This hearty, spring minestrone soup recipe is a delicious celebration of spring vegetables. Asparagus, spinach, and leeks all shine in this minestrone soup. It's easily made vegan by removing the cheese garnish.
I've been making this soup quite a bit lately and even served it at a dinner party. It's a bit rustic for a fancy party but great for a dinner with friends. From experience, it pairs well with a Chianti Classico!
What is Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone soup is a thick, hearty Italian soup that usually has pasta or rice along with spring vegetables, beans, onions, tomatoes, and stock.
Minestrone soup recipes are very flexible and can be made with many types of vegetables, based on the seasonality and availability of ingredients.
There is no one official Italian minestrone soup recipe. It’s often vegetarian, although some recipes contain meat (especially pancetta and other pork products that can season the broth) and animal stocks.
Minestrone is an affordable soup to make as it is made with pantry ingredients and can be adapted to include the vegetables you have on hand. It also develops flavor over time - meaning it packs well for lunch the next day.
Here's what you'll need to make this one-pot springtime minestrone.
- Chunky Pasta (like cavatappi, rigatoni, penne, or ditalini pasta)
- Yellow Onion
- Fresh Leek
- Diced Tomatoes
- Cannellini Beans
- Baby Spinach
- Olive Oil
- Vegetable Stock
- Sea Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Optional - grated parmesan cheese, fresh herbs (chopped fresh dill, chopped fresh parsley, sliced green onions), a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
See the recipe card for quantities.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.
Add the diced onion and sliced leek to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally. Then add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes, beans, stock, and water and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
Add the pasta and asparagus and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Add the spinach and simmer for another 1 minute.
Remove pot from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with cheese, if desired.
More Recipes for Spring
Fresh spring veggies are the best. If you love a veggie-heavy spring recipe, I think you'll love these dishes:
- Shaved Fennel and Asparagus Salad
- Spring Farmer’s Market Omelette
- Brown Butter Radishes with Lemon
- Spring Farro Salad
Substitutions & Variations
Here are some optional changes to make to this recipe.
- Vegetables - you can swap the leek for a finely sliced fennel bulb and the asparagus for fresh peas.
- Onions - you can swap the yellow onion for a white onion
- White Beans - the Cannellini beans can be swapped for Navy Beans or Great Northern Beans
What to Serve with Minestrone
Here are a few delicious side dishes that pair well with a bowl of minestrone soup!
This soup keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container.
Tips for Making this Recipe
Cooking Tips - Depending on the type of pasta you use it may have a slightly different cooking time. If the pasta box instructions say to cook the pasta for less than 10 minutes, change the amount of simmer time for the pasta and asparagus (you don't want to overcook the pasta) - it should be cooked till al dente.
Diet/Allergy Alternatives - Leave the parmesan cheese off if you'd like this to be a plant-based recipe.
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chunky pasta (like cavatappi, rigatoni, penne, or small shells)
- 1 bunch asparagus, diced into ½ inch pieces
- 5 ounces spinach
- salt & pepper, to taste
- optional – ½ cup grated parmesan
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.
- Add the diced onion and sliced leek to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally. Then add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, stock, and water and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
- Add the pasta and asparagus and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Add the spinach and simmer for another 1 minute. Remove pot from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with cheese, if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 1442mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 8gSugar: 15gProtein: 14g