Immunity-Boosting Winter Minestrone

Immunity-boosting Winter Minestrone

Immunity-boosting Winter Minestrone

Maybe because it has my favorite winter vegetable butternut squash or maybe the piney smell of fresh rosemary is reminiscent of fall pine needles in my backyard or maybe because all those multicolored veggies offer the promise of boosting my immunity in the dead of winter…I can go on to find reasons to make this soup but you need none. This hearty, flavorful minestrone is full of colorful vegetables. I find rosemary, the herb, a bit too loud in soups in summer, but it strikes just the right notes at this time of the year. And fresh thyme makes just the perfect pairing.

Let’s make Immunity-boosting winter minestrone: Step-by-step

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Get all the ingredients together. Chop the onion, butternut squash, celery (can sub it with green beans and/or zucchini), and carrots. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Get the veggie broth (preferably homemade and low sodium) and fresh herbs out of refrigerator or out of cabinets or wherever you store your dried herbs (if using). Don’t forget the fresh spinach.

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Heat one teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent (~2 minutes). Add celery and cook it until soft. It is kind of important to soften the celery before adding carrots and squash because it takes longer to soften than other veggies (~5-7 min). Next, add carrots and squash and cook until soft on the edges (~5-7 min). Add (low-sodium) crushed tomatoes, one bay leaf, salt, and ground pepper. You can add rosemary at this time or hold it until later. Rosemary is a hearty herb and should hold it bravely even if cooked for long.

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Add 6 cups of vegetable broth. Let the soup simmer for 35-40 minutes over medium heat. To expedite the process, partially cover the pot.

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Add fresh thyme, garbanzo beans (or any other beans, it’s quite flexible), and spinach.

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Simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Enjoy the soup with garlic bread or any other kind you like with your soups.

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Immunity-boosting Winter Minestrone
Author -Traffic Light Cook
A colorful hearty soup with lots of flavor!
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 140 kcal


  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped about 3/4 cup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, 1 cup
  • 1 cup butternut squash, heaping cup
  • 1 large carrot, about 1 cup
  • 1 14oz can crushed tomatoes, low-sodium
  • 6 cups homemade vegetable broth, or any low-sodium
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped, or 1/3 tsp dried
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, (preferably baby spinach)
  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, preferably no-salt added, (or any other beans)
  • 3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste, (preferably freshly milled)


  • Heat the oil on medium heat. Then add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent (about 2 minutes).
  • Add celery; cook until soft around edges (~5-7 minutes). Then add chopped butternut squash and carrots; cook until soft (~5 minutes)
  • Add crush tomatoes, bay leaf, and fresh (or dried) rosemary along with vegetable broth, salt, and ground pepper. If short on broth, you can add half broth and half water (about 3 cups each). Let the soup simmer on medium heat for about 35-40 minutes. 
  • Drain and rinse garbanzo beans out of can and add to the soup. Add spinach and thyme. Cook for another 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!


*the amount of dried herbs can vary depending upon their age and storage conditions. Add a little more if you like your herbs to show  up in the soup. 
*If the soup is too hearty for kids, coarsely blend half of the soup and remix.
*nutrition information is an estimate and can change if high-sodium broth, tomatoes, and beans are used. This recipe uses no-salt added homemade vegetable broth, low-sodium crushed tomatoes, and no-salt added garbanzo beans. 
Make it flexible
  1. replace rosemary with 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil (or 1 tbsp dried)
  2. replace celery with zucchini and/or green beans. Just add it at the same time as carrots and butternut squash. 
  3. I have not tried it, but can replace butternut squash with any other type. 
  4. replace spinach with other greens, swiss chard works well


Serving: 227gCalories: 140kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 6gFat: 2gSodium: 410mgFiber: 7gSugar: 5gCalcium: 100mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


A Certified health coach,plant-based nutrition expert, and real-food enthusiast. READ MORE


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

  1. I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit
    of it. I’ve got you book-marked to look at new things you post…

  2. Great recipe for winters can also be taken as one meal dish I suppose. Will definitely try

    1. Geeta, Thank you. Yes, you can use this soup as a one meal dish or use on a bed of brown rice.

  3. Very nice to see you in this role too my intelligent studious friend.perfect soup recipe . I will wait for new posts too on your blog..

    1. Hello Ritu, Thank you for your support. You can subscribe to the blog and get blog updates right in your emails. Best

  4. Great going Garima ! Love the ease of this recipe. Would try it soon.

    1. Shailija, Thank you! It would be great if you could share your experience with the recipe.

  5. I had minestrone soup numerous times, but never occurred that I can try making it until I saw the recipe here. I actually cut tomatoes and ground them instead of can tomatoes and also soaked chick peas for about 6 hours before using them instead of canned ones. I felt thrilled to see the soup I made is pretty close to the actual minestrone soup. Thanks for the detailed explanation you provided.

    1. Sarvani,

      Thanks so much for the feedback. Yes, fresh ingredients not only augment flavors but also help reduce the sodium content.

  6. Thanks for posting the recipe.colourful and healthy assembly of winter veggies.

    1. Monika, Thank you so much for reading! Hope you enjoyed the recipe.

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