Minestrone was popularized in Italy among the poorest farmers, who scraped together hearty beans and vegetables to create this simple soup. In addition to its comforting warmth, one of the biggest benefits of this soup is that it can be altered according to personal preference and to varying seasonal vegetables. 

Basil is native to tropical regions from Central Africa to Southeast Asia – though it is used in cuisines worldwide. It is often added last when cooking, as too long cooking can destroy its flavor. Fresh basil can be kept for a short time in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water.

Show off what you made this month by sharing photos on the Huron County Library Spice Club Facebook events page or by emailing them to askalibrarian@huroncounty.ca. Photos emailed will be publicly shared by staff to the Facebook page on your behalf.

FUN FACT: Basil is an herb in the mint family! 



  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 200 grams crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green beans
  • 1/2 cup pasta, preferably elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 400 g cooked kidney beans
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish


1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and sauté garlic, celery, and onion for about 5 minutes.

2. Add chopped carrot and crushed tomatoes to pot. Season with oregano and basil. Pour in vegetable broth and water and bring mixture to a boil. Cover pot and cook soup for 10 minutes.

3. Add elbow macaroni, green beans, and chopped zucchini. Stir to combine and boil until noodles are tender.

4. Finish soup with fresh spinach and cooked beans.

5. Garnish with parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Serve hot, garnished with freshly grated parmesan.

*Recipe from Global Road Warrior™️ by World Trade Press. Access this online database for free with a Huron County Library card to get information about holidays, festivals, culture, travel essentials, and other beneficial travel knowledge.