One of the things I enjoy during cold weather is smelling a big pot of soup simmering on the stove… there’s just nothing like it! Today I’m sharing one of my favorite healthy soups: Easy Minestrone Soup.
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I was seriously BAD this weekend eating out (ohhhh but it was so good!). My weekend menu included pizza, steak with a huge loaded baked potato, cheesy quesadillas and french onion soup loaded with bread and cheese. Needless to say, it was definitely time to load up on some healthy veggies.
This soup is full of tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, green beans, kidney beans and zucchini. The most difficult task of this recipe is slicing and dicing the vegetables… easy peasy!
The pasta is added towards the end of cooking… there’s just no way I could skip the pasta. I used elbow macaroni but any small shell pasta will do. This soup filled up my 6-quart dutch oven about 2/3 full so it feeds a crowd (8 servings). The great thing about this minestrone soup is that any leftovers freeze well, too!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about ½ large onion)
- 1 cup sliced celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1 cup peeled and sliced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 small zucchini, chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can green beans, drained
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup small shell pasta (I used elbow macaroni)
- Shredded parmesan cheese, for topping
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute onions, celery and carrots until tender, stirring constantly (about 6 minutes). Add garlic and cook an additional minute, continuing to stir.
- Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, zucchini, kidney beans, green beans, oregano, basil, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add macaroni and cook (uncovered) for 7-8 minutes, or until macaroni and vegetables are tender, stirring often to prevent macaroni from sticking to bottom of pot. Discard bay leaves before serving.
- Top with desired amount of shredded parmesan cheese.