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Minestrone Soup Recipe


This Minestrone Soup packs in the veggies and flavor but still feels approachable for kids. It has by far the best flavor of any minestrone soup out there with a rich tomato-pesto based veggie broth. Serve up tender carrots, celery, cabbage, peas, pasta, and more with this amazing minestrone.

minestrone soup in a colorful bowl with crusty bread on the side a ladle full of minestrone soup with the pot underneath

Why We Love Minestrone Soup

Hearty Italian flavors coming right up! You’ve probably had minestrone soup before… but not like this.

This kid-friendly minestrone is adapted from a new cookbook of mine (called ‘Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking’ by Mary McCartney) And it’s a little different from classic minestrone in a very good way.

This soup is packed with a bigger variety of veggies (like leeks, celery, peas, carrots, and cabbage) and they’re all cut small and cooked to be perfectly tender. So kids don’t have to navigate large chunks in their bowl. Our version of minestrone soup is vegetarian, but is so filling that you won’t even miss the meat!

And the flavors are fabulous! Fresh herbs and chewy pasta complement the bounty of veggies in a rich tomato-based broth. Your family will love this soup on a cool day.

Tips for Making Kid Friendly Minestrone

  • Chop your veggies small. The smaller the veggies, the quicker they get tender, and the easier it is for kids to eat them.
  • Choose a good-quality broth. A good broth ties this soup together, so choose a tried-and-true brand. The recipe calls for veggie broth, but you can substitute chicken broth if you like (and even homemade stock.)
  • Pick a fun pasta shape. If your kids have a favorite, go with that! Short and chunky shapes like macaroni, small shells, or radiatori work great.
  • Undercook your pasta slightly. Pasta continues to cook in soups even after you remove the soup from heat, so it’s OK to leave your pasta a little firm. It will continue to cook as long as the soup is hot.
  • Let kids sprinkle their own cheese. I speak from experience: sometimes letting your kids be the boss of the Parmesan is the key to getting them to eat!
  • Serve with a bread your kids love. When kids are learning to like veggie soups, they might start by dipping bread in the broth. Encourage this early step!

Can I Use Other Vegetables in Minestrone?

Yes! There are so many veggies that would be great in this soup. Here are some veggie suggestions:

  • zucchini
  • kale
  • green beans
  • you could add cannellini beans or red kidney beans

What to Serve with Minestrone Soup

  1. Crusty Bread: A slice of crusty bread or a baguette is a classic choice. You can also serve it with garlic bread for extra flavor.
  2. Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A warm, gooey grilled cheese sandwich is a comforting pairing with minestrone soup.
  3. Salad: A fresh side salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a balsamic vinaigrette can provide a contrast in texture and flavor.
  4. Focaccia: Focaccia bread with olive oil, herbs, and perhaps some olives is a great choice to accompany minestrone soup.
  5. Cheese and Herb Biscuits: Homemade or store-bought biscuits with added cheese and herbs can be a delightful complement.
  6. Rice: You can serve minestrone over a bed of cooked rice or mix the rice directly into the soup instead of pasta for a heartier meal.
  7. Quinoa: Like rice, cooked quinoa can be a healthy and protein-rich option to serve with your soup.
  8. Grated Parmesan Cheese: Offer a bowl of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over the soup to enhance its flavor.
  9. Herb-Infused Olive Oil: Provide a small dish of olive oil infused with herbs and a pinch of red pepper flakes for dipping your bread.
  10. Fruit: Fresh fruit like apple slices or a fruit salad can be a refreshing side.

Can Minestrone Soup Be Frozen?

This soup tastes even better the second day! Reheat it on the stove-top on low or you can heat individual bowls in the microwave. Minestrone soup can stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you want to save leftovers for a far-future date, cool the soup completely and then pour it carefully into a gallon-sized zip-top bag. It will freeze and stay delicious for up to 3 months. This soup defrosts and warms back up beautifully for a hearty and healthy repeat meal.

More of Our Favorite Soup Recipes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe
3.6 from 194 votes

Minestrone Soup

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 129kcal


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 medium leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped optional
  • 2 stalks celery trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock can you chicken stock
  • 1 cup green cabbage grated or finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano chopped
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons pesto more for a stronger flavor
  • 1/4 cup green peas or peeled fava beans
  • 1/2 cup pasta shape of choice
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • grated parmesan for serving


  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, then add the chopped onion, leek, celery and carrots, stirring well, and cook for a couple of minutes to allow the flavors of the vegetables to release.
  • Stir in the chopped tomatoes, and the garlic.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, checking and stirring often.  Pour in the vegetable stock, then add the cabbage, herbs, and the bay leaf, and mix in the tomato paste.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the frozen peas, or fava beans and pasta and continue to simmer gently for a further 15 minutes.  Add more stock if it is too thick. Taste, and season with sea salt (only if it needs it, as the stock may be salty enough) and ground black pepper.  Ladle generously into soup bowls and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top.


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 775mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4027IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword : Minestrone Soup


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie
3.60 from 194 votes (194 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


My little ones love my homemade crockpot vegetarian minestrone soup and I should add I made it for our daycare when her kitchen was being remodeled because of a flood and her daughter said “yours is better than my moms.” Mind you her mom used my recipe.

I love making veggie noodle soup, potato soup, or white bean chili! My girls love the veggie noodle 🙂

My favorite soup is stuffed pepper stew. I recently learned to make it and its amazing!! My daughter loves rice and she gobbles it up!

Don’t know if this counts, but my 15 y.o. daughter makes a wonderful Cheesy Broccoli & Potato Chowder that is quite delicious especially during these persistent cooler temperatures. She puts celery, broccoli, carrots, onion, & potatoes in it and uses evap milk instead of heavy cream. The calories come from the colby jack and light cheddar cheeses. Since she & I like spicy foods, when it’s just the two of us, she adds a bit of tobasco.

The above recipe sounds yummy and I like how quickly it comes together. That’s a real plus. My five kiddos all like my veggie and lentil/ABC pasta soup.

Can’t wait to try this minestrone soup! My favorite to make for my kids is tomato bisque; mostly because they willing eat it!

Can’t wait to make this for my daycare kiddos! They love soup, in fact, I made homemade chicken noodle today. They love to have add in options (oyster crackers, goldfish, grilled cheese to dip, etc) 🙂

I love making soup because it is a great way to get lots of veggies and it’s pretty hard to mess it up. I frequently make vegetarian soups, but my kids’ favorite is probably homemade chicken noodle.

We are vegetarians, so this book would be awesome for us!

Baked potato soup is always a big hit, but split pea also goes over very well!

Our favorite is veggie and pasta soup. I love to use novelty shape pasta (like supercool peace sign pasta!) or use mini cookie cutters to cut the veggies into shapes. 🙂

My kids love soup. Split pea, Corn Chowder and potato are the favorites. I am going to try this Minestrone it looks very kid friendly!

Lentil soup wiith spinach is one of our favorites. We are vegetarians so I’m always on the lookout for healthy delicious recipes.

My kids are always curious about my roasted red pepper and tomato soup, but I haven’t had any takers yet. I think I might be able to our them in with this recipe. Thanks!

Superb recipe for veggie kids who are soup lovers, they can enjoy the awsome taste of minestrone soup in winter season.Hope all kids love it.

Superb recipe for veggie kids who are soup lovers, they can enjoy the awsome taste of minestrone soup in winter season.Hope all kids love it.

Superb recipe for veggie kids who are soup lovers, they can enjoy the awsome taste of minestrone soup in winter season.Hope all kids love it.

Superb recipe for veggie kids who are soup lovers, they can enjoy the awsome taste of minestrone soup in winter season.Hope all kids love it.

Thanks! After I sent the e-mail I figured it was about that. So, we made the soup and it was great! It is nice to have a yummy meat free option.

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that recipe looks amazing! I’ll try it this week for sure! Tonight we are having a family fave, carrot, sweet potato, a little pumpkin, onion and garlic all blended up, served in baked bread roll. I’m a vegetarian but serve meat to the family, am always looking for more vego options to serve the family!

My dayghter loves fresh tomato soup with lentils and pasta pieces or broccoli/celery soup esp on a rainy day with crusty toast and butter

Love the recipe can’t wait to try it I usually make pumpkin soup for all of my 8 children and even tho some have left home if they no I’m making it there here to have some .

Hi there, I’m currently cooking up this soup and it’s looking pretty good 🙂 However, I did forget to buy shredded cabbage (I must of missed it on the list) Is there something I can substitute or should I just leave it out? Thank you.