Vegan minestrone? Sure. That’s not impossible.
Vegan no stock minestrone?! Erm are you crazy?
No I’m not crazy.
Truthfully speaking, I have a love-hate relationship with vegetable stock/broth/bouillon/yougetit. I do use it, but I try my best to not use it if I can.
That’s because I hate wasting food. I really do. Most of the time, making vegetable stock requires wasting perfectly edible food. And when it comes to store-bought broth, I don’t know how companies that make vegetable stock try to reduce waste. All I imagine when buying stock is lots and and lots of squished onions, carrots, and celery being dumped somewhere, no thanks to my vivid imagination. I suppose maybe it can be used as animal feed, so if you have a pet willing to eat squishy near-tasteless veggies you can make waste-free stock too (I know my fussy cats won’t).
It doesn’t help that Singapore is an apartment city so composting isn’t even a thing here. We just throw whatever food waste into the bin 🙁 so that really kinda sucks.
But Elizabeth, you can make vegetable stock completely from scraps!
I know, but my scraps are scraps for a reason. Some people make stock with things like carrot peel, celery ends and other random veggie scraps. The thing is, I peel my vegetables because I want to reduce pesticides. Organic is unbelievably expensive here, so I buy the typical Malaysia/India/China-imported vegetables we get in our markets, which definitely has pesticides. Or maybe I am just lazy :p
TL;DR I am a fussy person that doesn’t like to waste food.
I also try to cater to those who eat without onions and garlic. I personally reduce my onion garlic consumption and don’t cook them at home because I feel a lot better if I don’t. Unfortunately, most stock/broth/bouillon will have onions and garlic – which makes soup really troublesome if you are also vegan or vegetarian!
The great news is, because vegetables are so prominent in minestrone, vegan no stock minestrone is totally possible. You will see that I have included carrots and celery – these two vegetables basically forms the stock. So in a way, I am making vegetable stock AND minestrone at the same time – just that I don’t throw away the veggies! Yay!
To get the rich red colour in your minestrone, you have to use some form of tomato puree. I use a can of 14.5 oz crushed tomatoes (or half a 28 oz can) to obtain that, and for the actual tomatoes, I use another can of diced tomatoes. That’s because tomatoes are just lousy here in Singapore – if you stay in a country with fresh tomatoes and they are in season, you can totally go for fresh tomatoes 🙂 And if you don’t have easy access to crushed tomatoes, go for tomato puree, and if that is not possible, try to get your hands on some tomato paste.
Personally, I like to top the soup with some coconut milk just to up the fat content a little, but you don’t have to. I admit it’s kinda a strange addition! The pinto beans can be replaced with any beans of your choice, and the zucchini can be replaced with your favourite veggies too! The great thing about minestrone is that it’s sometimes a “leftover veggie” soup for me :p
Let me know how it goes if you try it!
Vegan + Gluten Free + Low Carb + No Onion No Garlic
Easy Vegan No Stock Minestrone
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium carrots
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes or a smaller amt of puree/paste
- 1 14 oz can pinto beans or other beans
- 2 cups water approximately
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds optional
Prepare chopped celery, carrots, and zucchini.
Heat up oil in large saucepan, add the bay leaf and grind some pepper into the saucepan.
Add carrots and celery and allow it to cook/sweat for 5 to 10 minutes.
After that, add zucchini and water (preferably already hot/boiling). You can replace the water with stock if you prefer.
Add beans, crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes, and then close the lid and allow it to boil.
Once it starts reaches a violent boil, allow it to simmer by either turning down the flame or leaving the lid slightly open.
Keep it simmering until vegetables are completely soft, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Add parsley flakes after you turn off the flame, and if you have some chia seeds on hand, add some too, to up the nutrition content. Stir the soup and make sure the chia seeds are dispersed (or else they will all glue together).