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Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. Cook: 40 min.

Makes

11 servings (2-3/4 quarts)

This minestrone soup recipe is special to me because it’s one of the few dinners my entire family loves. And I can feel good about serving it because it’s full of nutrition and low in fat. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 11 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, saute the carrots, celery and onion in oil and butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  2. Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, cabbage, basil, parsley, oregano and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add macaroni; cook, uncovered, 6-8 minutes or until macaroni and vegetables are tender.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese.
    Freeze option: Before adding cheese, freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary.

Minestrone Soup Tips

What goes with minestrone soup?

Crisp salads, a warm loaf of bread or fresh, Italian-inspired sandwiches like this basil-tomato grilled cheese are all tasty sides that go with minestrone soup. Also, be sure to check out these soup side recipes. They will turn your minestrone soup into a full-blown meal.

What is the difference between vegetable soup and minestrone soup?

When comparing these two types of soup, there are a few qualities to look out for. Minestrone soup is heartier than traditional vegetable soup. While minestrone contains similar vegetables to vegetable soup, the addition of pasta and beans makes it more filling. That being said, both are considered healthy recipe options, as they're under 200 calories per cup. Looking for a different spoonful? There are plenty more soup recipes to check out.

Can I add other vegetables to minestrone soup?

Yes, you can add other vegetables to minestrone soup. As one of our favorite vegetarian recipes, the more veggies the merrier. We recommend throwing in peas and zucchini for extra goodness.

How do you thicken minestrone soup?

You can thicken minestrone soup by adding 2-4 tablespoons of tomato paste. A larger amount of beans, cheese or other veggies can also help thicken the soup up.

How long does homemade minestrone soup last in the fridge?

You can keep minestrone soup in the fridge for up to a week. Freeze minestrone if you'd like to enjoy it longer.

Can I freeze minestrone?

Minestrone freezes terrifically! Let the soup cool completely and freeze it in a freezer-safe container (without the cheese!). Label and keep in the freezer for up to six months. To use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then slowly warm in a pan on the stove, stirring and adding more broth as necessary. Add cheese just before serving. Enjoy!

Why is it called minestrone?

A thick vegetable soup, "minestrone" comes from the Italian word "minestra", which means "soup".

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 180 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 443mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 7g fiber), 8g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 lean meat.