I hope you’ll enjoy making (and consuming) this delicious Minestrone Soup as much as I did! It’s really easy to make and it can be done in under 40 minutes – prep included.
For those who prefer graphical presentation, I’ve created this nice infographic. Below the infographic, you can find the textual version of the recipe (it’s printable!).
If you like the recipe, please share it with your friends and family!
So, let’s learn how to make a Vegan Minestrone Soup with style ;).
|Easy Minestrone Soup
|537 per serving
Here’s the ingredient list for a family serving size.
Also, in order to make everything easier for you, we’ve listed both Imperial & Metric measurement systems for the individual ingredients.
HOW TO MAKE MINESTRONE SOUP:
- Even if you don’t have a family to feed, you’ll be glad to have the leftovers!
- Heat oil in a 3-quart or larger stock pot over medium heat.
- While oil is heating, chop onion and mince garlic. Add onion and bay leaves and stir until evenly coated in oil. Cook for one minute, then add garlic. Stir again, cover and cook until onion is soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add zucchini and sauté until softened, about another 5 minutes. (Add small amounts of vegetable broth, soy sauce, white wine or water as needed to prevent sticking.)
- Add tomato paste, oregano, thyme, broth, spinach and crushed tomatoes. Stir, cover and bring to a boil.
- Add orzo, reduce heat to medium, stir and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Add beans, stir and cook, covered, another 10 minutes or until pasta is tender and beans are heated through.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, stir and replace cover.
- Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
After storing the leftovers, the cooked pasta will continue to absorb the broth, which will cause the pasta to plump up and the leftover soup to thicken. You may find it necessary to add extra vegetable broth and/or salted water to enjoy the leftovers as “soup” rather than a pasta dish!
Low-fat substitutions for olive oil include ¼ cup of additional vegetable broth, soy sauce (which also adds a nice umami flavor) or dry white wine such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. The white wine also pairs well with the soup, so consider having a bottle on hand for that reason as well!
If you have easy access to fresh herbs such as oregano and thyme from a backyard herb garden, feel free to substitute them for the dried herbs listed above. Dried herbs have a stronger flavor, so when substituting fresh herbs, be sure to double the amount used in the recipe.
Fresh oregano leaves can be sliced from their stems and then roughly chopped. An easy method for using fresh thyme is to rinse the sprigs and drop them into the hot soup. As the soup simmers, the thyme leaves will gradually loosen on the stems.
When the soup is ready to be removed from the heat, stir to locate the thyme sprigs and then, pinching each sprig at one end just above the soup, gently push the leaves off the stems with the stirring spoon, and most of the leaves will fall off the stems into the soup. Stir to re-incorporate, and you’re done!
While canned beans are convenient for most recipes, learning to cook your own dry beans saves money in the long run. For example, a 16-ounce (one-pound) bag of dried kidney beans costs less than $1.50 at most grocery stores and yields four cans’ worth of beans. They also taste better than canned beans and contain little to no sodium!
To cook most dry beans using the “quick-soak” method: rinse beans, place in a wide-bottomed pot and cover with 1 inch of water. Cover, bring to a boil, cook for one minute and then set aside (tightly covered) for one hour.
Drain off the soaking liquid (this is important; if you don’t, the beans will taste bitter when they’re done), cover with 2 inches of fresh water, cover and bring to a boil.
Lower heat to medium-low and simmer, loosely covered, until soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the bean. Drain in a colander.
Rinse any beans you do not plan to use immediately with cold water (to stop the cooking) and then refrigerate or freeze immediately in 1 ½-cup portions (this is about how much you are left with after draining a can of beans, so these portions make a handy substitute in recipes which tell you how many cans of beans to use).