Another heartwarming healthy vegan soup recipe is on today’s agenda. This vegan minestrone soup is as healthy as it gets, loaded with vegetables, beans, and lots of flavor.
This version of minestrone soup is relatively simple and quick (don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients!), and you can customize it by using different vegetables and their amounts.
FYI: In modern Italian language, there are three words that relate to the English word ‘soup’: zuppa, which refers to tomato-based soups or fish soups; minestra, referring to a more substantial vegetable soup or ‘dry soup’ such as pasta; and minestrone, which denotes a very substantial or large soup or stew.
While there is no set recipe for minestrone soup, cooks agree that a classic version should include beans, pasta, and an array of vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, celery, onions, zucchini, etc. Non-vegan versions often call for bacon, meat, or some kind of meat-based stock, but they are unnecessary if you want to create a hearty, plant-based soup that will make a filling dinner and yield some leftovers for the next day’s lunch!
In my house, this is my go to recipe whenever I’m in the mood for a hearty, hot soup that’s filling and at the same time not too heavy. Plus, my husband loves it because he can take the leftovers to work the next day!
I find it that the most labor-intensive part is chopping all those veggies. Thankfully, I don’t mind it too much because I can do the prep while some of the veggies are already cooking: start with your onion-carrot-celery mix, and while these veggies are cooking in the pot, peel and chop your potatoes, open cans of diced tomatoes and beans, and set up the spices that you’ll be using. Time flies when you’re having fun!
I prefer to use little to no oil of any kind in my plant-based cooking (this minestrone recipe doesn’t use any) for maximal health benefits. If you’re not familiar with the no-oil dietary approach and why it is beneficial to our health, I highly recommend this article by Dr. John McDougall, as well as my earlier post on the work of the leading researchers and doctors who propose plant-based nutrition.
Different versions of minestrone suggest adding a leafy green vegetable towards the end of cooking: it can be cabbage, kale, spinach, or any other vegetable available to you.
Cooking times may differ: if you’re using cabbage, add it at least 5 min before the soup is done; with kale, you’ll need to add it just as you’re taking the soup off the stove.
For an extra twist of healthy goodness of fresh veggies in every bowl, skip adding kale or cabbage, and as you’re ladling hot soup into bowls, add a handful of fresh spinach into each bowl and let it wilt a little from the soup’s heat!
Another twist: if you prefer creamier blended soups, use less water/broth and don’t add pasta. Cook the soup until it’s done, then cool it off a little, add to a blender/food processor in batches, and blend until smooth (alternatively, use an immersion blender). Once done with this step, return the soup to the pot, bring to a boil, and add pasta. Cook until pasta is done, cool off a bit, and serve!
Have you tried other versions of vegan minestrone soup? What did you like about them? Are there any other plant-based soups that you enjoy?
If you know anyone who would enjoy this recipe, please share it with them! And stick around for more awesomeness – subscribe to Vegan Runner Eats to receive notifications about the latest posts, or follow the blog on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!