Vegetable Minestrone – This classic minestrone soup is so easy and healthy! Packed with vegetables and finished with a little pasta, it’s a hit with grown-ups and kids alike! (Gluten Free, Vegan)
Soup season is a GOOD season. I love it for lunches, dinners, and (don’t hate me) even breakfasts. (Seriously, if you haven’t tried a warm cup of soup on a chilly morning, you’re missing out.)
I’ve got everything from creamy butternut squash soups, to spicy soups, to egg drop soup, but I realized I don’t have a classic reseturant-style minestrone soup on the blog.
This Vegetable Minestrone totally has it going on. It’s a veggie-packed, flavor-loaded, colorful wonder of a soup that couldn’t be more perfect this time of year. I love that it’s light, flexible, and easy to pull together, but there are also a bunch of other reasons it’s great. Here’s why I love it…
What Makes This Vegetable Minestrone Soup Amazing:
- It’s about as full of veggies as it gets! While there aren’t any specific “rules” about which veggies go into a minestrone soup recipe, one thing’s for sure: there are plenty of them! In this version, there are onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach, garlic, 2 kinds of beans, and vegetable broth.
- It’s easily gluten free. All you have to do is use your favorite gluten free pasta. I like small shapes for minestrone, like shells, ditalini, macaroni, or rotini. You could certainly use other shapes of pasta if you prefer. I’ve had great luck with Tinkyada and Jovial brands’ brown rice pastas, and any corn/rice pasta will also work.
- Not gluten free? No worries. Just use YOUR favorite pasta. I like ditalini (small tubes), oricchiete, macaroni, or shells.
- It’s flexible and forgiving. I love recipes that are easy to change. This one can easily take more veggies–feel free to add some bell peppers, kale, fresh or frozen green beans, or even finely diced potatoes. Or, swap out the beans for whatever kinds you have on hand. Want to use chicken broth instead of veggie? Go for it. Avoiding grains? Skip the pasta. See? Easy.
What to Serve with Minestrone:
This is delicious on its own in a giant bowl, but for side dishes, some of the usual suspects are great here:
- A delicious green salad for a soup + salad vibe. Try a simple “house” salad with creamy ranch or balsamic vinaigrette, or this Italia salad with Lemon Basil Dressing. Or, go big and make a giant fall cobb salad with all the fixings!
- Bread, rolls, or breadsticks. We’ve had good luck with Schar & Udi’s gluten free rolls. Otherwise, we toast up some Canyon Bakehouse bread. If you’re not GF, I used to eat rosemary or olive bread with this a lot.
- Or, break the mold... it’s not Italian but sometimes in a pinch, I’ll make my pumpkin cornbread muffins to go with soup. My whole family LOVES them all year round. (They don’t taste pumpkin-y, and have the most amazing texture!)
Notes on this Vegetable Minestrone Soup:
- Pump Up The Protein! This recipe is vegetarian as written, but you can also add additional non-vegetarian proteins if you like. We’ve added leftover cooked chicken (grilled is especially nice!), Italian sausage or sliced Italian-style chicken sausages, or swapped out the veggie broth for homemade bone broth.
- Other Veggie Ideas – Like I mentioned above, this recipe can easily take some playing with. Feel free to add extra veggies or swap in the ones you have on hand. Bell peppers, green beans, kale or other greens, and finely diced potatoes are all yummy.
- Choose Your Own (Pasta) Adventure! I love a little pasta in my minestrone, and small shapes tend to work best. Usually, I stick with shapes like rotini, ditalini (tiny tubes), macaroni, small shells, etc. Feel free to let your kids help you choose! (My kids are always more likely to eat anything they’ve had a say in.)
- Make-Ahead Tips. This is a great recipe to make ahead. It tastes better with time and can freeze well. If you plan to freeze it, I recommend NOT adding the pasta until you plan to eat it as pasta’s texture doesn’t hold up as well from the freezer.
- Flavor Boosters – You can also play with the flavor here. A few ideas…
You Might Also Like These Other Soups…Print
Classic Vegetable Minestrone is so easy and healthy! Packed with vegetables and finished with a little pasta, it’s a hit with grown-ups and kids alike! (Gluten Free, Vegan)
- 2 cups (oz) dry pasta – use small shapes, such as rotini, macaroni, ditalini, or shells (gluten free, as needed)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 (14oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14oz) can white beans (such as Great Northern or Cannellini beans), drained and rinsed
- 2 (14oz) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (regular are also fine)
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons or minced
- 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 2 cups spinach, torn or sliced if desired
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, make your soup.
- To make the soup, heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat.
- Add onion, celery, and carrots, and sauté over medium heat 5-7 minutes, or until veggies are partially softened.
- Add garlic, tomato paste, and a bit of salt and pepper (as desired). Stir to coat the veggies.
- Add red and white beans, tomatoes, broth, and basil. Stir to combine.
- Bring soup to a bubble and simmer about 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini, and simmer about 5 minutes longer, or until just softened.
- Stir in spinach and cooked pasta. Stir to wilt the spinach.
- Taste and add additional salt & pepper as desired.