The second the weather changes and there is a slight cool in the air; this recipe quickly finds its way to my weekly grocery list. For a while, we implemented “meatless Mondays” at our house by choosing a “meatless dish” to add some variety to our typical meals. This recipe was my go-to because it is packed with veggies and protein (hi, Banza noodles!).
Minestrone soup is a traditional Italian soup that has been enjoyed for centuries. The name "minestrone" comes from the Italian word "minestra," which means "to serve." Minestrone has become a beloved dish throughout Italy and around the world, and it is considered a staple of Italian cuisine.
This recipe is also perfect if you’re one of those people who purchase vegetables at the store with great intentions to use them but find yourself throwing them out at the end of the week. Instead of wasting vegetables, throw them in a pot with some spices and broth, and you’ll have the perfect cozy soup.
I find myself especially craving this recipe in early January–the excitement of the holidays has faded but I’m still looking to fill my life with warmth and coziness. Minestrone soup brings just that! This recipe is also great if you’re hosting a guest for dinner who is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or dairy-free. This recipe checks all of these boxes! Just ensure that the noodles you use are gluten-free, and you’ll be in the clear.
What ingredients do you need?
Vegetables & Olive Oil
This recipe uses several of the traditional vegetables used in the classic Minestrone soup. Carrots, onion, and zucchini. If you have other vegetables in your fridge or pantry that are ready to be used, you can also add them. Some options are potato, sweet potato, butternut squash, green beans, or bell pepper. A drizzle of olive oil is all you need.
Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, red pepper flakes, and onion powder give this soup all the flavor. The Italian seasoning brings that classic minestrone flavor, while the red pepper flakes give it a subtle kick.
Fire-Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
I prefer fire-roasted crushed tomatoes over any other canned tomato. I love the flavor and the way it dissolves right into the broth. If you can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes or you prefer a different style, just be sure to find a 28-ounce can.
Vegetable broth is a liquid made by simmering a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, celery, onion, and garlic, along with herbs and spices. It's often used as a base for soups and stews, which makes it perfect for this recipe. Vegetable broth is a good option for vegetarians and vegans and a flavorful alternative to water.
Great White Northern Beans
Great northern beans are a good source of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. The carbohydrates give your body the energy it needs to get through those long winter days while the protein and fiber help you to feel full longer.
The pasta I prefer to use in this recipe is the brand Banza. I love Banza for three reasons– higher in protein, gluten-free, and doesn’t have a weird texture. The pasta is made with chickpeas, which makes it naturally gluten-free and higher in protein. I often find gluten-free pasta has a mushy, undesirable texture, but this is not the case with Banza. Any shape Banza will work; check your local Costco for the best price.
If you would prefer to use regular noodles in this soup, by all means, do so! You can substitute the Banza pasta for the same amount of regular pasta to achieve similar results.
The addition of lemon juice right at the end pulls all of the flavors together, giving it a bright and fresh finish!
What equipment do you need?
To make minestrone soup, you will need the following equipment:
- Large pot or Dutch oven for cooking the soup
- Cutting board and knife for chopping vegetables
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Can opener
- Ladle for serving the soup
How is it done?
Begin by prepping your vegetables. Dice your yellow onion and slice the carrots. Cut your zucchini into small cubes and set aside. Chop any other vegetables you may be using.
Add your olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the prepared onions and carrots to the pot. If you are using potatoes or squash also add it to the pot. Add all of the seasonings. Let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes to the vegetable mixture and mix well. Let the mixture come to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
Add your zucchini, pasta, and white great northern beans to the soup and allow the mixture to cook for 6-7 more minutes or until the pasta is tender.
Allow the soup to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy the soup on its own or with crusty sourdough bread (my favorite option!)
Anything else to consider?
This soup will last in the fridge for up to three days. If you plan to freeze the soup, I would suggest waiting to add the pasta noodles. Cook the pasta noodles fresh the day of and add them to the soup.
If you're looking to add more protein to this dish, you could add tofu, chicken, or ground turkey.
Is it GF/DF/V?
Yes, this soup can easily be made gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free. Ensure that the noodles are gluten-free. As always, ensure that each ingredient you use meets your dietary guidelines.
If you make this minestrone soup, please let us know how it turns out in the comments below and/or rate the recipe! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram to show us your finished product—it makes our day every time we see you trying the recipes we love!
Hearty Minestrone Soup
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup sliced carrots (about 2 large carrots)
- 2 small zucchini, cubed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1, 28-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups Banza pasta, uncooked
- 1, 15.5-ounce can White Great Northern Beans, drained
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Optional items you may have in your fridge and pantry that need to be used: potato, green beans, bell pepper, butternut squash, or sweet potato. You can also add chicken, ground turkey, or tofu for added protein.
- Begin by prepping your vegetables. Dice your yellow onion, slice the carrots, and chop up any additional vegetables you may be using.
- Cut your zucchini into small cubes and set aside.
- Add your olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the prepared onions and carrots to the pot. Add all of the seasonings. Let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes to the vegetable mixture and mix well. Let the mixture come to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add your zucchini, pasta, and white great northern beans to the soup and allow the mixture to cook for 6-7 more minutes or until the pasta is tender.
- Add the two teaspoons of lemon juice and stir well.
- Allow the soup to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy the soup on its own or with crusty sourdough bread (my favorite option!)
The recipe can be found on My Fitness Pal by searching "BWB Minestrone Soup."
The nutrition content provided for each recipe is an estimate created through the My Fitness Pal database. Please be aware that the nutritional content of each recipe may vary based on the products you use, the precision of your measurements, and the source you use to obtain nutrition data. While we try to provide accurate information, we give no guarantee regarding the accuracy of the nutritional information provided.