This delicious and easy Minestrone Soup is loaded with vegetables, noodles, a rich tomato broth, and beans. It’s customizable so you can work with what you have in your fridge too!

I made a promise on instagram a few weeks ago that I’d be delivering a lot of plant-based recipes in the coming weeks and today I have another one for you.

This delicious Minestrone Soup is so tasty, friends. It’s inspired by the Olive Garden soup by the same name but as always I’ve made my version healthier and faster! This beauty is loaded with vegetables, pasta, and flavor. You can make it under 30 minutes too.

Minestrone Soup is similar to a classic vegetable soup (try my 30 Minute Vegetable Soup if you haven’t yet!) but it contains pasta so it’s extra satiating. My favorite pasta to include is ditalini because they’re so small which means several fit on your spoon. This recipe calls for one cup of ditalini pasta which will seem like not much. Trust me. Once they cook you’ll see how quickly they expand and fill up the soup pot! (Shells and elbow noodles work well too.)

If you’re not dairy free or vegan, try topping this soup with shredded parmesan. Or stick with my Homemade Croutons (I’m currently make these nonstop at my house), sliced green onions, and/or chopped parsley.

For this recipe you’ll need (full list of ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below):

  • Olive or avocado oil
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Minced garlic
  • Zucchini
  • Green beans
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Vegetable broth
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Canned kidney beans
  • Ditalini pasta
  • Spinach
  • Seasonings and herbs

Can this be made gluten free?

Yes, if you use a gluten free pasta.

What pasta is best in this soup?

I like ditalini noodles because they’re size is just perfect to really mix in with all the veggies. Other great options are elbows or shells.

Is this soup vegan?

Yes, if you use vegetable broth.

How to customize this soup

This is a great soup for incorporating whatever vegetables you have on hand. Feel to free to add any veggie! Vegetables that would work great in this soup include:

  • Broccoli
  • Lima beans
  • Corn
  • Squash
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Black beans
  • Pinto beans

Can you add meat?

This soup is designed to be vegan and vegetarian but you can easily add one pound ground turkey, ground beef, sliced sausage, or chicken.

If using ground turkey or beef, sauté and crumble it separately in a skillet. Incorporate it into the soup in step 2.

If using chicken, sauté it separately in a skillet. Once cooked through, shred or chop it. Add it to the soup in step 2. You can also use store-bought rotisserie chicken.

If using a sliced sausage, warm it in a skillet. Add it to the soup in step 2.

Can you omit the spinach?

Every time I create a soup with spinach I get asked if the spinach can be omitted so here’s your answer… yes! Go ahead and leave the spinach out if you like. If you’re just not someone who loves spinach I’d encourage you to try it in a soup like this one because it’s really such a small part of the soup flavor-wise but it’s so good for you! Or try swiss chard or kale instead.

How to make this soup in the slow cooker

Add everything except the pasta and spinach to your slow cooker. Cover. Cook for 6 to 7 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high. Prepare the pasta separately per package instructions. Stir the cooked noodles and fresh spinach into the soup before serving.

Does this soup freeze well?

Oh yes it does! Since pasta can be a little gummy when reheated and spinach can clump together a bit I recommend leaving both out of the soup if you intend to freeze it.

When you’re ready to enjoy simply thaw and add the soup to a pot on the stove over low to medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta separately per package instructions and then stir the cooked noodles and fresh baby spinach into the soup before serving.

Feel free to double this recipe so you have plenty to freeze. It will remain good in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Minestrone Soup

This delicious and easy Minestrone Soup is loaded with vegetables, noodles, a rich tomato broth, and beans. It's customizable so you can work with what you have in your fridge too!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, can sub chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 15 oz canned tomato sauce
  • 15 oz canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, with the juice, I prefer fire-roasted
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen, cut into thirds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta, can use shells or elbow noodles
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach

Optional toppings: croutons, sliced green onions, and/or chopped fresh parsley

    Instructions

    • Add oil, onion, celery, carrots to your soup pot. Sauté on medium high heat, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Add the minced garlic and sauté until it is golden in color, about one minute.
    • Add everything to the pot except pasta and spinach. Cover and cook on medium to medium high for 5 to 10 minutes. It should be hot enough that it's simmering and you see bubbles (but not boiling).
    • Stir in pasta. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente and veggies are tender.
    • Stir in spinach before serving. It will wilt immediately. Serve as is or with Homemade Croutons, sliced green onions, and/or chopped parsley.

    Notes

    Nutrition information assumes that serving size is 1 cup. If you’re not serving this with a salad or sandwich you may want to enjoy 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of this soup. 

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cup, Calories: 160kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 1019mg, Potassium: 525mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 2223IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 62mg, Iron: 2mg
    Did you make this recipe?Tag @thewholecook and hashtag it #thewholecook on Instagram.

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