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Summer Minestrone Soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins

This light soup brims with colorful summer vegetables for a simple warm-weather lunch or dinner. The dish comes together quickly, so you can spend more time enjoying long summer days and warm nights.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy soup, summer soup, vegetarian dinner
Servings: 6
Calories: 256 kcal
What you need
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 or 3 small zucchini and/or summer squash chopped (about 2 cups total)
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat farfalle shells or other short pasta
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans (or beans of choice) drained and rinsed
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish
What you do
Make the broth
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Add the garlic and tomato paste, stir together for a minute or two, and stir in the tomatoes and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Stir in 5 cups water, one tablespoon of salt, and return to a simmer. Taste for seasoning (blow on your spoon! It will be HOT!) and adjust as necessary.
Add the vegetables
  1. Add the zucchini and pasta to the broth and cook 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir in kidney beans and simmer for another 2-3 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Grind in some pepper, then taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Remove the bay leaf.
Adjust texture
  1. How’s the consistency? Too thick? Add more water and adjust the salt. Too brothy? Place a hand blender in the soup and give it a few buzzes until you've got the texture exactly how you like it.
Season and serve
  1. Stir in the basil and fresh lemon juice. Serve with a sprinkling (or a snowfall) of Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and freshly cracked black pepper.

This would be great with green beans instead of zucchini, asparagus in the spring, or even root vegetables in the winter.

You can purée the soup as much as you'd like. If you’d prefer something smoother, just keep the blender going- you'll eventually get something like a minestrone-flavored tomato soup.