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When you’re looking for a soup as a meal in cooler winter days, this Vegetarian Minestrone Soup is an excellent choice. The Italian inspired soup recipe has 19 grams of protein per serving and only bout 350 calories. It’s a hearty healthy soup recipe that’ll leave you feeling satisfied and full! And best part is you can make it with simple pantry ingredients and any vegetables.
This vegetarian minestrone soup is one I’ve been making for years! It’s a flavorful minestrone that’s very filling with enough flexibility to make it your own. You can swap the pasta for a gluten-free kind, leave out the parmesan cheese to make it vegan, and you can switch out the vegetables based on what’s in season. It’s common to make a spring minestrone or winter minestrone, for example.
How to make minestrone soup
- Start by cooking the aromatics: I include the usual onions, celery and carrots.
- Sauté them until they’re fragrant and fork tender but not too soft; only a few minutes.
- Next, add in zucchini (and any other vegetables), along with garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. This is where you can get really flexible with this vegetarian minestrone soup.
- Cook all those together until they’re fragrant.
- Now add the tomato paste and the crushed tomatoes, along with vegetable broth. Bring it all to a boil and then let it simmer for 20 minutes. You want to thicken the broth and soften the vegetables.
- Then it’s time to add the canned beans along with the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente only.
Once the pasta is cooked, you can taste to adjust for seasoning and add more broth or water if the mixture is looking thick. I like to enjoy the vegetarian minestrone soup as a thick hearty soup. Keep in mind that the pasta will continue to absorb more liquid and will get even larger the next day, thereby reducing the broth.
As it is, this soup is actually a vegan minestrone soup because there’s no dairy used in the recipe. However, I do love topping it off with some shaved parmesan cheese along with fresh parsley.
Tips for making minestrone soup
- Swap the zucchini for any seasonal vegetables and greens. The word minestrone literally translates to a thick vegetable soup. So the vegetables are important in vegetarian minestrone soup. And I recommend using what’s in season like green beans, squash, peas or even potatoes.
- Add a piece of Parmesan rind to the soup. This is one of those amazing flavor enhancers that’s very simple to achieve. Add it while the broth is boiling and be sure to remove the rind right before you serve it.
- Use short pasta cuts. The best pastas for making this vegetarian minestrone soup are the short ones so that each spoonful of the soup contains pasta, veggies and beans. Look for macaroni, orechiette, mini wheels or ditalini, which is what I like to use.
- Cook the pasta separately to keep it al dente. The pasta will absorb more liquid as it sits, and especially the next day. So the consistency can get much softer after a while. To avoid that, you can cook the pasta separately and then add it on top of the soup when you serve. I do this if I’m serving to guests for best presentation, but I cook everything together when it’s just for my family.
Frequently asked questions
Can you freeze minestrone soup?
Yes you can, but without the pasta. If you know you are making extra soup to freeze, be sure to freeze it without the pasta. Otherwise the pasta will absorb too much liquid in the freezer and become mushy. When ready to reheat, you can either add freshly cooked pasta to the reheated soup or cook the pasta while reheating the soup on the stovetop.
How long can you store the vegetarian soup?
Since there’s no meat in this vegetarian minestrone, you can store the soup in the fridge for 4-5 days in an airtight container. I like to store them in individual servings, which makes for perfect leftover lunch. You can add a splash of water when you reheat it if you notice the broth is too thick.
What to serve with this soup?
Because it’s an Italian recipe, I like serving it as a starter when I make my homemade lasagna recipe, along with some olive oil garlic bread and caesar salad. It can be a full meal on its own though!
For more vegetarian soup recipes:
- Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
- Tomato Cabbage Soup
- Mediterranean White Bean Soup
- Vegan Asparagus Soup
- Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup
- Roasted Tomato Soup
- 5 Ingredient Tomato Soup
- Creamy Vegetable Soup
- Spinach Tortellini Soup
If you’re a fan of the Olive Garden minestrone soup, you’re going to love my homemade version because it has a similar flavor, but it’s healthier for you with a fresher taste! This is a tasty, affordable and nutritious soup that is one of my favorites to make. Because it’s full of protein, vegetables and carbs, it makes for a well-balanced meal on its own!
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Vegetarian Minestrone Soup recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 large carrots diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 zucchini diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 15 oz can kidney beans drained/rinse
- 15 oz can white beans drained/rinsed
- 1/2-3/4 cup small pasta of choice
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving
- Fresh parsley for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, thyme, oregano and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes with their juices and vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer until the vegetables soften, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the kidney beans, white beans and pasta. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 6-8 minutes or according to pasta package instructions.
- Serve with parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.