Let me clear the air by saying what we’re all thinking: minestrone soup is often basic. And boring. Basic and boring and uninspired and watery and flavorless. But despite all of its known weaknesses, minestrone soup is here to stay, so we might as well breathe some life into it, am I right? You can answer that question after you make this version.
This minestrone soup recipe raises the bar through its density. Packed with vegetables and cute little pasta bits, it’s out with the pond water and in with the hearty, flavorful, and healthy spoonful after spoonful. In addition to being straight-up delicious, this hearty minestrone soup recipe is easy to make. Chop a few veggies, add some spices and veggie broth to a pot, simmer with some pasta, and minestrone soup is reborn.
This soup will get you compliments if you take it out into the world. My wife and I both took leftovers and immediately heard oohhhs and ahhhhs from coworkers – “that looks gourmet!” and “I love how many vegetables are in it!” were some favorites from the day.
what vegetables are in minestrone soup?
Minestrone soup is a super flexible recipe. You can add almost any vegetable, including celery, onions, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, spinach, kale, squash, or peas. For additional heartiness, add beans and pasta. My favorite beans for minestrone soup are kidney beans and navy beans. For pasta, try pipette, elbow, or mini farfalle.
If you make this vegan minestrone soup and drink some wine, let me know how it suits you. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #plantandvine on Instagram. If you’re chilly and want to make some other winter warmer soups, check out mushroom lentil soup with kale, moroccan chickpea stew, and vegan asparagus soup.
vegan minestrone soup and wine pairings
In the wine pairing world, folks often gravitate towards matching food and wine from the same region. Since minestrone soup is Italian, let’s dive into Italian red wines, famous for their classic acidic profiles which pair well with the soup’s tomato base. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Sangiovese: a classic Italian red with high acid and raspberry, roasted tomato, clay pot, olive, and leather flavors. Easy to find at your local wine shop and equally affordable.
- Suggested Regions: Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino, Italy
- Côtes du Rhône: French blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, bringing a fruity, acidic angle to your meal. Strawberry, dried green herbs, baking spices, and raspberry. Nice accompaniment to a rustic, chunky soup.
- Suggested Regions: Southern Rhône, France
- Syrah: Steer towards the savory, peppery, tobacco, and olive flavors of the Northern Rhône Syrahs and away from the bold, jammy Shiraz of Australia. Fruity and acidic enough to play with the flavors of the minestrone.
- Suggested Regions: Northern Rhône, France
If you’re interested in learning more about food and wine pairing, check out my wine pairing guide. If you have a bottle of wine ready to go and are curious about decanting it, check out the best wine decanters and how-to guide.
Hearty Vegan Minestrone Soup
Hearty, rustic, easy vegan minestrone soup that’s perfect for fall or winter evenings.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: Vegan, Vegetarian, Pasta, Main, Soup
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American, Italian, Vegan, Healthy
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 3 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 3 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (I used potatoes and green beans)
- 7 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with liquid
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 bay leaves
- Pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup dried pasta (elbow, mini farfalle, or pipette)
- 1 can kidney or navy beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups spinach or chopped kale
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Fresh herbs, such as thyme or basil, for garnishing (optional)
- Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. When the oil is warmed, add the onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a generous pinch of salt. Stirring frequently, cook until the vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes.
- Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, broth, water, salt, bay leaves, a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Increase heat to medium-high to bring the soup to a boil. Partially cover the pot with a lid, leaving a small gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, not a rolling boil. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and add the pasta, beans, and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 15 – 20 minutes. You want the pasta to be al dente and the greens to be soft.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season as desired, with additional salt for flavor intensity, black pepper or red pepper flakes for heat, or oregano and thyme for herbiness.
- Store in covered container in refrigerator up to 4 days. As with most soups, the flavors will continue to meld and develop over time.
*Recipe is a guide. Adapt as desired. Adapted from Cookie & Kate.
Keywords: vegan minestrone soup, minestrone soup, easy minestrone soup, Italian minestrone soup