So hearty and filling, you’ll forget it’s vegan. And, it’s so versatile–make it on the stove top, in your slow cooker, and it freezes beautifully if you have leftovers.
Raise one hand in the air if you are excited it’s fall. Raise your other hand in the air if you’re super excited for soups. Now wave them around like you just don’t care…er…uh…wrong blog.
Anyways–I have a strict “no soup in the summer” policy, and I’ve literally been aching for this Minestrone. And, today was the day for two reasons: A.) I’ve finally made it to September, and B). It was raining today. The soup Gods were basically begging me to make soup. So, I complied.
And, not just any soup. I made my soup-to-impress. Yes, this is my go-to when I have to give a meal to someone. (It also helps that it makes enough to feed a small crowd.) You had a baby? Here’s my Minestrone. You’re sick? Here’s my Minestrone. My grandma who cooks very well is coming to visit and I need to impress her? Here’s my Minestrone. It’s a no-fail, comforting and filling soup.
OK, one more reason to rave. This is filling! Many vegan soups make me have bread withdrawals. So many soups make you want to have some crusty bread to dip into them. So, if I eat a soup like that I walk away unfulfilled and cranky. Since we also have to be wheat-free at my house, we tend to stay away from those types of tease soups. This soup–with the pasta, the potatoes, the beans, it will leave you full until next Tuesday.
- 3 T. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 3 carrots chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled, and chopped into small pieces
- One 28 oz. basil and oregano crushed tomatoes, with juice
- 5 cups vegetable broth (Note: if you're not worried about it being vegan, chicken broth also works)
- 1 T agave (Note: if you're not worried about it being vegan, honey will work)
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 2 T. red wine
- 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- 1 can of white cannellini beans (liquid and all)
- 2 cups gluten-free short pasta of some kind
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Heat up the oil in a stock pot and add the onion, salt and carrots and cook until they're soft. I then add the rest, minus the pasta. I simmer for about an hour, or until the potatoes are done. How's that for directions? RIGHT???
- I like to boil my gluten-free noodles in a separate pot with heavily salted water because they're a lot more fragile than regular wheat noodles. Follow package directions. For my kind, I find 9-10 minutes makes a perfect al dente. You don't want your pasta too soft, since you'll be adding it to a hot soup where it can become too gummy. I put the pasta in the individual soup bowls right before I serve the soup.
- Or, you can also make this in a crock pot/slow cooker, for 6-8 hours, on low. Or, until the potatoes are soft. Be sure to still make the noodles separately, as they would be mush being cooked in the crock pot.
This would also be good with 1-2 stalks of celery, but my son is allergic.
This soup is very forgiving. You can add more or less broth and more or less vegetables and pasta if you need to feed a larger crowd. This makes enough to feed 6-8 large servings, regularly.
I've definitely done it without fresh basil on top when I haven't had any, but trust me--it truly adds!
And lastly, this freezes WONDERFULLY. I love to make a big batch and freeze it in a ziploc freezer baggie for later.