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Hearty Minestrone

“This is my all-time favorite soup. I love make big batches and freeze some for later. This hearty dish reminds me of spaghetti and sauce in soup form!” -Katie Koziolek of Hartland, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 45 min.
  • Makes
    2 batches (6 servings each)


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS (for each batch):
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup uncooked ziti or small tube pasta


  • In a Dutch oven, cook the pork, celery and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Drain.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato juice, tomato sauce, broth, carrots, zucchini, Italian seasoning, salt, sugar if desired and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  • Transfer 6 cups of soup to a freezer container; cool. Freeze for up to 3 months. Add water and pasta to remaining soup; bring to a boil. Cover and cook until pasta is tender.
  • To use frozen soup: Thaw in the refrigerator; transfer to a large saucepan. Stir in water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Add pasta; cover and cook until tender.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 242 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 25mg cholesterol, 853mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 6g fiber), 15g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • lbp60
    Jul 16, 2019

    Love this soup! Have taken it to potlucks and given to friends. Everyone raves about it!

  • pajamaangel
    Jun 22, 2015

    I didn't add the water as I wasn't really looking for a soup. I wanted something a little heartier but with the same flavor. It came out pretty good. I think I'll wait until the cooler weather comes to make it again though.

  • KaylaRW
    Jun 11, 2014

    This is the best Minestrone soup I have ever had! I have made this repeatedly for about 4 years now. Whether I freeze half or make it all to serve to guests or have extra for lunches. Its my favorite. I often just make it with hamburger because thats whats most commonly in my freezer.

  • jen k
    Jun 15, 2012

    I make this often for my family, easy to make. This is my oldest daughter's all time favorite meal.

  • melissacurls
    Nov 30, 2010

    served this when i had guests over, everyone had seconds!! i actually left the pork out, and it was still a hearty delicious soup.