This healthy minestrone is the best autumn dinner. Packed full of healthy veggies, a little bit of olive oil, and a whole lot of flavour it’s a warming dinner that’s easy to put together. Healthy, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly!
Minestrone is a delicious Italian soup that’s both versatile and healthy. Though the soup is typically made with a tomato base, pasta, and veggies, the opportunities for customisation are endless.
Technically there’s no set recipe for minestrone, as it can be made with any variety of leftover vegetables, pasta, rice, meat or cheese. Basically — whatever you have on hand! Common ingredients in minestrone include tomatoes, some type of pasta, beans, and veggies. Meat-filled versions often contain bacon or pancetta while veggie options sometimes boil a parmesan rind with the soup for extra flavour.
With so many possibilities, it’s undeniably a difficult task to find the BEST minestrone, but this version pretty much nails it. Packed full of veg, with small macaroni noodles, this soup is healthy, filling and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Using Tomato Juice in Minestrone
It’s not uncommon to see diced tomatoes, or canned crushed tomatoes thrown into a minestrone. And while the tomato flavour is a much-welcomed addition, canned tomatoes can often make the soup taste a little too acidic.
To provide the same richness of canned tomatoes without the overpowering acidity, this recipe uses tomato juice instead. You should be able to find this in the juice aisle of your grocery store, and in a pinch, you can even substitute it with another tomato-heavy veggie juice like V8.
Making the Soup
The key to ensuring that your minestrone turns out incredibly flavourful is the cook the soup in stages.
- Use high-quality olive oil as a base. Warm it over medium heat before adding the veggies.
- Cook your base veggies (onion, carrot and celery) in olive oil with a pinch of salt to extract the most flavour out of them.
- Add zucchini spices and garlic and cook until they release their flavours. Adding these ingredients separately allows them to become fragrant WITHOUT burning.
- Next, you’ll add liquid, bringing the soup mix to a boil.
- Then, add the last of the ingredients: cabbage, beans, and macaroni. Adding them in after the veggies have already boiled a bit allows these more tender additions to cook through without becoming too soggy.
- Finish cooking and add the finishing touches. A squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of wine add a ton of dimension and flavour.
- Serve up the soup with basil and parmesan on the side for those who’d like to top off their minestrone with a little something extra. The soup tastes amazing on the day you make it, but it’s also great as leftovers since the flavours continue to develop over time.
Yes! To make this healthy minestrone gluten-free, simply use gluten-free pasta in place of the macaroni.
This healthy minestrone is 100% vegan as-is. The only non-vegan aspect is the optional addition of parmesan cheese at the end, which you can either swap with vegan parmesan or leave it out altogether.
This healthy minestrone will stay good in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 2 months and reheat it as needed.
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