This amazing Vegan Minestrone recipe is one of the best vegetable soups you’ll make! It’s a thick, hearty, vegetable-infused soup with beans and pasta. It’s one of the few dinners that the entire family loves and can eat together. Make this Italian vegetable soup for your weekday dinner or lunch!
Maybe you’ve heard about minestrone soup but never thought of it as a vegetable soup. In fact, maybe you’ve always had it with meat. So, that might lead you to wonder, is it hard to make minestrone soup vegan?
Actually, it’s not hard at all. Once you understand that this recipe’s origin is an Italian vegetable soup, it all makes sense. Sure, some people may add meat to their minestrone, and others may use chicken stock, but they’re the outliers, not you!
Soup is such a go-to favorite around my house because I can make a big batch and enjoy the leftovers throughout the week.
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here’s the list of ingredients to make this vegetarian minestrone soup recipe:
- Olive oil
- Veggies — We’ll add chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to create a savory foundation.
- Potatoes — I like using red potatoes, but you can substitute golden or russet potatoes.
- Tomato paste
- Vegetable Broth — Use your favorite broth, but I recommend Better than Bouillon for a high=quality consistent broth
- Diced tomatoes
- Elbow noodles (macaroni) — You can use regular, whole wheat, gluten-free, or even bean pasta.
- Bay leaves
- Chopped spinach — You can use fresh or frozen.
- Chopped zucchini
- Kidney beans — Use dark red, red, or white beans.
- Seasonings — Here we’ll use dried basil, oregano, black pepper, and salt.
- Lemon juice — Add a little bit of lemon juice to create a fresh flavor in all your soups.
You can make a gluten-free minestrone soup by using gluten-free pasta. There are so many different gluten-free pasta options these days.
How to Make Vegan Minestrone
Here are the steps to make this delicious vegan soup:
Step One: Sauté Veggies
Place a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onions, chopped carrots, chopped potatoes, and chopped celery. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Quick Fix Tip
Speed up the cooking process by placing chopped carrots in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. Prop the lid on top of the container to allow the steam to vent, then microwave for one minute. Be sure to allow the container to cool in the microwave for a few moments. Then pour the contents of the bowl (including any liquids steamed from the carrots) into the pot with the cooking onions. You can repeat this process with the potatoes too, but they can take a little longer to cook in the microwave (up to 3 or 4 minutes).
Step Two: Add Liquids
Next, we’ll be adding the canned tomatoes (including the liquid from the can) broth, and pasta. Give this a stir, and then add the bay leaves.
Increase the heat to medium-high to bring the pot to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, partially cover the pot with a lid (to create a vent). Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
Step Three: Add Veggies
Remove the lid and add beans, chopped zucchini, chopped spinach, basil, and oregano. Stir and then continue simmering for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the pasta is cooked according to your preferences.
When the soup is done, remove the pot from heat and remove the bay leaves. Next, stir in the lemon juice. I know it may sound unusual to add lemon juice to soup, but it does make a difference. Lemon Juice really brings out the flavors in your soup (although this is optional if you don’t have any lemon juice handy).
Make it thicker by using a potato masher to mash a little bit of the soup. Just a couple of mashes will do the trick. Finally, season the soup with some salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. When you’re ready to serve your vegan minestrone, saddle it into bowls and top each serving with Vegan Parmesan and bread of your choice.
Store vegan minestrone in an airtight container in the fridge were it will keep for up to 5 days. You can transfer it to freezer-safe containers where it will keep up to 2 months.
Here are more of my favorite vegan soup recipes that you might love too!
So now, in addition to this veggie minestrone, you’ve got lots of great vegan soup options!
Vegan Minestrone Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium onion)
- 2 cups chopped carrots (2 large carrots)
- 2 cups diced red potatoes (smaller cubes will speed up cooking time)
- 2 ribs celery washed, ends removed, and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 6 cups water
- 4 teaspoons Better than Bouillon Vegan Broth Base
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes with its juices
- 1 cup elbow noodles (see note)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 2 15 oz kidney beans (dark red, red, or white) rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Salt to taste (the vegetable stock might be enough)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
- Garnish: Vegan Parmesan
- Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add chopped onions, chopped carrots, chopped potatoes, and chopped celery. Cook for 7–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another 1–2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Next add the canned tomatoes (including the liquid) water, bouillon, and pasta. Give it a stir and add the 2 bay leaves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, partially cover the pot with a lid (to create a vent). Simmer for 15–20 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
- Remove the lid and add beans, chopped zucchini, chopped spinach, basil, and oregano. Stir and then continue simmering for another 5–10 minutes, until the pasta is cooked according to your preferences.
- When the soup is done, remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Stir in lemon juice. You may consider using a potato masher to mash a little bit of the soup to add thickness. Just a couple of mashes will do the trick. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before serving in bowls, topped with Vegan Parmesan and bread of your choice.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.