Homemade Minestrone

I’ve been craving some lighter foods since it’s so hot outside these days.  While soup doesn’t really sound too much like a summer food, I think it’s a perfect choice.  Broth based soups are really ideal for any time of the year.  Add in some summer veggies and you’ve got a great meal.

Minestrone is one of Mr. Real Food’s favorite soups.  Every time we go to our favorite Italian restaurant, he orders their minestrone.  While I won’t say this is a copycat recipe (it’s totally not), it rivals the deliciousness.  It’s loaded with vegetables and seasonings and really light.

I have a confession to make though.  I don’t make it very often.  It’s super easy to make since it only requires a few ingredients and chopping vegetables.  The problem is the cleanup.  I just don’t like cleaning up after peeling and slicing vegetables.

After browsing the cleaning aisle at Target, I decided to try some new ocelo™ No-Scratch Scrub Sponges.  Because they are no-scratch, I can use them on my sink, counter tops, dishes, and cooktop.  That makes cleanup super easy so I really have no reason to complain about the mess anymore.  The sponges are available in 2 packs and 4 packs with fun colors like teal, lemon, mango, and lime.

Now that I don’t have to worry with the mess, let’s get on to the recipe, shall we?

This recipe doesn’t require many ingredients and they are mostly vegetables.  Of course, minestrone isn’t minestrone without some pasta in it.  And the herbs and seasonings make it a deliciously flavorful soup.

To make this simple soup, you’ll need to gather the ingredients.  I use carrots, celery, garlic, zucchini, grape tomatoes, spinach, kidney beans, great northern beans, pasta, vegetable broth, oregano, salt, rosemary, and basil.

Thoroughly wash vegetables, peel and slice them.  We like our veggies pretty chunky so I don’t cut them very small but you could dice them more finely if you’d like.

Next, add about a tablespoon of olive oil into a large pot and heat.  Once warm, add the garlic, carrots, and celery.  Cook on medium high for about 5 minutes until the vegetables soften.

The garlic will start smelling so amazing!  Now add in the tomatoes, zucchini, and spices and seasonings.  Cook for an additional 3 minutes.

As if the garlic didn’t smell delicious enough, adding the additional spices will make your entire kitchen smell divine!  Now add in the beans and broth and cook on high until boiling.  Add in pasta and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, it’s a good time to face the mess.  Look at what my sink looked like after peeling the veggies:

But cleanup is no big deal for ocelo.

Now that clean up is done, the minestrone is almost done too!  After the pasta is tender, turn off the heat and stir in spinach until it wilts.

The Best Homemade Minestrone (and easiest cleanup)


1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
7 cups vegetable broth
1 can Great White Northern beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 cup pasta (rotini, shells or penne)
2 cups baby spinach


Heat oil in pot.
Add in garlic, carrots, and celery.
Cook on medium high about 5 minutes until vegetables soften.
Add in zucchini, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and rosemary.
Cook an additional 3 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and beans, cooking on high until boiling.
Stir in pasta and turn heat to low.
Simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
Turn off heat and stir in spinach, allowing spinach to wilt.
Serve immediately, adding Parmesan if desired.

What is the messiest dish you make?

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