The Best Minnestrone Soup


My friend Carla from church came over several years ago to help me do Once-a-Month Cooking. She and I were in my kitchen for five hours, cooking and freezing enough food for a month. It was wonderful not to have to cook from day to day.

This minnestrone soup has been requested by many people and is perhaps her best recipe. She did not give me exact amounts, so years later I have attempted to list the exact proportions of each ingredient. I would take out the 1 1/2 cups of sliced carrots because unless you make it at the beginning of the day, the carrots will still be crunchy when you serve it. (I made this soup recently four hours before dinner, and it tasted delicious except for the crunchy carrots. So skip the carrots if you are not letting the soup simmer the entire day.)

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • a teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • 16-oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
  • 3 beef bullion cubes dissolved in 4 cups of hot water
  • 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 16-oz. cans of kidney beans, not drained
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 1 can of green beans, drained

My friend threw the onion, garlic, and at least a tablespoon of Italian seasoning into some olive oil in a pan on the stove. We caramelized the onions for about two minutes before adding the ground beef. (I always cook the ground beef and onion together, so this step seemed strange to me. But she definitely knew what she was doing because her soup was so darned good.) After browning the ground beef in the onions and garlic, we dumped the contents of the pan into an enormous crock pot. (The pot has to be enormous, or the contents won’t fit. You could always simmer it on low on your stove in a large pot if your crock pot is not big enough.) Dump all the ingredients into the pot except for the green beans. Add the green beans during the last half hour. At the end of the day, your house will smell delicious. This soup is enjoyed best with freshly baked bread.

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4 Responses to “The Best Minnestrone Soup”

  1. Christina says:


    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I couldn’t imagine making a minestrone without carrots, probably because I love carrots so much. Here are a couple of things you can try rather than omitting the carrots: 1) use a can of sliced carrots (although not my favorite option) or 2) boil the carrots for about 10 to 15 minutes and then use the water from boiling in place of some of the water to dissolve the bouillon. Option 2 is my favorite because you don’t lose any of the nutrients or flavor from the carrots by pre-cooking them. They’re also better than canned because they’re closer to coming from the ground. I will definitely be trying this recipe the next time I make soup 🙂

    • Susan says:

      Thanks for the tips, Christina! I like your second option best, too. Might as well keep all the vitamins from the carrots to eat in the soup.

  2. Sounds delicious! I picked up some soup mixes at Apple Hill last weekend, thinking ahead to cooler weather. (Can’t make soup when it’s 97* lol)

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