A delicious spring minestrone soup, perfect for the springtime dinner table.
One of the best things about minestrone is how versatile it is. There are so many different ingredients and combinations you can use to create a truly great pot of minestrone. And with spring upon us, I thought it would be wonderful to use in-season ingredients to create this delicious pot of spring minestrone soup.
What Is Minestrone Soup?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines minestrone as:
a rich thick vegetable soup usually with dried beans and pasta (such as macaroni or vermicelli)Merriam-Webster Dictionary
That being said, the combinations are endless. And this spring minestrone is no exception.
Variations Of This Soup
There are so many different ingredients you can add to this soup. Here are some suggestions:
- Pasta – For the best texture, opt for small pasta, like macaroni or shells. If you want larger pasta, penne or rotini are good choices.
- Beans – Any white bean will go well here. Cannellini beans would be particularly well suited for this soup. If you prefer some color in your beans, try canned kidney beans.
- Rice – A short grain brown rice would work well here. Cook it separately and store any leftovers separately so the rice doesn’t soak up all your liquid.
- Quinoa – As with rice, cook this separately and store it separately for the best results. Add only as much as you want at serving.
- Chard – The stalks should be added in with the carrots and leeks, and should be sliced thin. The leaves can be chopped or torn, then added in the last minute or two of cooking so that they are just wilted when the soup is done. This will preserve their nutrition and texture.
- Kale – Remove the stems, chop or tear the leaves and add them to the soup in the last few minutes of cooking so they are just barely wilted when the soup is done.
What You’ll Need For This Recipe
1 ½ lb. fingerling potatoes – If you can’t find fingerling potatoes, simply chop up whatever potatoes you can get into small pieces. Almost any regular potato will work here.
1 lb. asparagus – Clean them, trim them and the cut them into approximately 1 inch pieces.
1 cup carrots – I used baby carrots, but regular carrots will work too. Carrots of different colors would be wonderful as well.
1 cup celery – Slice this thin for best results.
1 cup mushrooms – Slice thick or thin, depending on what your preference is. I like mine thin.
1 cup peas – I used frozen peas, but fresh will work as well.
1 cup leeks – This is approximately 1 leek. Remove and discard the dark green parts and use only the white and very light green parts.
6 cloves garlic – Mine were larger cloves from the outside of the bulbs. It’s hard to put too much garlic in this. So be generous.
1 tbsp. dried parsley – If you prefer to use fresh parsley, use a scant quarter cup.
2 tsp. dried thyme – If you prefer to use fresh, use 2-3 tbsp.
6 cups chicken broth – You can also use vegetable broth if you prefer to make this vegan/vegetarian. If using chicken broth, look for broth that has no added sugar/dextrose and opt for low sodium.
15 oz. can diced tomatoes – Look for tomatoes that have no sugar added. No added salt is a bonus. Use the plain variety. Not fire roasted.
2 tbsp. oil – You can use any type of oil you usually use for cooking. I used coconut oil.
15 oz. can cannellini beans – This optional, but part of what makes minestrone is the beans. Toss these in at the very end in the last 1 to 2 minutes of cooking.
Pasta – Whatever type you prefer, cook it separately to package directions and store it separately as well so it doesn’t soak up all the liquid in your soup while it sits in the fridge.
How To Make Spring Minestrone Soup
Warm the oil in a large soup or stock pot.
Add the chopped leeks, carrots and celery to the pot and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and spices and continue to cook and stir for an additional minute.
Add the mushrooms and asparagus, unless you want your asparagus to be more al dente. If that’s the case, add it in the last 5 to 10 minutes of the final cooking step.
Add the peas and diced tomatoes.
Add the potatoes. Stir everything together for another minute or so.
Finally, add the broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a medium simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
Cool slightly and serve over pasta.
(I don’t eat much pasta, so that’s why you don’t see it in the photo)
How To Store Spring Minestrone Soup
Keep this soup in the fridge at all times. It’s best to cool this quickly after cooking, by transferring it to shallow dishes to store in the fridge. I use stacked casserole dishes. Once the soup is cold, you can transfer it to storage containers that are more appropriate. This soup will keep in the fridge up to 3 days.
Can You Freeze Minestrone?
While this will definitely freeze, the texture will change ever so slightly once thawed. Particularly with the asparagus. If you plan to freeze this, make sure you cook your asparagus al dente. Do not overcook. It will hold up better in the freezer this way.
To freeze, transfer the cold soup to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 4 months.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
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Spring Minestrone Soup Recipe
Spring Minestrone Soup
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- Large soup or stock pot
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 cup chopped leeks
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 6 large garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 lb. asparagus (cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 ½ lbs. fingerling potatoes (cut into cubes)
- 1 cup peas
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken broth
- Warm the oil in a large soup or stock pot.
- Add the chopped leeks, carrots and celery to the pot and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and spices and continue to cook and stir for an additional minute.
- Add the mushrooms and asparagus, unless you want your asparagus to be more al dente. If that's the case, add it in the last 5 to 10 minutes of the final cooking step.
- Add the peas and diced tomatoes.
- Add the potatoes. Stir everything together for another minute or so.
- Finally, add the broth and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a medium simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
- Cool slightly and serve.