Simple Italian Minestrone Soup

Editor’s note: Spending the holidays in the Italian Alps, I’m inspired by the simple, fresh cuisine. With lots of vegetables, lean meat and legumes, and homemade bread, the region is bursting with flavor. Enjoy one of my favorite dishes! – Bethany

Yield: Servies 6 Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 zucchini or yellow squash, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, if needed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups broth
  • 1-inch Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 15-oz. can kidney beans
  • large handful chopped parsley
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • grated parmesan cheese to serve (optional)
  • 2 cups already cooked small pasta, like ditalini or elbow pasta
  1. In a large dutch oven or cooking pot, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Raise heat to medium-high, if you need to, and cook, tossing regularly, until the veggies soften a bit (about five minutes or so). Add garlic and cook another minute or so.
  2. Ad yellow squash (or zucchini) and green beans. Season with paprika, rosemary, and a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  3. Now add crushed tomatoes, broth, fresh thyme, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind (if using). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and partially cover the pot. Let simmer for about 20 minutes or so.
  4. Uncover and add kidney beans. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in parsley and fresh basil. If serving immediately, add the cooked pasta and simmer ever so briefly till the pasta is warmed through; do not overcook.
  6. Remove cheese rind and bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Serve minestrone hot in dinner bowls with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan (optional.

Thank you to The Mediterranean Dish for this recipe.

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