Simple Minestrone Soup

minestrone soup in a white bowl
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 2 generous portions
Calories: 241
I Want Something….One and Done

Perfect for dishes that are best enjoyed in one meal!

A Tuscan soup boasting tomato, fresh veggies and white beans. Building flavors is necessary with soups, especially those vegetarian, so ingredients like herbs, garlic and cheese are essential. Leftover minestrone can be re-purposed as it often was in its peasant origins to stretch out one dish into another. Called a ribollita (re-boiled), the soup is re-heated and poured over day old rustic bread that has been toasted and cubed.

Ingredient Highlights

  • The amount of broccoli in this recipe can be adjusted. 2 cups of broccoli florets yield a very broccoli heavy soup. However, cutting back a bit will still let that broccoli shine. To preserve more color and texture, consider blanching first before adding to the soup.
  • A sharp cheddar is going to be most effective and noticeable compared to its mild or medium counterpart. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with an anti-caking ingredient that prevents it from changing to a nice melt. Shredding or grating from a block cheese is best
  • The wine can be replaced with a bit of the broth to de-glaze after the veggie sauté but it may affect the taste a bit.

Equipment Needed

  • 3-quart Instant Pot was used in this recipe and offers many advantages as a pressure cooker for sealing in flavor without heating up the kitchen. The sauté button allows you to soften your veggies first before setting the pressure cooker.

Can I Make This Without Heavy Cream?

The creaminess of this familiar (and popular) chain restaurant soup is an easy achievement without relying on heavy cream or half and half. Whole milk was used to test this recipe which did not appear to affect either the taste or the familiar thick and creamy texture known for this soup. However, if this is just not rich and velvety enough for personal taste, try using half and half rather than whole milk. Adding more cheese will help achieve a thicker consistency versus increasing the roux (butter and flour) which was not necessary. Conversely, if this soup is too thick, thin it out by adding a bit more chicken broth.

Before You Make This Dish

Having made this soup a few times, it may be helpful to have all ingredients prepped before putting all together since there is a lot of stirring. As tempting as it may be to crank the heat, it is important to keep the temperature on low so that the milk fat is not broken down. Soup should remain at a simmer until ready to to be enjoyed. The same holds true for rewarming any leftover, which should be heated slowly and not brought to a boil.

Minestrone Soup
minestrone soup in a white bowl

Simple Minestrone Soup

Adapted recipe from terrific food blogger Damn Delicious. This dish is presented stove top (preferred method) as well as Instant Pot which was the inspiration for this recipe. Made this Italian bean soup? This minestrone is elevated with leftover northern white beans and its soupy goodness.
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Diet
low cal icon
vegetarian icon
Allergen
Gluten free icon
Servings2 generous portions
Yieldabout 5 cups
Calories241
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ medium yellow onion, diced or about 1/2 cup
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced into rounds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb blend
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup water, or vegetable broth
  • 1 very small zucchini, quartered then sliced
  • ¾ cup fire-roasted diced canned tomatoes in juices, about half of a 14.5-ounce can
  • 1 chunk parmesan rind
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¾ cup cooked Great Northern white beans, rinsed and drained if canned or home prepared including liquid soup base
  • grated parmesan cheese, to garnish and added to liking

Instructions
 

Stove top Instructions
  • Add olive oil to a small soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add onion, celery and carrot. Cook several minutes or until onion is translucent.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 medium yellow onion
    1 stalk celery
    1 carrot
  • Stir in garlic, herb blend and salt. Cook 1 minute then add tomato juice and water, scraping up any bits on the bottom of pot.
    2 cloves garlic
    2 cups tomato juice
    1 tablespoon Italian herb blend
    1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
    1 cup water
  • Add zucchini, tomatoes, parmesan rind and bay leaf. Cover and simmer 25 minutes.
    1 very small zucchini
    3/4 cup fire-roasted diced canned tomatoes in juices
    1 chunk parmesan rind
    1 bay leaf
  • Stir in spinach, parsley and beans. Continue to simmer an additional 5 minutes until spinach has wilted and beans have warmed up. Serve with a generous spoonful of grated parmesan cheese.
    2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
    1 tablespoon fresh parsley
    3/4 cup cooked Great Northern white beans
    grated parmesan cheese
Instant Pot Instructions
  • Add olive oil to a 3 quart (or larger) Instant Pot and select normal sauté. Once hot, add onion, celery and carrot. Cook several minutes or until onion is translucent.
  • Stir in garlic, herb blend and salt. Cook 1 minute then add tomato juice and water, scraping up any bits on the bottom of pot to avoid a BURN error.
  • Add zucchini, diced tomatoes, parmesan rind and bay leaf. Secure lid and set pot to manual pressure cook for 5 minutes.
  • Once done, release the pressure (quick release) and stir in spinach, parsley and beans. Place cover back on leave for about 5 minutes until spinach has wilted and beans have warmed up. Serve with a generous spoonful of grated parmesan cheese.

MY NOTES

NUTRITION

Serving: 1g | Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 1404mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 9392IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 198mg | Iron: 5mg
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