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Minestrone soup in a teal bowl.

Minestrone Soup

Italian Minestrone Soup is hearty and comforting, packed full of greens, chickpeas, and vegetables in a delicious and bright tomato broth. You can customize this recipe to use up pantry staples and clean out your crisper drawer, too.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings (1 1/2 cups each)
Calories 200kcal



  • In a medium bowl, add dried mushrooms and boiling water. Let sit until soft and pliable, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer mushrooms to a cutting board and mince. Using a fine-mesh strainer lined with paper towel, or a coffee filter, strain liquid into a medium bowl. Set minced mushrooms and mushroom liquid aside.
  • In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrot, celery, minced mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper). Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in strained mushroom liquid and water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Add tomatoes and their juice, kale, and chickpeas and stir to combine (add kale in batches if it doesn't immediately all fit in the pot). Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until kale is almost tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Stir in orzo and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper). Garnish with red chili flakes if desired.


  1. Porcini mushrooms: Dried porcinis are sold in small packets, usually in the spice aisle, with the Asian ingredients, or in the produce section. They are sold whole, in pieces, or in powder form. You can also substitute a different dried mushroom such as Shiitakes (used in my chicken ramen). I buy dried porcinis on Amazon (Culinary Hill may earn money if you buy through this link). 
  2. Kale: Curly red, green, or deep, dark cavalo nero. Or any hearty, leafy dark green, like escarole, chard, etc.
  3. Chickpeas: Borlotti beans are the classic bean in the soup, but you can use any type of beans or even lentils: cannellini, Northern beans, etc.
  4. Orzo: Or any other small pasta: ditalini, rotini, or couscous. Minestrone can also be made with rice.
  5. Yield: Approximately 12 cups of soup.
  6. Storage: Store leftover soup in the refrigerator and enjoy the leftovers within 4 days.


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 6941IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 1mg