During our Six-Week Vegan Challenge, I took every vegan cookbook out of the library that I could and spent hours looking for recipes that we’d eat. Unfortunately, so many of the recipes used ingredients I knew I’d never buy so, in the end, I made up most of our recipes with only a few exceptions like this Minestrone Soup.
I was never a fan of Minestrone Soup growing up, but this recipe is a keeper! The recipe is very easy, and the soup is delicious.
I recommend that if you are making it ahead of time, do not add the pasta until you’re heating up the soup for serving. I made the soup early in the day yesterday, and the pasta got a bit mushy by the time we ate it. You can also make up the pasta separately and stir it in when serving.
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
½ cup frozen or fresh cut Italian green beans
½ stalk celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 15-ounce cans small white beans, great northern beans or cannellini, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 carrot, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups hot water
4 cups fresh spinach
1 cup small shell pasta, uncooked
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
Sauté onion, zucchini, green beans, celery, and garlic in hot oil until onion becomes translucent.
Add broth, beans, tomatoes, carrots, herbs and hot water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add spinach leaves and uncooked pasta. Simmer for 20 minutes or until pasta reaches desired consistency.
Serve immediately. Garnish with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Although you can use chicken broth, the vegetable broth blends with the other flavors much better than chicken broth.
Unless you are growing them in the backyard, cut Italian green beans may be a challenge to find fresh or frozen. Regular cut green beans, fresh or frozen, are a fine substitute. If you never make the soup with Italian green beans, no one will ever know the difference when you can’t find them.