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Autumn Minestrone Soup

Autumn minestrone soup is full of nutrient-dense vegetables and beans. I’ve swapped out the usual pasta for Italian farro. Hearty fall soups, like my easy lentil soup are perfect for make-ahead meals and meal prepping for busy schedules.
overhead view of autumn minestrone soup with spoons

This recipe makes a large batch of soup, which is great for feeding a crowd or meal prepping for the week ahead. This vegetarian soup is easily made vegan by omitting the cheese.

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Autumn Minestrone Soup

I am a soup lover. I could eat it every week and be quite happy about it. The beauty of a good pot of soup from scratch is once you get the basics down, you can honestly make anything.

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The temperature finally starts to drop and I love the type of food that is ushered in with the chill in the air. I’m a fan one-pot meals, mostly because I am lazy about washing dishes, but there is something rather comforting big pot of soup bubbling away. 

ladle of autumn minestrone soup over pot

Minestrone soup from scratch

Making minestrone soup from scratch is easier than you might think. Whether you’re using canned beans or soaking dry beans, it’s an easy weeknight dinner.

The great thing about soups and other meals of this sort is they are fuss-free and that is a prerequisite during hectic fall schedules. Another added bonus is you can make a big batch and freeze it for days when you just can’t fathom the thought of breaking out a sauté pan.

I use these plastic food storage containers for freezing soup. They stack nicely in the freezer and I don’t have to worry about glass shattering if I drop it (because I have). Plus, if I give soup away to friends, no one has to worry about returning the container.

overhead photo of autumn minestrone

The variations on this minestrone soup are endless. Because it is fall I am using some seasonal vegetables in the soup, however these vegetables can be swapped for any that you prefer. 

In the winter, you can add more root vegetables to the mix. Springtime veggies like asparagus would be nice when they are in season and of course, in the summer, there is no shortage of vegetables available, so load it up with fresh summer squash, juicy tomatoes and anything else that strikes your fancy.

Minestrone Soup Basics

The base of most soup recipes, including this one, is called mirepoix. This is just a fancy French term for carrots, onion and celery. They are also called aromatics because they infuse the soup with a deep, wonderful aroma.

The standard ratio for mirepoix is 2:1:1 – onions, celery, carrot. For example – 2 cups of onions, 1 cup of celery, 1 cup of carrots. Although, I don’t always stick to it.

pot of autumn minestrone soup with ladle

If you happen to have a piece of parmesan cheese rind, dropping just a small piece in to the soup while it’s cooking will give your pot of autumn minestrone an amazing flavor. I believe some high-end grocery stores actually sell small pieces of rind now, so if you don’t have one, you might be able to buy one. 

CAN I MAKE THIS IN A SLOW COOKER?

Yes. If you choose this method, make sure that your carrots and butternut squash are almost cooked through before you add the farro. They will take longer than any of the other vegetables, so if they are nearly soft, it’s safe to add the farro.

Farro cooks in about 20 minutes, but if you like it very soft, you can let it cook for 25 minutes.

bowls of autumn minestrone soup with parmesan cheese rind

The kale and parsley will still go in at the end, just to wilt. You’ll need a large slow cooker to make this autumn minestrone soup recipe. If your slow cooker is on the smaller side, cut the recipe in half. 

If you choose to make this in a slow cooker, consider using dried beans. They obviously take longer to cook than opening a can of beans, but if you are making soup in the slow cooker, it’s the perfect time to use them. You may want to add some of the softer vegetables halfway through cooking time, because they will be very soft.

Click to grab your tips for making soup from scratch cheat sheet. It offers 7 helpful tips for making a great pot of soup!

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Yield: 5 1/2 quarts

Autumn Minestrone Soup

overhead view of autumn minestrone soup with spoons

A hearty fall minestrone soup made with butternut squash, kale, white beans and farro in a traditional tomato broth.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lg. yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups kale, thinly sliced
  • 12 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 small zucchini, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup farro
  • 1-  16 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • parmesan rind (optional)

Instructions

    1. In a 7 quart pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion. 
    2. Sauté until onions are translucent and carrots are slightly soft, about 6 - 8 minutes.
    3. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute.
    4. Add chopped tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, bay leaves and farro. Season with salt & pepper. Add parmesan rind if using.
    5. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add butternut squash. Cook for another 10 minutes, until butternut is starting to soften.
    6. When squash is tender and farro is cooked, add beans, zucchini and kale. Cook for another 5 minutes, until zucchini is cooked and kale is wilted.
    7. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Check for seasoning and add salt & pepper if necessary.
    8. Sprinkle with grated parmesan when serving, if desired.

Notes

This recipe can be easily cut in half. It makes a big batch of soup, but it is perfect for freezing or meal-prepping for the week!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

11

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 1005mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 11gSugar: 9gProtein: 12g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

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Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
cheryl

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