Emergency Dinner: Easy Minestrone Soup

Sorry to alarm you by using the word emergency, but if it’s 6:00pm and you don’t have any idea what’s for dinner… well, I think the word applies. Before you pick up the phone and call for pizza, check your pantry. Chances are you have just about everything for a quick and easy (and don’t forget yummy) Minestrone Soup.
Easy Minestrone
Note: As is, this is a vegetarian soup, but if you’re feeling carnivorous, feel free to substitute chicken stock/broth for the veggie stock and toss in whatever leftover meat you have in the fridge. Chicken, hamburger or ground sausage would all be great choices.

Heidi's Easy Minestrone Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This soup is perfect for those nights when you just don't want to think about dinner. Most of the ingredients can be stored in the pantry or freezer and it comes together in a flash.
  • 1 cup bow-tie pasta
  • 4 cups veggie stock
  • 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes – with Italian seasonings
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1½ cup of frozen mixed vegetables
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish: Parmesan cheese
  1. Precook pasta in boiling water until al dente. (If you'd rather skip this step and use dry pasta, just increase your liquid by 2 cups and throw the pasta in with everything else.)
  2. While you are waiting for the pasta, do your other prep by chopping your zucchini and draining your kidney beans.
  3. Drain pasta and put back in pot. Add all remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low. Simmer until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Divide into serving bowls. Top with generous amounts of grated Parmesan cheese. Don't skip this step; it's the wow factor.
  6. Enjoy with a simple salad and bread or garlic toast.



  1. Looks great! It’s nice to be able to “pull together” a meal from pantry staples! 🙂

  2. FYI… Chicken broth is NOT vegetarian! Good thing I’m not either!

    • The recipe calls for vegetable stock, not chicken broth. Although I did mention that if you wanted a meaty version, you could substitute chicken broth and add meat to it.

    • oops… read this wrong…. sorry!!! I see you put SUBSTITUTE the veggie with chicken broth if you’re feeling carnivorous…. I completely misread that and apologize! GREAT looking recipe! (with the chicken! LOL!)

      • Hee. That’s what I figured. I hope you try it – it’s so easy and yummy!

  3. Soooo it looks perfect the way it is. What kind of frozen mixed veggies do you usually use? It looks like peas are included, but I can’t see the others. (I am not a creative cook. 😉 )

    • Thank you! Sometimes my grocery has one called “soup mix” with carrots, peas, potatoes, green beans, and okra. That’s a good one. If I can’t find that, I’ll go for another mix. Even just peas and carrots is good.



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