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Minestrone soup

Minestrone Soup

Although soup isn't often considered summer fare, this minestrone is perfect when made with fresh summer vegetables like zucchini and tomatoes.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 363 kcal


  • 2 medium leeks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium parsnip peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (I use an extra carrot instead)
  • 2 large celery stalks cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini ends trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) packed finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or 2 cups (440 g) good-quality canned crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind (optional), plus 1 cup (80 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups (440 g) cooked white cannellini beans, or canned beans (drained, rinsed, and re-drained)
  • 8 ounces (230 g) cooked Yukon gold or russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) acini di pepe or very small soup pasta


  • Trim off the dark green sections from the leeks and save for making vegetable stock. Halve the pale green and white sections lengthwise, Rinse under cold running water, pat dry, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • In a large stockpot over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the leeks, cover, and cook, stirring once or twice, for 6 minutes. Add the carrots, parsnip, celery, zucchini, rosemary, and half of the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. The vegetables should be just beginning to turn gold. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, Parmesan rind (if using), beans, and potatoes (if using) and stir well. Turn the heat to high, add the stock, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, add the red chili flakes, and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed. If the soup is not as flavorful as you like, remove the lid and simmer it over medium heat for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the pasta to the soup and simmer for 10 minutes more, or until the pasta is al dente, or just barely tender. (Remember you will be reheating the soup, so you want to slightly undercook the pasta. Cooking the pasta directly in the soup will work only if you’re using a very small shape. If using orzo or a larger shape, boil separately for about 7 minutes, drain, and then add to the soup–personally I left the cooked pasta on the side and allowed each person to stir a couple spoonfuls into their bowl of soup so the pasta wouldn’t get mushy. Even for the leftover soup I left the pasta separate and then reheated and stirred in the pasta into each portion). Remove the rind from the soup.
  • Ladle the soup into mugs or bowls. Top with the remaining parsley and some grated cheese before serving.

Notes & Nutrition

Adapted from Soup Swap
Servings 8.0 * calories 363 * Total Fat 6 g * Saturated Fat 2 g * Monounsaturated Fat 2 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 10 mg * Sodium 1252 mg * Potassium 562 mg * Total Carbohydrate 54 g * Dietary Fiber 15 g * Sugars 7 g * Protein 20 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*