Healthy Kale and Quinoa Minestrone Soup Recipe – a soup you can feel great about eating and serving, plus this hearty soup is amazingly filling. It’s jam packed with nutritious ingredients like quinoa, two types of pulses and an overload of vegetables!
So this is me, I eat pretty healthy most of the time so I can make room for dessert all the time. I’m kidding (sort of). But really, I think balance is important, which doesn’t really mean dessert every day but sometimes I think it’s necessary.
I’ve said it before, all the healthy food is definitely good for your physical health but I say the sweet stuff is good for my emotional health because how could I survive without sugar (especially chocolate)? Addicted? Maybe. Content with that, definitely.
This soup has got to be one of the healthiest I’ve ever made though. It is packed with so many fresh, healthy ingredients and it really does taste amazingly delicious!
I’ve learned that light and healthy recipes don’t need to be boring, they just need to have the right blend of flavors and good seasoning and it makes such a big difference.
You’ll love how this soup is very filling without all lots of added fats or empty carbs. Plus it makes a big pot-full so you can have some for lunch for the next few days.
And yes, this minestrone soup recipe does call for quite a few ingredients but don’t shy away from this recipe because of that. It’s worth it!
Photography credit: Jess Larson
Ingredients Needed for This Healthy Soup Recipe
The vegetables you’ll need (and fruits):
- Yellow onion
- Bell pepper
- Canned crushed tomatoes
- Fresh parsley
- Green beans
Other Ingredients Needed:
- Olive oil
- Vegetable broth
- Dried rosemary and thyme (fresh will work great too just use 3x the amounts)
- Cannellini beans
- Chick peas
- Parmesan (optional, omit for a vegan soup)
How to Make Healthy Quinoa Vegetable Minestrone Soup
- Saute vegetables: In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, carrots and celery and saute about 5 minutes. Add in zucchini, red bell pepper and saute 2 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
- Add canned ingredients and seasoning, simmer: Add in vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, season with salt and pepper to taste and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and allow soup to gently boil, covered for about 20 minutes.
- Add quinoa and green beans, continue to cook: Add in dry quinoa and green beans then cover and cook 10 – 15 minutes longer.
- Add pulses, kale and lemon and simmer: Add cannellinni beans, chick peas, kale, parsley and lemon juice and cook, uncovered, until kale has wilted, about 5 minutes.
- Garnish: Serve warm garnished with parmesan cheese.
Can I Freeze This Soup?
Yes this soup can be frozen in an airtight container for a few months. Just be sure to leave room for it to expand at the top as it freezes.
- Try it substituting other vegetables you may already have on hand. Just keep in mind the softer vegetables you’ll want to add later on so they don’t get mushy.
- Add red pepper flakes for a little kick.
- Use 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning instead of those dried herbs listed.
Can I Make This Healthy Soup Recipe in the Crockpot?
Yes. You could also cook this in the crockpot to do so:
- Add vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, olive oil, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, dried herbs to a large slow cooker.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook on low heat 7 – 8 hours or high 3 1/2 – 4 hours.
- Add quinoa, bell pepper, green beans, zucchini, kale and cook about 30 – 45 minutes longer.
- Stir in chick peas and cannellini beans and heat through (they should warm through in a minute or two).
- Finish with parsley and lemon and serve warm.
More Minestrone Recipes You’ll Love
- Autumn Minestrone – made with fresh seasonal vegetables like butternut squash, yellow potatoes and kale.
- Classic Minestrone – includes slow cooker and stove top instructions. A favorite!
- Creamy Tortellini Minestrone – you’ll love that cheese filled pasta and cream addition, so good!
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Healthy Kale and Quinoa Minestrone Soup
- 1 large yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
- 3 medium carrots, diced (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (1 cup)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups diced zucchini (from about 2 small)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 7 cups unsalted vegetable broth*
- 1 (28 oz) can unsalted crushed tomatoes
- 3 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp dried rosemary,** crushed
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch segments
- 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can chick peas, drained and rinsed (aka garbanzo beans)
- 2 cups (heaping) chopped fresh kale, thick ribs removed before chopping
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish (omit or use vegan parmesan if making vegan)
- In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, carrots and celery and saute about 5 minutes, until softened. Add in zucchini, red bell pepper and saute 2 minutes, then add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
- Add in vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and allow soup to gently boil, covered for 20 minutes.
- Add in dry quinoa and green beans then cover and cook 10 - 15 minutes longer.
- Add cannellini beans, chick peas, kale, parsley and lemon juice and cook, uncovered, until kale has wilted, about 5 minutes.
- Serve warm garnished with parmesan cheese if desired.
- *Recipe originally called for 4 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups water but for more flavor I've omitted the water and increased broth. Also 1 1/2 tsp sugar have been omitted from the recipe, but if you think it needs it feel free to add it.
- *You don't have to use unsalted broth and crushed tomatoes but if you are watching your sodium intake it's recommended.
- **1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning can be substituted for the thyme and rosemary.
- Recipe inspired by Mind Body Green