Vegetarian minestrone soup makes a delicious, inexpensive dinner for busy families during Lent and also for Meatless Monday throughout the year. Eating meatless during Lent or on Meatless Monday should not put stress on your family budget, and the vegetables and herbs in this vegetarian minestrone soup are suggestions. Use whatever vegetables and herbs you have on hand and keep this vegetarian minestrone soup as frugal as you can.
Some substitutions, or even additions, you can make in this vegetarian minestrone soup are fresh or frozen spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens or yellow summer squash, Serve with a dressing and a crusty loaf of Italian bread for a delicious meatless Monday dinner.
When using fresh parsley in this recipe, use ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley. If using fresh basil and oregano, use 2 Tablespoons each chopped fresh basil and chopped fresh oregano. If using dried herbs, use 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes and 1 teaspoon each dried oregano and basil. Adjust the herbs in the vegetarian minestrone to your family’s tastes. If you do not have fresh garlic, use 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
Use whatever small pasta you have in your cupboards. Having a well-stocked pantry or cupboards is a good idea, because you will find that you do not need to run out for a lot of ingredients to make this vegetarian minestrone soup. You should have all the canned goods and pasta already in your well-stocked kitchen.
If you do not have a crock pot or slow cooker, you can make this vegetarian minestrone soup in your biggest soup pot on the stove top. Directions for making vegetarian minestrone in the crock pot or on the stove top are included in this recipe.
Simple, frugal vegetarian minestrone soup recipe for meatless Monday
Ingredients for vegetarian minestrone for meatless Monday:
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley, basil and oregano, to taste
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar, raw vegan sugar or turbinado sugar
- 1 can (46 ounces) tomato or vegetable juice
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, reserve liquid, coarsely chopped
- 1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
- 1 can (15 ounces) red or light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounces) chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) cut green beans, drained
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into small coins and halved
- 1 cup celery, cut into small chunks
- 1½ cups zucchini, cut into small chunks
- ½ cup small broccoli florets
- 1½ cups cooked pasta such as elbows, small shells, small spirals, alphabets or pastina
- Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Directions to make vegetarian minestrone on the stove top:
- To a 6 to 8-quart stock pot add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, tomato juice, tomato puree, coarsely chopped whole peeled tomatoes and reserved liquid. Bring to a slow simmer on medium low heat.
- Add fresh vegetables, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add canned vegetables and canned beans; cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add cooked pasta of your choice. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 10 minutes.
- Serve with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Directions to make vegetarian minestrone in the crock pot or slow cooker:
- Using a 6 to 8-quart crock pot add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, tomato juice, tomato puree, coarsely chopped whole peeled tomatoes and reserved liquid. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours.
- Add fresh vegetables, cover and cook another 2 hours.
- Add canned vegetables and canned beans; cover and cook another 2 hours. Total cooking time will be approximately 6 to 7 hours.
- Add pasta, turn off crock pot. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.
Suggested substitutions for vegetarian minestrone soup:
To add a little heat, use 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes with the tomato products.
- Pasta is not necessary in this vegetarian minestrone recipe. If you are gluten-free or low carb, leave the pasta out or substitute low carb or gluten-free pasta.
- Fresh green or wax beans can be substituted for canned. The taste and texture of frozen green beans does not work well in this vegetarian minestrone.
- Pink beans can be substituted for the kidney beans. Cannellini beans can be substituted for the garbanzo beans, or used in addition to the garbanzo beans.
- Substitute nutritional yeast for Parmesan or Romano cheese. Nutritional yeast has a similar smell and taste to Parmesan cheese, and adds extra vitamin B to the recipe. Omitting cheese from the recipe makes it vegan minestrone soup.