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Classic Italian Vegetable Minestrone Soup

5 from 6 votes

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A classic homestyle, vegetarian minestrone soup recipe that’s easy to make with pantry staples like dried pasta, beans and carrots.

A soup bowl and spoon, with tomato-based vegetable minestrone soup with green beans, elbow macaroni, beans, carrots and grated parmesan cheese.

Classic Italian minestrone soup is a versatile Mediterranean-style dish, easy to put together any time of year depending the vegetables on hand.

At its best, minestrone soup can be a simple meal in a bowl, a homey, nourishing dish that comfortably bridges transitions between seasons.

Making minestrone soup

There aren’t strict rules to follow when making authentic minestrone soup in the Italian style.

But there are some vegetables essential to the mix:

  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Beans (green and/or dried)
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes (in some versions)
A soup pot and spoon, with tomato-based vegetable minestrone soup with green beans, elbow macaroni, beans, carrots and grated parmesan cheese.

According to Marcella Hazan, the character of authentic Italian soup — minestra — depends on two things: The season and the place.

For example, if you plopped yourself into summertime on the coast of southern Italy, your bowl of soup would likely be a fragrant chemistry of ripe tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and sparkling fresh seafood.

During colder months further north in Tuscany you’d be more likely to encounter a hearty stick-to-your-ribs ribollita, a thick stew of beans, potatoes, stale bread and hardy winter vegetables like cabbage and kale.

A soup bowl and spoon, with tomato-based vegetable minestrone soup with green beans, elbow macaroni, beans, carrots and grated parmesan cheese.

My ideal summer minestrone would definitely include fresh tomatoes, zucchini and lots of basil.

The soup I offer here is based on basic ingredients and pantry staple like carrots, onions, canned beans and tomatoes.

Cooked elbow pasta, green beans and leafy greens round out the bowl, making this a satisfying and nutritious one-dish meal.

It’s so worth making a pot of homemade soup!

Not only does this minestrone keep well for days in the refrigerator (and tastes even better), but it’s a delicious way make a family meal without a lot of time and expense.

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Classic Italian Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Karen Tedesco
Easy Italian minestrone is a delicious and healthy homemade vegetable soup to make with pantry staples. Like all soups, this minestrone makes delicious leftovers!
Print Pin
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Soup and Stew
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings


  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (256 g) chopped carrots (3 large or 6 small carrots)
  • ½ cup (80 g) chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney or cannellini beans (or 1 of each), , drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ pound (225 g) green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cups (90 g) small dried pasta, elbows, small shells or ditalini
  • 2 cups (80 g) dark leafy greens such as spinach, chard or kale, roughly chopped
  • Grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, for serving


  • Heat the olive oil in a large (5 or 6 quart) soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic, celery and fennel and cook a few minutes more to soften.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, beans, bay leaf, 2 teaspoons salt and black pepper to taste. Pour in 6 cups water and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook 25 minutes at a simmer.
  • Add the green beans and pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Turn off the heat and stir in the greens.
  • Taste the soup for seasoning. Serve warm with grated cheese.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 556mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 8428IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. Hello Karen,
    I found your blog at BlogHer and I decided to visit. Your blog looks great, I really like it.
    As for the Minestrone soup i like that you shared classic recipe since it’s delicious. It’s one of my favorites because it is so colorful and healthy. Great recipe.

  2. Jennifer M. says:

    This soup looks delicious! I don’t see the macaroni in the recipe. How much did you add and when? Thanks!

    1. Jennifer – thanks for letting me know. I forgot to add the pasta to the ingredient list – oops! Use about 2 cups cooked pasta of your choice, smaller spoon sized shapes are best. Stir it in before serving since it will absorb the broth and soften if it’s in there too long before eating.

  3. We are at currently at 37 degrees with a wind chill of about 27! Great night to make this minestra, I thought.

    So I made it, following your recipe, always a delight and easy to understand! It looks and tastes amazing! Thanks, Karen!

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve made this soup many times, without the fennel (because I never have it), once threw in cauliflower and it was great, and sometimes with a little lemon juice and/or white wine, and it always comes out great. Except this time – didn’t have spinach so I threw in chopped broccoli. Not advised! I could smell my mistake as soon as it came to a simmer🙂. Purely operator error. Definitely recommended and easy.

      1. Thank you for sharing how broccoli turns out in the soup! I’m happy you enjoy the recipe.

  4. Bookmarking this so I can try. It looks delicious and like the perfect meal for a cold, North Eastern winter day…or night. Yum.