My Grandma's easy minestrone soup recipe is one of the healthiest vegetable-loaded soups you'll make, and it tastes far better than any of those Olive Garden copycat recipes thanks to the secret ingredient in the savory broth.
Add the bacon to a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat and cook until browned but not crispy.
Add the onion, carrots, leeks and celery then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the beef stock, kosher salt, pepper, and cheese rinds. Bring to a boil then reduce to a gently rolling simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, partially covered with a lid.
Add the potatoes, macaroni, and tomatoes, then partially cover with the lid, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes more.
Add the kidney beans and peas, and simmer until warmed through. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste.
Just before serving, add the grated Parmesan cheese and serve sprinkled with more Parmesan if you’d like.
Make your own homemade beef broth/stock with this recipe.
Or, use a vegetable broth instead.