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Vegetarian Minestrone Soup [with Vegan options!]

This classic Minestrone Soup is made vegetarian and vegan with a few simple twists. This one-pot soup is the perfect way to welcome colder weather this fall without feeling weighed down. Now grab your biggest pot and let’s get cooking!

Image of: a close up of a white bowl with vegetarian minestrone soup topped with cheese and parsley. A second bowl and striped cloth are in the background.
A hearty bowl of soup with pantry essentials and fresh vegetables are a welcome dish on your fall table.

What is Minestrone Soup?

Classic Minestrone Soup, developed in the 1870s out of England, is a vegetable soup with a thick tomato base. The rich flavor and heartiness of the soup comes from the use of a mirepoix, in-season vegetables, fire-roasted tomatoes, and everyone’s favorite elbow macaroni.

How to make Minestrone Soup with substitutions

These few simple tricks and ingredient swaps make it easy to share your pot with a neighbor or friend. This recipe yields a high volume and with a taste this good, you can’t not share!Image of a dutch oven full of vegetarian minestrone soup with a silver ladle.

This recipe makes a 6 quarts. Enough for you and to share!
  • Vegetarian – use vegetable stock instead of the traditional chicken stock.
  • Vegan – substitute the optional parmesan cheese for a dairy-free variety, as well as the stock switch. Also, be mindful of the pasta you purchase as some does contain dairy.
  • Gluten-Free – purchase gluten-free pasta from your local grocer with ease!

How do you make minestrone soup from scratch?

  1. Start with getting your largest stock pot and creating a mirepoix. Mirepoix: a sauté of diced carrots, celery, and onion.
  2. Once your mirepoix has started to sweat down, add the minced garlic and spices. The trick to cooking with garlic is doing so only for a quick minute. You want the flavor to come out into the dish but you do not want to burn it. Chef tip: spices should always be cooked or heated for a minute to achieve the best flavor profile.
  3. Add your drain and rinsed beans. Note that it is important to drain and rinse your canned beans to remove excess starch and so as not to alter the texture of the soup.
  4. Add your the tomatoes, vinegar, and vegetable stock. Stir to combine and allow to come to a slow boil. You may need to increase your heat for this step depending on your stovetop.
  5. Add your pasta of choice, see my notes below, and ensure all the pasta is covered with liquid. Cook for about 8 minutes until pasta is al dente. Serve with your choice of garnishes.

Tips for making Minestrone Soup

Have your mise en place. Meaning have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go, especially for quick recipes like this one!

 

Image of all the ingredients required for vegetarian minestrone soup in individual glass bowls on a white marble top.

Fresh and canned ingredients come together in all the best ways!

We wanted to keep this soup as easy as possible for you by minimizing ingredients and maximizing flavor. However, Minestrone is one of those perfect soups to challenge your creativity. Got zucchini? Throw it in! Summer squash, butternut squash, more carrots, or kale? Any fresh (or frozen!) vegetable you have is only going to make this soup better.

If your kids are like most other kids, they love picking the pasta. Don’t have elbow macaroni thanks to their latest art project? No worries. Simply let them choose another short pasta such as alphabet letters, wheels, or small shells. Feel free to cook the pasta separately for picky eaters that may want a little more pasta than soup.

A dutch oven of minestrone soup with raw elbow macaroni.
Reserve the pasta to cook in your soup just before serving.

Tips for leftovers and making ahead

For the best leftovers: Be sure to add more water or stock prior to reheating and serving. As the pasta cooks and sits as a leftover, the pasta will continue to absorb the liquid. This can make pasta a bit soft as well as diminish the liquid within the soup.

To make ahead: If you’re making this soup as part of your Sunday meal prep, consider leaving out the pasta and cooking it the night you plan to serve to avoid soft pasta.

To freeze: To make this ahead and freeze, you can cook entirely and allow to cool. Then separate into freezable containers leaving 1/2 to 1 inch of head space. Freeze in entire batches or in single batches.A close up image of a spoonful of vegetarian minestrone soup.

Hearty and vibrant, you’ll love every spoonful.

What to serve with Vegetarian Minestrone Soup?

An overhead image of minestrone soup served in a dutch oven and two white bowls. Served alongside two buttermilk biscuits.

Serve with buttermilk biscuits or as a starter course to any holiday party.

Other comfort foods you’re going to love

 

Enjoy this easy vegetarian minestrone soup recipe tonight!

Image of: a close up of a white bowl with vegetarian minestrone soup topped with cheese and parsley. A second bowl and striped cloth are in the background.

Easy Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

Quick, easy, and enough to feed a crowd! This vegetarian minestrone soup, with vegan options, is perfect for parties or fall nights.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Dish, Meatless Main Course, Side Dish, Soup, Stove Top
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 10 people
Calories 598 kcal

Equipment

  • large stock pot or 6 quart dutch oven
  • ladle
  • strainer
  • can opener
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • vegetable peeler

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots diced small
  • 1 cup celery diced small
  • 1 large yellow or white onion thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (optional)
  • 14 ounces (1 can) kidney beans
  • 14 ounces (1 can) cannellini beans
  • 24 ounces vegetable stock
  • 28 ounces diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces (dry) elbow macaroni
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Place oil into a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.
  • Add carrots,celery, and onion to pot and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add garlic. Continue cooking for 2 minutes or until vegetables have softened and are fragrant.
  • Add the garlic and spices. Cook for one minute.
  • Add all remaining ingredients to the pot, except for the pasta. Stir to combine, increase heat to medium high and bring to a low boil.
  • Add pasta to pot and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. If soup appears too thick, add more vegetable stock or water to reach desired consistency.
  • Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 598kcalCarbohydrates: 109gProtein: 36gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 197mgFiber: 31gSugar: 12g
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

 

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3 Comments

  1. YUMMY!! It’s getting to be fall, and while part of me wants to cry about saying goodbye to summer, there’s another part of me that is ready to get cozy. This soup is perfect for the cozy times!

    1. I totally understand the summer love story, Jessie. That being said, fall IS the soup season, and I’m a soup girl at heart. I hope your cozy soup time is special. 🙂

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