Vegan Minestrone Soup Recipe

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What do you get when you combine tomatoes, pasta, vegetables, and beans? Easy vegan minestrone soup! I’ll tell you how to cook it on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or in an Instant Pot. Plus, not only is this vegan, it’s naturally gluten-free minestrone soup too!

Vegan Minestrone Soup in a white bowl sitting outside on a white railing. The soup is filled with tons of veggies and has a deep orange-red color.

What Is Minestrone Soup?

This delicious soup is a hearty Italian soup that is made of lots of vegetables, beans, herbs, and pasta in a tomato-based broth seasoned with Italian herbs or Italian seasoning.

Minestrone is typically not vegan, though it very easily can be. Most minestrone recipes are made with a base broth of beef or chicken, and some have meat added.

However, if you switch that out for vegetable broth (which in my opinion, tastes amazing!) and avoid adding any meat, this soup becomes instantly vegan because the rest is just beans, veggies, and pasta.

Origins of Minestrone Soup

Minestrone was originally a peasant soup. It was a soup that was made so you could literally throw anything into it that you had on hand to make a meal. Even to this day, there is no standard recipe for this soup because it just isn’t that type of soup. It was always, and always will be, a “toss-everything-in-but-the-kitchen-sink” kind of soup.

1-Pot Vegan Minestrone

The great thing about minestrone soup is that you don’t need a ton of dishes to cook it. In fact, no matter how you cook it, it will always be a one-pot meal.

What’s The Difference Between Pasta Fagioli And Minestrone Soup?

Pasta Fagioli really focuses on pasta and beans, while minestrone welcomes just about anything you want to throw into it. But they are very similar soups when all is said and done.

What About The Pasta?

  • You can add pasta, or you can leave it out.
  • You can cook it in the soup, or you can cook it separately.
  • You can use ziti pasta, or whatever pasta you prefer (see notes if you are making this in a slow cooker). You can even use a small shell pasta (though it’s best to cook that separately.)
  • You can use whole grain pasta or alternative pasta, such as lentil or chickpea pasta.
  • If needed, use gluten-free pasta.
  • Try wild rice or brown rice in place of pasta.

What Can You Put In Minestrone Soup?

Minestrone is minestrone, regardless of what beans, pasta, or veggies you add. As long as you have a tomato base and some herbs, beans, and veggies, you’ve got Minestrone soup. So if you don’t like one (or a few) of the ingredients in this recipe, you can easily substitute with something you do like, or just leave it out. You’ll still end up with a delicious Minestrone soup!

Is Vegan Minestrone Soup Good For Dieting?

If it’s made right, it’s absolutely great for dieting! It can be low calories, it’s naturally low fat, and if eaten in measured portions, it’s easy to track all the macros in a nutrition tracker.

Tips For Your Best Minestrone Soup

To get the best flavor in any soup, you have to start with a well-flavored broth. Use a good-quality broth and season that if needed. Also, don’t be shy about salting and peppering your veggies as you sauté them. Building a strong foundation in any soup will provide you with excellent flavor every time. You can even dry roast any dry herbs before adding them. Simply use a dry pan, and stir your dry herbs in the pan until they become fragrant. Then add them to your soup.

What Other Vegetables Can I Add to Minestrone?

Honestly, just about any vegetable you want to add to Minestrone, will work well in minestrone. It’s an equal opportunity soup. If it’s in your fridge and needs to be eaten, chop it and add it to your soup. But here are a few suggestions:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Green beans

What Is Minestrone Soup Made Of? 

  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch chives
  • 1 medium bunch basil
  • 3 medium bay leaves
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 (28 oz.) can stewed or diced tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (no sugar added)
  • 6 large carrots
  • 1 lb. zucchini
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 lb. frozen peas
  • 1 lb. frozen corn
  • ½ lb. mushrooms
  • 5 large stalks celery
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To Make Vegan And Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

  • Chop all your veggies.
  • Chop all your herbs
  • Saute you onions and garlic in 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Add your herbs.
  • Open your cans of tomato products and stock, and add to pot. Bring to a very soft boil.
  • Add your beans (drain and rinse them) and all other veggies to the pot, and cook at a soft boil until all veggies are cooked through.
  • Allow to cool, and serve with a slice of whole wheat bread. You can also add leftover chicken to your bowl to get some protein. If you are vegetarian, add rice. The rice and beans will give you your protein.
  • Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh parsley or chopped, fresh basil.

How To Make Minestrone In A Crockpot

Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil, using a skillet and your stovetop. Once you’ve done this, put everything into your slow cooker, including the pasta, set to low heat, and cook for 2-4 hours.

IMPORTANT: A common complaint about pasta cooked in a slow cooker is that the pasta becomes mushy. This is due to overcooking. The best way to avoid this is to cook this recipe for 4 hours but add the pasta at the 1½ hour mark so that it doesn’t cook for more than 2½ hours. This cooking time works well for ziti pasta, which is well suited for slow cooker recipes. If you use a different pasta, chances are it will be thinner and need less cooking time. So your best bet is to really keep an eye on your soup towards the end of your cooking time to be sure it’s not overcooking.

How To Make Minestrone In An Instant Pot

If you want to make this in an Instant Pot, here’s how:

Sauté the veggies on the sauté setting in oil, in the IP insert pot. Cook until the onions are translucent.

Add everything else including your pasta. Secure the lid and close the steam valve. Use the Manual button. Adjust time to 2 minutes on high pressure.

When done, do a quick release. Stir, adjust salt and/or spices to your liking, and serve.

IMPORTANT: If you are cooking this in an IP and are using canned beans, cook everything without the beans and stir them in after cooking. Otherwise, they will get overcooked and fall apart. Also, if you wish to add spinach, stir this in just after opening the lid. The heat will wilt the spinach without overcooking it.

How To Store Leftover Minestrone Soup

Storing leftovers is a cinch. This recipe will keep in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days if kept in an airtight container.

Can You Freeze Minestrone Soup?

Yes, this recipe freezes very well. Divide this soup into individual servings and freeze for up to 6 months. I like to freeze in one-cup portions so I always have a quick and healthy meal available.

I easily freeze equal portions by using SuperCubes. If you haven’t tried these yet, they are so completely convenient! Once everything is frozen, I simply remove the frozen blocks and transfer them to a labeled freezer bag. They stack well because they are rectangular blocks. I freeze everything with them! Plus, they come in all different sizes. I have the 1 cup and the ½ cup Souper Cubes. I may get a 2 cup tray in the future as well. (I’m not paid to promote these, it’s just honestly what I use. Though I will disclose that this is an amazon affiliate link.)

IMPORTANT: If you plan to freeze this, I recommend cooking the pasta separately. You can make the pasta in smaller amounts as you eat portioned amounts of the soup. The pasta will not freeze well if it’s frozen in the soup. It will get mushy.

Souper Cubes 1-Cup Extra-Large Silicone Freezing Tray with Lid – 2 pack – makes 8 perfect 1cup portions – freeze soup broth or sauce

Serving Suggestions

The best way to serve minestrone soup is in a big bowl or mug with a side of crusty garlic bread. It’s a tried and true favorite around here.

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More Hearty Vegan Soup Recipes

Easy Minestrone Soup Recipe

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry
Clean Eating Minestrone Soup

Vegan Minestrone Soup

Note: You need a BIG pot for this one!
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 1 batch
Calories: 1673kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch chives
  • 1 medium bunch basil
  • 3 medium bay leaves
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 (28 oz.) can stewed tomatoes (no sugar added)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (no sugar added)
  • 6 large carrots
  • 1 lb. zucchini
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 lb. frozen peas
  • 1 lb. frozen corn
  • ½ lb. mushrooms
  • 5 large stalks celery
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Chop all your veggies.
  • Chop all your herbs
  • Saute you onions and garlic in 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Add your herbs.
  • Open your cans of tomato products and stock, and add to pot. Bring to a very soft boil.
  • Add your beans (drain and rinse them) and all other veggies to the pot, and cook at a soft boil until all veggies are cooked through.
  • Allow to cool, and serve with a slice of whole wheat bread. You can also add leftover chicken to your bowl to get some protein. If you are vegetarian, add rice. The rice and beans will give you your protein.
  • Season with salt and pepper and garish with fresh parsley or chopped, fresh basil.
  • Want to know what my secret ingredient is? Check out this itsy-bitsy carrot that got added to the pot. My son planted this in spring, and the poor thing just never got any bigger than this.
  • Freezer storage: Divide this soup into individual servings and freeze for up to 6 months.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible. Final yield depends on the amount of time this cooks for and how it is cooked. Divide data by number of servings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1entire recipe | Calories: 1673kcal | Carbohydrates: 307g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Sodium: 8106mg | Potassium: 7563mg | Fiber: 74g | Sugar: 103g | Vitamin A: 82206IU | Vitamin C: 358mg | Calcium: 544mg | Iron: 16mg
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