Vegetable Minestrone Soup
This homemade vegetable minestrone soup is healthy, hearty comfort food at its finest! Load it up with veggies, beans, and pasta and enjoy a cozy one-pot meal that’s good for you too.
Some vegetable soups leave you hungry for more. But this vegetable minestrone soup? It’s definitely the kind of soup you can make a meal out of. Minestrone is satisfying and hearty, with beans and pasta in every spoonful.
And, of course, you can’t forget the vegetables! They’re simmered to perfection here and infused with savoury flavour thanks to the rich tomato base. While I used the veggies that I happened to have on hand, you don’t have to stick with those—vegetable minestrone is the perfect clean-out-your-crisper-drawer kind of recipe.
What Is the Difference Between Minestrone and Vegetable Soup?
A traditional vegetable soup typically contains vegetables in a tomato broth, while minestrone adds pasta and beans. Minestrone soups are often more heavily seasoned, with plenty of Italian herbs for a boost of flavour. Although it’s certainly not a traditional addition, I love adding za’atar to minestrone, which contains some of those classic Italian herbs, but also sesame seeds and spices like cumin and coriander, giving the soup more depth.
Notes on Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
- Oil – Olive oil is the traditional choice when making minestrone, but you can use any oil you keep on hand for cooking.
- Red onion – Yellow or white are fine too, or swap the onion for shallots.
- Yellow squash – Zucchini is an easy substitute for yellow squash, or try an heirloom summer squash variety like pattypan or zephyr.
- Tomatoes – You can also use a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes with its juices.
- Tomato paste – If you buy a can of tomato paste for this recipe, you can freeze the leftovers in 1-tablespoon portions so you have tomato paste on hand the next time you need it!
- Salt and pepper
- Italian seasoning – Or use 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, and 1 teaspoon dried basil.
- Red kidney beans or cannellini beans
- Vegetable broth – Use a high-quality store-bought broth, or use my homemade vegetable broth recipe.
- Dry pasta – Shells, orecchiette, macaroni, or any other shape you’d like.
- Spinach – Substitute kale for a heartier green, or use chard leaves and add the stems in with the onions, celery, and carrot.
- Lime – The acid of fresh lime juice adds another layer of flavour to this vegetable minestrone. Sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar can be substituted, or try lemon juice.
- Optional ingredients and toppings – Extra-virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, parsley, za’atar, parsley, crusty bread, vegan Parmesan
Is Vegetable Broth the Same as Stock?
Although many people use the two terms interchangeably, vegetable broth and vegetable stock aren’t the same. Vegetable stock is unseasoned, while vegetable broth has salt and other seasonings added. You can use vegetable stock for this minestrone soup recipe, but you’ll need to add more salt to taste.
How to Make Vegetable Minestrone Soup
This minestrone soup recipe comes together quickly, so it’s perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Cook the vegetables. Set a large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the oil and once it’s shimmering, stir in the onions, celery, carrots, squash, and garlic. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables soften.
Add the tomatoes, beans, and seasonings. Stir the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, seasonings, and the remaining oil into the pot. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
Cook the pasta. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then add the pasta. Continue to simmer the soup for about 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender.
Finish. Remove the soup from the heat and season to taste. Stir in the spinach and lime juice, then serve.
Tips for Success
Here are some simple tips to help you make the perfect pot of vegan minestrone soup.
- Start with a high-quality broth. In a soup like this, the broth makes all the difference. I love using an all-natural veggie broth paste, or try making your own broth at home.
- Cook the pasta until it’s al dente. The pasta will continue to soften in the warm soup even after you remove the pot from the stovetop (and if you have leftovers that you reheat), so to keep it from getting mushy, you’ll only want to cook it until it’s al dente—i.e., soft enough to eat, but still with a bit of bite to it.
- Make it your own. Add green beans, switch up the greens, throw in some diced red bell peppers—the beauty of minestrone is that it’s easy to customize.
Traditional minestrone is often simmered with a Parmesan rind in the broth for extra flavour. That’s not an option with vegan minestrone, but you can sprinkle on some of my vegan Parmesan just before serving for some added cheesiness.
I love serving this minestrone with crusty roasted garlic bread, or you can pair it with my caprese sandwich with parsley pesto for a soup-and-sandwich dinner. A simple salad like my easy vegan Caesar salad is great with minestrone, too!
How to Store Leftovers
Refrigerate any leftover vegetable minestrone in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can either reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Like most soups, this minestrone recipe freezes beautifully. Place it in a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat according to the instructions above.
More Reader Favourite Soup Recipes
- Vegan Mulligatawny Soup
- Creamy Vegan Instant Pot Potato Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- Easy Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup
Enjoy friends! If you make this vegetable soup, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Vegetable Minestrone Soup
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 large red onion, diced, (188g)
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, (226g) diced or two medium size carrots
- 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced, (12g)
- 26 ounces fresh tomatoes, (737g) chopped – you can also use a 28oz can diced tomatoes with its juices
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste, (16.5g)
- salt & pepper to taste, I use 3/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon za’atar, optional but adds a boost in flavour
- 15 ounce can of red kidney beans or cannellini (white beans)
- 6 cups vegetable broth*
- 1 cup dry pasta such as shells, orecchiette or tortellini or any gluten free pasta
- 1 cup spinach
- Juice of one limes about 1-2 tablespoons, squeezed over
- Toppings, Optional: Oil drizzle, red pepper flakes, parsley, and/or sprinkle of zaatar or parsley, Crusty bread and vegan Parmesan
- In a large, deep pot over medium high heat, add half of the oil.
- Add the onions, celery, carrot, squash and minced garlic. Stir together and allow to sweat for about 8 minutes, to soften and release natural juices from the veggies.
- Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper, Italian seasonings, za’atar, and kidney beans. Add in other half of the oil, stir together. Pour in the vegetable broth and stir again.
- Bring to a boil, and then to a simmer. Add in the dry pasta and simmer for 20 minutes, until the pasta is fully cooked.
- Remove soup from heat and taste test and add more salt and pepper if needed. You really want to ensure you’ve added enough to bring out all the flavours. Stir in the spinach and lime juice. The residual heat will help to add heat to all of these.
- Allow soup to cool slightly then serve!
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.