The cold winter months call for plenty of warm, cozy bowls of Minestrone Soup! This version is packed with chunky winter veggies, pancetta, white beans and herbs for a hearty, flavorful soup that the entire family will love. It includes a gluten-free option and is great for meal prep!

Winter minestrone soup in a white bowl with parmesan on top

Soup season is the best season if you ask me. I eat it year round, but there’s nothing like curling up with a cozy bowl on a cold day.

That said, I’m always on the look out for more soup recipes to fuel my addiction. While I love my butternut squash soup and avgolemono soup, I prefer recipes that are packed with wholesome, chunky veggies like this Winter Minestrone Soup.

This version is a winter spin on the classic, hence the name. It has a ton of flavor and colors, and is a wonderful way to celebrate the season!

Winter minestrone soup in a white Dutch oven with parmesan on top

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This minestrone soup recipe is packed with pancetta, winter veggies, white beans and diced tomatoes, and may be made with farro, quinoa or pasta.
  • It’s a wholesome, satisfying one pot meal that’s perfect for meal prep and it’s freezer friendly!
  • It may be customized a number of ways with your favorite veggies, herbs, grains or pasta.

Recipe ingredients

Soup is one of the best pantry recipes ever because it can be customized so many different ways.

Most of your favorite veggies, protein, grains or short cut pasta will work in this recipe, and it’s easily made dairy and gluten-free. See the Ingredient Notes below for more information.

Winter minestrone soup ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Pancetta. The pancetta adds great flavor and umami to the soup, but it may be omitted to make this soup vegetarian.
  • Vegetables. The vegetables I’ve used in this minestrone soup recipe may be substituted with your favorites. Use russet potato instead of sweet potato if you prefer, or Swiss chard or spinach instead of kale.
  • Herbs and bay leaf. Bay leaf adds a lot of flavor, so I don’t recommend omitting it. Fresh thyme may be substituted for the rosemary, or use a teaspoon of your favorite dried herbs.
  • Grains or pasta. I know most minestrone soup recipes include pasta, but I don’t care for it much in my soup. I used farro here, but you can substitute that with your favorite short cut pasta or quinoa to make it gluten-free .
  • Beans. The white beans may be subbed with whatever you have on hand.
  • Stock. The chicken stock may be substituted with beef or vegetable stock.
  • Parmesan cheese. I always save the rind from my fresh block of parmesan cheese, cut it into chunks and freeze it to use in soup. Omit this ingredient if you want to make this recipe dairy-free.

How to make this recipe

This minestrone soup recipe is extremely easy to make, and the veggies may be prepped in advance to make life easier on busy nights.

See the recipe card below for full instructions.

How to make minestrone soup
  1. Sauté the aromatics and pancetta. Cook the onion, carrot, parsnip, celery and pancetta until softened, then add the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer.
  2. Add the liquid and herbs. Add the tomatoes, stock, water, bay leaf, and rosemary and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the potato. Add the sweet potato and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the grains and beans. Add the pasta, beans and parmesan cheese rind and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the grains or pasta have cooked.
  5. Add the greens. Add the kale in during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking until just wilted. If using baby kale or spinach, add during the last 2 minutes.
  6. Finish the soup. Remove from heat and remove the cheese rind and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and serve garnished with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.

Recipe FAQs

What’s minestrone soup made of?

Minestrone soup is hearty and satisfying with a wide variety vegetables, beans and pasta. It typically includes onion, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes and beans, and sometimes includes cabbage and potatoes. There are so many different ways to make this classic soup!

Does minestrone contain meat?

Minestrone can be made with or without meat — there’s no wrong answer. I love it with pancetta for added flavor, but vegetarian minestrone soup is equally hearty with plenty of vegetables, beans and pasta.

How long does minestrone soup last in the fridge?

This minestrone soup recipe will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe notes

  • Dietary substitutions:  Make vegetarian by omitting the pancetta and using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock;  omit the parmesan cheese rind to make this recipe dairy-free; use quinoa instead of pasta to make this soup gluten-free.
  • Pro tip:  Prep the veggies in advance to make meal prep a breeze on busy nights!
  • Baby kale and spinach are great options to save time.  Add about 2-4 cups depending on the amount of greens you like in your soup!
  • Store minestrone soup in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Bowl of minestrone soup in a white bowl with parmesan cheese on top

More healthy soup recipes you’ll love:

If you try this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and star rating below, and don’t forget to snap a photo and tag @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Winter minestrone soup in a white bowl with parmesan on top

Winter Minestrone Soup

Winter Minestrone Soup is packed with wholesome veggies, pancetta, white beans and farro for a flavorful, satisfying soup that the entire family will love! It includes a gluten-free option and it's great for meal prep!
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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 large parsnip peeled and chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery chopped
  • 4 ounces chopped pancetta
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock or sub with beef or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water or sub with more stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ½ cup uncooked farro or short cut pasta sub with quinoa to make gluten-free
  • 1 medium sweet potato peeled and chopped into ½" chunks (or sub with regular potato)
  • 15 ounces cannelini beans rinsed and drained
  • 1" chunk parmesan cheese rind optional
  • 3 cups chopped kale or use baby kale or spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, parsnip, celery, and pancetta, and cook until the onions are translucent and the vegetables have softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes, stock, water, bay leaf and rosemary and bring to a boil.
  • Add the sweet potato and cook about 10 minutes. Add the farro or pasta, beans and parmesan cheese rind, and simmer about 10-15 more minutes, or until the farro or pasta is cooked. 
  • Toss the kale in during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking until just wilted. If using baby kale or spinach, add during the last 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and remove the cheese rind and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and serve garnished with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Dietary substitutions:  Make vegetarian by omitting the pancetta and using vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock;  omit the parmesan cheese rind to make this recipe dairy-free; use quinoa instead of pasta to make this soup gluten-free.
  • Pro tip:  Prep the veggies in advance to make meal prep a breeze on busy nights!
  • Baby kale and spinach are great options to save time.  Add about 2-4 cups depending on the amount of greens you like in your soup!
  • Store minestrone soup in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 804mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 6g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

**This recipe was originally published in January 2016. Step by step photos have been added, and the post has been modified to include more recipe information.

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