Easy Minestrone Soup


Preparation info

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This recipe is hearty and flavorsome in the tradition of the Italian classic, the name of which means “big soup”—it’s also quick and easy to make. You don’t have to be strict about the ingredients you use—it really is a case of whatever vegetables you find in the refrigerator and whatever shape pasta you happen to have. Any leftovers can be reheated the next day with an extra splash of water if the soup is too thick (and a sneaky splash of dry sherry added when serving for the adults if it’s been a tough day!).

Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 to 4 smoked bacon slices, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 3 vegetables from your refrigerator, about cups chopped in total, such as a carrot, a small red bell pepper, a handful green beans, a small leek and a zucchini
  • 3 cups hot vegetable stock
  • 3 cups canned crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
  • ounces dry linguine or spaghetti, broken into small pieces, or small pasta shapes
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and bacon, if using, and cook 5 minutes, or until the onion is becoming soft. Stir in the garlic, celery and the chopped vegetables and cook about 5 minutes longer.
  2. Add the stock, tomatoes and pasta and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and slowly boil 10 minutes, or until the vegetables and pasta are tender. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with a spoonful of pesto, if you like, and serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

To Serve

  • bottled green pesto (optional)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese