooked pasta, and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
The soup should be quite thick, but if you prefer a thinner soup, add more chicken stock.
Reheat soup before serving. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.