Vegan Minestrone Soup

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!

Serve some vegan garlic bread and vegan Caesar salad on the side.

Two Bowls of vegan minestrone are on a table top with a blue kitchen towel between them.

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.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Cooking carrots and potatoes with onions helps add flavor to the soup while tenderizing the vegetables
  • Using a high-quality vegetable broth is key to producing the most savory soup
  • Gently mashing the soup a few times before serving helps to thicken the broth (without the need for adding thickeners)
  • Adding a bit of lemon juice brightens and enhances the flavor of this soup.
A closeup of minestrone soup with another bowl behind it.

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 — You’ll need a 28-ounce can of 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.

Marly’s Tips

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

  1. Cook onions, carrots, potatoes, and celery in a pot with oil over medium heat until vegetables tender.
  2. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the canned tomatoes, water, bouillon, pasta, and bay leaves.
  4. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender.
  5. Stir in the beans, chopped zucchini, chopped spinach, basil, and oregano. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes to cook the pasta.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in some lemon juice. Use a potato masher to mash a little bit of the soup to add thickness.
  7. Allow the soup to cool slightly before serving in bowls, topped with Vegan Parmesan and bread of your choice.

Here are the step-by-step instructions to make this delicious vegan minestrone 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. 

Looking down on a pot of veggies being cooked for soup.

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.

A wooden spoon reaches in to a pot and holds some soup.

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. 

Serving

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.

Storage Tips

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.

A bowl of soup has a spoon in it.

More Soups

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!

A closeup of a bowl of minestrone soup, showing noodles, beans, and other ingredients.
A bowl of soup has a spoon in it.

Vegan Minestrone Soup

This Vegan Minestrone is made with all your favorite veggies. This soup is a family favorite and loved by all. Be sure to serve with your favorite bread and some vegan parmesan.
5 from 3 votes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10
Calories: 150kcal

Ingredients

  • 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
  • ¼ 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
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste (the vegetable stock might be enough)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
  • Garnish: Vegan Parmesan

Instructions

  • 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 to 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 to 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 to 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.

Recommended Equipment

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Notes

Regarding Pasta: Use whole wheat or gluten-free pasta based on your preferences.
To Speed Up Cooking Time: Consider cooking carrots and potatoes separately. I put chopped carrots in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. Add a little bit of water, then prop the lid on top (it needs to be able to vent steam), and cook for 1–2 minutes. Allow it to sit in the microwave until cool enough to handle (or use oven mitts). Pour the cooked carrots and its juices in with the pot. Follow this same process for the potatoes.
Use Vegan Parmesan as a garnish. 
Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 542mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5093IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg

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.

This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

2 Responses to Vegan Minestrone Soup

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBridget Reply

    5 stars
    This is our go-to minestrone. Love it!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMina Reply

    5 stars
    Wow! This vegan minestrone soup looks tasty. Perfect for the rainy weather (or any season!)

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