This vegetarian minestrone soup recipe is easy to make at home from common pantry items and fresh produce. It’s hearty and delicious and full of flavor. This soup comes together really quickly! You’ll have dinner on the table in under an hour with this recipe.
Try this vegetarian balti curry recipe, too!
When it comes to comfort food, a good Italian minestrone soup is hard to beat! It’s the perfect primo, or first course, for a dinner meal, but a generous bowlful is a meal in its own right, too. Especially if you serve it with a lovely bread and butter.
What’s the difference between vegetable soup and minestrone?
Vegetable soup usually is just that — lots of vegetables. Minestrone is heartier, with the addition of beans and pasta.
This vegetarian recipe calls for a combination of fresh produce and canned. If you don’t want to use canned ingredients, no problem. Substitute fresh tomatoes, and instead of canned beans, use dry beans. You’ll need to have them cooked, though, before you add them to this soup.
Hot tip: Keep some ready-cooked dry beans in the freezer to add protein to meals!
If you’d like to serve this as a vegan minestrone recipe, just omit the Parmesan cheese sprinkles when ladling it up.
The beauty of a good minestrone soup is that it’s a great way to use up little bits of leftovers, so while this recipe will get you started, don’t hesitate to toss in a handful of leftover roasted potatoes. Or chopped broccoli. Or green beans.
Does it have to be vegetarian?
While this recipe is written with our vegetarian friends in mind, if you prefer a meatier meal, you can definitely add some chopped meat to the pot. Chicken, beef, or even ham are all fair game.
You could also use chicken or beef broth to replace the vegetable broth if you’re not concerned about making it a vegetarian minestrone soup.
Make it a gluten free minestrone soup
To make this soup suitable for the gluten free crowd, omit the orzo pasta. If you’re serving the soup to a mixed crowd, cook the pasta separately and let diners choose whether or not they’d like to add it.
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1–15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1–15oz can white or cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 5 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1–15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup orzo pasta
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges and fresh chopped parsley to garnish
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Add the carrots and celery and sauté 5-6 minutes or until softened. Add the zucchini and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Add the beans, fresh basil, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, vegetable broth and diced tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Add orzo to the pot and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Turn off heat and stir in the chopped spinach.
- Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 2738mgCarbohydrates: 289gFiber: 77gSugar: 40gProtein: 106g