Minestrone is a traditional Italian vegetable soup. It is a really variable meal, you can add basically any type of vegetable to your minestrone.

This time I chose a light but nourishing minestrone soup made with twelve different vegetables.

How To Serve Minestrone

In Italy minestrone is a so-called “primo piatto”, a starter. They eat minestrone or pasta before
the main dish.

Serve it as a soup, or you can even serve it with a slice of fresh baked white
bread as a one-pot meal on a hot summer day.

Notes for vegetarians and vegans: without using bacon and Parmesan cheese, minestrone makes a
delicious vegan soup!

Variations For Minestrone

Minestrone has countless variations. Each vegetable is optional, you can make literally hundreds of different minestrone recipes just by changing what type of veggies you add. A great option is to use seasonal vegetables.

There is no one authentic recipe for minestrone, since it is usually made with whatever veggies are in season. But what we can say as a rule that in Italy minestrone is made with at least 10 different vegetables.

The main ingredient can be tomato, it can also be made with pasta or even with rice. In Liguria, the province of Genoa, minestrone is usually enriched with pesto. You can even jazz up your minestrone with some
grated Parmesan cheese, to get a characteristic taste.

The Trick Of Adding Parmesan Rind

Italians add the rind of Parmesan cheese to a lot of their food. Such is the case with minestrone.

It you have leftover Parmesan rinds, don’t throw them away. They keep in the fridge for months, and simply throw them into you minestrone next time to kick it up a notch!

Permesan rind

Try minestrone for yourself, experiment with different ingredients and create your own favorite!


Balazs Szilagyi
A delicious Italian vegetable soup
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings


  • pound cauliflower 150 g
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ pound pinto beans 200 g. Or use any dry beans
  • ½ pound green peas 200 g
  • ¾ pound tomatoes 300 g
  • pound leek 150 g
  • 2 stalks celery
  • ½ pound pumpkin 200
  • 2 zucchinis medium size
  • 40 g bacon sliced, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4-5 basil leaves
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp parsley chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Parmesan rind optional


  • Soak dry beans the night before and pre-cook them before adding them to your minestrone. If you use canned beans, you can skip this step.
  • Cut potatoes, cauliflower, pumpkin and zucchini into ½ inch cubes, slice the leek in half lengthwise than slice them into thin rings, cut tomatoes into small pieces. Chop carrots, celery, and garlic in a food processor or grate them.
  • Sauté your carrot-celery-garlic puree in a pot with the oil over medium heat. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add bacon and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add all the chopped vegetables, green peas and beans.
  • Pour just enough water to cover it, add Parmesan rind (optional) and salt to taste. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 50 minutes until every vegetable gets soft.
  • Add chopped parsley and basil before serving, and just a small amount of extra virgin olive oil.
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