30-minute Italian Minestrone Soup for those nights you’re short on time but don’t want to skimp on a hearty, filling meal! This healthy soup is packed with veggies, beans, Italian herbs and spices, tomatoes, and even Italian sausage if you’re feeling particularly spicy.
While winter lingers and lingers (okay I know it’s still officially winter, but a girl can dream, can’t she?) I sit by the window and watch the snow fall and think about nothing but all the warm, filling meals I need to make. Top of my list? Soup. Top of that list? This Italian Minestrone of course. I think this soup is one of the most versatile of veggie soups because you can easily add meat or skip it, whether you’re feeling like a meatless meal or you want to spice the flavor up a bit with some cooked Italian sausage, prepared meatballs, or browned ground meat.
The other great thing about classic minestrone soup is that you can also add or subtract whatever veggies your little heart desires. Beans, too, for that matter. Basically the key to this soup is the broth mixed with tomatoes and Italian spices. Well, plus the little pasta shapes and parmesan, of course. But the rest can come and go! I’ve made several varieties of this soup myself over the years, and through all that trial and error, this is the one version of the best Italian Minestrone Soup that I’ve landed on. It satisfies everyone in my family, immediate and extended, and also works for the vegetarians and meat-eaters among us as well.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN ITALIAN MINESTRONE SOUP?
Yes, there are lots of ingredients but don’t be put off by this list. They are all easy to find in any grocery store!
- Ditalini noodles
- White or yellow onion
- Green beans
- Minced garlic
- Italian dried herb seasoning
- Dark red kidney beans
- Light red kidney beans
- Fire roasted tomatoes
- Tomato sauce
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper
- Baby spinach (optional)
- Ground Italian sausage (optional)
- Fresh basil, parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper (optional)
HOW DO YOU MAKE MINESTRONE SOUP WITH SAUSAGE?
Ready for the best bowl of steaming, classic minestrone soup? Me too! Let’s get cookin’!
First thing you need to do is cook the pasta. You cook it separately, according to package directions, then drain it and set it aside. You won’t add it to the soup until the end so it doesn’t get too soggy.
Next, brown the Italian sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s fully cooked, set that aside as well. Keep it warm by covering it in a bowl or plate.
In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the celery, onions, green beans, and butter. Cook those for about 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and Italian herb mixture at this point, sauteeing for another minute. To the veggie mixture, add the beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth, salt, and pepper.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Stir in the noodles, sausage, and spinach (if using) at this point. Salt and pepper again to taste.
Ladle into ample bowls and garnish with fresh basil, parmesan cheese and fresh, cracked black pepper if you like.
WHERE DID MINESTRONE SOUP ORIGINATE?
“Minestrone” basically means “soup” in Italian. That translation has morphed to include all manner of veggies, small pasta shapes, and beans. The recipe for minestrone isn’t set in stone and even varies across Italy as well. It can be thick and hardy like this version, or thinner and more brothy if you prefer to leave some of the veggies and beans out or just use less of them.
It can have meat or be a vegetarian dish. Really, this soup can be made however you prefer. Ingredients you’re likely to find in most recipes include: carrots, celery, diced tomatoes, broth, and pasta (or rice).
WHAT MEAT GOES GOOD WITH MINESTRONE SOUP?
I like to make my old fashioned minestrone soup with ground Italian sausage. Other protein options include:
- Ground chicken, turkey, or beef. Remember to cook the meat all the way through and set aside before adding back to soup at the end.
- If you don’t want to use the traditional ground pork/beef mixture of Italian sausage, you could also use turkey or chicken Italian sausage.
- Make a bunch of very small meatballs (use my recipe for meatballs here), cook them through, and add them to the soup at the end.
- Cooked shredded chicken (or buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it) would be great in this minestrone soup too
- Or serve it with no meat at all. There are plenty of vegetables, beans, and pasta in this recipe to make a delicious, filling meal on its own.
Italian Minestrone Soup
- 2 cups dry ditalini noodles
- 3 stalks celery - chopped
- 3 whole carrots - chopped
- 1 white or yellow onion - diced
- 8 ounces green beans - chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons Italian dried herb seasoning - see notes for DIY
- 1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can light red kidney beans - drained and rinsed
- 2 15-ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 30 ounces tomato sauce
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth - I used low sodium
- 2 teaspoon salt - or to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves - optional
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage - optional
- fresh basil, parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper for topping - optional
- Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.
- If including sausage, brown sausage in a large skillet over medium heat. Once fully cooked, transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm while you prepare the soup.
- In a large stock pot combine celery, carrots, onions, green beans and butter. Saute over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir in garlic for 1 minute til fragrant.
- Stir in beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in noodles (if using sausage and/or spinach, stir in now with noodles). Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with basil and parmesan if desired just before serving.