Fall, otherwise known as Soup Season, is a favorite of mine. Soups are warm, nourishing, and generally easy to make. They’re the original one pot meal. Minestrone soup is a great soup to add to your repertoire if its not already there. It’s an Italian vegetable soup that’s typically made with a lot of fresh, seasonal vegetables and rice or noodles. If you look online and search cookbooks, you won’t find a “classic” minestrone recipe. Because of its tendency for fresh produce, it is easily adaptable to any season. In other words, Minestrone soup is a great way to clean out the refrigerator at any time of the year. I especially like to make Minestrone soup in the late summer and early fall as that garden produce is my favorite for this soup.
There are some common themes that you’ll find in most minestrone soup recipes. They all make use of a hearty stock, be it vegetable, chicken, or beef. In this recipe, I’ve used beef stock, which provides a rich, savory base for the soup. In most recipes, you will also find, tomatoes, onions, garlic, some type of beans, and some type of greens. Other than these common overlapping trends, minestrone soup can become anything you want it to be.
I used an arm roast for this recipe. This roast is cut from the shoulder and is known to be lean and tender if slow cooked.
Many minestrone soup recipes are vegetarian or easily adaptable to become vegetarian. For this recipe, though, I decided to add beef roast to the soup. A lean cut of beef roast pairs so nicely with the tomato based broth. In fact, slow cooking a roast in tomatoes or tomato juice helps to tenderize the meat. It’s a win, win!
After searing the beef roast, add the crushed tomatoes, beef stock, onions, celery, garlic, and Italian seasoning.
You can adapt this recipe when using up leftover beef roast. If you don’t have any on hand, this recipe will help you to start from scratch. When making this recipe, I used an arm roast. This cut comes from the shoulder and is quite tender and lean. It is best to sear and then slow cook or braise this roast. Most of the time in this recipe is spent slow cooking the roast, so if you already have cooked beef roast on hand, you can pull this soup together on the stove top in under an hour. As written, this soup is cooked in the oven using a Dutch oven. It can probably be adapted to a crock pot, though I haven’t tried that myself.
Given that this recipe is adaptable to your family’s vegetable preferences, I included what my family likes. In my recipe, you’ll find the standard tomatoes, onions, and garlic, along with carrots, zucchini, chickpeas, and spinach. I also made use of fresh basil and fresh chopped parsley to pump up the flavor just before serving.
Make this recipe your own. Don’t be afraid to adapt to your own preferences. Any cut of roast should do okay slow cooking for four hours. You’ll know its done when it is fall apart, fork tender. My rule of thumb with vegetables is that hard ones, like carrots and potatoes, should go in first and cook for about an hour. Soft additions like zucchini and yellow squash only need about 15 minutes to cook. I don’t like them mushy. Greens can be added just before serving as they only need to be wilted into the steaming soup stock.
This soup is very adaptable. Add the vegetables that you have and like. I usually cook the noodles separately so they don’t turn to mush in the soup pot.
I choose to cook the noodles separately. This enables me to stop the cooking process when they are cooked, but still firm. If you cook them in the soup pot, they’ll continue to cook until they are mushy. After being cooked separately, I add them to the soup once it’s done. They’ll continue to cook a bit more in the hot soup, but will stop as the soup cools down.
Minestrone soup is often served with parmesan cheese. It would also go well with a rustic piece of bread. Enjoy!
Beef Roast Minestrone Soup
– dutch oven
– 1 arm roast
– sea salt
– fresh ground black pepper
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
– 48 oz beef stock, divided
– 2 large red onions, chopped
– 2 celery stalks, chopped
– 4 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
– 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 6 carrots, chopped
– 4 oz. gluten free noodles
– 1 zucchini, chopped
– 4 oz. (handful) fresh spinach
– fresh basil, chopped
– fresh parsley, chopped
– parmesan cheese for serving, shredded
1. Heat the oven to 275 degrees.
2. Remove the arm roast from the packaging. Pat it dry. Liberally salt and pepper each side.
3. In a Dutch oven, on the stove top, over medium heat, add the olive oil to the pan. Once hot, place the roast in the pan. Sear one side for three minutes, then turn it over and sear the other side for three minutes.
4. Once the roast is seared, turn off the burner. To the Dutch oven, add the crushed tomatoes, 8 oz of beef stock, onions, celery, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Place a lid over the roast and put the pot in the oven. Cook for four hours.
5. At the end of four hours, the roast should be fall-apart tender. If not, continue to cook until it is fork tender. When the roast is done, remove the pot from the oven. Shred the roast, removing any large chunks of fat. Add the remaining beef stock, canned chickpeas, and carrots. Return the pot to the oven for 45 minutes.
6. While the vegetables are cooking in the oven, cook the noodles in a separate pot on the stove top. When they are still slightly firm, but cooked, remove them, drain the water, and set the noodles aside.
7. After the 45 minutes, add the zucchini to the Dutch oven and return the soup to the oven for another 15 minutes.
8. When the soup is done, remove the Dutch oven and place it on the stove. Add in the spinach, fresh herbs, and cooked noodles. Stir to combine. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese.
Here on SpringForestFarm.com, Jennifer Taylor Schmidt writes beef recipes for the busy, natural homemaker. It is possible to seek optimal health with limited time and money. Join Jennifer in future posts as she explores the possibilities found in a 1/4 and a 1/2 beeve. You can also find her thoughts and personal health journey on RealFoodRealHealing.com.