This soul-warming soup is zesty, hearty, and comforting, just like a classic minestrone. The rich blend of chickpeas, rotini pasta, veggies, and aromatic herbs makes this chickpea minestrone a filling and tasty soup that is perfect for a main meal or starter. This soup is the most delicious, nutrient-packed, and easy to make with simple pantry ingredients. Packed with wholesome ingredients and classic Italian flavors, this vegan soup is a must try and is sure to be a hit with the whole family!
WHAT IS MINESTRONE?
Minestrone is a hearty Italian vegetable soup that also contains beans and pasta. Adding beans and pasta to a vegetable soup elevates it to a meal status. The types of beans and pasta vary greatly by region. The vegetables also vary greatly by season and region as well as the soups stock base. Some contain meat, some are vegetarian, and many add a rind of parmesan to the stock to fortify with flavor.
In this vegan chickpea minestrone, I used my favorite bean (garbanzo beans) along with rotini and veggies, which gives this hearty and filling a great texture. Also, we are making a simple veggie stock while we cook. This recipe is highly versatile. Use whatever pasta, beans, and veggies you have on hand or in season to make this comforting bowl of soup.
The ingredients for this soup are humble and easy to find. You may vary the ingredients by what is in season or what is in your refrigerator. I like to make this one with frozen veggies or as a fridge cleanout to use up veggies that are on their way out! It is also a great way to use up those garden herbs in the summer.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKPEA MINESTRONE
- Pasta: provides a satisfying texture to the soup that perfectly complements the creamy texture of chickpeas.
- Chickpeas: High in protein and fiber, chickpeas provide a nutty and hearty flavor to the soup. You can use white beans or kidney beans.
- Crushed tomatoes: lend tangy flavor along with subtle sweetness and create a flavorful base for the soup.
- Fresh veggies: Nutrient-rich veggies, including celery, potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash, give a hearty texture and flavor to the soup and make it more filling. Celery gives a mild, earthy flavor, potatoes contribute creaminess, carrots lend a sweet flavor, and butternut squash imparts a nutty flavor with a subtle sweetness. You can even use frozen veggies to make this scrumptious soup.
- Aromatics: garlic and onion impart a savory kick to the soup and elevate its flavor profile
- Italian seasoning or oregano: a flavorful blend of dried herbs that provides a wonderful flavor to the soup.
- Fresh herbs: Use fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, or mint for a burst of freshness and balance the savory flavors of the soup. You can use dry herbs if you don’t find fresh ones.
- Crushed Red Pepper: provides a spicy kick to the soup and enhances its overall flavor
- Salt and Pepper: used to season the soup. It helps bring out flavors of other ingredients and enhances the overall flavor profile.
- Olive Oil: use to sauté aromatics. It adds a rich flavor to the soup.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CHICKPEA MINESTRONE
Making minestrone soup is easy! Like most of my soup recipes, we begin by caramelizing the onion and garlic, then sautéing the veggies before adding liquid. This produces a more flavorful soup than simply boiling everything. However, if you are oil-free or pressed for time, boiling is always an option.
Sauté the Aromatics
Sauté the garlic and chopped onion in olive oil in a big pot for 5 mins until caramelizing.
Toss in celery, carrots, potatoes, and butternut squash. Cook for 5 mins. (Alternately, you can use 3-4 cups of diced frozen vegetable mix instead.)
Stir in Chickpeas and Tomatoes
Add about 10 cups of water, 2 cans of chickpeas, and 1 can of crushed tomatoes, and bring to a boil. This will create a flavorful base for the soup.
Season with Herbs and Spices
Season with salt, pepper, fresh and dry herbs, and umami seasoning. Cook 15-30 mins for all flavors to meld.
Cook pasta separately and only mix when serving. Pasta gets all blown up if you add it directly to soup!!
Garnish Chickpea Minestrone
Garnish with fresh cilantro for a burst of freshness and copious crushed red pepper for added heat.
RECIPE TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST CHICKPEA MINESTRONE
- It is essential that you cook and keep the pasta separate from the pot of soup. If you add the noodles directly, they will blow up and break down quickly, providing an unpleasant and slimy texture to the soup. Also, the noodles will absorb the rich broth. Just mix them when serving to each bowl.
- Use the frozen vegetable mix to save time on chopping fresh veggies.
- This is a wonderful recipe for fridge cleanout. Almost any herb, vegetable, and type of onion, squash, or potato will enhance the flavor of the soup. The only ones that should be avoided are cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, as they will overpower the broth and make it bitter.
- Always cool soup down before storing. If you must refrigerate before it is fully cooled, do not cover it tightly, as this will make the soup stay warm longer and risk spoilage. When properly cooled and stored, this soup will retain its freshness and flavor for 5 days refrigerated or up to 3 months frozen.
Other vegan soup recipes
- 1 pound pasta rotini or fusilli
- 30 oz chickpeas 2 cans drained
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes canned
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 tbsp italian seasoning or oregano
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro or basil chopped
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 3 small potatoes cubed
- 3 yellow carrots . peeled and chopped
- 1 cup butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 1 each black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Saute the garlic and chopped onion in olive oil in a big pot for 5 mins until caramelizing.
- Add celery, carrot, potatoes and butternut squash. Cook for 5 mins. (Alternately you can use 3-4 cups diced frozen vegetable mix instead.)
- Add about 10 cups of water, 2 cans of chickpeas and 1 can crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil.
- Season with salt, pepper,and dry herbs. Cook 15-30 mins for all flavors to meld. Add fresh herbs at the end.
- Cook pasta separate and only add when serving. Pasta gets all blown up if you add directly to soup!!
- Garnish with fresh herbs and copious crushed red pepper.