Meatless Friday: 30-Minute Minestrone


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This simple, healthy soup is the first soup I learned to prepare as a new wife more than twenty years ago. I think because my mom typically made her own stock for soups, I mistakenly thought soup was a massive culinary undertaking and avoided it for years. Enter this easy recipe I found in a cooking magazine. Simple, quick, and delicious, I continue to serve this to our family. On its own, it’s not very filing, but it pairs well with fresh bread and butter or a salad. For a flavor and protein boost, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

"Meatless Friday: Minestrone" by Carolyn Astfalk (

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Astfalk. All rights reserved.

30-Minute Minestrone

  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 6 cups water
  • 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 6 beef bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups torn, fresh spinach
  • 1-1/3 cups cooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In large pot or kettle, sauté carrots, cabbage, celery, onion, and garlic in butter or oil for 5 minutes. Add water, tomatoes, and bouillon; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in spinach, macaroni, and pepper. Heat through. Makes 10 servings.

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Copyright 2019 Carolyn Astfalk


About Author

Carolyn Astfalk is a wife, mother of four young children, and a writer. Her contemporary inspirational romances Stay With Me, Ornamental Graces, and Rightfully Ours are available at She blogs at My Scribbler’s Heart. Visit


  1. Bonnie Melielo on

    I make minestrone all the time and find the addition of beans to boost the flavor and protein level. 🙂 I only occasionally have homemade stock on hand so use Better Than Bouillon vegetable base for flavor boost.

      • Bonnie Melielo on

        I use whatever is “speaking” to me for that particular soup. 🙂 I love beans so I keep an assortment on hand – kidney, cannellini, white beans, pinto, garbonzo, etc. We are Italian so use A LOT of parmigiano. I freeze the rinds and will add that to a soup also for additional flavor.

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