How to Make Fabulous Homemade Minestrone From Scratch

Updated on April 27, 2018
DixieMockingbird profile image

Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over twenty years and has cooked on multiple television stations, including Food Network.

Fresh, homemade minestrone is rather simple—a delicious bowl of fresh vegetable soup. It's easier than it looks too—simmer the soup for just a few minutes and finish it with fresh herbs, and you'll have a true winner.
Fresh, homemade minestrone is rather simple—a delicious bowl of fresh vegetable soup. It's easier than it looks too—simmer the soup for just a few minutes and finish it with fresh herbs, and you'll have a true winner.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, diced fine
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced fine
  • 2 stalks celery, diced fine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup macaroni
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil, for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium stockpot. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Saute vegetables, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes, or until tender and fragrant.
  2. Stir in oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Stir in drained kidney beans, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add green beans and pasta. Simmer for just at ten minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  5. Stir in spinach and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with fresh basil.

Onions and Garlic for the Foundation

Diced onion and minced garlic are the first veggies for the pot. I like to dice finely, and mince or crush the garlic.
Diced onion and minced garlic are the first veggies for the pot. I like to dice finely, and mince or crush the garlic.

Saute the Vegetables in Olive Oil

Use just a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and saute the vegetables over medium heat for about ten minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and fragrant. Don't over cook them - you want some firmness so they don't end up mushy after simmering.
Use just a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and saute the vegetables over medium heat for about ten minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and fragrant. Don't over cook them - you want some firmness so they don't end up mushy after simmering.

Celery and Carrots Next

Again, cut the veggies somewhat small. Think of the perfect spoonful of soup - if you get a little of each ingredient in the same luscious mouthful, it's perfect. So the vegetables should be cut small to fit on the spoon.
Again, cut the veggies somewhat small. Think of the perfect spoonful of soup - if you get a little of each ingredient in the same luscious mouthful, it's perfect. So the vegetables should be cut small to fit on the spoon.

Seasonings are Clean and Simple

Dried oregano, thyme and basil, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper. Each one plays an important role in developing flavor.
Dried oregano, thyme and basil, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper. Each one plays an important role in developing flavor.

Red Kidney Beans

You can't have minestrone without beans, and in this case red kidney beans are perfect. You can cook them from dried, or use canned. If you use canned make sure you drain the liquid and rinse them well.
You can't have minestrone without beans, and in this case red kidney beans are perfect. You can cook them from dried, or use canned. If you use canned make sure you drain the liquid and rinse them well.

Tomatoes for the Broth

I use two types of tomatoes - both diced and crushed. I like the texture of the diced tomatoes, and the crushed tomatoes add their liquid to the broth for a fabulous soup.
I use two types of tomatoes - both diced and crushed. I like the texture of the diced tomatoes, and the crushed tomatoes add their liquid to the broth for a fabulous soup.

More Veggies - Green Beans

Add cut green beans right as you add the pasta. They'll cook in the broth, but not over cook, since the pasta takes only ten minutes. This leaves them crisp tender and perfect in the finished soup.
Add cut green beans right as you add the pasta. They'll cook in the broth, but not over cook, since the pasta takes only ten minutes. This leaves them crisp tender and perfect in the finished soup.

Pick Your Pasta

You can use any type of small pasta you like - shells are nice, but I always have macaroni around, so that's what I use most of the time. Just pick your favorite!
You can use any type of small pasta you like - shells are nice, but I always have macaroni around, so that's what I use most of the time. Just pick your favorite!

Simmer for Ten Minutes

Simmer for just at ten minutes - this leaves the pasta perfectly cooked, and the green beans as well. The broth will be perfect - rich and flavorful and loaded with great fresh flavor.
Simmer for just at ten minutes - this leaves the pasta perfectly cooked, and the green beans as well. The broth will be perfect - rich and flavorful and loaded with great fresh flavor.

Almost Ready - Time for the Finishing Touches

Stir in fresh spinach. By the time the spinach has wilted, it's perfect. It will retain it's fresh taste and texture in only minutes.
Stir in fresh spinach. By the time the spinach has wilted, it's perfect. It will retain it's fresh taste and texture in only minutes.

A little Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup of Parmesan is all it takes to really boost the flavor - it's rich, hearty and gorgeous.
1/2 cup of Parmesan is all it takes to really boost the flavor - it's rich, hearty and gorgeous.

Garnish with Fresh Basil and Serve

Sprinkle fresh basil over the top of the finished minestrone and serve. Perfect!
Sprinkle fresh basil over the top of the finished minestrone and serve. Perfect!

Check out the Quick Tutorial - How to Make Homemade Minestrone from Scratch

How to Make Your Own Chicken Broth

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Jan Charles

    Comments

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      • purl3agony profile image

        Donna Herron 

        2 months ago from USA

        Great recipe with wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing an easy to follow recipe for one of my favorite soups! Definitely making this for Friday night dinner.

      • DixieMockingbird profile imageAUTHOR

        Jan Charles 

        2 months ago from East Tennessee

        You're welcome y'all - we love this stuff!

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        2 months ago from Germany

        Yummy! I love Minestrone. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        2 months ago from Houston, Texas

        This sounds delicious. I really like making homemade soups. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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