Flexible Minestrone Soup

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The theme for Food on Friday at Carole’s Chatter is pasta.

Minestrone soup is wonderful because it can be made your way. It is also a fast weekday meal.


If you prefer vegan, simply substitute water or vegetable broth for chicken broth and omit the chicken. This soup has enough complexity to be served either way.

Flexible Minestrone Soup


  • 1 Tablespoon of your favorite oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups trimmed and chopped green beans, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes (or peeled fresh tomatoes, diced)
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans
  • 1 cup elbow pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced (optional)
  • Chopped fresh basil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, dairy or non-dairy (optional)


1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic and carrots and cook until the carrots begin to soften, but not brown.

2. In the mean time, prepare the tomatoes. Add the diced tomatoes to a blender and puree until smooth. Note:  this is a texture issue. If you prefer chunky tomatoes, by all means leave half or all the tomatoes diced. You may need to add a bit more water or broth to the soup if you don’t puree the tomatoes.

3. Once the carrots have begun to soften, add the green beans, oregano, basil, tomato puree, and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer 4 minutes.

4. Stir in the cannellini beans and elbow pasta. Simmer as long as recommended on the pasta package, or about 10 minutes.

5. Quickly add the the diced chicken and heat to serving temperature. Top with chopped fresh basil.

Serving suggestion:  Most minestrone soup recipes call for grated Parmesan cheese. If you can tolerate dairy products or if you have a nice non-dairy Parmesan, then by all means add some. If not, you will not miss it.

Final note:  the elbow pasta swells and becomes soft when the soup is stored in the fridge. This soup really is best when freshly made.

 What do you add to your minestrone soup?


  1. Karen says:

    This is so easy to make! And I have all of the ingredients! Too bad there’s a fridge full of leftovers to eat. But maybe this will be the easy meal for Sunday. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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