Minestrone Soup {Gluten Free & Vegan}

This simple minestrone soup is filled with veggies and flavor, and is the perfect way to celebrate National Homemade Soup Day!

This simple minestrone soup is filled with veggies and flavor, and is the perfect way to celebrate National Homemade Soup Day!

Today is the type of holiday I can get behind: National Homemade Soup Day.  As regular readers of this blog will know, I love making soups and stews.  They tend to be pretty simple to put together, and they are so satisfying.  Especially in the cold weather we’ve been having, I love having something simmering away on the stove.  It makes my whole apartment smell comforting!  And there is something unparalleled about sitting down with a bowl of soup fresh from the stove and breathing in the steam.  Just thinking about it makes me happy!

Just like at The Olive Garden, I topped my soup with cheese

Just like at The Olive Garden, I topped my soup with cheese

Anyway, when I found out a few weeks ago that today was homemade soup day, I knew I’d have to share a new recipe with you guys.  I was inspired by The Friendly Fig last week when they posted their Vegan Pasta Fagioli.  It got me thinking about those trips I used to take to The Olive Garden when I was younger, and I would get soup and bread sticks and not care about my entree by the time it showed up.  I was always torn between the Pasta Fagioli and the Minestrone.  Both were so good!  But this week, I figured if Sara and Bianca just shared a recipe for one, I’d pick up the slack and share a recipe for the other!

Like a lot of my soup recipes, this one is outrageously easy to put together.  I chopped all of the veggies earlier in the day, while I was waiting for cookies to come out of the oven (yes, cookies…just you wait for that recipe!).  When it was time for dinner, all I had to do was saute it together and let it simmer.  I don’t know about you, but I love when dinner time comes and I don’t really have any work to do!

Look how perfect that spinach is!!

Look how perfect that spinach is!!

Besides being really simple, this minestrone is delicious!  The flavors meld together perfectly, and it tastes so cozy.  Perhaps my favorite thing about this recipe, though, is how I chose to include the spinach at the end.  It started as a compromise; my husband hates wilted greens.  So, instead of stirring them into the soup towards the end of cooking, I just put a handful in my bowl and ladled the hot soup over it.  This worked perfectly!  Not only did the greens wilt the way they should, but they didn’t get soggy and disintegrate into the soup.  Now when I eat leftovers, I’m not dealing with little strings of greens; it’s like eating a fresh bowl of soup every time!

Get excited for National Homemade Soup Day.  Go into your kitchen and make sure you have these ingredients and make this for dinner tonight!  Or, take a look at the ton of other soup recipes I have.  I’m sure one of them is up your alley!

Minestrone Soup

Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/minestrone-soup-recipe.html

Cheesy.  Steamy.  Vegetabley.  You can't go wrong!

Cheesy. Steamy. Vegetabley. You can’t go wrong!

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 14.9 oz can diced tomatoes and juices
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 14.9 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Baby spinach, raw
  • Small pasta, cooked (I used Schar’s anelleni)
  • Pecarino Romano Cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, carrots, and celery for about five minutes, until onions are translucent. Add garlic, basil, and oregano and sauté for about thirty seconds, until fragrant.
  2. Stir in vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes.
  3. Stir in zucchini and red kidney beans. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Simmer for another ten minutes.
  4. To serve, put cooked pasta and raw spinach in a bowl, and ladle soup over it (the spinach will wilt without disintegrating). Top with cheese, if desired.
Homemade minestrone soup is simple to make and is a tasty, hearty dinner

Homemade minestrone soup is simple to make and is a tasty, hearty dinner

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3 thoughts on “Minestrone Soup {Gluten Free & Vegan}

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