It’s finally soup season! Making homemade soup instead of cracking open a can is a cooking investment worth your time. One of my favorite soups is minestrone. I love the simplicity of it. It’s basically a tomato-based broth with a few veggies, some pasta, and maybe some ground meat. So, when I came across this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis from The Food Network, I had to try it. She makes awesome Italian dishes so I knew this one would not fail me. I was intrigued that instead of pasta she uses canned white cannellini beans. No pasta?! Most of the time you want to use dried beans for the most flavor so I was a little skeptical whether this soup would be tasty enough, but this soup recipe did not disappoint. Because the beans are canned, making this soup was super fast for a comforting homemade weeknight soup. No need to soak your beans over night.
Prep your ingredients. Dice up an onion, carrot, and celery. I like my celery and carrots in heartier pieces, so I sliced mine. If you want more veggies, feel free to add more. This is a very flexible soup. Next, mince some garlic. Measure out some tomato paste. Gather your canned ingredients. Have some grated Parmesan nearby.
Take a large saucepan or Dutch oven and saute your veggies. Be sure to add salt and pepper.
After the veggies are soft, throw in your ground beef and cook until there’s no more pink. The ground beef below needs more cooking time.
Add your tomato paste and then the rest of your ingredients.
It’s starting to look like soup! And it really smells good too. Here it is bubbling away.
Let it simmer for about 30 minutes while you go do something fun. Not that cooking isn’t fun, but maybe there’s an episode of House Hunters you’ve been meaning to watch. So I hear.
When it’s ready, ladle it into soup bowls and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top.
And that’s it. Super simple, and economical too. It makes great leftovers plus it freezes well. It’s so much better than what you’d find in a can and is worth the slight amount of effort that goes into it. It tasted like I spent hours on it. It’s a win-win!
Beef and Cannellini Bean Minestrone
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 large carrot peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 celery rib trimmed and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces lean ground beef
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups beef broth
- 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 15 ounces canned cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, add the oil and heat over medium heat. Stir in the onion, carrot and celery and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Increase the heat to high and add the ground beef and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste and mix to combine. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.