This healthy quinoa minestrone recipe is packed full of fresh spring vegetables and makes for the most delicious weeknight meal. It's also vegetarian too!
Today I'm partnering with my lovely friends from Tuttorosso Tomatoes to bring you a comforting quinoa minestrone that's lightened up with seasonal spring veggies.
A big batch of soup might not be the first thing that jumps to mind as we're moving into spring, but with the chilly weather we've been having in NYC, it was the perfect, simple meal. It also comes together really quickly, so for those nights when you don't really have a plan to dinner but still want something healthy and nourishing? This soup is it.
Soup in my house is kind of a controversial subject. I'm all about soups that are smooth and creamy. Matt, on the other hand, would much prefer something that is broth-based, with chunky vegetables and meat. So more often than not we just don’t make it. Unless I’m home alone, of course.
This quinoa minestrone is my compromise. It's chunky just as Matt likes it, but has some of my favorite veggies inside. Plus, it's meatless, so that's another check on my list!
It starts with a simple base of sauteed onions, garlic, carrots and a can of diced tomatoes. Then it's just some water (or veggie broth), quinoa and lots and LOTS of veggies!
For the tomatoes, I always make sure to purchase the no salt added ones from Tuttorosso because the extra sodium really just isn’t necessary.
It also means that we have more control over the flavor of our dish and it gives us the opportunity to add more vitamins to the meal by using mineral-rich sea salt.
I also love that Tuttorosso tomatoes hold up when they’re cooked. Do you know how some will kind of disintegrates? Not these! There are still big chunks of juicy red tomatoes in there.
Classic minestrone is made with pasta. But since we often bend the rules around here, rather than pasta I added in quinoa.
While not quite as pronounced texturally wise as the pasta would be, the quinoa upped the protein content of the soup, keeping it hearty and filling without overloading your body with refined carbs.
The remaining veggies you can have a little fun with. Since I’m all about finding what’s available to you, here’s what I was able to get at the store:
- sweet peas
But I encourage you to play and use what a) you can find in season and b) what you enjoy. Not a kale fan? try spinach! Don’t want funky smelling pee? Swap the asparagus for green beans! Don’t like peas? Sweet corn would be delicious!
Oh and if you want to make it a bit heartier, feel free to throw in a can of garbanzo or navy beans!
No matter what your combination is, it’s going to be delicious. You can never go wrong with a soup like this because it can always be tweaked to your preferences. That’s what makes it so amazing (and the perfect “clean out the fridge” meal!).
To serve, I highly suggest a piece of toasted bread and a touch of nutritional yeast. You get a slightly cheesy flavor (which is so familiar with a dish like this) and have the perfect vessel to soak up the remaining tomatoy broth. YUM!
What are you favorite vegetables to add to minestrone? I can’t wait to see what combinations you come up with! I’d love for you to snap a pic and tag @simplyquinoa on Instagram so I can actually see it (or send me a Snap of the finished product! @alyssarimmer)
More Scrumptious Soup Recipes to try:
- Vegan White Bean and Mushroom Soup
- Lemon & Garlic Wild Rice Soup
- Vegan Tortilla Soup with Quinoa
- Tuscan Kale & White Bean Stew
- Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup
Spring Vegetable Quinoa Minestrone
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small white onion diced
- 1 cup sliced carrots about 2 medium
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I used Tuttorosso)
- 4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup white quinoa uncooked
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt + pepper to taste*
- 1 cup chopped zucchini 1 small or 1/2 of 1 medium
- 1 1/2 cups chopped asparagus
- 1 packed cup chopped kale or spinach
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Nutritional yeast or parmesan to garnish
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions and carrots and cook until starting to brown, about 2 - 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, quinoa, spices, bay leaves, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir in remaining vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes more until asparagus has started to soften, but still has a light crunch.
- Taste, adjust seasonings as needed and serve immediately. Garnish with nutritional yeast (or cheese) if you want some cheesy flavor.
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This post was sponsored by Tuttorosso, but all opinions are my own. As always, thank you for supporting the brands that I love and I hope you try their tomatoes – I’m not even kidding when I tell you that the quality is out of this world (and the flavor is amazing!)
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44 comments on “Spring Vegetable Quinoa Minestrone”
I love soup and this sounds so good. Will try it soon. Thank you for you hard work on healthy recipes.
You’re so welcome! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the soup 🙂
I pretty much throw in anything in the fridge or what happens to tickle my brain. I love soups of all kinds.
That’s why soups are so great! You can really put ANYTHING in there! 🙂
Love the idea of spring vegetables in minestrone! Can’t wait to try this!
Come pack and let us know what you think! 🙂
Maybe this isn’t normal but I seriously crave soup year round!! Even when it gets into the 90s down here in Louisiana. I’m always ready for a heaping bowl of veggies. I’d love to add some chickpeas to this!
Haha probably because soup is the BEST! and cold soups like gazpacho are perfect for that type of weather…mmm! Love the idea of chickpeas 🙂
The family loved the Minestrone they said it is a keeper
So glad you enjoyed it!
Hi! Do you think I could make this recipe in a slow cooker?
I think so, yeah! You probably won’t need that much time — probably just a few hours. Keep me posted!
If I make this and serve the next day, will the quinoa swell and soak up the broth like pasta?
I don’t think so! We froze our leftovers and reheated them and it was fine. If it does, just add a touch more water 🙂
I added a package of tri-color cheese tortellini for my family as our dinner. I also replaced the peas w/ dried lentils (and added additional water, as per instructions). HUGE hit!
LOVE! Thanks for sharing 🙂
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Racheal – you read my mind !
I have been getting bored with just eating quinoa alone or garlic added ! So I have all the ingredients down and Bobby and I plan to make this for the weekend and freeze for other days when the monsoon rains ( what it has felt like ) come back oh wait if they ever leave Lynchburg ! It’s so easy to make and a lot like my veggie soup , but I never thought to put kale in my soup , my grandma ️always put chopped spinach in hers so I should have known ! Can’t wait to taste it later today !
Can’t wait to hear what you think of it! Such a simple and delicious dish. And a great way to use up quinoa for sure 🙂
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Could I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones?
Will this soup freeze well? I don’t wan the extras to go to waste if I can’t finish it right away.
Loved it and family did too! Can’t remember a healthier more vegetable laden dish. Thanks!
So glad! Thanks for sharing!
I’m interested in making this for a friend who is having surgery later in the week. How does it hold up for leftovers? Thinking about the asparagus & zucchini as both can get soggy with overcooking…just wondering how they are a day or two later… thx!
I’ve kept this in the fridge for a few days and it’s been totally fine!
Thanks for the recipe! I want to try swapping the quinoa with organic brown rice. Can you advise if this would change the cooking instructions at all?
You could totally try, but it will affect the cooking time dramatically. I’d say you’ll want to simmer it for at least 45 minutes before adding in the remaining veggies, but you’ll have to just go with how fast the brown rice is cooking. Let me know how it turns out! xx
We love this soup – so healthy and filling! Thank you! This is definitely on my homemade soup list! X
Mmm! So glad you like it, Ann 🙂 xo
This is a very yummy soup…love it and so easy to make 🙂 Thx a lot!!
So glad you enjoyed it!
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I’ve made this soup a couple of times. I just love the freshness of the spring vegetables. Thank you so much for sharing.
I’m so glad you’re enjoying it!! xx
Hi Alyssa do you think tori color quinoa would work? Cant wait to make this
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This recipe was SO good! Even got my boyfriend to eat it and he loved it as well!
Woohoo!! That’s a major win 🙂
This is one of my go to soup recipes that I have shared with people for a few years now. Simple and tasty! I’ve adapted it to make it seasonal based on whatever veggies are in season at the time.