This hearty pasta vegetable soup is an Italian-inspired medley of veggies in a light tomato base. Not quite minestrone, and definitely not ribollita, yet with a mild Italian accent, this vegan soup can be enjoyed all year round, even on cool summer evenings. It’s hearty but not heavy.
Cook the pasta separately: The pasta should be cooked separately and added at the last minute so that it doesn’t overcook or absorb too much of the broth.
Vary the vegetables and herbs: You can vary the vegetables according to what you have on hand – yellow summer squash or eggplant can be used in place of zucchini — or in addition to it. Peas or green beans are good swaps, too. Fresh basil will give the soup a definite scent of summer, parsley keeps it more neutral. Use fresh dill if you’d like, as well.
Turn it into a main dish or serve with a main dish salad: To make it more of a main dish soup, add some chickpeas or cannellini (large white beans). Or serve a main dish salad as a second course. I think Chickpeas and Green Beans with Balsamic Mushrooms is a great fit with this soup! Either way, serve with a fresh bread or bruschetta for a light, lovely meal.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 large celery stalk, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 32-ounce container vegetable broth (or 4 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes)
- 28-ounce can pureed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 cups fusilli, rotini, medium shell pasta, other short pasta shape
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (or substitute dried)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup basil leaves (whole if small, sliced if large) or chopped fresh parsley
- Vegan Parmesan for topping, optional (see easy recipe in Notes)
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until golden.
- Add the carrots, celery, bell pepper, and broth. Bring to a slow boil, then stir in the pureed tomatoes, and paprika. Return to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta separately in a large saucepan until al dente. Plunge the zucchini into the water, cook for up to another minutes, then drain both together.
- Stir the cooked pasta and zucchini into the soup. Adjust the consistency with more water if it’s too dense. Season with salt and pepper. Cook just until everything is piping hot, then remove from the heat, and stir in the herbs.
- Serve at once, passing around Vegan Parmesan cheese for topping individual portions, if desired.
To make a super-easy Parmesan-style topping, simply combine 1/2 cup ground almonds or almond flour with 1/4 cup nutritional yeast in a small bowl; add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste, and stir together. That’s it!
If you like this hearty pasta vegetable soup, you might also enjoy …
- Here are more delicious vegan soups & stews