Easy Minestrone Soup


I’ve just spent the better part of the evening driving back in heavy rain.  I spent the day visiting with my family, one long overdue.  I always find it funny that my parents shoo me home as soon as it gets dark.

“Either you stay the night or you go now”, they’ll say.

After 40 years of being my parents, they still worry about me driving at night, especially in bad weather.  In their minds I guess I’ll always be their kid and they’ll never stop being concerned for my safety.

I’m safe at home now and happy for the long drive to be behind me.  Three accidents I drove by today–thankfully, no one appeared seriously hurt.  Maybe my parents did have a point in wanting me to delay my drive home until the morning.



Somewhere between the Bay Bridge and home hunger pangs struck.  Now, an hour later, I’m enjoying a big bowl of this minestrone soup.  It’s loaded with vegetables and made hearty by the pasta and beans.  So comforting! Was I glad to have these leftovers from last night’s dinner.  And the best part?  This easy minestrone soup took very little time to cook on the stove–it’s a shortcut version from an early 70s New York Times cookbook on bread and soup I found at my local used bookshop.  I used canned beans instead of soaking dried beans overnight and I used store-bought vegetable stock.  All the ingredients were already in my pantry and refrigerator.  As Ina would say, “How easy is that?”  Easy indeed…and worth the long drive home.



5.0 from 7 reviews
Easy Minestrone Soup
With pantry/refrigerator staples, this hearty, healthy soup comes together in no time.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • ⅓ large cabbage, chopped
  • 1 15-oz can navy beans
  • 1 15-0z can kidney beans
  • 6-8 cups vegetable stock (I usually end up adding the last two cups because the pasta absorbs the stock after a while)
  • 1 cup pasta (I used cavatelli; don't be tempted to add more than this)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • no-salt seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Chopped Parsley for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan for garnish
  1. In a large pot, sauté the celery, onion and carrot in olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the dried thyme and dried sage. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables are slightly caramelized.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, beans and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
  3. Add the pasta, zucchini and cabbage about 7 minutes before you turn off the heat. This will be just enough time for the pasta to cook and the cabbage and zucchini to become a bit tender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Ladle in bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.


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  1. Yes, you never quit being a parent – we are always concerned about Chloe driving home late or in inclement weather. It’s wonderful to return to the comfort of your own home and be able to whip up a warm and comforting soup like minestrone. Love the little glazed bowls, too 🙂

  2. My mom is the exact same way when it comes to night (and winter) driving, and she always insists that I call when I arrive at my destination…I guess parents never stop being parents. 🙂

    Nothing compares to hot soup on a rainy day, especially when it’s homemade! Love the warmth of these photos!!

  3. One of our favorite soups in the fall! Beautiful photos!

  4. A beautiful minestrone! So tasty looking.



  5. I had soup (Tuscan Vegetable) for dinner last night and decided that on a November evening, nothing is more comforting than a steaming bowl of soup. Your minestrone looks equally comforting and I love your bowls!

  6. Such a beautiful cool weather soup!

  7. Beautiful bowl of comforting healthy soup! I’m glad you’re home safe, i always worry about my kids when they drive, especially at night..I know it’s a parent thing;-)

  8. I love a good Minestrone Soup, especially when it’s cold and damp out.

  9. Wish you lived close by so I can drive by for a hot bowl of minestrone with you! Ahhh…Jean, I have a soft spot for delicious and fortifying soups like these! Love it! And your parents are so cute with the shoo-ing thing! Hehehe. You will always be their baby 🙂

  10. Gorgeous photos Jean, so beautiful and clear. Your soup sounds wonderful especially for the cold months ahead.

  11. Our parents always know best. 🙂 Such a comfort to have a minestrone during the cold rainy days. Glad you came back home safe and happy and a tummy filled up with this soup!

  12. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    I will be the same way with my kids and I’m like that with my mom when she visits me…I make her stay over if it’s too late;)Love this comforting soup. Perfect for these cool nights we are enjoying here lately;)

  13. I can’t tell if I like the soup more than the bowls or the bowls more than the styling. You blow my mind with your talent every time I visit.

  14. I think all parents are the same :), but luckily it means they love you! I’m a huge soup lover and your soup looks delicious! Beautiful photos!

  15. That looks fantastic! So hearty!

  16. That is so funny, my parents always make me stay the night 🙂 This is such a beautiful bowl of comforting goodness…and I just love those bowls!

  17. 🙂 Made me smile… my parents do the same.
    Those bowls of goodness look so cozy and warm…perfect for a dreary day.

  18. Your parents worry about you because they love you! Smile. Glad you made it home safely. This was certainly a nice treat to come home to and devour during the rain storm. Love your photos!!!

  19. That is super easy, and very comforting after a rainy and long drive. My parents are the same way, I think that once you are a parent you are always a parent, no matter what!

  20. I like your minestrone soup recipe.Will make it this weekend for the family
    Looks so yummy
    Thanks for sharing

  21. This recipe looks absolutely delicious great recipe for a cold day! I really love those little bowls they are awesome!!

  22. I love your twist on this soup. Always looking for a way to change recipes I have cooked for many years. Can’t wait to try your version. Your other soups also look so yummy, can’t wait to try them also.

    Thanks for sharing your creative ideas.


  23. That looks so comforting and satisfying! Glad Soup Weather is here!

  24. Love the warmth of these photos!! thanks!


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