Appetizers Soups

Minestrone Soup

When I was a kid, our extended family used to love meeting up for big dinners regularly at our neighborhood Italian restaurant, DeFazio’s. Everyone would order these huge steaming plates of delicious pastas, salads, sides and more. And Yours Truly would order…”plain spaghetti”. Oh yes. I was the token picky eater in the family. And no thank you, I did not want to “just try it”. 😉

Luckily, though, everyone at DeFazio’s always received a steaming bowl of minestrone soup as an appetizer. And over the years, I began to grow more and more fond of this yummy pasta soup, even though I would have had a small heart attack at age 10 if anyone had told me that there was zucchini snuck in there!

Years later, I still adore a good bowl of classic minestrone soup. And as a veggie-lover, I often use this soup as a delicious and easy way to use up various extra or leftover veggies that I may have on hand. And even better, while this is simple to make on the stove, you can also easily throw everything in a slow cooker and come home to a wonderful dinner all ready to go. So comforting, and always delicious.

I may or may not even make a bowl of “plain spaghetti” to go with it sometimes. 😉

Yield: 6-8 servings

Minestrone Soup

A fresh and easy recipe for classic minestrone soup.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small yellow squash, diced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
  • 5-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 (15 oz) cans beans, rinsed and drained (I used 1 can each of black beans and Great Northern)
  • 3 cups chopped fresh baby spinach or kale
  • 1/2 cup dried pasta
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly-grated Parmesan for serving


Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, celery and garlic and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender. Add the red wine and stir to deglaze the pan, using a spoon to scrape up any brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes to reduce slightly.

Then add the chicken or vegetable stock, oregano, thyme, black pepper, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, tomatoes, and beans. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for at least 15-20 minutes.

10 minutes before serving, stir in the spinach (or kale) and pasta noodles. Stir occasionally until al dente. Remove the bay leaves and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve hot garnished generously with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

About the author


Hi There, I am Mr. Hungry Man , Love to Eat , Travel and Blog about Technology . Professional IM Strategist .


  • This looks so delicious and I love how many veggies you managed to pack in there. It makes such a great meal in a bowl.

  • I love that this recipe uses up leftover veggies! It’s the perfect way to clean out the fridge, plus it’s healthy!

  • Your photos of the soup are beautiful. So often we think of winter food as lacking the same vibrant colors of spring or summer produce, but that’s clearly not the case for this recipe. I’ve added it to my must-make list of winter recipes. Thank you for sharing.

  • Just a note about this recipe:
    kale and pasta take a lot longer than 10 minutes at the end to cook.
    Put it in the soup when everything else goes in at that 20 minute mark.
    The last 10 minutes should be the beans which do not need cooking at all.
    Great soup overall.

  • The best minestone soup I’ve had! I made this soup last night. The only change I made was to double it as my husband and I eat a ton of soup! I also purchased low sodium or salt free products and as many fat free options as possible. It was incredible! My only complaint is with my husband… who forgot to put it in the refrigerator before he went to bed last night so it sat out over night!! I am making another batch this evening though. 🙂

  • I, too, have a similar experience with minestrone soup. It makes me smile everytime I think about it. Thanks for sharing! I cannot wait to try it!

  • I made this tonight and it was delicious! Thank you for sharing!

    Ali — May 5th, 2015 @ 11:18 am
    Thanks Jess, so glad you liked it!

  • What a small world! I pinned this Minestrone Soup receipe several months ago and now that the cool weather of fall is approaching, I opened this receipe to make for company coming over later this week. As I read the introduction, I was in complete and utter shock that you used to go to DeFazios, as I worked there as a waitress all thru my college years. I still go back every year for my birthday, as it is hands down the best Italian food in Wichita!! Even after working there for 4 years and eating there every night,  I still crave the food on a weekly basis!! I can’t wait to make this soup and share the story with our friends who will partake in the deliciousness! 

    Ali — November 4th, 2015 @ 4:28 pm
    Such a small world!!! My parents’ office is now just down the street from DeFazio’s, and we go there often. I bet our paths crossed many times without us even knowing it! 🙂

  • I grew up going to DeFazio’s too!!  Did you like the pickled beets in their salads?  My go-to was the cheese manicotti – yumm!!  And of course had to get an Andes mint at the front before we left.  Great place!
    Getting ready to try this recipe for the first time this week.  It looks delicious!

    Ali — November 4th, 2015 @ 5:05 pm
    Yes, yes, yes, and YES! Love it! 🙂

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