Are you looking for a super easy and cozy vegetable soup for cold days? This Vegan Minestrone Soup recipe is exactly that and it’s so easy to make with only 5 minutes of prep work required! We’ve made this classic soup recipe even more perfect to make at home by using canned beans and cooking the dry pasta all together in one pot.
Soup season is here and I am here for it. Whether I’m chilly from a full day of skiing or just feeling unmotivated on a Sunday night, a warm bowl of soup always hits the spot. I used to reach for cans of soup – minestrone being a common one for me.
Being the nutritionist that I am, I know they are filled with sodium and I knew I could make it better at home but just as easy to reheat. Now, I don’t want to get you too excited – but I crushed this recipe and I am SO excited to show you just how easy it is to make.
Why you’ll love it
- Adaptable with whatever stock or pasta or have on hand. While this is a vegan soup, if you only have chicken or beef broth you could use that too.
- Meal prep this soup when you have a little bit of time and then enjoy it throughout the week. It reheats fantastically!
- Shelf-stable ingredients like beans and crushed tomatoes make this a soup that you can make just about any time.
Ingredients for Vegan Minestrone Soup
The right combination of spices is the key to any great soup. This soup uses classic spices and mirepoix to create tons of flavor in a short amount of time!
- Mirepoix: This is a combination of onions, celery, and carrots that is traditional in French cooking. While the carrots add sweetness, we use yellow onions here for just a touch more sweetness.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic will always be best, but you can use pre-minced garlic that is found in the produce section of the store.
- Crushed Tomatoes: Some swear by fire-roasted tomatoes here, but I found no difference in taste using them or not. And with my food science background, I tested this a few times, just to be sure.
- Kidney beans: Minestrone soup is an Italian soup and is believed to date back to Roman times when Roman beans were used for it. I prefer red kidney beans because they add a great color, are easy to find in-store, and pack a good amount of fiber and protein. You could swap them out for your favorite type of beans though, like white beans or cannellini beans.
- Vegetable broth: You can make your own vegetable broth or use store-bought. Really either is a fine option. And if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, chicken or beef broth will work.
- Orecchiette pasta: You can use your favorite small pasta shape like macaroni, cascatelli, elbow, ditalini, etc. I should note, that some pastas are not vegan so just double-check the ingredients.
- Green beans: Fresh green beans are a must for this recipe, just be sure to cut the stems off. Canned green beans will become mushy when cooked for an extended period of time.
- Fresh spinach: I prefer baby spinach for this because it’s more bite-sized. Standard spinach will work too but I don’t recommend frozen spinach. Thinly sliced kale would also be tasty in this soup.
- Spices: Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt come together to create the Italian flavor that minestrone is known for. And the red pepper is our little twist that makes this soup extra delicious with a little bit of heat!
Want a brothy soup?
I use just enough broth to make this soup more stew-like because I want a hearty meal with lots of “stuff”. That being said, a lot of the broth in the recipe will end up getting absorbed by the pasta. So if you prefer a more brothy texture soup, add an additional 2 cups of broth.
How to make Minestrone Soup
This soup recipe is very simple to make as long as you read through the instructions first to understand the general process. For the full steps, with photos, scroll down to the recipe card but here’s that brief overview to help you get started.
- Make the flavor base by sauteing the veggies and spices.
- Make it a soup by adding the broth, beans, and tomatoes.
- Add in the fillings like the pasta and green beans.
- Serve with fresh bread and vegan parmesan!
This veggie soup stores great in the fridge. Just keep in it an airtight container for up to 5 days. This makes it ideal for reheating throughout the week. Just pop it in the microwave or reheat slowly on the stove.
- Add veggies, like zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, or yellow squash.
- Add herbs, like thyme, basil, oregano, or bay leaves.
Can I make this minestrone soup in the slow cooker?
Yes, but it will take a little more work because you need to saute the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic and then transfer to the slow cooker. And I recommend adding the pasta and green beans only for the last hour. I find the slow cooker a better option for traveling with the soup, like to the office or a friend’s house since it’s basically a portable warmer!
Can this soup be gluten-free?
Yes, it can be gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta, but as I mentioned above, this pasta often becomes mushy quickly. So, after you add the pasta, stay by the pot to monitor the doneness as the time will be different than what I have in the recipe card. Using another substitute like cooked quinoa or lentils is a heartier option if you don’t want to babysit the soup.
Can this soup be frozen?
Yes, it can be but it’s not the best soup for freezing. The pasta will be mushy when you reheat it.
Souplicious Serving Ideas
Add more vegan deliciousness to your meal by pairing this soup with any of my other vegan favorites.
- Microwave Baked Potato is so easy to make while the soup is cooking!
- Tomato Cucumber Avocado Salad is a refreshing contrast to the warm and hearty minestrone soup.
- Air Fryer Frozen Spring Rolls are super easy and the perfect crunch to go with cozy soup. I know it might seem like an odd flavor pairing, but just trust me on this one.
” Made a big pot on Saturday and was absolutely hooked after the first taste. It is absolutely perfect.” —Vik
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 3 ribs celery diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ to 1 tsp salt start with ½ tsp
- 2 14.5-oz cans crushed tomatoes 411 g cans
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans drained and rinsed, 425 g
- 4 cups vegetable broth* 1 L
- 2 cups orecchiette pasta can use any small pasta type, 170 g
- 2 cups green beans trimmed and chopped into bite-sizes
- 4 cups fresh spinach chopped
- To serve: vegan parmesan, good bread
- Flavor Base: Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 1 medium yellow onion, 2 carrots, 3 ribs celery, and 4 cloves garlic. Cook until onion and carrots soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in 1 tsp Italian seasoning, ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, and ½ to 1 tsp salt.
- Soup-ify: Stir in 2 14.5-oz cans crushed tomatoes, 1 15-oz can kidney beans, and 4 cups vegetable broth*. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Fillings: Add 2 cups orecchiette pasta and 2 cups green beans and continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. In the last minute of cooking, stir in the 4 cups fresh spinach, stirring until it wilts down.
- Serve: Taste the soup and add remaining salt, if needed. Serve warm with your favorite bread for dipping and topped with a vegan parmesan cheese!