This classic minestrone soup is hearty and jam-packed with vegetables and pasta. Use the veggies you have on hand for this super easy dinner. Great as a weeknight meal and also perfect for larger gatherings!
I am such a huge fan of soup. It goes down easily any time of the year and so many different flavor and ingredient combinations are possible. Plus it is one of the most comforting foods on the planet, am I right?
I first made this minestrone soup about ten years ago and fell in love with the variety of textures, the bold flavor and the affordability of making it. It is such a great option for dinner any night of the week and also for large gatherings. This soup can easily be turned into a vegetarian meal and swap out the veggies for any you have on hand. We LOVE this recipe and you are about to fall in love!
HOW TO MAKE CLASSIC MINESTRONE SOUP
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook the bacon pieces over medium heat until crispy. Drain grease from pan but don’t remove bacon. Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, celery, kale, basil, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme.
Cook until the veggies are soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the pasta, broth, diced tomatoes, kidney beans and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through. Discard the bay leaves. Serve warm with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the tops!
- Replace bacon with 1/2 pound of ground beef, if desired.
- For a vegetarian soup, omit meat from the recipe entirely and substitute the beef broth with vegetable broth.
- The beef broth can also be substituted with chicken broth or water.
- Add red pepper flakes and/or cayenne pepper to the soup for a spicy kick!
- If you have already cooked the pasta separately, throw it in at the very end and heat for 5 minutes until warmed through.
- Use GF pasta for a gluten free soup or omit the pasta entirely!
- A teaspoon or two of Italian seasoning would be a delicious addition to this meal!
- Replace kidney beans with any bean of your choice, if desired.
WHY IS THIS THE BEST MINESTRONE SOUP
- With its hearty ingredients (pasta, meat, beans), it is an all-in-one meal and it is very filling.
- It requires only 10 minutes of prep and everything is cooked in a single pot!
- The ingredients in the recipe are easy to find.
- It is a SUPER affordable recipe to purchase ingredients for.
- THE FLAVOR! It can’t be beat.
- It is a great soup for leftovers and it also freezes well! Store in individual containers to use throughout the week or freeze for up to 6 months in an air-tight container.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MINESTRONE
Serve this soup warm with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top. A few good options to serve alongside it include:
SOUPS THAT WARM THE SOUL
- Instant Pot Ham Bone Soup – Use your leftover ham bone to make this comforting, hearty Ham Bone Soup in your Instant Pot! Pressure cooking this meal allows you to get dinner on the table in less than an hour and it tastes like it has been simmering in a slow cooker all day long. Packed with beans, potatoes and delicious flavor!
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup – This Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup is the BEST! It is packed with flavor, it is super easy to make and it tastes like it’s been cooked low and slow all day long. Throw it together for your next family dinner OR your next big gathering.
- Instant Pot White Turkey Chili – White Turkey Chili becomes even MORE delicious when made in an Instant Pot. Packed with turkey meat, white beans and veggies, this will quickly become a dinner favorite! This comfort food is super flavorful and delicious.
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup – This is the BEST Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe you will ever taste. Let your Instant Pot create a veggie-packed, cheesy, hearty and comforting dinner that everyone at the table will love. Done in just 20 minutes, this is a GREAT recipe.
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup – Make a batch of comforting Chicken Noodle Soup in the Instant Pot! Using a pressure cooker will save you time and will produce the most perfectly cooked soup you’ll ever taste.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup – Transform Chicken Fajitas into a delicious, savory soup that will quickly become a family favorite! Mix and match vegetables to your liking! Chicken Fajita Soup is great served for family dinner.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup – Delicious soup does not have to be difficult! This Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup tastes like the real deal, but requires half the effort. Creamy, rich, satisfying and filled with texture, this will be a great addition to your dinner rotation!
- Easy Crockpot Meatball Soup – There is NO PREP involved with this Crockpot Meatball Soup. It is easy and so delicious! Great addition to your family dinner rotation.
- Loaded Potato Soup – A loaded baked potato is transformed into a warm, delicious, comforting soup! The perfect fall or winter meal!
- Smoky Tomato Soup with Maple Candied Bacon – A simple change on a household classic, makes for a pleasant surprise! This comforting bowl of Tomato soup is filled with full-bodied tomatoes and the Maple-Candied Bacon. One bite of this hearty meal with just a touch of sweetness will make you want a second bowl!
- Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup – This Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup is super easy and comforting and it can be tossed right into your slow cooker!
- Butternut Squash Soup – This is the perfect, most delicious way to use up butternut squash in the fall! Butternut Squash Soup is creamy, packed with comforting flavor and super easy to prepare. Great dinner option any night of the week!
- 6 slices bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 stalks celery sliced
- 2 cups kale pieces
- 1/4 cup basil chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 64 oz beef broth or beef stock
- 15 oz diced tomatoes
- 15 oz red kidney beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cups penne pasta uncooked
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shredded, for topping
- In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook the bacon pieces over medium heat until crispy. Drain grease from pan but don't remove bacon. Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, celery, kale, basil, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme. Cook until the veggies are soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, pasta and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through. Discard the bay leaves. Serve warm with shredded Parmesan sprinkled over the tops!