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Easy and Quick Summer Minestrone [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Vegetable minestrones fun and easy to make, beautiful to look at, and filling in the best way. This particular recipe is a lighter for summer and has a fast cook time, so no waiting around while it simmers. Packed with fresh summer veggies, this is sure to become a favorite.

Easy and Quick Summer Minestrone [Vegan, Gluten-Free]


3 or 4


  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half 1 medium-large tomato, cut in half
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 2 pinches
  • 4 to 6 sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano, tied together
  • 1 cup stemmed and chopped or thinly sliced greens or cabbage (any kind)
  • 2 cups small-diced summer vegetables (any combination of green or yellow beans, peeled butternut squash, carrots, corn, okra, potatoes, snap or snow peas, sweet potatoes, summer squash, or zucchini)
  • 1 cup cooked or canned pink beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh plum tomato, including seeds and any juice (about 1 large tomato)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons, vegan basil pesto, or chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate both onion halves onto a rimmed plate. Discard remaining ungrated pieces. Grate the tomato halves onto a separate rimmed plate. If you grate the tomato halves on their cut side, you will be left with only skin to discard. Using a rasp-style grater, grate the garlic clove into a small dish.
  2. In a medium Dutch oven or other soup pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the grated onion (including all its liquid) and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the grated tomato (and its liquid) and a pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture has reduced and thickened and is a nice brick-red in color, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until well combined and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the thyme sprigs, the greens, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 5 cups of water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, partially cover, and reduce to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the 2 cups of summer vegetables and bring back to a simmer. Cook until the veggies are just tender, 6 to 8 minutes, depending on which veggies you choose. Stir in the beans and the plum tomato and cook until just heated through. Remove the pot from the heat, add 1 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar, and taste for seasoning. Add more salt or vinegar if desired. The herb finish will deepen the soup’s flavor, too.
  5. To serve, spoon the minestrone into soup bowls and top each with a swirl or dollop of chimichurri and some grated vegan Parmesan (if using).


From Simple Green Suppers by Susie Middleton © 2017 by Susie Middleton. Photographs © 2017 by Randi Baird. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. www.roostbooks.com





Cook/writer/farmer Susie Middleton is the author of Fast, Fresh & Green; The Fresh & Green Table; and Fresh from the Farm, an NPR top cookbook of 2014. She is the former chief editor and current editor-at-large for Fine Cooking magazine. Susie blogs about cooking and growing vegetables, as well as year-round living on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, on her website Sixburnersue.com. Susie is a columnist for Martha’s Vineyard Magazine and a frequent contributor to Vegetarian Times magazine. She is a blue-ribbon graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York, and was chosen as an inaugural member of the ICE Alumni Hall of Achievement,



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