Warm up with this Vegan Classic Minestrone Soup! This classic minestrone soup recipe is healthy, easy to make, and tastes incredible. It’s vegan, too, if you don’t top it with cheese. Recipe yields 6 bowls or 8 cups of soup.
You can use some alternatives in the recipe, including yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or peas. That means that you can make seasonal minestrone on cool days from fall through spring!
You can also use canned beans instead of cooking your own, which cuts the cooking time down to a reasonable weeknight level.
For this classic minestrone, use lentils, white beans, more of tomato paste, and a tablespoon of olive oil in at the end.
Why is this the best vegan classic minestrone soup?
This hearty minestrone is easy to make and totally worth the effort.
The recipe calls for seasonal vegetables and affordable pantry ingredients.
The soup packs great for lunch, and tastes even better the next day.
It freezes and defrosts well, too.
This homemade minestrone is infinitely better than the Olive Garden or store-bought varieties!
Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are turning translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add the salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a 1” gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the the pasta is cooked al dente and the greens are tender.
Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt (I usually add about ¼ teaspoon more) and pepper until the flavors really sing. Garnish bowls of soup with grated Parmesan, if you’d like.
MAKE IT DAIRY FREE/VEGAN: Don’t garnish with Parmesan, or use homemade vegan Parmesan.
MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Substitute your favorite sturdy gluten-free noodle.
PARMESAN NOTE: Most Parmesans are not technically vegetarian (they contain animal rennet), Checkout brands which offer vegetarian Parmesan cheese.
Serving Size 1 bowl (made with potatoes and no Parmesan)