Minestrone Soup is a classic Italian pasta soup. My easy-to-follow tips take this vegetarian pasta soup up a notch and get it ready in under 30 minutes. Be sure to watch the video!
There is something utterly comforting about the minestrone. When it is made right, you’ll go back for seconds and thirds, slurp big bowls of it for dinner, and happily have it for lunch the next day.
This classic pasta soup recipe will work with almost any combination of pasta, vegetables, beans, or meat.
I like to keep mine vegetarian by adding lots of seasonal vegetables and, of course, my favourite cute little elbow pasta or macaroni. Hence sharing a vegetarian, one-pot minestrone recipe.
Reasons To LOVE Minestrone Soup
- It freezes and defrosts well.
- It takes only 30 minutes to get ready
- It is wholesome, fulfilling and nutritious.
- It is so easy to customize and adapt as per the local produce.
- It can be done in a stovetop, pressure cooker, or an instant pot.
- Skip the grated cheese on top, and you end up with a vegan soup.
Pasta: Tiny shape pasta like macaroni, elbow, or shells are the best in a soup.
Red Beans: You can use canned or pre-cooked beans for this pasta soup recipe. I use uncooked beans and cook them from scratch in the stock for making minestrone.
Vegetables: Feel free to add your favourite vegetables like carrot, spinach, snow peas, fresh peas, kale, spinach, basil, and so on to create a hearty bowl of minestrone.
Tomato Pasta Sauce, pizza sauce, or tomato paste works miraculously in this soup recipe. So I highly recommend adding them to build layers of flavour in the soup.
Stock: If you do not have vegetable stock, use 1 bouillon cube or stock cube dissolved in 1 litre of hot water.
Other Ingredients: Olive Oil, Garlic, Onion, Bay Leaf, Celery, Salt, Pepper, Thyme, Oregano, Italian Basil, Parsley, and Parmesan Cheese
Instant Pot Method
- Set the SAUTE mode for 8 minutes. Start with sauteing bay leaf, garlic, celery, onion, beans, and vegetables. Add stock or water.
- PRESSURE COOK Soup for 20 minutes (if you use uncooked beans).
- Add elbow pasta, herbs, and PRESSURE COOK for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the fresh herbs or the green leafy vegetables. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve Instant Pot Pasta Soup warm with toasted garlic bread.
Watch Pasta Soup Video
My Tried & True Tips
Use vegetable or chicken stock as the base for this soup. Substitute stock with 1 bouillon cube or stock cube dissolved in water or boiled pasta water. The soup made with plain water lacks the depth of flavour.
The second magical tip is to use tomato pasta sauce to flavour the soup. Don’t bother about the tomato puree or any other fancy sauce; add the best pasta/pizza sauce on hand to the soup. Trust me; you will end up with the finger-licking good minestrone.
You can make this pasta soup with both canned beans and uncooked beans. If you are using uncooked beans like me, soak them in water for 6 hours, and cook them in the soup for 20 – 35 minutes before adding pasta.
Do not cook the pasta too long. 5 – 6 minutes in an instant pot is a good enough time.
FAQs Related To Minestrone Soup
Tiny shape pasta like macaroni, elbow, or shells are the best in a soup and compliments small diced vegetables. You can also use spaghetti or angel hair pasta if you enjoy slurping noodles in soup.
Pasta, when overcooked, always turns mushy. Always stir the pasta at the end and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Since pasta absorbs a lot of liquid, it is always best to serve soup hot and fresh without letting it rest for too long after adding pasta.
Minestrone is a one-pot soup. No need to cook the pasta separately. All the ingredients are cooked together, including beans, vegetables, and pasta.
Yea, you can use canned or pre-cooked beans. In that case, you can cook beans, vegetables, and pasta together for 5 minutes.
You can easily make a minestrone on a stovetop. Use a heavy-duty casserole, a dutch oven, or a pressure cooker. However, the cooking time may vary on a stovetop.
More Pasta Recipes
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Minestrone Soup Recipe
- Instant Pot
- 1 Cup elbow pasta
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped celery stalk
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ Cup chopped onion
- ½ Cup chopped zucchini
- ½ Cup chopped carrot
- ¼ Cup cherry tomato cut into halves
- ¼ Cup tomato pasta/pizza sauce (get recipe)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)
- ½ Cup red kidney beans (rajma) (see NOTE 1)
- 6 Cup vegetable stock (Get Recipe)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, sage etc)
- ¼ Cup fresh basil leaves roughly torn
- 2 tablespoon flat parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- Rinse the red beans until the water runs clear. Soak them in water for 5 to 6 hours.
- Set the SAUTE mode of an instant pot for 6 minutes. Add olive oil to the inner pot along with garlic, celery, bay leaf, and onion. Saute for a minute to release the aroma of the ingredients. No need to brown the onion or garlic.
- Next, add the red wine vinegar (optional), tomato paste or sauce, vegetables, and soaked beans. Saute for a minute.
- Add vegetable stock, salt, and stir to combine. Seal the lid of the instant pot. PRESSURE COOK for 20 minutes or till red beans is al dente. Skip this step if you are using canned or pre cooked beans.
- After 20 minutes, release the steam manually. Add pasta, thyme, oregano, pepper, and stir. Seal the lid of the instant pot. Once again, PRESSURE COOK the soup for 5 minutes.
- Release the steam manually so the pasta doesn't soak up all the liquid. Add fresh herbs, and grated cheese.
- Serve Minestrone Soup warm with the slices of toasted bread.
- Feel free to use red beans, white beans, cannellini beans, or other kinds of beans.
- You can use cherry tomato or 1 Cup of chopped tomato.
- Pasta tends to absorb liquid. Hence, after adding pasta, if required, add more stock to get the desired consistency of the soup. Also, do not cook the soup for too long. Serve it warm and fresh.
- This is a vegan soup if you skip adding cheese in the last. Or if we use gluten-free pasta, this soup turns into a gluten-free dish.
- Add salt cautiously according to the taste of your stock.
- Store the leftover pasta soup in the refrigerator for 1 week. While reheating, add more stock to get the desired consistency.