Minestrone is a classic Italian soup which usually contains vegetables, beans, and pasta or rice. It is a hearty and filling soup and can be a complete meal in itself. Here is my recipe for Vegan or Vegetarian Minestrone Soup.
A close friend is grieving the loss of her husband, and comfort food to her means soup. So even though the weather here so far this winter has been alternating between rainstorms and hot days, and I have heat rashes every day, I made more soup for her.
This time it was minestrone, a hearty classic. You wouldn’t think a mixture of vegetables, beans and pasta would be so tasty, but it is.
If you use pasta and are vegan, check to be sure eggs are not one of the ingredients. And the black beans were a mistake. I meant to put kidney beans, but I was looking at the can next to the one I grabbed, since they are usually in separate sections in my pantry. But when I opened it, I discovered it was black beans, so I added them and then another can of kidney beans also. They taste great, and my friend prefers black beans anyway, so it’s just as well.
I use fresh herbs from my garden. But if you only have dried, substitute three times the dried amount. Also, some people find the taste of fresh oregano too overpowering. But the herbs aren’t even noticeable in this recipe.
The final product ended up being almost no liquid at all, so you might want to alter that if you like a lot of liquid in your soup. I suppose this recipe is more like a stew. I would eliminate one of the potatoes and cut the pasta amount in half, and see where you end up. Or you can just add another cup or two of water and adjust the salt level to taste.
Vegetarian (Vegan) Minestrone Soup
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (6 ounces, 170 grams) tomato paste
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15.25 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
7 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 medium potatoes, cubed (I used Yukon golds)
1/2 small head of cabbage, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, or 2 teaspoons dried
4 Tablespoons fresh basil, or 4 teaspoons dried
1 cup small pasta (I used elbow macaroni)
1 cup frozen peas, rinsed
In a very large pot, saute the onion, celery and carrots in olive oil for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, tomato paste, beans, water, salt, potato, cabbage, and herbs. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
Add the pasta. Cover and cook 15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in the frozen peas. Let sit at least 5 minutes.
You can drizzle each serving with a little extra virgin olive oil, if desired. Serve with a hearty bread for a complete meal. Makes 10-12 servings.
If you are a soup lover, here are some more ideas and tips for vegetarian and vegan soup.