Classic Minestrone (or “Imposter Minestrone”) Soup Recipe

Classic Minestrone (or “Imposter Minestrone”) Soup Recipe
301 Flares 301 Flares ×

I usually use Hungry Girl’s recipe as my go-to for minestrone, but something about this version (from the same cookbook as my sukiyaki recipe) caught my eye.  Maybe it was the lack of noodles and spinach (which I’m used to seeing in minestrone recipes) and their replacement with cabbage and mushrooms (I had some in the fridge that I needed to use up).  Either way, it provided my sister and me with some interesting running commentary while we were cooking together.

I’d call this more of an imposter soup, as I didn’t feel like I was making (or later, eating) minestrone (which is my favorite), but it was still a delicious vegetable soup.  It kind of reminds me of how sometimes people complain about faux meat products not tasting “meatlike.”  They aren’t actually meat, so I’ve found that you it’s best not to expect them to taste like meat.  They can, however, be enjoyed for what they are – a nice alternative.  This recipe is similar in that, while I find that it is not what I consider true minestrone, the flavors do meld nicely together, making for a delicious dish.  Additionally, while I’m not usually a fan of cooked cabbage, I actually enjoyed the taste and texture of it in this particular soup.  It’s a pretty forgiving recipe, too.  I forgot to add in some of the ingredients at the proper time (hey, it’s distracting when the food paparazzi keeps you talking and laughing while cooking), but the final result wasn’t affected.  My family was happy to arrive home to a hot, veggie-packed lunch after a chilly morning spent out at our farm.

Classic Minestrone Soup Recipe

  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 1 Teaspoon Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Large Sweet Onions chopped
  • 2 Carrots Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Stocks Celery Chopped
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 3/4 Pound Mushrooms Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 Small Head Cabbage
  • 1 20 oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 Cups Cooked White beans
  • 6 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Green Beans fresh or frozen
  • Pasta (optional) rotini, penne, or egg noodles
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the oil and ¼ c water in a large soup pot. Sauté the onion until it is translucent.

  2. Add the garlic, carrot, and celery (as well as leeks, if using) to the pot and sauté until the veggies are soft, about ten minutes.
  3. Add the herbs and black pepper and cook, stirring, briefly. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are soft and have released most of their liquid, about another 8 to 10 minutes.

  4. Add your wine or vegetable broth and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Scoff at your recipe because it says this will take 45 minutes, but it takes you probably no more than ten.
  5. While your liquid is reducing itself, shred or chop the cabbage. Add it to the pot along with your tomatoes and the white beans. Pour in the 6 c of water and allow the soup to simmer until the vegetables are tender (this took me about half an hour).
  6. Add the green beans and cook just until they turn bright green. You can also add noodles, if you like. I supplemented my soup with garlic pepper, but you can easily throw in a dash of salt or other seasonings to your taste. The parmesan cheese is optional, but I find that it adds another dimension to the flavor. I highly recommend that, when serving, you add about 1 t per bowl.

Source: Adapted from the (1995) Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook, by the editors of the Vegetarian Times and Lucy Moll.


Demelza Young is a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University. Her current plans are to attend graduate school and to study clinical psychology in the hopes of one day working with eating disordered patients.

49 Responses to Classic Minestrone (or “Imposter Minestrone”) Soup Recipe

  1. Sabrina says:

    That's my fave soup to order at restaurants.
    Sabrina recently posted..For The Trendy Fashionista: Valentine’s Day Look for Less Than $125My Profile

  2. mitchelle says:

    thanks.. i think its easy to do.  and i can replace some of the ingredients with what we have in the market.
    mitchelle recently posted..The Family went to Phuket.My Profile

  3. Tara says:

    Oh this looks really yummy!  I love minestrone soup.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I love most soups :)

  4. I've used a few of the Hungry Girl's recipes myself. I know this is not one, but that made me feel like we had something in common! This soup reminds me of a soup my mom made while I was growing up – I can almost smell the aroma. This is one I may try.
    Elizabeth Towns recently posted..Vera Bradley Hobo Handbag & Wallet Giveaway!My Profile

  5. It is a soup time of year! I'll have to add this to my roster! Especially with the cold front moving in tomorrow!!
    @Mommy_Jennof3 recently posted..Traveling with Tea! Libre #REVIEWMy Profile

  6. When I was a kid I had a few favorite homemade soups; but this one I could eat whether it was homemade or store bought. Your recipe sounds awesome so I look forward to trying it!
    Becky Ryan- Willis recently posted..Win $150 Amazon Gift Card with Tip Hero’s Celebratory 7,000 Tips GiveawayMy Profile

  7. Pam says:

    I love a good Minestrone soup and this looks delicious! Healthy too. I will give this a try. Thank you. 

  8. Ashley S says:

    I am pinning this recipe. I have always wanted a good recipe for a good Minestrone soup

  9. Love minostrone and this version with cabagge and mushrooms looks delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Kelly R says:

    This looks yummy. I was looking for a new recipe. Thank you for sharing.
    Kelly R recently posted..Thursday Thoughtful Quotes – 2/7/2013My Profile

  11. what a good looking and yummy recipe,  we also love soup, 

  12. Mary W. says:

    I love Minestrone and this one looks easy to make too.  Gonna give it a try.  Thanks for sharing.

  13. Donna says:

    I love soups, and love easy to make soups even more! This looks so delicious… will be trying it soon!
    Donna recently posted..Hungry Girl FoldIt Flatout Flatbread Hot Sandwich & Cold Sandwich Recipe #FlatoutHotMy Profile

  14. Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    I don't think I've ever had minestrone soup before but it looks and sounds delicious, I will have to give it a try!

  15. sheila ressel says:

    gotta try making this this weekend

  16. Nickida says:

    I would like to give this a try but I have to omit the onions since I have an allergy.  It looks yummy though.
    Nickida recently posted..Daddy Scrubs Bag of Books GiveawayMy Profile

  17. Alisha Kostiuk says:

    I am not a huge fan of minestone soup but my husband sure does love it. Thank you for sharing!

  18. Michelle Proper says:

    Perfect recipe for a chilly day! Thanks!

  19. Sandy McFadden says:

    I will have to try this thanks for the recipe

  20. That looks delicious! I'm going to pin it and make it soon. Looks so comforting and warming this time of year.
    Motherhood on the Rocks recently posted..29 Things You May or May Not Know About MeMy Profile

  21. Nena Sinclair says:

    There's nothing better than a bowl of hot homemade soup on a cold day! This sounds delicious! I'll definitely have to make it! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  22. maddie k. says:

    I like this soup, however, it has WAY to many mushrooms in it for me. I suppose I could leave them out. When I make this soup I don't usually use too many beans because my husband doesn't care for beans.

  23. That looks delicious!  Pinned and shared!

    — Laura @ <a href="">Frugal Follies</a>

  24. Debbie Corbin says:

    i will have to try and make a pot of this soon.. i have never made minestone soup before thanks! 

  25. Wendy Mastin says:

    I like to try new soup recipes.  Thanks

  26. Colleen Boudreau says:

    Looks good!!

  27. Anne C says:

    Thanks! This looks so delicious! Healthy too! :)

  28. Faith says:

    Another DELICIOUS recipe! Thanks:)

  29. Sonya Morris says:

    I have never tried Minestrone soup but this sounds delicious!

  30. Jennifer Roberts says:

    This looks easy and delicious 

  31. I love Minestrone soup.. I'll have to try this one out! :)
    Lifes A Bargain recently posted..Graphic Springs FREE Logo MakerMy Profile

  32. mmmmm looks sooo goood

  33. Nicole Carter Weasley says:

    Oh now I want some soup! This doesn't look too terribly hard to do! Great review

  34. denise smith says:

    this looks really good 

  35. Dorothy Boucher says:

    i love minestrone soup, actually i love soup all kinds of soups hehhe great recipe and thanks for sharing @tisonlyme143

  36. Aubrey says:

    looks delicious, thanks for the recipe

  37. lisa says:

    Thanks for the recipe. It's one of my favorites.

  38. Beth says:

    yummy soup. ( :
    Beth recently posted..confused . . .My Profile

  39. patrice says:

    I love Minestrone Soup. I like garlic bread with it.

  40. sam dock says:

    I bet I could get my son to eat this! Thanks.

  41. s riches says:

    Minestrone is one soup that you cannot go wrong with. I mix and match whatever is on hand  and the soup always comes out fine.

  42. Katharine Davis says:

    looks quick and easy, must share this with my vegetarian niece

  43. I love soup so much. I think it tates better after being in the freezer.

  44. Pingback: Classic Minestrone (or “Imposter Minestro...

  45. sara m ford says:

    thank you for this amazing recipe my family love it

  46. Shannon says:

    I love this soup and it is what I usually get from the OG with a salad. Thank you for sharing, I will have to try it out!

  47. ElizabethB says:

    Not vegetarian, but I sometimes like to try vegetarian-type meals once in a while, and minestrone is one of my favorite soups. I’ll give this recipe a shot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge