Classic Minestrone (or “Imposter Minestrone”) Soup Recipe

Posted on Feb 6 2013 - 8:47pm by Demelza Young

minestrone soup

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 an alumni of Northern Kentucky University. She currently enjoys volunteering her time in her local community, reviewing online content with her cat, and sharing quality recipes.

50 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sabrina February 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    That's my fave soup to order at restaurants.

  2. mitchelle February 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    thanks.. i think its easy to do.  and i can replace some of the ingredients with what we have in the market.

  3. Tara February 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm - Reply

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

  4. Elizabeth Towns February 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    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.

  5. @Mommy_Jennof3 February 6, 2013 at 10:07 pm - Reply

    It is a soup time of year! I'll have to add this to my roster! Especially with the cold front moving in tomorrow!!

  6. Becky Ryan- Willis February 6, 2013 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    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!

  7. Pam February 7, 2013 at 1:14 am - Reply

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

  8. Ashley S February 7, 2013 at 9:10 am - Reply

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

  9. Paula -Growing Up Bilingual February 7, 2013 at 9:37 am - Reply

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

  10. Kelly R February 7, 2013 at 9:39 am - Reply

    This looks yummy. I was looking for a new recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  11. melandria romero February 7, 2013 at 9:44 am - Reply

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

  12. Mary W. February 7, 2013 at 9:46 am - Reply

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

  13. Donna February 7, 2013 at 9:49 am - Reply

    I love soups, and love easy to make soups even more! This looks so delicious… will be trying it soon!

  14. Jennifer Mae Hiles February 7, 2013 at 10:04 am - Reply

    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 February 7, 2013 at 10:10 am - Reply

    gotta try making this this weekend

  16. Nickida February 7, 2013 at 10:29 am - Reply

    I would like to give this a try but I have to omit the onions since I have an allergy.  It looks yummy though.

  17. Alisha Kostiuk February 7, 2013 at 11:17 am - Reply

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

  18. Michelle Proper February 7, 2013 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Perfect recipe for a chilly day! Thanks!

  19. Sandy McFadden February 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    I will have to try this thanks for the recipe

  20. Motherhood on the Rocks February 7, 2013 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    That looks delicious! I'm going to pin it and make it soon. Looks so comforting and warming this time of year.

  21. Nena Sinclair February 8, 2013 at 4:02 am - Reply

    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. February 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    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.

    • Susan Bewley February 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Demelza and I are both big mushroom fans. I have to make it without mushrooms since my husband won’t touch them.

  23. Laura @ Frugal Follies February 9, 2013 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    That looks delicious!  Pinned and shared!

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

  24. Debbie Corbin February 10, 2013 at 1:12 am - Reply

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

  25. Wendy Mastin February 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I like to try new soup recipes.  Thanks

  26. Colleen Boudreau February 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Looks good!!

  27. Anne C February 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Thanks! This looks so delicious! Healthy too! 🙂

  28. Faith February 10, 2013 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    Another DELICIOUS recipe! Thanks:)

  29. Sonya Morris February 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    I have never tried Minestrone soup but this sounds delicious!

  30. Jennifer Roberts February 10, 2013 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    This looks easy and delicious 

  31. Lifes A Bargain February 11, 2013 at 10:12 am - Reply

    I love Minestrone soup.. I'll have to try this one out! 🙂

  32. Amanda Skeens February 11, 2013 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    mmmmm looks sooo goood

  33. Nicole Carter Weasley February 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm - Reply

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

  34. denise smith February 12, 2013 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    this looks really good 

  35. Dorothy Boucher February 13, 2013 at 10:05 am - Reply

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

  36. Aubrey February 13, 2013 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    looks delicious, thanks for the recipe

  37. lisa February 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm - Reply

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

  38. Beth February 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    yummy soup. ( :

  39. patrice February 13, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

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

  40. sam dock February 19, 2013 at 11:15 am - Reply

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

  41. s riches March 1, 2013 at 11:27 am - Reply

    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 March 20, 2013 at 11:05 am - Reply

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

  43. Jenn McCullar April 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

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

  44. sara m ford April 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    thank you for this amazing recipe my family love it

  45. Shannon April 28, 2014 at 10:47 am - Reply

    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!

  46. ElizabethB May 20, 2014 at 1:01 am - Reply

    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.

  47. Marie Lowther September 14, 2016 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    My husband makes something similar mushrooms sound like a good addition, than you

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