Spring Minestrone with Rice and Peas

With all the fresh flavors of spring, this hearty Italian soup is soothing and comforting.

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Spring Minestrone with Rice and Peas

Cooking time
PREP TIME 20 mins
Cooking time
COOK TIME 12 mins
Servings
SERVES 4-6
Ready in
TOTAL TIME 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Success® White Rice
  • 1/3 cup jarred basil pesto, divided
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced (white and light-green parts only)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh peas, shelled
  • 4 cups baby spinach

Instructions

  • This classic Italian soup is the perfect combination of spring vegetables, fresh herbs and fluffy Success® White Rice, which can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. 

    Step 1

  • Prepare rice according to package directions.

    Step 2

  • Heat basil pesto in large saucepan set over medium heat. Cook leeks for 4-5 mins or until they start to soften. Stir in broth and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 10 mins.

    Step 3

  • Stir in rice and peas; cook for 8-10 mins or until vegetables are tender. Stir in spinach. Cook for 1 min. or until spinach is wilted.

    Step 4

  • Divide soup among bowls and enjoy.

    Recipe Tips

    Cannellini beans work nicely in this recipe, but you could also use white navy beans or Romano beans. 

    Substitute frozen peas for fresh if preferred.

Simple Yet Satisfying Soups

What makes minestrone different from ordinary vegetable soup? Well, in short, the addition of rice or pasta with beans. Adding these ingredients helps to make this a delicious and filling main course meal in its own right, and not just a starter. But perhaps the beauty of minestrone soup is its flexibility; customize this comforting soup to your liking:

Vegetables: Typical Minestrone soups include onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and leafy greens. Don’t be afraid to toss in a few extra veggies – it’s a great way to clean out your vegetable crisper drawer, after all!

Beans: Although there is no definitive bean used to make minestrone, many Italians opt for cannellini beans. Cannellini beans are white, kidney-shaped beans grown in Italy but popular throughout the Mediterranean. In size, they are the largest variety of white bean and help to make meals more substantial. For another hearty soup loaded with Cannellini beans try our vegetarian Kale, Bean and Rice Soup.

Grains:  Not only can you vary the beans, but also try replacing our fluffy white rice with a nuttier grain such as brown rice. Or, opt for a pseudo grain: our Success® Tri-Color Quinoa will add unique color, flavor, and texture to your minestrone like it does in our Quinoa Minestrone Soup.

Italian Inspired Meals

The word minestrone comes from the Italian verb ‘to serve’ and remains popular not only throughout Italy but around the world in general. Yet another reason to be grateful to the Italians for their culinary culture! For more Mediterranean-Inspired Meal Ideas  why not try your hand at Italian Spinach Rice-balls or Italian Rice and Antipasto Salad?

Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes Made Easy

Although many chefs count meat among the ingredients used to make minestrone, it is certainly not essential or even typical. If you are looking to make  tasty vegetarian meals, just remember to have a wide array of herbs on hand such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, pepper and basil to ensure your soup turns out fresh and flavorsome.