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Vegan Minestrone with Miso Pesto

  • Author: Noah Galuten
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1-3 hours depending on your beans
  • Total Time: 1:30-3:30
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: dinner



For the Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ¼ cup diced white onion
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound dried beans (any bean will do, though I have most often used a white bean like cannellini or Great Northern)
  • 1½ cups medium-diced tender green vegetables (I like to use zucchini, green beans, and snap peas)
  • 1 cup Miso-Spinach Pesto (see below), or to taste, at room temperature
  • Equipment: Heavy-bottomed soup pot with a lid or a Dutch oven and a sauté pan or skillet

For the Miso Pesto:

  • ½ cup raw almonds (2½ ounces), toasted until fragrant, or store-bought
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8 ounces spinach leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons white miso
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • A few twists of black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Equipment: Food processor


  1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and carrot. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until just wilted, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the dried beans and add water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to a simmer and season with salt so that the water tastes like it has just barely less salt than a good-tasting broth. Cover the pot and simmer until the beans are fully cooked, keeping an eye on the water level and maintaining at least a half inch of water above the beans. You are looking for cooked beans and a brothy consistency that is not thick like a stew. This can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the beans. When the beans are ready, remove the pot from the heat.
  3. In a sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the green vegetables and season them with salt and pepper. Cook them until they are just barely cooked and still have some bite to them, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the sautéed vegetables to the pot of beans and stir it all together, tasting for seasoning and adjusting as needed (while keeping in mind that the pesto has salt).
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls, topped with a dollop of pesto. Eat immediately, stirring in the pesto as you eat.
  6. For the Miso Pesto:
  7. In a food processor, pulse the almonds and garlic until you have a very coarsely ground mixture, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed.
  8. Add the spinach, lemon juice, miso, basil, vinegar, tamari, black pepper, and crushed red pepper and blend until you have a mostly broken down and blended mixture. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil and process until the pesto is uni?ed and mostly smooth, with some little bits of texture left behind.
  9. Season to taste with salt and use immediately or store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

Keywords: soup, don't panic pantry, noah galuten, we're about to be friends