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Spring Minestrone Soup Recipe

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This Spring Minestrone Soup is packed with healthy spring vegetables and bright flavors. Perfect for the sometimes still-chilly days of the season. A nourishing, in-season bowl of delicious, flavorful broth, seasonal vegetables, beans, and herbs that’s ready in about 30 minutes.

Spring Minestrone Soup in a Dutch Oven with slices of lemon

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Much like my perennial favorite Classic Ribollita Tuscan Bean Soup, this Spring Minestrone Soup incorporates hearty, healthy ingredients like beans, tomatoes, and greens. Where it differs from the classic is in the veggies.

When asparagus and bright green English peas and new-season leeks begin showing up in my market, I’m inventing all kinds of new ways to enjoy these delicious seasonal vegetables.

And this soup is a beautiful, scrumptious way to usher in the season.

As I write and make this soup today, I’m dreaming of springtime blooms. For the day is blustery and chilly and rain is falling relentlessly, preparing my garden for new plantings.

But in my kitchen, it’s warm and delightful… because soup is on its way!

How to Make Spring Minestrone Soup

The method for making this soup is probably familiar to all minestrone soup lovers. It begins with a solid foundation of celery, and carrots. But here is where it deviates slightly. Spring is known for its vast array of alliums. While beautiful spring onions are delicious, I’ve opted for fresh leeks for this savory soup.

Once the veggies have sauteed and begin to soften, broth, herbs, tomatoes, and red potatoes are added to the pot and cooked until mostly soft.

About 4 minutes before the soup is finished, asparagus and pasta are tossed into the pot and cooked for another 3 to 4 minutes before stirring in fresh greens and lemon juice.

Top view of Spring Minestrone Soup ingredients on a round wood board

What’s in Minestrone Soup?

This one-pot springtime minestrone combines asparagus, peas, and spring greens that simmers in a fragrant vegetable broth.

Like traditional minestrone recipes, you will also find carrots, celery, and garlic. This spring soup, however, uses leeks instead of onions, although freshly harvested spring onions are a delicious substitute.

Garnish soup bowls with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if you like a little heat.

Here’s what you need to make this Spring Minestrone Soup. The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Leeks (white & pale-green parts only)
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic, minced
  • Red potatoes
  • Fresh thyme sprigs but dried thyme works fine too
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Vegetable broth
  • Ditalini or other small shaped pasta
  • Asparagus
  • Peas (fresh or frozen)
  • Canned Great Northern beans
  • Greens (spinach, kale, mustard greens, arugula or swiss chard)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon juice

Spring Minestrone Soup Ingredient Notes

Beans:

For a springtime minestrone, I prefer a white or yellow bean for color. I’ve used a Great Northern bean here but use your favorite. Ideas might include cannellini or a starchier variety like limas.

Vegetables:

The beauty of spring minestrone is the versatility of the vegetables available at the time you’re making your soup. Minestrone is often known as a soup that’s made with vegetables on hand. I love that. And it’s true. As the season progresses, think about adding a variety of new ingredients to try. When the spring onions are ready — they’re first in the Spring Minestrone Soup pot!

Greens:

I love to add baby spinach or kale but arugula, mustard greens, swiss chard are all great choices too.

Pasta:

While the recipe calls for ditalini or salad pasta, any small-shaped pasta works great.

Closeup view of Spring Minestrone Soup in a Dutch Oven

What is the Difference Between Vegetable Soup and Minestrone Soup?

Essentially, minestrone soup and vegetable soup are very similar soups with many of the same vegetables. The difference is that minestrone soup is heartier with added beans and often pasta.

Both soups have a place at the table! Often I’ll serve a purely vegetable soup for lunch and a heartier minestrone soup with thick slices of country bread for dinner.

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Bowl of Spring Minestrone Soup with Parmesan and Italian bread slices
Spring Minestrone Soup in a Dutch Oven with slices of lemon

Spring Minestrone Soup

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This Spring Minestrone Soup is packed with healthy spring vegetables and bright flavors. Perfect for the sometimes still-chilly days of the season. A nourishing, in-season bowl of delicious, flavorful broth, seasonal vegetables, beans, and herbs that's ready in about 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks (white & pale-green parts only)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 medium red potatoes (2-3 cups diced)
  • 2 to 3 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup ditalini or other small shaped pasta
  • 1 bunch asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces (1-2 cups)
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups greens (spinach, kale, mustard greens, arugula or swiss chard)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, sauté leeks, carrots, and celery for 5-6 minutes, or until they begin to soften. I like to season with a pinch of salt.

  2. When the vegetables are softened, add garlic, potatoes, thyme, salt, broth, and undrained tomatoes to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are barely tender.

  3. While the soup is simmering, trim the asparagus and chop into 1-inch pieces.

  4. When potatoes are just tender, stir in pasta, asparagus, peas, white beans (rinsed and drained), and fresh parsley. Return the soup to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and the pasta is cooked. Stir in the chopped spinach and let cook until wilted, about 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice before serving.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 300Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1258mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 12gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g

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