Add a vegan meatball to just about any recipe and I am ALL in. If I am being totally honest, until recently I was not a huge fan of minestrone soup. I am actually not a big noodle soup eater. BUT, when it dawned on me that we could add vegan meatballs to minestrone, suddenly I was far more interested in the idea. My whole family loves soup, especially in the fall and winter months, so I try really hard to make sure any soup or stew I make is going to be filling and satisfying. Nobody wants to hear their family complaining about still being hungry an hour after you just slaved over dinner. Am I right?!?!? Well, no worries with this easy and delicious recipe. It’s full of healthy veggies, filling pasta, and delicious vegan meatballs. Serve this vegan minestrone up with a side or crusty bread or a nice salad and everyone should leave the table full and happy! You can also feel free to swap out the veggies for whatever you have on hand, whatever is in season, or whatever veggies your family will happily eat, if thats how you roll. In my house, you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit. That is not to say that my son does not always eat around any bean or or piece of zucchini in his bowl, but we can’t win them all, try as we might!
1 zucchini, diced
3 carrots, sliced
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cups chopped Swiss chard, kale, or spinach
2 teaspoons mined garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3 teaspoons Vegetable Better than Bouillon
6-7 cups water
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1(15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups dry ditalini pasta or small macaroni pasta
a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of olive or grapeseed oil
vegan parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
additional fresh basil for garnish (optional)
1 lb vegan ground chuck, I use Beyond Beef brand, or 4 thawed beyond burgers
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 flax egg
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Begin by heating oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Allow the veggies to cook until the onions are translucent.
Add the cans of tomatoes, Better than Bouillon, water, beans, herbs, and seasoning. Reduce heat to low and allow the soup to simmer while you prepare and cook the meatballs.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the meatballs by mixing all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Scoop out tablespoon sized scoops of the mixture and form into small meatballs. Place meat balls on a parchment lined baking sheet (just makes for easier cleanup) and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
Add the cooked meatballs, chopped greens, and noodles to the soup. Allow the soup to continue cooking until the noodles are cooked through.
Serve as is, or with a side of crusty artisan bread and garnish with vegan parmesan cheese.
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