December 6, 2022

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Gluten Free Minestrone Soup · Seasonal Cravings

This Easy Minestrone Soup will warm your bones from the inside out. It’s packed with fall seasonal vegetables and beans and has layers of warm Italian spices. I used quinoa instead of small pasta to make it gluten free and it adds a little boost of protein. (gluten free, with vegan option)

Fall is in the air and warm soups are on the menu. Is there anything more satisfying than a warm bowl of spice-filled soup on a cool night? I love soups like this because they can be made on Sundays when I have time and we enjoy them during the week for lunches and dinners.  

minestrone soup recipe in two bowls

This Easy Minestrone Soup is chock full of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, celery, red pepper, potatoes, peas, swiss chard, and onions. For a change, I added sweet potatoes. They are in season and add a little extra sweetness to this soup. 

The real trick is if you have a parmesan rind on hand and add it to the soup for extra flavor.

I love adding some quinoa or gluten free pasta to make it more hearty and filling. You can add any kind of beans you have; white beans like cannellini, red kidney, pinto, chickpeas, or black beans. The beans and quinoa add extra protein and hearty texture to help keep you full.  

History of Italian Minestrone Soup

Whether you’ve been eating this soup for years or you enjoy eating it at Olive Garden, it’s truly easy to make at home.

Minestrone was originally created to use up all those leftover vegetables you have in the fridge and they called it “poor man’s soup.” They made it by gathering ingredients from leftover meals and I love using it for just this! 

You can easily swap out whatever vegetables you have on hand like some butternut squash, green beans, cabbage, or zucchini depending on the season. Frozen vegetables can also be used to make a last-minute hearty soup for dinner in less than 30 minutes.  

I think you will love the versatility of this Minestrone Soup!

easy minestrone soup recipe in a dutch oven pot with ladle

Is Minestrone Soup Healthy?

Minestrone soup is a great way to increase your daily serving of vegetables and beans. I mean look at all the vegetables in this bowl! According to the Mayo Clinic vegetables and beans both provide many nutritional benefits and should be added to our daily diets when possible. 

  • excellent source of protein
  • contains nutrients like folate, zinc, iron, magnesium, and fiber
  • contains antioxidants
  • heart healthy
  • the fiber may help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you full

Minestrone does not contain animal products unless you use chicken or beef broth. Simply sub those out for vegetable stock and you have vegetarian Minestrone!

Minestrone Soup in a bowl with a spoon and a sprinkle of parmesan

Can I Make Minestrone Ahead of Time?

YES! And it’s such a great way to meal prep. Make a double batch; it should last three to four days when covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

An even better idea is to freeze this Minestrone Soup. After you make the soup let it cool or put it in an ice bath to cool quicker. Put a zip-top bag in a bowl and ladle in the soup. 

Lay bags in a single layer to freeze and they should last about three months. You can also use freezer-safe containers for the soup. Don’t forget to label the bags and include the date. Dinner done!

Ingredients for Minestrone Soup

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Red bell pepper – You can also use green, yellow or orange.
  • Garlic – I like to use the prechopped version.
  • Sweet potato – Sometimes I cheat and buy mine prechopped.
  • Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes – I love using these for soup because they add so much flavor. You can find them in my lnstant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup too.
  • Tomato paste
  • Cannellini beans
  • Oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary (or just use Italian seasoning)
  • Chicken broth – Make sure it’s gluten free if needed or use vegetable broth if vegan.
  • Quinoa – Love adding this for extra protein and to replace the small pasta often used in minestrone soup.
  • Frozen peas
  • Swiss chard or spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste – If you use a low sodium broth you may need more seasoning.
  • Parmesan rind – Optional but a sprinkle of parmesan adds a lot of flavor and saltiness.
  • Fresh herbs – optional

Minestrone Soup uncooked in a pot

How To Make Minestrone Soup

  1. Start by chopping all your vegetables and getting out all of your ingredients.
  2. Heat a large pot (I use my dutch oven) over medium heat and add olive oil.  Saute the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and red peppers until they begin to get soft.
  3. Add the diced sweet potatoes, beans, diced tomatoes, frozen peas, spices, and chicken broth.  
  4. Stir well and add the quinoa and the parmesan rind if using. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. If you like it spicy you can add a few red pepper flakes at this point.
  5. When almost finished, add the chopped swiss chard or spinach and let it wilt a bit.
  6. Top with parmesan and fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread and make it your main course. (Omit cheese if vegan)

two bowls of gluten free classic Minestrone Soup loaded up with vegetables and beans

Variations on Easy Minestrone Soup

  1. Instead of quinoa, you can use gluten free pasta, white rice, brown rice, wild rice, or farro (not gluten free). Or you can leave this out altogether. If choosing gluten free pasta it’s best to pick a small shell type and I like to cook those separately and then add them at the last minute. Every time I add pasta to soup it gets overcooked and mushy.
  2. You can use any type of beans you like or a nice combo of three or four different kinds. Try black beans, chickpeas, red kidney beans, or navy beans.
  3. Of course, you can use any variety of vegetables. The idea is to clean out the kitchen and use what you have. Try green beans, white potatoes, corn, edamame, yellow squash, or zucchini.
  4. You can use beef, chicken or vegetable broth but just make sure they are gluten free if needed.
  5. If you want to make this vegan stick to the vegetable broth and leave out the parmesan rind and additional sprinkling of cheese on top.
  6. You could even add ground beef or ground turkey to this if you want to make it heartier but then it becomes more like my Easy Hamburger Soup.

 

Minestrone Soup

Easy Minestrone Soup

Easy Minestrone Soup is full of seasonal vegetables that will satisfy your soul. Easily made with pantry staples. #glutenfree #soup #fall

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Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

Diet: Gluten Free

Keyword: Minestrone Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 23 minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 149kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 ½ sweet potato cubes
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 14 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 14 oz cans of gluten free chicken broth
  • cup quinoa
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups swiss chard, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • parmesan rind

Instructions

  • Start by chopping all your vegetables and getting out all of your ingredients.

  • Heat a large pot (I use my dutch oven) over medium heat and add olive oil.  Saute the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and red peppers until they begin to get soft.

  • Add the diced sweet potatoes, beans, diced tomatoes, frozen peas, spices, and chicken broth.  

  • Stir well and add the quinoa and the parmesan rind if using. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. If you like it spicy you can add a few red pepper flakes at this point.

  • When almost finished, add the chopped swiss chard or spinach and let it wilt a bit.

  • Top with parmesan and fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread and make it your main course. (Omit cheese if vegan)

Notes

Use vegetable broth if you want a vegetarian soup and do not use the parmesan rind or topping.  

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 373mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6028IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg