This post is all about the best herbs and spices for minestrone soup!
Minestrone soup is a delicious and hearty Italian soup that is perfect for a winter meal.
It is usually packed with vegetables, beans, and pasta in a tomato-based broth.
The best part about this soup is that it is easily customizable with whatever herbs and spices you have on hand.
But if you are looking for some guidance on which herbs and spices to use, then you are in the right place.
So go ahead and give one (or all!) of these a try the next time you make this soup!
17 Best Herbs and Spices for Minestrone Soup
Below, I’ve rounded up 17 of the best herbs and spices for minestrone soup:
Parsley has a clean and peppery flavor that can really brighten up a dish.
It’s commonly used as a garnish, but I think it’s so much more than that.
When used properly, parsley can be a great way to add flavor to your minestrone soup.
Here are a few tips on how to use parsley in your minestrone soup:
- Add a small handful of parsley leaves when you’re sautéing the vegetables. This will help release their flavor and make them more fragrant.
- Throw in a few sprigs of parsley towards the end of cooking. This will give the soup a nice freshness and bright flavor.
- Chop up some parsley leaves to use as a garnish. This is completely optional, but it does make the soup look pretty!
Chives have a mild onion flavor (with a hint of garlic) and are one of the most versatile herbs.
They can be used in so many different dishes – from soup to potatoes to omelets.
If you’re looking to add some flavor to your minestrone soup, chives are a great option.
You can add them at the beginning when you’re sautéing the vegetables or at the end as a garnish.
If you’re adding them at the beginning, make sure to chop them up finely so they have a chance to soften and release their flavor.
If you’re adding them at the end, you can leave them whole or chop them up – it’s really up to you!
Thyme dances between earthy, minty, and woodsy flavors and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
When used properly, thyme can elevate the flavors in a dish and make it truly shine.
In minestrone soup, thyme is a perfect way to add some depth of flavor.
It pairs well with other common minestrone ingredients like tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onions.
To use thyme in minestrone soup, simply add a teaspoon (or more to taste) of dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh thyme during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
This will give the soup enough time to infuse the thyme flavor without making the soup bitter.
If you’re not sure how much thyme to use, start with less and add more as needed.
You can always add more but you can’t take it out once it’s in!
Basil is a balance between sweet and savory (with hints of mint) and is perfect for minestrone soup.
Not only does it add flavor to the dish, but it also provides a beautiful aroma.
You can use either fresh or dried basil in your soup, but if you’re using dried basil, make sure to add it near the end of cooking so the flavors don’t become too overwhelming.
A little goes a long way with this herb/spice!
Oregano is peppery and assertive (and a little bitter) with a lemony, minty flavor.
It’s commonly used in Italian cuisine.
A little goes a long way with this herb, so start with just a pinch or two and add more to taste.
You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there!
Oregano is best added towards the end of cooking so it doesn’t lose its flavor.
If you’re using dried oregano, rehydrate it in a little bit of water for 10 minutes before adding it to your soup.
This will help release all those delicious flavors into your soup!
Rosemary is lemony-pine-like, which makes it perfect for minestrone soup.
It’s a strong herb, so a little goes a long way.
I like to add the rosemary at the beginning of cooking so that the flavors have time to meld together.
If you’re using dried rosemary, be sure to crush it between your fingers before adding it to release the oils and fragrance.
You can add fresh rosemary sprigs whole, and remove them before serving.
Marjoram has an earthy and woodsy taste (with notes of pine and citrus) that can really liven up a bowl of minestrone soup.
This particular herb is also very versatile and can be used in a variety of different dishes.
In addition to minestrone soup, some other great options include: chicken soup, beef stew, chili, and even tomato sauce.
When using marjoram, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way.
This is especially true if you are using the dried form of the herb.
If you are using fresh marjoram, you will want to use about double the amount called for in the recipe (since fresh herbs are generally not as potent as dried).
8. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves have an almost minty flavor (with subtle hints of black pepper) that can really brighten up a soup.
They’re also great for adding depth of flavor to any dish.
If you want to try using bay leaves in your minestrone soup, make sure to add them early on in the cooking process so that they have time to release their flavors.
You should also remove the bay leaves before serving the soup, as they can be quite tough and chewy if eaten whole.
A little goes a long way with bay leaves, so start by adding just one or two to your pot of soup.
You can always add more later if you think it needs it.
Dill has a bright, sweet taste (somewhere between anise, parsley, and celery) that can really liven up a bowl of minestrone soup.
When adding dill to minestrone soup, it’s best to add it near the end of cooking so the flavor doesn’t become too overwhelming.
A little goes a long way with this herb, so start with just a pinch or two and then taste as you go.
Dill also pairs well with other vegetables commonly found in minestrone soup such as carrots, celery, and potatoes.
Paprika has a subtle earthiness to it that can really take a minestrone soup to the next level in terms of flavor.
This particular spice is also going to add a bit of heat, so if you want your soup to have a bit of a kick, paprika is definitely the way to go.
When using paprika in minestrone soup, it’s important to remember that a little goes a long way.
You don’t want to overdo it with the paprika or else it will end up being too overpowering.
A good rule of thumb is to start with just 1/4 teaspoon and then taste the soup before adding more.
You can always add more but you can’t take it away once it’s in there!
Sage has a strong, slightly minty (and musky) flavor that can really enhance the flavor of your soup.
When used properly, sage can add a beautiful depth of flavor to your soup.
Sage is best used sparingly, as too much sage can make your soup taste bitter.
A good rule of thumb is to start with just a few leaves (or a pinch of the dried herb) and then add more to taste.
Sage pairs well with other herbs such as thyme, oregano, and parsley.
If you’re using fresh sage leaves, be sure to remove them from the soup before serving as they can be quite tough.
13. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds taste slightly nutty (which is why they are sometimes used as a coffee substitute), citrusy, and slightly floral.
Coriander is actually the seed of the cilantro plant, so if you’ve ever had cilantro before, coriander will taste familiar to you.
In minestrone soup, coriander seeds add a deep, nutty flavor that really rounds out the soup.
They also have a slight citrusy flavor which brightens up the soup and makes it more refreshing.
To properly use coriander seeds in minestrone soup, you should simmer them in the broth for about 10 minutes before adding any other ingredients.
This will allow the flavors of the coriander to really infuse into the broth and make your soup even more flavorful.
Allspice tastes like a mix of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg (hence the name ‘all’) and it’s a go-to spice in Jamaican cuisine.
But allspice is also great in minestrone soup!
All you need is a pinch or two of allspice to add some warmth and depth of flavor to your soup.
Be careful not to add too much, as allspice can be quite strong.
A little goes a long way!
If you’re unsure, start with less and then taste as you go.
You can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there.
15. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is mostly hot and a little fruity (think raisins), and a tiny bit goes a long, long way.
It’s used in cuisines all over the world as a way to add heat to dishes.
In minestrone soup, a little cayenne pepper can go a long way in adding some depth of flavor.
You don’t want to add too much, or it will be too spicy, but just a pinch or two can really elevate the flavors of the soup.
When using cayenne pepper in minestrone soup, be sure to add it towards the end of cooking so that the heat has time to build and doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors in the soup.
16. Onion Powder
Onion powder tastes way more oniony than an actual onion does.
That’s because the onion’s natural sugars have caramelized and become more concentrated.
The result is an almost sweet onion flavor that can really enhance a dish.
While you could add chopped onions to your minestrone soup, using onion powder will give the soup more depth of flavor without any bits of onion getting in the way.
Simply add a teaspoon or two to the soup while it’s simmering and you’ll be rewarded with a richer, more flavorful soup.
17. Garlic Powder
Garlic powder tastes sweeter and quite a bit less assertive than fresh garlic.
It’s a good choice when you want the flavor of garlic without the bite.
You can use garlic powder in many recipes that call for fresh garlic, such as soups, stews, sauces, and rubs.
Just remember to use one-quarter to one-half teaspoon of garlic powder in place of each clove of fresh garlic called for in the recipe.
How do you fix bland minestrone soup?
There are a few things you can do to fix bland minestrone soup.
- First, check the seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or other spices as needed.
- Second, add more acidity with vinegar or lemon juice.
- Finally, add some sweetness with sugar or honey.
Pro Tip: Use fresh ingredients for the best flavor.
17 Best Herbs and Spices for Minestrone Soup
- Bay Leaves
- Coriander Seeds
- Cayenne Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Pick any amount of herbs or spices from this article to add to your soup recipe.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Enjoy in no time!