Minestrone Soup

Yield: 16 cups


  • 1 can (398 ml/15 oz) red kidney beans (about 1 ½ cups home cooked beans*)
  • 1 ½ cups onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup fennel chopped, optional
  • 1 tsp mushroom powder, optional (view simple instructions to make your own)
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small container spinach, chopped (142g/5oz)
  • 1 lg can (796 ml/28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ can (156 ml/5.5 oz) tomato paste
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • ½ cup tamari or soy sauce
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1½ Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp Kitchen Bouquet, optional (this enhances color)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp sage
  • 1 cup dry measure baby shell pasta, cooked separately


  1. In a large pot add onions. Sauté until they begin to caramelize. View instructions to sauté without oil. Add garlic, celery, carrots, fennel, mushroom powder and only 3 cups of the water. Cover with lid, when it comes to a boil, turn down heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.
  2. Add red peppers and spinach. Stir into the hot cooked vegetables. Cover and allow to sit a few minutes to get the rawness out. Then stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, tamari, nutritional yeast, onion powder, basil, oregano, sage and the remainder of the water.  To meld the flavors, bring soup back to boil. 
  3. To keep pasta from getting over cooked, cook pasta separate and add it just before serving. 



  • To cook dry beans from scratch, ¾ cup dry measure will make about 2 cups cooked. For more flavor and added nutrition, use part of the cooking water as part of the water measurement.
  • If you prefer, substitute red kidney beans with cannellini (white kidney beans), or great northern beans.

Peppers & Spinach

  • Peppers and spinach cook quickly and will cook while opening and getting ready to add the can of tomatoes.

Onion Powder

  • Adds a boost of flavor, but take note; when adding onion powder to a hot mixture it can lump. Mix it with a bit of water first, then pour it into the soup pot.

Mushroom Powder

  • Adds more depth of flavor.