The first time I ever made minestrone soup, I was in first grade. It's an easy soup with lots of vegetables, room for alterations, and a classic crowd-pleaser. Usually I compliment this meal with some cheddar-garlic biscuits.

1 16-ounce can (2 cups) kidney beans
1 clove garlic (minced)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup shopped fresh parsley
1 small fresh zucchini, unpeeled and diced
2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and diced
1 small onion
1 16-ounce can (2 cups) whole tomatoes, cut up with a spoon
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 ½ cups water
1/3 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
½ cup beef bouillon or tomato juice, salt to taste (I use small can of tomato sauce)

  1. Put beans in a large kettle and mash them slightly with a fork.
  2. Add garlic, salt, pepper, oil ad parsley. Stir well.
  3. Add all vegetables, butter and water to the kettle. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Lower heat, cover the kettle and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  5. After 1 hour, add macaroni and beef bouillon or tomato juice. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste.

Serves 6 to 8

  • Start early! I usually plan to start 1.5-2 hours before I want to serve dinner. It takes time to chop the vegetables, and the soup simmers for 1 hour and then an extra 15 minutes after adding the macaroni. Be patient. Eat cheddar-garlic biscuits as an appetizer.
  • Instead of tomato juice, I usually save the juice from the can of whole tomatoes and add it at the end with the macaroni
  • There is lots of room to be flexible. I usually add black beans and some extra quantities of vegetables
  • The garlic and parsley aren't deal-breakers. If you don't have any, don't worry about it
  • I prefer adding more than 1/2 c. of macaroni. The more extras you add, the more water you might need to add. This isn't really a "soupy" soup; everything soaks up the water pretty quickly after you remove it from the heat and the consistency is more like goulash.
  • You don't have to use elbow macaroni. Switch it up and make it fun with any type of noodle. I really like spirals or mini shells.


  1. I can attest to Alyssa's delicious minestrone!

  2. cheesy. garlic. biscuits. make me dance.


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