This easy, one pot Lentil Minestrone Soup is loaded with vegetables, protein packed lentils and plenty of pasta! It’s thick, hearty and perfect for a cold day!
If you love veggie packed soups, then you have to try this ground turkey and vegetable soup!
This post has been updated since it was originally published on 2/8/2021.
Thanks to Zoup! Good, Really Good® Broth for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for Recipe Runner to keep providing you with delicious recipes!
Why I love it
One pot dinner – This is a one pot soup, which is always a bonus if you hate doing dishes like I do. The pasta cooks directly in the soup so there’s no need to boil it separately.
Freezer friendly – This is a freezable soup, but you’ll want to leave out the pasta and add it in when you plan to eat it.
Hearty and healthy soup – I love all the vegetables, beans and pasta in this vegetarian minestrone. Even without any meat, the lentils give it plenty of protein and there’s lots of fiber to keep you full and satisfied.
Ingredients Needed to Make Lentil Minestrone Soup
- Yellow onion, carrots, and celery – The base of many soup recipes. Often called a mirepoix.
- garlic – I like to grate the garlic on a microplane zester so it melts into whatever I’m cooking.
- Italian seasoning, dried oregano, dried basil, bay leaf – This spice blend gives the broth a nice Italian flavor.
- Tomato paste – Gives the broth a rich tomato flavor.
- Crushed tomatoes – Crushed tomatoes have a texture in between tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
- Brown or green lentils – Both of these varieties of lentils hold their shape and texture well in soups. I would avoid red lentils as they’ll likely fall apart.
- Parmesan cheese rind (optional) – Adds a wonderful Parmesan flavor to the soup.
- Zoup! Good, Really Good® Veggie Broth
- Kale – Green or red kale can be used. You can also use Tuscan kale.
- Cannellini beans – Creamy and mild in flavor. Any white bean will work in this soup.
- Pasta – A small shaped pasta such as ditalini is generally used in minestrone soup. You could also use small shells, macaroni, or something slightly larger such as rotini (what is shown in the photos).
- Peas – Add them in at the end and there’s no need to defrost them before adding them to the soup.
How to Make Lentil Minestrone Soup
Sauté the vegetables – Sauté the carrots, celery, and onion until they start to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and spices and cook for another minute or two before adding in the tomatoes, lentils, Parmesan cheese rind, bay leaf, vegetable broth and water.
Boil and simmer – Stir everything together and bring the soup to a boil. Once it’s boiling cover the pot partially with a lid and lower the heat so that it’s simmering.
Cook the pasta – After the soup simmers for 15 minutes, add in the kale, cannellini beans and pasta. Stir everything together and let it simmer with the lid off for 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the peas, remove the bay leaf and Parmesan cheese rind. Taste the soup for seasoning and then serve it topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.
Zoup! Good, Really Good® Veggie Broth
One of the key elements to making a fantastic soup is to use a good quality and flavorful broth. For this lentil minestrone soup recipe I partnered with Zoup! Good, Really Good® Broth.
Their broths were developed by a 20+ year soup industry veteran and the team behind Zoup! Eatery. Zoup! Broths are kettle cooked in small batches with only the freshest ingredients, which is what gives them that homemade taste.
Something I always look for when I’m buying broth is that it’s free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, hormones, gluten and GMO’s. Zoup! checks all these boxes.
Aside from the nutritional perks, Zoup! Broth is also packaged in glass containers that are recyclable or if you’re like me, clean them and reuse them for storing dry goods such as lentils or pasta.
Tip For the Best Soup
- Cut your vegetables into similar sizes so that they cook at the same rate.
- Use the Parmesan cheese rind as it adds a wonderful nutty, cheesy flavor to the soup.
- Rinse and drain the lentils and beans. Also, be sure to check your lentils for rocks or debris because no one wants to crack a tooth while eating soup.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. Remember that the heat of the soup will continue to cook it even after it’s served.
- If you plan to freeze the soup add the pasta in separately. If you freeze the pasta in the soup it will likely be mushy after you defrost it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other vegetables can be used in minestrone soup?
Vegetables such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, spinach, zucchini, leeks or green beans could also be used in minestrone soup.
Can minestrone soup be made vegan and/or gluten-free?
Yes. For vegan, omit the Parmesan cheese rind and skip the shredded cheese on top. For gluten free, simply substitute wheat pasta with your favorite gluten-free brand.
Yes, but freeze it without the pasta. Make the soup as instructed, but leave out the pasta. Let it cool completely before freezing in an airtight container. The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you plan to eat it, cook the pasta separately and add it to the defrosted and reheated soup.
More Soup Recipes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup dried brown lentils, picked over for debris and rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 32 ounces Zoup! Good, Really Good® Veggie Broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups chopped kale
- 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup uncooked pasta such as shells, macaroni or rotini
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper to the pot and cook until the vegetables have softened, 6-8 minutes. Stir often. Add in the garlic, spices and tomato paste and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the tomatoes, lentils, Parmesan cheese rind, bay leaf, veggie broth and water. Stir everything together and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover the pot partially with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and add in the kale, cannellini beans and pasta. Continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the frozen peas. Pull out the bay leaf and Parmesan cheese rind.
- Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust if needed. Serve in bowls topped with shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 903mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 13gSugar: 10gProtein: 14g