The Best Minestrone Soup

It’s officially soup weather! But we eat soup any time and every time here at FrenchGardenHouse. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite “go to” recipes  for The Best Minestrone Soup.  A classic Italian soup, made with basic pantry items, including canned tomatoes, pasta, basic seasonings and onions, and either ground beef or canned beans {sometimes both!}

This soup packs in the protein with ground beef, or can be vegetarian with canned canneli beans. It has a lot of vegetables simmered in a flavorful, Italian seasoned tomato broth. Use your favorite pasta  in this minestrone soup recipe. Traditionally made to use up leftover vegetables, so you can throw in any seasonal vegetables and greens you have on hand.

The Best Minestrone Soup


This minestrone soup recipe post is inspired by some sweet memories. When both my girls still lived at home, this was always a favorite soup of theirs. I have such fond memories of all of us eating this by the glow of a candle burning on the table in the fall, talking about our day together. These days, it still is a favorite, they ask for it often! I make it for when everyone comes over for dinner, my son-in-loves and little people seem to really love this soup too.

You can make a vegetarian version, and switch up the recipe each time to make it unique. When one of my son-in-laws was a vegan, I omitted the meat and used beans and little chunks of potato, and used vegetable stock. Sometimes I use ground beef, sometimes ground turkey, or other times I skip the meat altogether and use canned beans. {1-2 cans} However you make it, it’s going to be delicious and super easy.





It’s hearty, add a salad and bread and it’s a complete meal.

This minestrone is super easy to make.

Makes a lot, so enough to feed your crowd and it’s very affordable.

Will taste even better the next day, and is easy to put in a thermos to take to work for lunch.

Everyone will love it, trust me.

Freezes and defrosts well.

You can make all sorts of substitutions and it’s always so GOOD!


soup served in copper pan



{this is how it was written on a note I got from an elderly lady in our neighborhood over 25 years ago.}

Brown about 2 lbs. of good quality ground beef in a large soup pan. {I sometimes use less, or add some ground sausage instead of the full 2 lbs.}

Add 1 cup  each : chopped onions, chopped carrots, chopped celery, chopped zucchini. {or chop up whatever you have!}

Cook until the vegetables are soft.

Add 7 cups beef bouillon. {believe it or not I have used chicken stock if that’s all I had. still good!}

Add 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes. {I often add more}

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil.

COOK – but don’t boil {don’t ask, I have NO idea why!}

Add more liquid if needed. Taste, correct seasoning.

SERVE WITH BREAD, Garlic breadsticks, sprinkle with grated parmesan.


You can let this simmer for a while on low.  You can add red wine.

You can add fresh spinach, or frozen. I buy bags of organic spinach leaves and put them in the freezer. Then when I make this soup, I hit the bag a few times with my hand on the counter to crumble the frozen leaves and just add the whole bag straight from the freezer.

If you want to add pasta, any shape works. Use what you have, elbow shapes, little bow ties, or curly noodles.  I use what ever I might have left over, breaking up bigger shapes a little. Here at home I cook the pasta separately because I’m gluten- sensitive. so I don’t eat pasta. {I know! Not that big of a fan of gluten-free pasta.}

You can freeze this soup, but I suggest you make your freezer portion without the pasta, since that tends to get mushy when defrosted. Just cook the pasta when you defrost and want to eat the soup again.

HOW TO Make Minestrone in your slow cooker.


{how I usually make it, I’m a put-it-in-and-eat-dinner-later type!}

Cook the crumbled ground beef and onions on the stove, add the vegetables except the spinach and saute until the beef is cooked.  Put this together with all the other ingredients except the pasta and spinach in your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or 6-8 hours on low. {I’ll be honest, I just turn my slow cooker on high and forget about it! until dinner time!}

Once the soup is done cooking, add your pasta and spinach, cover again and cook on high for 20 minutes to be sure the pasta is al dente.

Bon Appetit!

shop copper



I know you’re going to love this minestrone soup recipe. Please let me know if you make it by leaving a comment below. 




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8 thoughts on “The Best Minestrone Soup”

  1. Mary Anna Bailer

    Sounds delicious! For the cannellini beans, about one cup?

    1. Mary Ann, I’m so not a precise cook. If I omit meat, I’d add probably 2 cans of beans to this. Sometimes even another kind of bean for a total of 3 cans. Sorry…I’m a “make it up as you go kind of cook” which means I’m not a fabulous baker unless I follow a recipe to a “t”

  2. Pamela G

    About how much does this make? I know there is no exact measurement, I’m just looking for a ballpark figure.

  3. Stephanie Cooley

    Regarding mushy pasta – I have found a way to freeze it and it comes out very well, not mushy at all. Fill a quart size zip lock bag with your pasta, add some water (I never measure, but enough to dampen the contents). Close the zip lock must of the way shut, lay the bag flat and stretch out the pasta, push out any air, completely zip the bag, and lay flat in the freezer. Defrost in the fridge and add to whatever dish you like.

  4. Great tip!! Thanks for sharing – I’m going to try this!

  5. This sounds perfect! With rain on our way Monday, this will be the perfect thing to make. Thank you for the inspiration? Enjoy the rain!!

  6. Did not type a question mark….there is no doubt that I’m inspired?

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