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Smoky Minestrone

Smoky Minestrone

Classic minestrone is a tasty crowd-pleaser, but this smoky minestrone recipe kicks up the flavor by adding a chipotle puree to give the soup an unexpected and delicious hint of spice. And with leeks, carrots, celery, zucchini, and greens all added to the mix, it’s a great way to get more vegetables into your diet. We call that a win-win!

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup/4 ounces finely chopped leek
  • 1/2 cup/2 ounces finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup/2 ounces finely chopped celery
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes
  • 4 cups/32 ounces no sodium added vegetable stock or chicken or beef
  • 2 tablespoons/1 ounce chipotle puree
  • 3 ounces mini egg bows or other small pasta
  • 8 cups/8 ounces escarole/kale/Swiss chard/spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups/6 ounces zucchini, large dice
  • 1 (14 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons/1 ounce pesto sauce


  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the leek, carrot and celery until softened (about 3 minutes).
  2. Add the tomatoes, stock, chipotle and pasta. Break up the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer until the pasta is done (about 10 minutes).
  3. Stir in the greens of choice, zucchini, cannellini beans and pesto. Cook until the greens are wilted and the zucchini is softened (about 5 minutes).
  4. Taste once more and adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Divide among 6 bowls.

Yield: 6 servings | Total Time: 45 min

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Recipe and photo credit (used with permission): National Pasta Association