I created this soup after becoming tired of the excess salt and lack of veggies in canned minestrone. I recalled a great bowl of minestrone that was overflowing with rich vegetables at the 'Sheepherder's Inn' in Sacramento, California. Great with a hearty bread, romaine salad and a nice Merlot!

Jamie

Recipe Summary

prep:
35 mins
cook:
50 mins
total:
1 hr 25 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes.

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  • Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.

  • Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.

  • Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Spray with olive oil and serve.

Nutrition Facts

228 calories; protein 8.6g; carbohydrates 30g; fat 8.3g; cholesterol 1.1mg; sodium 1142mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (1775)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2004
This is a great recipe, I made minor changes and it tasted great!!! CHANGED: zucchini-2ea.,Chicken Broth- 4 cups, No red wine-replaced with White, 1 TBSP of crushed basil in jar instead of fresh, 1 TSP of dried oregano instead of fresh. ADDED 2ea.- yellow squash, 1ea.-28oz. can whole tomatoes- no juice just cut up tomatoe in 4 pieces and 5-Red potatoes cut up. After everything cooked for about 1 1/2 hours, I then puree appox. 1/3 of the soup to a thick texture and mixed to back in with the rest. MY FAMILY LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!! Read More
(616)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/07/2003
If using tomato sauce it is more a tomato soup with vegetables than minestrone soup. I replaced a 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce with water and used fresh green beans, adding another 1/2 cup water because the canned beans were undrained. Three zucchini was a lot to add, switching to 1 zucchini and other family favorite vegetables recommended (corn adds color variation). If the broth is too acidic or tangy after 10 minutes of simmering add an 1/8 tsp. baking soda to cut it. Read More
(68)
2511 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2005
  • 4 star values: 378
  • 3 star values: 93
  • 2 star values: 23
  • 1 star values: 12
Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2004
This is a great recipe, I made minor changes and it tasted great!!! CHANGED: zucchini-2ea.,Chicken Broth- 4 cups, No red wine-replaced with White, 1 TBSP of crushed basil in jar instead of fresh, 1 TSP of dried oregano instead of fresh. ADDED 2ea.- yellow squash, 1ea.-28oz. can whole tomatoes- no juice just cut up tomatoe in 4 pieces and 5-Red potatoes cut up. After everything cooked for about 1 1/2 hours, I then puree appox. 1/3 of the soup to a thick texture and mixed to back in with the rest. MY FAMILY LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!! Read More
(616)
Rating: 5 stars
02/11/2004
I've used this recipe every winter since I found the posting. Jaime's recipe is terrific & I've made several changes which make it more appealing to my family. I omit green beans & replace them with cannellini beans along with the Red kidney beans. I use lots of fresh spinach and cabbage if I have it. Ditalini is our favorite soup pasta, it hold up better than shells. We like lots of veggies so I didn't decrease any amounts of carrots, zucchini or celery. The first stage of sauteing the aromatic veggies is so important. It is the basis for a terrific soup. Thank you, Jaime! This is comfort food at its best. Read More
(484)
Rating: 5 stars
12/15/2003
Fabulous recipe! I did some substitutions though: I used potatoes instead of zucchini, and I added white wine instead of red. I also used italian-crushed tomatoes and only one small can of tomato sauce. This is a great recipe that can easily be modified to suit both your tastes and whatever you have in the cupboard. Husband loved it! Read More
(306)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/06/2007
I absolutely love soup and read all the great reviews for this soup. It defintely didn't let me down. I did make some minor alterations based on the reviews. I used 5 cloves of garlic, 8 cups of chicken broth (instead of water), and 3/4 cup red wine, and the whole bag of baby spinach. I didn't add the kidney beans until the last 10 minutes so they wouldn't fall apart. I cooked the pasta separately and then added it. I used more then a half a cup because I like to see the pasta in my soup. It was a very thick soup even with the addition of all that chicken broth. I cooked it for about 1 hour give or take a little bit. I did think that addition of the parmesan cheese gave the soup great taste. I highly recommend this soup. All the great reviews are right, this soup is great. Read More
(223)
Rating: 5 stars
05/06/2006
This was the best soup I have ever made! I did make a few changes. First of all, I omitted the celery. I used 5 cans of chicken broth, 2 cans of tomato paste, 1 can of tomato juice and 1 can of V8. Even with this much liquid I still needed to add the 2 cups of water. I used all fresh vegetables. I substituted a squash for one of the zucchini. I also added 1 cup shredded cabbage and 3 red potatoes. Instead of the seashell pasta I choice Ditalini because I prefer a smaller pasta. I did not have fresh basil or oregano on hand so I used Italian seasoning. I cooked it for 2 hours adding the potatoes and pasta in the last 20 minutes. This does make a ton of soup so you could freeze half and save it for another night. Read More
(145)
Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2004
What a fantastic soup! And yes, it does make a *ton*. I cut the recipe in half, and still had a very large pot of soup. I've never been able to resist meddling, so I also cut down the amount of celery, used yellow squash and zucchini both, white beans instead of kidney beans, and ditalini pasta instead of shells. Fresh basil and rosemary added wonderful flavor, this is the perfect vegetable soup. I also added a few drops of lemon juice while it simmered, to freshen the flavors a little. Thank you Jamie! Read More
(102)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2008
This really is a GREAT recipe. I made it for after Christmas when we didn't need any more calories. I made my noodles (mini - egg bow ties) in a seperate pot and added them per individual topped off with a small amount of fresh parmesan cheese. I didn't add the spinach and I did use 1- 14 oz. can - Italian diced tomatoes and only 1 -8oz. can of tomato sauce frozen green beans and 3 cups 98% fat free chicken broth 1 cup of water and only FRESH herbs. Served with homemade fresh bread! EXCELLENT!! I also made it ahead of time so it reduced time in the kitchen during the holidays. Read More
(80)
Rating: 5 stars
12/05/2006
This was great. I did things slightly different. I used all broth not 1/2 broth 1/2 water. And I used crushed tomatoes instead of the sauce. The zucchini this time of year was really expensive so I used a frozen veggie mix that had squash zucchini green beans and red peppers. This worked perfectly. Thanks for the great post. Read More
(69)
Rating: 3 stars
09/07/2003
If using tomato sauce it is more a tomato soup with vegetables than minestrone soup. I replaced a 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce with water and used fresh green beans, adding another 1/2 cup water because the canned beans were undrained. Three zucchini was a lot to add, switching to 1 zucchini and other family favorite vegetables recommended (corn adds color variation). If the broth is too acidic or tangy after 10 minutes of simmering add an 1/8 tsp. baking soda to cut it. Read More
(68)
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