Quinoa Minestrone Soup (vegan + gluten-free)

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Winter calls for Minestrone! This Quinoa Minestrone Soup is filled with hearty, nourishing veggies, white beans, and quinoa for a dish that’s as good for you as it is for your taste buds. It’s my go-to soup recipe when I’m craving easy-to-make comfort food!

Quinoa Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup with Quinoa

I love using quinoa to create a gluten-free minestrone soup recipe! It has a more delicate texture that I think meshes into the soup better. It almost dissolves into the soup so you don’t notice it, but it’s a nutrient-dense addition that just works. Don’t you love it when that happens?! If you enjoy pasta in your soup you could always add 1/2 cup of your favorite pasta as well.

I cook with quinoa all the time! It is loaded with fiber (one serving has over 5 grams) and is considered a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids.  This makes it a great source of plant-based protein for vegans.  In fact, it has more protein than any other grain.  Quinoa is a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and many phytochemicals.  It also offers important minerals such as calcium, potassium, copper and zinc.

Easy Vegan Minestrone

What Kind of Vegetables Are in Minestrone Soup?

Minestrone soup is amazing because you can really toss whatever you have into the pot. All of your favorite veggies would work in minestrone! For this recipe I used:

  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale

…in addition to white beans and fresh parsley. It is SO nourishing and comforting, it’s the kind of soup your body just craves in the colder months! Depending on what you have in your refrigerator, you could add celery, sweet potato, yellow squash, green beans, peas…the sky’s the limit. I say if you have it, toss it in!

Quinoa Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup Spices

Since I used water instead of veggie broth I brought many of my favorite spices into this recipe for incredible, full flavor! Reach into your spice cabinet and grab…

  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Red chili pepper flakes
  • Bay leaves (make sure to remove these before blending or serving!)
  • I also use some pure maple sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of the crushed tomatoes (maple syrup also works here)
Gluten-Free Vegan Minestrone

Kale Minestrone

I love adding kale at the end of the soup’s cooking time! It cooks down a lot so it’s barely noticeable in the final dish, but it adds a wonderful nutrition boost of dark greens. Kale is low in calories and provides plant-based iron, vitamin K, calcium, iron, potassium, fiber and loads of antioxidants.  One cup of kale contains well over 20% of the daily recommended amounts of vitamins A and C.  My favorite kale is lacinato (or dinosaur) kale because it is less bitter than curly kale with a texture that’s a bit softer, more like spinach! And speaking of…you can use spinach instead of kale in this recipe if you’d like. It’s just as tasty and cooks right down!

Quinoa Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup with an Immersion Blender

If you like a thicker, almost creamy base for your soup, use an Immersion Blender to pulse it a couple times. I don’t recommend making the soup totally smooth (that wouldn’t be a traditional minestrone!) but I like having some smoothness. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can put a few scoops of soup into your blender and pulse it, then transfer it back into the pot! Just remember to pull the bay leaves out before doing any blending.

Veggie Quinoa Minestrone

What to Serve with Minestrone Soup

Since this soup has quinoa, white beans, and tons of veggies, I think it makes a great meal by itself! If you do want some side dishes you could serve Easy Almond Crackers or Super Seed Crackers for a bit of crunch. For a side salad, I’d recommend California Avocado Kale Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing or a Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad.

Kale Minestrone Soup

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Moroccan Tomato & Chickpea Soup
Creamy Split Pea Turmeric & Red Lentil Vegetable Soup
Vegan Pumpkin Chili
Spicy Red Lentil Veggie Stew with Crispy Chickpea Croutons
Easy One-Pot Vegan Pumpkin Curry

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Quinoa Minestrone Soup (vegan + gluten-free)


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Winter calls for Minestrone! This Quinoa Minestrone Soup is filled with hearty, nourishing veggies, white beans, and quinoa for a dish that’s as good for you as it is for your taste buds. It’s my go-to soup recipe when I’m craving easy-to-make comfort food!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 7 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1, 15-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes (with juices, not drained)
  • 7 cups filtered water
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • 1, 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 45 lacinato (dino) kale leaves, stem removed and diced (or use 2 large handfuls of baby spinach)
  • 1 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, leaves chopped

Instructions

  1. In a 5.5-quart dutch oven, saute onions and garlic with the olive oil, spices and garlic for five minutes over low to medium heat.
  2. Add carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, water and bay leaves.  Bring to a rolling boil and add white beans, quinoa and maple sugar.  Simmer for 10 minutes until quinoa is finished cooking.  
  3. Use an immersion blender to pulse a couple times if desired.  This makes the broth thicker from the beans.  Be sure to avoid the bay leaves or remove them while you do this.
  4. Just before serving, add kale and fresh parsley.  Stir well as it continues to simmer.  Remove the bay leaves.  Serve hot.  Serve with vegan parmesan cheese if desired.  
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

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2 Comments

  1. JeriGR

    Soup was ok, flavor was lacking in depth. I added a parmesan rind into the liquid ingredients to melt into the broth and removed it before using the immersion blender-which helped. I had no dried parsley (which never seems to smell fresh), so I omitted it. Next time I’ll add vegetable stock instead of water. Served it with cheesy crostini and real Parmesan Reggiano–delicious with any minestrone soup! I’m not giving up on this recipe–with a few modifications, I’m adding it to my winter soup rotation!






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much for the honest and detailed review, Jeri. I really appreciate the feedback. I have heard that Parmesan rind can add a ton of flavor to soups and since this is an Italian soup that was a fantastic idea. I am allergic to dairy and I’m vegan so I won’t be able to test that one out myself. But thank you for sharing here for those in this community who are able to try it. I agree the vegetable stock will help if you felt the soup lacked depth of flavor. Also simply increasing all the aromatics and spices will help. And sometimes just adding more salt or a squeeze of lemon can help all the flavors sing. I’m glad you are considering adding this soup to your rotation – it is an easy base that can be doctored up to your liking for sure! And you can also use other grains like rice or pasta in place of the quinoa. Also more tomato paste or more fresh parsley might be helpful for you if you are looking for more depth of flavor. Eager to hear how things continue to go for you! Please do share here! 🙂 Best, Elaine

      Reply

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