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This vegan minestrone soup is made with veggies, red beans and chickpeas, all simmered in a flavorful tomato broth with pasta. Top it off with some fresh basil for a scrumptious soup that’s both meal-worthy and delicious!
My parents are probably a little confused by this one. I was never that picky of an eater, but minestrone soup was one of my least favorites as a kid. I think the problem was that my family’s minestrone soup had ground beef in it. Even back then meat could ruin a good dish for me, and that was certainly the case with minestrone.
Minestrone is an Italian vegetable soup, in case you didn’t know, but conventional minestrone soup recipes can include various types of meat, like bacon or beef.
But there are lots of other things to love about minestrone soup. Veggies. Yum. Tangy tomatoey broth. Double yum. Herby garlic flavoring. Mmmmmm. So much good stuff!
These days I have my own vegan minestrone soup recipe, made with only the things I love. It’s totally meatless, dairy-free and delicious. It’s also one of those awesome meal-worthy soups that’s really easy to throw together.
- Ingredients You’ll Need
- How It’s Made
- Leftovers & Storage
- More Vegan Italian Soups
- Vegan Minestrone Soup
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Small pasta shells. Feel free to substitute your favorite small pasta shape. Orzo and ditalini would both be good options. Use gluten-free pasta if needed.
- Olive oil. Olive oil will give your soup the best flavor, though any high-heat oil will do.
- Vegetable broth.
- Diced tomatoes. We’re using canned diced tomatoes, either packed in juice or sauce — whichever is available is fine!
- Tomato paste.
- Canned beans. We’re using canned chickpeas and red kidney beans, though there’s lots of beans you could substitute here. Lentils, cannellini beans, and butter beans would all be good options.
- Dried oregano.
- Red pepper flakes. These will add a tiny bit of heat to the soup. You can leave them out for a milder soup.
- Zucchini. You could substitute yellow summer squash if you’d like.
- Baby spinach. Other greens like kale could be used, but will need to be added a bit earlier during cooking since they take a longer.
- Fresh basil.
- Salt and pepper.
- Vegan Parmesan cheese. This is for topping our soup. You use either store-bought or homemade vegan Parmesan.
Variations: Switch up the veggies with your favorites, like green beans, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, keeping in mind that harder veggies need to be added earlier during cooking, and softer veggies later. For a creamy vegan minestrone, add a bit of non dairy-milk or drizzle with some cashew cream when serving. Add some vegan sausage links for protein.
How It’s Made
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
- Cook your pasta according to the package directions. I like to try and time it so that’s it’s done when the soup is ready, but you can simply toss it with some olive oil if it’s finished first.
- Heat some olive oil in a large pot and add diced onion, celery, and carrots. Sweat the vegetables for a few minutes, stirring them frequently until they start to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook it with everything for about a minute, until it becomes very fragrant.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
- Lower the heat and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, until the carrots have softened up quite a bit.
- Add chopped zucchini to the pot and let it keep simmering.
- Add baby spinach during the last two minutes. Continue cooking the soup just until it wilts.
- Stir in the cooked pasta, remove the pot from heat, then add the basil and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
Tip: Feel free to thin the soup with additional hot broth or water at this point. Depending on how vigorously it boiled, the existing broth may have reduced by quite a bit.
- Ladle your vegan minestrone soup into bowls and top each with a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese.
Leftovers & Storage
Leftover vegan minestrone soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. The pasta will absorb liquid as it sits, so you may need to thin it with some broth or water when reheating it.
It also freezes really well and will last in the freezer for about 3 months.