Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Three Bean Minestrone Soup

Three Bean Minestrone Soup - get the recipe at
This minestrone soup is filled with three different beans, tender vegetables and pasta, seasoned with Italian spices and topped with Parmesan cheese. My family hardly considers it a meal if there isn't meat on the table, so I typically include sausage when I make this soup. The soup is delicious both with and without the meat.

It never fails to make me smile when a simple hearty soup makes everyone in my family so happy. It makes me even happier when that meal requires less than 30 minutes time spent in the kitchen! Served on it's own or with some crusty bread and a salad, this is a wonderfully hearty meal.

COOK'S NOTE: If you are including meat in the soup, start by cooking and crumbling the meat and then skip the oil and add the onions. I like to keep the pasta and the soup separate until I serve it. This way the pasta doesn't have a chance of overcooking.

Three Bean Minestrone Soup
Yield: 8-12 servings
(printable recipe)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped small, about 2 cups
8 cups beef stock or 8 cups water plus 3 tablespoons beef base
15 ounce can tomato sauce
6 carrots, sliced 1/4" thick, about 3 cups worth
4 stalks celery, trimmed and sliced 1/4" thick, about 2 cups worth
14 ounce can kidney beans
14 ounce can navy beans or white beans
14 ounce can black beans
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt, adjust to taste (I added another 1/2 teaspoon, because my beef stock wasn't very salty at all)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups cooked pasta, I used a brown rice penne pasta
finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Optional: 1 pound Italian or hot sausage

Place the oil in a large pot on the stove over medium heat.* Add the onions, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and saute until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the beef stock, tomato sauce, beans, carrots, celery and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then cook for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Cook the pasta while the soup is simmering. Place a scoop of cooked pasta in each bowl and then ladle the hot soup over the pasta. Top with Parmesan just before serving. Enjoy!

FREEZER TIP: I typically do not include the pasta when freezing the soup, but it will work either way. Let the soup cool completely and then transfer to freezer safe containers. Thaw and reheat in the microwave or on the stove-top.

Hearty minestrone soup is filled with three different beans, vegetables, and pasta - get the recipe at

{originally published 10-22-13 - recipe notes and photos updated 4-1-15}

ONE YEAR AGO: Lemon Ice Cream
TWO YEARS AGO: Blueberries and Cream Almond Oatmeal
THREE YEARS AGO: The BEST Balsamic Vinaigrette


  1. I would definitely add the sausage, and I love how many beans you packed into this soup!

  2. Gonna make it this weekend. Oh my goodness it looks good. thanks for sharing.

  3. This soup looks so good and I think I will be making it really soon. Since we eat mostly Vegan I can just add veggie broth instead of the beef broth. Really am looking forward to making this soup!

  4. It is that time of year again... soup time. I love all the beans in this soup.

  5. Thank you, Mary, This will be great to have after a day of hiking in the woods. Yum!

  6. This looks so hearty - perfect for a cold day!

  7. any hints how to keep the pasta al dente?

    1. That is why I keep the pasta and the soup separate until I serve it. Cook the pasta to exactly the level of doneness that you prefer, scoop it into the bowls and then ladle the soup over it. Turns out perfectly that way without a chance of overcooking!