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Cooking Matters Michigan

Empowering families with the skills, confidence and knowledge to prepare healthy and affordable meals

Recipe: Hearty Minestrone


This recipe was adapted from the Low-Fat, Low-Cost Cookbook, something that has been on my mother's shelf for years and is now on mine. It offers tons of recipes that are nutritious and inexpensive, while showing the calories and fat per serving, as well as the cost per serving. Minestrone is one of my favorite things to make as the weather gets cooler, because it's so versatile and comforting. The recipe below has my own twist to it (with borrowed ingredients from's Corrigan's Minestrone), but you can add anything that you like.  

Photo Credit: Corrigan's Minestrone from (Sorry for the lack of an original picture!)

Hearty Minestrone (Diana's Comfort Food)
Serves 12


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked elbow macaroni or small shell pasta

  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, potatoes, garlic, carrots, and celery into pot. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until onions are soft.
  2. Mix in broth, tomato paste, chickpeas, and water. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Add Italian seasoning and salt. Cook and stir 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  4. Mix cooked pasta into pot. Continue cooking 10 minutes, making sure to not overcook pasta.
  • The Low-Fat, Low-Cost Cookbook's version of the recipe costs $0.39 a serving. If you change the ingredients, the price will vary. However, in order to keep costs down, you can:
    • use vegetables that are in season
    • use dried beans and cook them ahead of time
    • use leftover pasta
  • Because this recipe makes a big batch, you can freeze the leftovers and save it for future meals. Soups and stews are great for leftovers, because the flavors become more concentrated after sitting for a day or two.