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A steaming bowl of vegan minestrone soup is one of life’s simple pleasures. My recipe takes a fun, Autumn twist on a traditional vegetable soup. We’re quickly entering a season where schedules are full, sleep is low and immune systems are not at their best. Why not give our bodies a much-needed immunity boost?

loaded vegan minestrone soup in a red and white bowl with a spoon.

The word minestrone actually means big soup. It originated in Italy, and typically uses celery, onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, olive oil and pasta. It’s often topped with parmesan cheese (mine uses a vegan parmesan cheese), which is most often shredded, not powdered. It’s considered the ‘poor man’s soup’ as it doesn’t need meat and therefore can be made with whatever you have on hand.

Even Italians have their own take on this hearty soup because the ingredients vary depending on the region and season. I love that it was created to be made with fresh, seasonal ingredients to be changed depending on what’s fresh.

Table of Contents
  1. Minestrone Soup Ingredients
  2. Easy Ingredient Swaps
  3. How to Make Slow Cooker Minestrone
  4. Vegan Minestrone Soup FAQs
  5. More Vegan Soup Recipes
  6. Vegan Minestrone Soup Recipe

Minestrone Soup Ingredients

ingredients for minestrone soup including onion, garlic, carrot, celery, cannellini beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, butternut squash, vegetable stock, Italian seasoning, kale and basil pesto.
  • Onion: I use yellow onions in most of my cooking since they are mild and warm.
  • Garlic: Use real, whole garlic for the most robust flavor.
  • Carrot: Use the carrot color of your choice to add a carotene boost to this soup.
  • Celery: This simple vegetable packs a flavorful punch to any soup. Use the leaves from the full stalk for even more savory goodness.
  • Cannellini Beans: These beans add a great boost of fiber and protein as well as calcium.
  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: An easy way to add a bit of heat as well as flavor to this veggie soup.
  • Butternut Squash: I love the buttery flavor and natural sweetness of butternut squash.
  • Vegetable Stock: While homemade is best, you can find great store-bought options with real ingredients.
  • Italian Seasoning: I splurge on a high-quality seasoning with real ingredients and a strong oregano flavor.
  • Kale: A hearty superfood containing over 100% of the RDV of vitamin C.
  • Basil Pesto: This optional ingredient elevates the final soup by adding a bit more flavor, pizazz and creaminess.

Easy Ingredient Swaps

Yellow onions are my go-to for soups, yet feel free to use the onion of your choice. If you can’t do onions, swap for a leek. The cannellini beans can be swapped with another white bean or kidney beans. Swap butternut squash with another squash, or even zucchini.

Kale adds a hearty flavor to this soup yet can be swapped with Swiss chard or spinach. I add fire-roasted tomatoes for a spicy kick yet regular canned tomatoes work great as well.

hearty soup alongside some thick bread topped with pesto and melted cheese.

How to Make Slow Cooker Minestrone

With just a bit of effort, this hearty warm soup will be your dinner. This is how I make mine:

  1. Heat just a bit of olive oil (or the healthy fat of your choice) in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion then sauté until translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, stirring constantly.
  2. Add your sautéd ingredients to a crock pot along with everything but the kale and pesto. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours. You’ll know it’s ready once the butternut squash and carrots are fork-tender.
  3. Stir in kale and basil pesto right before serving. The heat from the soup will nicely wilt the kale before you are ready to eat it, no need to cook it in the crock pot. Serve!

What Makes this Minestrone Soup Vegan?

vegan basil pesto in a glass jar and vegan parmesan cheese in a small white bowl.

The base of this soup is traditionally vegetable broth, so no need for heavy cream. While some people put cheese on top of the finished product, I’ve opted to keep it simple and make a cheese-less variety. I’ve also swapped the traditional pesto for my vegan basil pesto. Seriously, it’s so good!

I feel better when I limit my dairy intake. Honestly, the veggies and spices in this soup pack a lot of flavors! Kale is another addition to this vegan minestrone soup recipe, as it gives the soup an earthy flavor, while also upping the nutritional profile.

I have two kids and know how far cheesy toast can go with a meal, so I’ve added that as a side to make this recipe more kid-friendly. If it takes cheesy garlic bread to get them excited to eat their vegetables, I’m cool with that.

If you’re trying to go 100% vegan or plant-based, you can always use vegan butter and garlic in your toast or skip it altogether. Feel free to top your soup with vegan parmesan cheese.

Vegan Minestrone Soup FAQs

What’s the difference between vegetable soup and minestrone soup?

Minestrone is a bulked-up veggie soup. It contains hearty vegetables and beans/pasta to make a more filling result.

What ingredients are in minestrone soup?

My delicious minestrone soup contains onion, garlic, carrots, celery, cannellini beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, butternut squash, vegetable stock and kale. I top it with vegan basil pesto for a creamy finish.

How do I make my minestrone soup vegan?

Easy! Add vegan cheese sprinkle, skip any heavy cream, and top with a vegan pesto of your choice. You won’t miss any dairy finishes in this delightful soup.

2 bowls of autumn vegetable soup  with wooden spoons.

More Vegan Soup Recipes

Soup is one of my favorite meals, so I’ve got a lot of soup recipes to share! Check out this delicious list to get started:

  • Carrot Ginger Soup: Super creamy with just the right amount of spice, this soup is comforting and immune-boosting.
  • Vegetable Barley Soup: Similar to this vegan minestrone soup, my vegetable barley soup is hearty, flavorful and full of veggies.
  • Coconut Thai soup: I love the nutty coconut milk used in this fun soup recipe. This is one I often make for parties, and there are never any leftovers!
  • Pumpkin Soup: The ultimate fall soup. Make a big pot of this to go with your game day spread, or for a festive fall dinner party.
  • Zoodles in a Jar: This is my go-to fast food in a jar. Take real, whole food ingredients, delicious veggie broth and a mason jar, and you’ve got yourself a packed lunch.
  • Roasted Red Pepper Soup: You’ll be shocked that there’s no dairy in this soup! Decadent and useful as a side or the main course, this soup is comfort, fall vibes and satisfaction in a bowl.
  • Split Pea Soup: This warming soup recipe brings up fond childhood memories. Add in any veggies on hand, and turn this into a hearty soup for a cold evening.

Your feedback is so valuable to me. Will you rate + review this soup once you’ve made it?

4.73 from 133 votes

Vegan Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup is loaded with nourishing vegetables that heal the body and sooth the soul. Simple, easy to make and easily reheated.
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 25 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Serves: 4


  • stove


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • 1 cloves garlic cloves minced
  • 1 carrot peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk celery sliced
  • 1 cup cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz fire-roasted tomatoes do not drain, 1 can
  • 1 cup butternut squash diced
  • 2.5 cups vegetable stock plus more if needed
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups kale chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegan basil pesto optional
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  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds.
  • Transfer to a slow cooker along with the carrots, celery, beans, diced tomatoes and their juice, butternut squash, vegetable broth, and dried Italian herbs. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  • Stir in the leafy greens and pesto. Taste and decide if you want more pesto (I always lean towards more is the way to go). The residual heat will cook the greens without turning them mushy. If the soup is too thick, add more broth.


  • Cooked pasta can be added to the soup, if desired. Adding uncooked pasta to the slow cooker can also be done, but it may become too mushy with the long cooking time.
  • You can also cook this on the stovetop. For step 2, just add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, or until butternut squash, carrots and celery are soft (break apart when you put a fork through them).


Calories: 116kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 886mg, Potassium: 344mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 10407IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 182mg, Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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  1. 5 stars
    Simple minestrone with beans supplying all the fibres you need! It’s difficult to get fresh basil where I live so I opt for nutritional yeast as a sprinkle on top. Also very delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    Very good minestrone soup. Easy to make via the stop top since I don’t own a slow cooker. I swapped the

    1. Hi Linda! No slow cooker needed, just makes it easier to dump and go! Stove top is just as good!

  3. 4 stars
    It definitely needed more pepper and salt. Other than that really good. I used regular pesto I had made.

  4. 5 stars
    I appreciated the option of using the crockpot for this soup recipe. It’ll allow the flavors to really marinate. I ate two bowls right away, simply delicious.

    I wondered what this soup may be like with sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash. Peeling the squash was time consuming. I made three times the amount for sharing with friends and family and also to freeze some.

    All the recipes have reminded me that my health is in my kitchen.

    1. The crockpot can be a lifesaver for sure, Janie! If you try it with sweet potatoes let me know how it turns out!

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious and hearty! I did double the pesto. Such great flavors! Next time I’ll add a few more veggies for pre heartiness.

  6. 5 stars
    Loved this soup! I didn’t have butternut squash so I swapped it for zucchini. I also used low sodium chicken bone broth for extra protein. I had some leftover pumpkin purée, so I added a couple of teaspoons to thicken the broth. It all worked and had great flavor! Looking forward to having the leftovers! YUM!!

    1. Love all of these touches you put on the Minestrone soup, Beth! I bet the zucchini worked out great!

  7. 5 stars
    I loved doing this in the slow cooker. This got very a very high rating from my husband! He loves soups with lots of stuff in them!

    1. Hi Becky! The slow cooker is the best right?! Throw and go is what I like to say!

  8. 5 stars
    Day 6 – Familiar taste from my youth. Rich and flavorful broth. Slow cooking really brings out the umami!

    1. Hi K.B.! Definitely a familiar taste with our own spin. Glad you enjoyed!

  9. Fantastic!!!
    I’m a soup lover through and through but this Minestrone Soup is fantastic. The flavors are amazing and as a celiac I definitely recommend cooking the pasta on the side and adding it as needed. The gluten free pasta doesn’t stand up as well as regular pasta. Just my little tip 😉
    I wish I had this immersion blender as mine doesn’t have the protection around the sides of the cup for the blades. It can ruin my pots.

    1. Hi Karen! Thanks for sharing your tip on the pasta, I know others will appreciate that!

  10. 5 stars
    After having made this on a cleanse a couple months ago, I’ve made it twice & freeze it in portions to take to work – so delicious.

  11. 5 stars
    This was one my whole family enjoyed (that’s really hard to do). I added an additional teaspoon on Italian seasoning, used fire roasted tomatoes for the tomatoes, and added 2cups gf pasta.

  12. 5 stars
    Used stovetop method and the Notes variation of added pasta. Really enjoyed this Minestrone Soup and will make it again. Easy to play around with to use other veggies one may have on hand.

  13. 3 stars
    Gave this one a 3.5 because i liked it, but others were not a fan. May try and tweak if i make it again to their liking.

  14. This soup was very similar to the vegetable noodle soup. Good but main difference was beans instead of pasta.