Minestrone Soup with Pesto

My amazing mom has been making this soup for years and it’s one of my all-time favorites. I love the chunkiness of the vegetables and it’s really more of a stew than a soup. I’ve seen people who “hate vegetables” (!?!), ask for seconds of this soup. Seriously, it’s that good!

Minestrone Soup with Pesto

The soup also freezes quite well. It makes 6 good-sized bowls, so I normally freeze half of it for later. It’s one of those things that tastes even better the next day, when all the ingredients have had time to get acquainted with each other, and it’s great to have tucked-away in the freezer for those days when you don’t have much time, but want something warm and comforting to eat.

The fresh pesto really makes this soup special, so you don’t want to skip that step. I posted my vegan pesto sauce recipe a couple days ago, and you can easily make it while the soup is simmering.

Minestrone Soup with Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finelychopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh (or ¼ tsp dried) thyme
  • ¾ cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 small zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 cup green or yellow beans, chopped in 3
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked or canned beans (I like to mix kidney, garbanzo and/or white beans)
  • salt and pepper
  • pesto sauce, for topping
  1. In large saucepan, heat the stock and water until it reaches a simmering point.
  2. In another saucepan, heat the olive oil. Stir in the onion and leek, and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion has softened.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic, and cook over medium hear, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Add the veggies to the stock and stir well. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly, and leave to cook for 10-12 minutes more.
  5. Stir in the peas, if fresh, and the zucchini, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the frozen peas, if using, and the chopped tomatoes. Cover the pan, bring slowly to the boil, then simmer further for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper, as needed, and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Serve in warmed bowls, topped with a dollop of fresh pesto sauce.
Source: Modified from Classic Italian by Valentina Harris

Minestrone Soup with Pesto


  1. Barbara Granata says:

    I’ve been waiting for you to post this – since winter is arriving here this will be amazing to have in the freezer!

    • vegangela says:

      Glad to hear it! It’s my favorite! Definitely make the pesto and add a dollop to each bowl before serving. It’s so comforting – and freezes well. Please let me know when you make it!

  2. elisabeth says:

    This is such a beautiful soup. Yumm! I also love the dollop of pesto on top, Beautiful photos too!

    • vegangela says:

      The pesto really “makes” this soup… it’s one of my all-time faves. Thanks for your comment!!

  3. Lauren says:

    Looks fabulous! I love minestrone already but I can imagine how much tastier it is topped with pesto :)

    • vegangela says:

      You got it! Thanks for your comment :)

  4. Jennifer says:

    I love how you’ve added pesto on top! Excellent idea. This looks so yummy!!!

    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Jennifer! I can’t take all the credit, as it’s how my mom serves it. Thanks for your comment! X

  5. Amy says:

    This soup sounds so wonderful! I love that it is topped off with pesto as well. Great post :)!

    • vegangela says:

      Thanks for your comment, Amy!

  6. Anna says:

    How are the vegetables in the soup after you thaw and heat the frozen soup? Does the texture change? Thanks.

    • vegangela says:

      They’re totally fine. This soup reheats beautifully. Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Jennifer Dechant says:

    OMG. Best soup I’ve ever had In my life. Not a big veggie fan, so I was skeptical, but it was so delicious ! Everyone had 2 bowls ! We can’t wait to have it again.

    • vegangela says:

      Good for you for taking-on this recipe. I know its quite laborious but I’m glad you agree that it’s more than worth it! Thanks for taking the time to write :)

  8. Annie De La Rosa says:

    Hi Angela my name is Annie, I live in Chicago, IL, USA. I’m trying to eat healthy, so I decided I want to b vegetarian. I was looking on all ur recipes and look delicious, I will make all of them for sure, but I noticed that every recipe says only the cooking time and how many serves but you don’t mention anything about how many calories per service. Do you think is possible to include that in each recipe? thanks.

    • Hi Annie – there are a few apps and websites that can take care of that for you. Good luck!

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