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Quinoa Minestrone Soup (vegan + gluten-free)

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4 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 large bowls 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


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!


  • 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 (also known as cannellini beans), drained and rinsed 
  • 1/3 cup uncooked white quinoa or 1/4 cup uncooked orzo (I love Andean Dream quinoa orzo for gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar (or coconut sugar) [or 1 tablespoon maple syrup]
  • 4-5 lacinato (dino) kale leaves, stem removed and diced (or use 2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach)
  • 1 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, leaves chopped
  • optional: add 1/2 cup cashew cream or vegan sour cream to make it creamy


  1. In a 5.5-quart dutch oven, saute onions with the olive oil and saute for 5-10 minutes over low to medium heat.  If you have the time to saute for longer you can start to caramelize the onions slightly and bring out their natural sweetness.  This will enhance the flavor of the soup.  
  2. Add spices and garlic and saute another 2 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, water and bay leaves.  Bring to a rolling boil and add white beans, quinoa (or orzo) and maple sugar.  Simmer for 10 minutes until quinoa (or orzo) is finished cooking.  
  4. Optional: 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.
  5. Just before serving, add kale (or baby spinach) and fresh parsley.  Add optional vegan sour cream (or cashew cream) to make it creamy. Stir well as it continues to simmer. 
  6. Remove the bay leaves. Serve hot. Serve with vegan parmesan cheese if desired. 


I love to serve alongside this simple side salad.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian