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 one of the vegan vegetable soup recipes. 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, like minestrone and vegetarian chicken noodle soup, is such a go-to favorite around my house because I can make a big batch and enjoy the leftovers throughout the week.
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:
- 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.
- 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. You can make a gluten-free minestrone soup by using gluten-free pasta.
- Chopped spinach — You can use fresh or frozen.
- 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.
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.
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 1 to 2 minutes. Use oven mitts to remove the container or let it sit in the microwave to cool. Pour the contents of the bowl (including any liquids steamed from the carrots) into the pot. Repeat this process with the chopped potatoes, cooking them in the microwave for up to 4+ minutes.
When the soup is done, stir in some lemon juice. I know it may sound unusual to add lemon juice to soup, but it does make a difference. Lemon Juice brings out the flavors in your soup.
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, ladle 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.
This is our go-to minestrone. Love it!
Vegetarian 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
- 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
- 30 oz canned kidney beans (dark red, red, or white) rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ 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 and chopped celery. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender.
- Add chopped carrots to a microwave safe bowl and cook for 2 minutes, until slightly tender. Use oven mitts to transfer the carrots to the pot. Repeat this process with the potatoes, cooking them in the microwave for up to 4 or 5 minutes until slightly 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.
- 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.
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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.
This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.