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Published September 16, 2019. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious authentic Italian minestrone soup recipe is loaded with vegetables, beans, kale, and ditalini pasta for the perfect soup recipe.
There is nothing more comforting than a huge pot of soup, and this authentic Italian minestrone recipe doesn’t disappoint. If you are looking for more delicious recipes, try my Lentil Soup or Avgolemono.
Minestrone is a soup that originated in Italy and is made up of vegetables and pasta or rice. It’s an incredibly simple soup, and in traditional original fashion, it came from what was available.
I would argue that this soup is one of the first real soups in the world as it has been dated back to 30 a.d. The broth in minestrone was classically just a bean broth but has now transformed into chicken or a meat base.
This soup is subject to change based on what you have and what’s in season. This recipe may look completely different in the summer since things like zucchini and squash peak in that season.
What is the Difference Between Vegetable and Minestrone Soup?
Vegetable soup is simply a soup that uses vegetables as a base, while minestrone soup can be the base for many Italian-style vegetable soups. For example, you can use it as a base and add beef, chicken, or pork to the soup to completely change the flavor profile.
Italian minestrone can also use things like farro or couscous as the grain or pasta in the soup.
- Fat – Olive oil will work, but rendering pancetta bacon fat is even better.
- Vegetables – This is subjective and should emphasize the season you are cooking it in. Always start with a mirepoix, and then from there, add in things such as leeks, turnips, parsnips, zucchini, diced tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, green beans, etc.
- Beans – Cannellini beans or kidney beans can be used in this recipe, but any white beans will work.
- Pasta – I prefer ditalini pasta, but any pasta will work.
- Stock – A good chicken stock or vegetable stock is best for this.
- Herbs – Always start with dry herbs or finish with fresh herbs.
How to Make Minestrone
- 1. Add olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat and cook some pancetta, which takes about 4 to 6 minutes.
- 2. Once the pancetta is cooked, set to the side and add the vegetables to the pot and sauté in the rendered pancetta fat.
- 3. After the vegetables have a light brown on them, for about 5 to 7 minutes, add in the potatoes, beans, tomatoes, parmesan cheese rinds, and stock. The cheese rind is a necessity. It will add some delicious umami flavors to the soup.
- 4. Simmer the vegetables on low for 30 minutes.
- 5. Finish the soup with peas, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
- 6. Boil your ditalini pasta. Strain and cool.
How to Serve It
I like serving minestrone soup with lots of parmesan cheese, some sliced kale, and some fresh herbs. If you just saw kale and think no way, you can swap it out for spinach.
In addition, if you aren’t a fan of the fresh herbs in the soup, you can do without, no problem.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this soup up to 1 day ahead of time.
How to Reheat: To reheat the soup, simply add your desired portion to a small saucepot and heat over low heat until hot. You can add your desired portion to a microwave-safe bowl and heat until hot.
How to Store: Minestrone soup will hold well in the refrigerator and be covered for up to 5 days. It will also freeze well covered for up to 3 months. Simply pull it out as needed and reheat following the directions above.
chef notes + tips
- This recipe makes quite a bit, so feel free to cut it down.
- Minestrone usually has a few garnishes on the top, such as croutons and fresh herbs. However, you can serve this soup with Kamut bread with biga or French boule with poolish.
More Soup Recipes
- Ribollita Soup Recipe
- Texas Style Chili with Slow-Cooked Brisket
- Classic French Onion Soup
- Zuppa Toscana Recipe
- Verde Pork Posole Recipe
- Creamy Chicken Dumpling Soup
- Mulligatawny soup recipe
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Authentic Italian Minestrone Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of small diced pancetta bacon
- 2 peeled and small diced yellow onions
- 4 finely minced cloves of garlic
- 2 thinly sliced leeks
- 4 medium diced stalks of celery
- 4 peeled and sliced carrots
- 1 peeled and medium diced turnip
- 1 peeled and medium diced parsnip
- ½ small diced bulb of fennel, core removed
- 3 peeled and large diced russet potatoes
- 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes in juice
- 3 15- ounce cans of drained cannellini beans
- 128 ounces of chicken stock
- 3 parmesan cheese rinds
- 2 cups of peas
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 pounds of cooked and cooled ditalini pasta
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- garnish with parmesan cheese, oregano and rosemary
- In a very large pot over medium heat, add the pancetta and cook until browned and crispy. Set aside the pancetta lardons.
- Next, add in the onions, garlic, leeks, celery, carrots, turnip, parsnips, and fennel and sauté for 10 to 12 minutes,
- Next, add the potatoes, tomatoes, beans, stock, and cheese rinds and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Finish with peas, lemon juice, cooked pancetta, salt, and pepper.
- Serve with garnishes.
Beat minestrone I’ve had!!
I have made many of your recipes and they are by far the best. I don’t look anywhere else for great recipes.
I will also leave 5 stars on all others I’ve used
Made this as written, but added a t of smoked garlic powder to up the smokiness from the pancetta. Making your focaccia and a fennel and orange salad to go with it. Thank you!
Any suggestions for replacing the Parmesan rinds with a nondairy ingredient?
What. Are you supposed to do with panccetta
add it back to the soup at the end.
I have yet to try this recipe. I had the minestrone soup made by Bambinelli’s Italian Restaurant and fell in love with the flavor! (Although I didn’t see or taste any canellini beans in their soup.) QUESTION: I appreciated the Nutrition information as I am diabetic and a heart patient …. BUT there was no mention of how much is considered a serving! 1 cup? 2 cups? Please advise me before I venture forth with this recipe.
1 Serving is about 12-14 ounces
I’d-a given you ALL the stars but. . . you invoked the evil that is “KALE!” (AAAGGGHHH!!!)
Kale is a purely ORNAMENTAL cabbage. . . we were NEVER meant to EAT this plant, just look at it. Think about it’s most basic/common use. . . the texture is way too harsh and tough to be consumed raw & washed in “salad form”. Additionally, in order to cook this plant’s (supposedly) edible leaves (into ANYTHING approaching a comfortably edible state) it takes way too high a level of heat, for an entirely too long amount of time for it to be nutritionally advantagious.
Even with all that being said (ranted, really), I like the way you’ve approached Minestrone Soup & plan on incorporating aspects of your take on this dish’s procedure into my own.
Many thanks & MANGIA!
A big bowl of this soup, my couch, a blanket and a good movie!! That’s what on my agenda soon.
What a gorgeous bowl of soup!! Minestrone is one of my favorites, but I’ve never made it at home – thanks for sharing the recipe, looks so easy!
Thank you so kindly, great easy recipe!
This looks like such a delicious and hearty dinner idea! Pinning for later!
Thanks so much!
What. Are you supposed to do with panccetta
I feed an army every night, so a BIG pot of soup is always a winner in my book!
haha you know what’s up then!
This soup looks perfectly comforting. I’m whipping up a batch tonight!
Thanks, it is super good!