On a cold and blustery day, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of soup to warm you up… but soup isn’t just for sweater season, it can bring fresh and vibrant flavor to the summer months too! Enter: Summer Minestrone Soup. This light soup is a celebration of summer’s fresh bounty, full of all sorts of great produce like zucchini, leeks, celery, tomatoes, green beans, and basil. But the list doesn’t end there – this soup is chock full of yumminess. (And it’ll take you just thirty minutes to make from start to finish.)
All in all, this soup is pretty similar to classic minestrone but it has a few key swaps. While you often see tomato-based broth with traditional minestrone, the one here is lighter and takes its flavor cues from fresh herbs… Though don’t fret, there are still fresh tomatoes stirred in with the rest of the ingredients! In particular, I love the flavor the fresh basil adds to the party here – it’s green and bright and it ties everything together.
This is simple to make, no long simmering times or blending required. You just sauté some onion, leek, celery, and bell pepper until they’re soft before stirring in plenty of garlic and adding broth (chicken or vegetable, your choice!) and a couple of herbs. Once everything is simmering, you stir in the more tender accouterments like zucchini, green beans, and tomatoes along with some white beans and ditalini pasta.
It only needs to simmer long enough for the pasta to cook through, which takes just about ten minutes. Since this is all about fresh and bright flavors, it doesn’t take ages to simmer them together, they mingle quickly and beautifully in just about the time it takes to bring everything to a boil. And a little dollop of pesto is the perfect final flourish!
Summer Minestrone Soup
10m prep time
20m cook time
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only, sliced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6-8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1-2 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 (14 oz) can white beans, drained
- 1/2 cup ditalini pasta
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pesto, for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot on medium-high. Add onion, leeks, celery, and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 8 minutes, lowering the heat if needed to prevent burning.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in stock, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, then stir in zucchini, green beans, tomatoes, white beans, and pasta.
- Bring to a simmer again and let cook until vegetables and pasta are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add more stock if desired, stir in basil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with a dollop of pesto and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.