This vegan minestrone soup is made with veggies, red beans and chickpeas, all simmered in a flavorful tomato broth with pasta. Top it off with some fresh basil for a scrumptious soup that’s both meal-worthy and delicious!
My mom’s probably a little confused by this one. I was never that picky of an eater, but minestrone soup was one of my least favorites as a kid. I blame two things: (1) meat, and (2) noodles.
So item 1 is a no brainer. You know I didn’t start this blog as an ode to my love for meat! So let’s not even discuss that one.
As for item 2, perhaps you’re thinking I’ve lost my mind. Really, while some folks out there may have their reasons for avoiding noodles, I’m sure none of those reasons include a distaste for noodles, nor would any of those reasons have mattered to me when I was ten years old.
What I didn’t like about minestrone soup, and lots of other soups in particular for that matter, was soggy noodles. I still don’t. They’re the worst if you ask me.
Lots of people will tell you pasta is better on the second day, after soaking up lots of sauce (in other words, getting soggy). I tell you those people are nuts. Sorry if you’re one of them. (But also see my tips below for a soggy noodle version of this soup.)
So what am I doing posting a recipe vegan minestrone with noodles that sit in broth and inevitably get soggy? Well, I have a trick. I waited tables for a few years during college, and I learned a few things. When the soup du jour at any of these restaurants I served in involved pasta, instead of letting the soup hang around and sog up the noodles, we tossed the noodles in some oil and stored them separate from the soup. Then when someone ordered soup, we’d noodle up a bowl and ladle broth overtop.
Now let’s talk about what I do love about minestrone, and maybe would’ve loved as a kid, had it not been for those pesky issues I just talked about. Veggies. Yum. Tangy tomatoey broth. Double yum. Herby garlic flavoring. Mmmmmm. So much good stuff! These days I love my meatless soggy noodle-free minestrone soup.
How to Make Vegan Minestrone Soup
Another thing I love about minestrone is how easy it is to make! It’s one of those awesome meal-worthy soups that comes together in one pot in a totally reasonable amount of time.
First off, if you’re avoiding soggy noodles like I am, start by cooking your pasta separately. You can get started on the soup while it boils.
For the soup, sweat some onion in olive oil. Once the onion has had a chance to soften up, you can all almost all of the remaining ingredients: broth tomatoes, spices, carrots and beans. Let the soup simmer until the broth has thickened up and the carrots are tender
Next, stir in some zucchini. Zucchini is a softer veggies, so we’re adding it late to reduce the cook time.
Let the soup simmer a few minutes more, then stir in your cooked pasta and some fresh basil.
I love to eat my minestrone with a big chunk of crusty bread for soaking up the broth.
FAQ & Tips for Making Awesome Vegan Minestrone Soup
- Want to make this soup gluten-free? Use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
- This soup can be made with lots of variations! Switch up the veggies with your favorites, keeping in mind that harder veggies need to be added earlier and softer veggies later. For a creamy vegan minestrone, add a bit of non dairy-milk or drizzle with some cashew cream when serving. Top with vegan Parm if you like. Add some vegan sausage links. The possibilities are endless!
- Leftovers will keep in a sealed container for 3-4 days. If you’re not into soggy noodles, be sure to store your pasta separately from the rest of the soup. If you are into soggy noodles and you store everything together, you may find that most of the broth gets sucked up during storage. Add some more when you reheat it if you like!
- The pasta in this recipe is cooked separately from the soup. I like it that way because you can prevent the noodles from getting soggy! Do you prefer your pasta cooked in your soup? If so, just add it with the zucchini. It might suck up some broth — just add some more if it does!
Vegan Minestrone Soup
This vegan minestrone soup is made with veggies, red beans and chickpeas, all simmered in a flavorful tomato broth with pasta. Top it off with some fresh basil for a scrumptious soup that's both meal-worthy and delicious!
For the Vegan Minestrone Soup
- 1 cup dried small pasta shells (or your favorite small pasta shape)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, packed
- salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.
Drain the pasta into a colander. Return it to the pot and toss it with a bit of olive oil.
While the pasta cooks, coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sweat the onion for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and cook it for about 1 minute, until very fragrant.
Stir in the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, kidney beans, carrots, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the broth thickens up a bit and the carrots are soft. You can add some water if the broth reduces too much.
Stir in the zucchini and simmer for about 7 minutes more, until the zucchini is soft.
Remove the pot from heat and stir in the pasta and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and serve.