Hearty Minestrone Soup

6 servings
1 hr

This hearty minestrone soup is a thick and rich soup recipe. It is filled with vegetables, and spices, and tastes like Olive Garden Minestrone Soup. This is a minestrone soup recipe you will want to make again and again.

What is Minestrone Soup?

Classic minestrone soup is a tomato-based soup that is filled with vegetables, beans, herbs, and pasta. The hearty soup is perfect for a cold night’s dinner or for a delicious lunch.

What Is The Difference Between Minestrone And Vegetable Soup?

Minestrone is a type of vegetable soup, but not all vegetable soups are a kind of minestrone. Minestrone is a type of soup that contains veggies and rice/noodles. Whereas vegetable soup is normally strictly veggies.

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Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

I love Olive Garden minestrone soup. Actually, I think I like everything on the Olive Garden menu. We don’t get to Olive Garden as much as I like because it is expensive and over 30 minutes away from the house. That is why I am always looking for copycat Olive Garden recipes. That is why this recipe for Olive Garden Minestrone soup is perfect.

Thick & Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe

This satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients. This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs and vegetables you have available.

Minestrone soup can be made in several ways. While this recipe makes the minestrone soup in a dutch oven, it can be as minestrone soup in a crockpot or in an Instant Pot.

Tips & Tricks:

Pasta: I prefer a thicker version of this soup by cooking the pasta in the broth. However, if you are not a fan, you can cook the pasta separately until al dente. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft and mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day and better results when freezing for future use.

Deglaze: Deglazing the pan is a step that doesn’t make all those brown bits go to waste. If you deglaze the pan after adding the onions, it will bring out a ton of flavor!

Sweaty Veggies: To add even stronger flavors to the soup, sweating your vegetables will do the trick. You do this by cooking down all the veggies first before adding them to the soup.

Parmesan: The true Italian in me comes out while I’m cooking, so I can’t help but add grated parmesan cheese on top of my soup. This will not only add the perfect touch but give it a cheesy and salty kick.

Vegetarian Minestrone: This minestrone doesn’t include meat, but for a vegetarian recipe, you can replace the chicken broth with water.

How Many Weight Watchers Points?

This soup comes in at 4 points per serving. When counting the parmesan rind, according to the WW coach I spoke to, I only count it as 1 point because it isn’t eaten but leaves some behind. The WW points do not include the optional garnish.

What Can I Add To Minestrone Soup?

Veggies: Even though this recipe is packed with vegetables, you can always add or take out what you want to make it to your liking.

Noodles: You can add any kind of noodles you prefer. I love having this recipe with Spaghetti Squash noodles.

Add Meat: Sometimes I add meat and sometimes I don’t, but when I do, I like to add things like ground beef, sausage, chicken, or turkey.

What To Serve With Soup?

There are tons of different things you can enjoy with this recipe. Here is just a quick list of some excellent ideas to try out:

Bread: Baguette, Italian, sourdough, breadsticks, or any other kind of crunchy bread goes well with this recipe.

Salad: Fresh salad of any kind goes well with this recipe. Cucumber Salad, Raspberry Chicken Mixed Green Salad, and many more taste amazing.

How To Store?

Place the leftovers in an airtight container for the best storage method. In the fridge, the leftovers can last for up to 3 to 5 days.

Reheat: If you made a large batch, I recommend reheating in batches on the stovetop or microwaving in portions.

How To Freeze?

You can freeze minestrone soup easily. You will want to put the soup in a freezer bag. Be sure to get out all of the air from the bag. The soup will stay good for up to three months. When you are ready to eat the soup, store the soup in the refrigerator the day before eating. Reheat the soup on the stove until warm.

Key Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Yellow onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Petite-diced tomatoes
  • Cannellini beans
  • Vegetable stock recipe
  • Bay leaves
  • Rosemary leaves
  • Thyme leaves
  • Oregano leaves
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fusilli pasta
  • Green beans
  • Arugula

How To Make Minestrone Soup

Step 1. Heat the oil and garlic in a large pot. Saute and mix occasionally for 2-3 minutes until golden.

Step 2. Put in the onion, carrot, and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes until tender.

Step 3. Put in the diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and combine. Put in the parmesan if desired and add salt and pepper. Boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Step 4. Cook the pasta by following the directions. Save 1 cup of the pasta water. Rinse and strain the pasta before adding the rest of the oil. Cover. Take the lid off the pot and add the green beans and pasta water and combine. Cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

Step 5. Put in the arugula and broth and combine before adding more salt and pepper to your liking. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Step 6. Portion pasta into serving bowls, and pour in the hot soup. Garnish with parsley and grated parmesan if desired.

More Delicious Recipes:

  • Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
  • Braised Beef Burgundy Stew
  • New England Clam Chowder Recipe
  • Chicken Florentine Soup
  • Potato Bacon Soup
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 50 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 2-3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots finely chopped
  • 3 large stalks celery finely chopped
  • 1 28- oz. can tomatoes petite-diced, undrained
  • 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 4 cup organic vegetable broth*
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary leaves fresh, finely chopped (or 1 t. dried)
  • 1 Tbsp thyme leaves fresh, or 1 t. dried
  • 1 Tbsp oregano leaves fresh, or 1 t. dried
  • 1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes crushed
  • Sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese rind Optional: 3”
  • 2 cup pasta
  • 2 cup green beans fresh cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 2 cup arugula fresh
Optional Garnish:
  • 1/4 c. parsley leaves fresh, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese Freshly grated

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.
Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are soft and tender.
Add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes to pot and stir to combine. Add Parmesan cheese rind, if desired, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.
While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta. Rinse pasta and transfer to a medium bowl and toss with remaining olive oil. Cover and set aside.
Remove cover from pot or Dutch oven and add green beans and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and continue cooking, uncovered, another 20-25 minutes or until green beans are crisp tender.
Add arugula and additional vegetable broth, if needed, and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until arugula begins to wilt.
To serve, divide cooked pasta among individual serving bowls and top with hot soup. Top with chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with crusty bread and/or a crisp, green side salad for a hearty meal. Enjoy!
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