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!
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!
- 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?
- Start with getting your largest stock pot and creating a mirepoix. Mirepoix: a sauté of diced carrots, celery, and onion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
What to serve with Vegetarian Minestrone Soup?
Other comfort foods you’re going to love
- Beef Stroganoff by Simple Kitchen Cooking
- Dutch Oven Carrot Ginger Soup by Cast Iron Recipes
- Served as a starter when paired with my Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken
Enjoy this easy vegetarian minestrone soup recipe tonight!
Easy Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
- large stock pot or 6 quart dutch oven
- can opener
- cutting board
- vegetable peeler
- 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
- ½ 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
- ½ teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
- 4 ounces (dry) elbow macaroni
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 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.