This post is sponsored by Prego®, however all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. #sponsored
Classic Minestrone Soup comes with a long list of ingredients. What if I told you I can cut down the list and add even more flavor and a super-rich, robust broth by using just one secret ingredient?
The secret ingredient is Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce. Minestrone Soup recipes include tomato broth or fresh tomatoes along with a host of fresh Italian herbs, garlic and onion.
However, Prego includes ALL these ingredients in one jar, saving you time and effort in the kitchen but still offering outstanding results. No chopping or adding a long list of fresh or dried herbs and spices.
Prego Traditional is gluten free and uses vine-ripened tomatoes for the perfect balance of sweet tomato taste. A true pantry staple.
What Else You’ll Need
The word “minestrone” means thick vegetable soup, so there is a little prep and chopping to pack in all those veggies. But the soup broth is a breeze when using Prego since it already has rich flavors and thick texture built right in.
Small pasta and beans are the other two elements to make this soup a standout whether you are serving it as a light entrée, with a salad or for an appetizer.
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil is always the best and more robust for soup bases.
- Fresh Vegetables– Onion, garlic, carrots, celery and zucchini make up the perfect blend of flavors. Chop in a variety of shapes to vary textures.
- Cannellini Beans – Any white, buttery bean will do.
- Broth – Vegetable broth keeps this a vegetarian soup recipe, but if you want to use chicken, be my guest. And honestly, the tomato sauce has enough flavor on its own that if you just wanted to use water, you’d still have a fully flavorful soup.
- Pasta – Small, bite-size pasta shapes are generally used, such as ditalini. If making it for kids, try one of the ABC pastas to make it more fun.
- Parmesan Cheese – Adding Parmesan makes the broth creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. I also like to add a little more on top of each serving.
- Salt & Pepper – Season to taste, freshly ground pepper and coarse sea salt are always my top picks.
- Lemon – I learned this tip from a chef long ago and now I apply it to every single soup I make: a splash of something acidic right before serving brightens the broth. In this case, I used lemon, but apple cider vinegar is another swap.
How to Make
Making the soup is easy and since Prego Traditional is already packed with highly developed and sophisticated flavor, you won’t need to let it simmer for hours on end.
- Sauté garlic and onion, allowing them to soften, then add other vegetables. I like to soften just slightly to leave a toothy texture, but if you prefer softer, sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Add Prego Traditional Sauce to the mix, blending with your choice of liquid, vegetable or chicken broth or water so it comes to a soup-like consistency.
- Stir in cooked pasta, cannellini beans and Parmesan cheese. Allow to heat thoroughly, about 3-4 minutes.
- Right before serving, add a splash of fresh lemon juice and season with freshly ground pepper and salt.
Make Ahead & Storage
As with any soup that contains pasta, you’ll want to time the addition of cooked pasta, allowing just enough time to let it heat in the soup- but don’t add it too far in advance. Adding it too early means it will bloat and get soggy, soaking up your gorgeous broth and losing its texture.
If you want to make this soup ahead, prepare all the broth with the exception of lemon juice and cooked pasta. Cook the pasta, but store it separately. When you are ready to serve combine them all in a saucepan and heat.
Same for storage; I highly recommend freezing all of the elements except the pasta and lemon juice and adding those when you thaw and reheat. Minestrone soup will stay good in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Rich Minestrone Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup white onion , chopped, about 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- ¾ cup carrot , sliced, about 2 medium carrots
- ¾ cup celery , sliced, about 3 ribs
- ¾ cup green zucchini , chopped, about 1 medium zucchini
- 14 ounce jar Prego® Traditional Pasta Sauce
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 15 ounces canned cannellini beans , rinsed and drained
- 2 cups ditalini pasta , cooked to al dente according to package directions
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese , finely shredded
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper & coarse salt , to taste
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chopped carrot, celery and zucchini, cooking until just soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce and vegetable broth.
- About 10 minutes before serving, add the cannellini beans, cooked al dente pasta and Parmesan cheese.
- Allow to heat thoroughly.
- Add the lemon juice and correct seasoning with salt and pepper right before serving.
- Top with additional Parmesan cheese, seasonings and serve with crusty rolls or bread.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings.