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Easy Minestrone (Beef broth)
This is a beef-based version, and a little less expensive and less fancy than the Chicken/Wine based Minestrone recipe I've supplied in months past.

This will only take a little more than half of hour to prepare, but be careful of the salt. With all the canned vegetables and broth, the sodium content can be well over 1000 mg, unless you use no-salt-added versions of the canned goods and use a light hand when adding salt to taste.

(Serves 6-8, depending on whether the soup is to be served as an appetizer or main course meal. Nutrition info is based on 8 servings.)

1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced (more to taste)
2 (16 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained (no salt added)
2 (14½ oz) cans beef broth (low sodium, low fat)
2 (14½ oz) cans stewed tomatoes in juice, cut up (no salt added)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 cup elbow macaroni (or other small pasta shape), uncooked (4 oz)
½ cup croutons (regular salad croutons will work, or make them yourself)
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded (part skim, low moisture)

In a 4-quart Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat oil; add water, green pepper, onion and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until onion is tender (5 to 7 minutes).

Stir in beans, beef broth, tomatoes and seasonings. Continue cooking until mixture comes to a full boil (10 to 12 minutes). Reduce heat to low. Add macaroni; cook uncovered until macaroni is tender and soup is heated through (6 to 8 minutes).

Heat oven to 400°F. To serve, place soup in individual ovenproof bowls. Top each with croutons and shredded cheese. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted (as long as the bowls are microwave safe, you could do this step in the microwave if pressed for time).

Protein (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Fat (g)
Carbs (g)
Sodium (mg)

Calories from:

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