This summer minestrone soup can be easily adapted to whatever vegetables you happen to have. You could replace some or all of the zucchini with a few handfuls of fresh spinach leaves, or add a cup of trimmed green beans and chopped ripe tomatoes.
I love tender young fennel bulbs (I prefer its delicate flavor to celery), but go ahead and use 2 chopped celery stalks instead. And to make the soup a bit heartier so that it can serve as a simple meal, I like to add cannellini beans and small pasta tubes called ditalini.
Where I live in the Northeast, summer is a season to savor. Late summer especially, when there’s lots of sun, blue skies and low humidity. Those days not only make the best beach days of the entire season, but produce seems to explode in the markets.
Enjoy making minestrone soup from scratch — it’s a nourishing and simple way to eat and cook, in any season.
summer vegetable soup
Yield 4 servings
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white part only, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb (fronds reserved for garnish), tough outer leaves removed, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, sliced into thin coins
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans
- Kosher salt
- 2 small zucchini (preferably 1-inch diameter) quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 cup ditalini pasta
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
- Parmigiano or grana padano cheese
- Pour the oil in a large saucepan or pot and place over medium heat.
- Add the leeks, onion, fennel and carrot and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so they don't brown.
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cannellini beans, 6 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a simmer. Adjust the heat and continue to cook at a gently simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a separate pot of boiling water until al dente - drain and reserve.
- Stir the zucchini into the pot and cook until crisp-tender. Add the pasta and parsley.
- Taste and season with more salt as need. Serve the soup garnished with chopped fresh fennel fronds and grated Parmigiano cheese.
Hi there! I’m Karen, a mother of two and a professionally trained cook certified in holistic nutrition.
Have a question or feedback? Get in touch or leave me a comment below — I love hearing from you!