Tosi’s Minestrone Soup

Tosi’s minestrone soup is thick, rich, and loaded with flavor. This hearty Italian minestrone with rice and vegetables is sure to be a favorite.

Overhead view of copycat Tosi's minestrone soup in bowls.

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About Tosi’s Restaurant

Tosi’s, located in Stevensville, Michigan, is a beautiful Italian restaurant with an outstanding reputation for fine dining. One of the eatery’s specialties is its classic minestrone soup. Now, you don’t have to travel all the way to Stevensville to enjoy the best Italian minestrone soup – you can recreate it right in your own kitchen. The best minestrone soup is the one you can make without going to the store.

This traditional minestrone soup recipe gives you a perfect transitional soup for late summer into early fall because it’s hearty but not too heavy. The Italian word minestrone means thick vegetable soup – it won’t stick to your ribs like a beef stew.

Why You Should Try This Recipe for Minestrone Soup

This is far and away the best recipe for Italian minestrone soup. The flavor is out of this world, and you will love its silky smooth texture with pieces of fresh veggies in every spoonful. This Italian minestrone soup recipe will soon become a family favorite.

If you like dishes that you can make ahead of time, this old-fashioned minestrone soup is perfect. After a day in the fridge, your homemade minestrone soup will have thickened up a bit, and all of the flavors will have melded together nicely.

Tip: Make some extra soup to freeze for school lunches.

Recipe for Minestrone Soup – Ingredients

Here’s what you will need to make this Italian minestrone soup recipe:

  • Salt pork
  • Navy beans
  • Tomato paste
  • Rice
  • Olive oil
  • Onion 
  • Garlic 
  • Potatoes 
  • Celery 
  • Carrots 
  • Cabbage 
  • Frozen peas (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oregano
  • Parsley 
  • Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Copycat Tosi's minestrone soup ingredients.

Equipment Needed

How to Make Old-Fashioned Minestrone Soup

This traditional minestrone soup recipe gives you comfort food that will have your family and guests coming back for more. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Soak the beans for 1 hour. 
  2. Add the salt pork and simmer for 1 hour. 
  3. Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic over medium-high heat and set aside. 
  4. Add the sauteed onion/garlic to the beans and pork, along with all the other ingredients except the cheese. 
  5. Add more water and cook until thick. 
Collage of making Tosi's minestrone soup.
  1. Purée 1/2 of the mixture.
  2. Add the puréed portion to the un-puréed portion and stir to combine.
  3. Serve with a sprinkling of cheese. 

Note: This recipe for minestrone soup is better when prepared at least one day ahead and then reheated to serve.

Collage of pureeing part of minestrone soup and adding it back to the soup.
Copycat Tosi's minestrone soup in bowls.

Italian Minestrone Soup – Variations

This recipe for minestrone soup is easily customizable to suit your taste and what’s currently in your refrigerator. In fact, minestrone was traditionally made in order to use up leftover vegetables. Italian minestrone soup is the perfect seasonal soup if you want to go with whatever vegetables are in season.

Tip: When preparing kale or collards, chop up the tough stems and put them in the freezer to await the next time you make minestrone. You add a few additional antioxidants and fiber, and the stems give the broth a wonderful “greens” taste. Once they’re cooked for a time, these stems are tender enough to eat.

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Use different types of beans including great northern, butter beans, or garbanzo beans.
  • For a different taste, substitute chopped fennel for the celery.
  • Add a parmesan cheese rind to the soup.
  • Instead of salt pork, you could use ham or bacon.
  • Bulk this soup up with some cooked meat – sausage, shredded chicken breast or turkey, or ground beef. 
  • Add some red pepper flakes for the perfect touch of heat.
  • Instead of asiago or parmesan, sprinkle feta or gorgonzola cheese on top.
  • This homemade minestrone soup uses rice, but you could use a small pasta instead – ditalini or orzo is ideal. For more control over doneness with larger pasta, boil the pasta separately in stock or water, then drain and add to the finished soup.

What to Serve With This Traditional Minestrone Soup Recipe

  • A must to go with this classic minestrone soup is a crusty roll or a nice big chunk of focaccia or garlic bread. You can also top it with croutons.
  • A Caesar of simple green salad.
  • If you want a meaty side, serve it with Italian sausages.
  • A glass of white wine such as an Italian Pinot Grigio.

How to Store and Reheat Minestrone Soup

Minestrone leftovers can be refrigerated for about a week and reheated over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

You can also freeze minestrone soup but keep in mind that the vegetables will tend to be softer after freezing and reheating. 

Note that pasta does not freeze well, so if you’re planning on adding some, freeze the soup without the pasta and add it after thawing and reheating.

Copycat Tosi's minestrone soup in bowls.

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Check out more of my easy soup recipes and the best copycat fine dining restaurant recipes on CopyKat!

Overhead view of copycat Tosi's minestrone soup in bowls.

Tosi’s Minestrone Soup

You can recreate Tosi’s Minestrone Soup at home. 
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Tosi’s Minestrone Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 533kcal


  • 1 pound navy beans
  • 1/2 pound salt pork
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound potatoes diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas optional
  • 1 pound cabbage shredded
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese to serve


  • Bring 12 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Turn off the heat, add the beans, and let them soak for 1 hour.
  • When the beans have finished soaking, add the salt pork to the pot and simmer for 1 hour.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until golden.
  • Add the sauteed onion and garlic to the pot along with the remaining ingredients. If the soup seems too thick, you can add up to 4 additional cups of water to the pot. Continue to cook until the vegetables and rice are tender and the soup has thickened.
  • In a food processor, puree at least half of the soup. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir.
  • Serve with grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese sprinkled on top.


This soup is better when prepared at least 1 day in advance and then reheated to serve.


Calories: 533kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 1426mg | Potassium: 1150mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3555IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 5.5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Kathy

    Excellent recipe. Blend to your own liking- can be as creamy or chunky as desired! We live in area of Tosi and I can say this recipe is pretty darn close. Instead of salt pork I’ll use ham or bacon if that’s what I have on hand. Thanks for posting this – I’ve been referring to it for years (usually after I’ve put all the ingredients in by memory to check if I’ve forgotten anything)!!!

  2. XFamily member

    5 stars
    Lolol, there is no rice or peas in the original recipe ? in which I, myself do have! And, the northern beans are not dried beans, They are the ones in the glass jar at the grocery store and puréed!
    The reason for the difference in the typical red minestrone vs this northern white bean puréed to be creamy is the red sauce comes from a different location of Italy than where Emil and his mother Henrietta was actually from.

  3. bellabecka

    Tosi’s whether at the restaurant in Stevensville or at Tosi’s cafe in St. Joseph, MI, the minestorne soup is creamy in texture. It isn’t like the typical minestrone soup everyone else makes with a thin broth and lots of vegetables. Whatever they use in their’s it gives it a creamy smooth taste and the soup is thick in texture with no chunks of vetables in it. The last time I had their soup was in 2012. It was to die for. It is the best minestrone I have ever had, and would love to know their recipe.

  4. John

    This is not the Tosi’s Minestrone soup I know and love. The one served at the restaurant has always been minced/chopped and not watery and full of whole veggies. Need to check your source.

  5. Kerrie

    you can purchase this soup in quart containers at Cafe Tosi’s in down town St Joe. The ingredients are listed on the label and there is no salt pork on that list.

    • Stephanie

      This was the recipe as it was written down by I believe Tosi’s , but that was awhile back. Restaurants do change their recipes from time to time. None the less, I enjoyed dining up there while I lived in the area.

    • Matthew

      My sister was one of the original Caffe Tosi employees and got me a job washing dishes in 1994, not even a year after they opened. I grew up with Barb’s(Tosi’s Executive Chef) sons and knew Gary, Ginger, and Marge, the owners of Tosi’s and Caffe Tosi at the time. I adored them; they were the nicest, most wonderful people I knew. I worked all over the Caffe, from the dish room, then the espresso bar, to the kitchen, and trained Anne, the current owner. I agree this is not the ACTUAL recipe. As you pointed out, the Salt Pork is a dead giveaway. I recall often having to reassure customers that the Minestrone was vegetarian and that the “handwritten” recipe floating around was inaccurate.

      The source of this recipe has been circulating SW Michigan for YEARS, allegedly from one of the cooks at Tosi’s. Having cooked this soup in the kitchen at Tosi’s, I can confirm there is no rice, peas, or salt pork, and a few other ingredients don’t match or are missing.

      With that said, this is a very close copy of the original, and well, take this and use it to reproduce what you love and miss or make it your own. After all, isn’t that what cooking is about?

      The source of this recipe has been circulating SW Michigan for YEARS, allegedly from one of the cooks at Tosi’s. Having cooked this soup in the kitchen at Tosi’s I can confirm there is no rice, peas, or salt pork, and a few other ingredients don’t match or are missing.

      With that said, this is a very close copy of the original, and well, take this and use it to reproduce what you love and miss or make it your own. After all, isn’t that what cooking is about?

      Thank you Stephanie for helping me remember a dish that brought me so much comfort and joy. I will be making this in Hawai’i to remind me of a time forgotten and missed!!

  6. Bucaneerbear

    if thats the picture of the soup… LOOKS nothing like Tosi’s. Although I have not been there for 20 Years, So it could be now but if it is not the same it was way back then and that would be sad for i LOVE soup and that was sooo at the top of my list

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