Chickpea Tomato Minestrone [with vegan option]

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This Chickpea Tomato Minestrone is a simple but flavorful soup ideal for weeknight cooking!


Updated October 2016: I made this recipe again and wrote about it here as part of my ‘Throwback Thursday’ series! Feel free to check it my updated notes on it here.


Chickpea Tomato Minestrone


When reflecting on past gardens, I can’t help but be grateful for the fact that I was able to have an inground garden this summer. In years past, I’ve always moved in August and had failed attempts with transplanting tomato plants and herbs. This means that the last time I had a real garden was when I was little and my parent’s let me pick out what I wanted to grow. And that was gourds – I remember distintcly only wanting to grow gourds and my parents thinking that was a little funny (although I wouldn’t understand why until many years later… when I realized they are really not very useful in the kitchen).

But anyhow, this year… this year I was able to go all out. No more of that half assing tomato and basil plant in a few pots. Nope, Nope. This year I wanted a garden both in the back and side yard (one for full sun and one for part). We planted tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, scallions, lemongrass, cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapeños, rosemary, sage, and so on. Some of them flourished (lemongrass, scallions, kale, tamotoes) and some of them never quite got off the ground (potatoes, cucumbers…). But whether they grew to monstorous portions or stayed micro size, we tried to harvest and enjoy them. We harvested everything in September but the swiss chard and lemongrass.


Chickpea Tomato Minestrone

I’m not sure what I was waiting for with the swiss chard but I knew I was ignoring it until a sign occured. Whether that sign was a must-try recipe or the first frost biting at it’s leaves, I knew I needed a sign. Perhaps it was because the leaves were coming in so beautifully with the colored veins speckled through out them. Whatever it was, I knew I didn’t want to waste these greens by burying them at the bottom of a recipe.

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone

When I heard that the first frost could potentially be hitting this Tuesday, I knew I had run out of time. I rummaged through old recipes and was struck by the Rosemary soup I made last fall. The kale managed to steal the show in that recipe and I knew a swiss chard version would do the same. Without delay, this soup was born. A mix between my favorite minestrone and that rosemary soup from last fall, it’s oh so refreshing. Chocked full of vitamin-rich vegetables wrapped in a warm broth that feels just perfect on a crisp fall evening. Now, if only I had made that rustic bread to go with this one…

..And if I could only bring myself to harvest that lemongrass before it’s too late! oh Youtube videos… you are just confusing me me!

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone recipe below:

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone [with vegan option]
This Chickpea Tomato Minestrone is a simple but flavorful soup ideal for weeknight cooking!
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Author: Shelly Westerhausen
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion , chopped
  • 2 celery stalks , chopped
  • 2 carrots , chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes , not drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (use homemade if possible)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregeno
  • 1 cup of pasta (not spaghetti or long noodles)
  • 1 can chickpeas , drained and washed thoroughly (or about a cup and a half of cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard , stems and leaves separated & chopped
  • Salt / Pepper
  • Dash of Red Pepper flakes
  • Parmesan , for garnish [omit to make vegan]
  1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium.
  2. Add the onion, celery, and carrots.
  3. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften.
  4. Next, add in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Then add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes (with the juices from the can), and oregano.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add in the stems of swiss chard, chickpeas, and pasta. Let cook for another 10 minutes. Finally, add the swiss chard leaves and let cook for 30 seconds or just until the leaves start to wilt. Remove from heat.
  7. Add salt / pepper / red pepper flakes to taste and top with Parmesan.

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone



Shelly is the creator of Vegetarian Ventures. She is also the Creative Director of Driftless Magazine and likes to wear wolf shirts, drink peppermint tea, and dance to Stevie Nicks.



  1. Reply

    janae @ bring joy

    October 21, 2013

    LOVE the addition of chard–so pretty & unconventional.

  2. Reply


    October 21, 2013

    Love love the pictures. Everything about this recipe is good, the chard would be so good in the stew. Lovely. Pinning.

  3. Reply

    Maria Tadic

    October 21, 2013

    I love minestrone soup! The perfect cold fall dinner! And adding the dark greens is a great idea! I love ‘chard!

  4. Reply


    October 21, 2013

    Such a lovely, colorful dish! This is the perfect hearty and wholesome soup for a cold grey day.

  5. Reply


    October 21, 2013

    looks so yummy!! pretty pics too! I have a ton of chard to use. Btw, terrible year for cucumbers all over I think. both my gardens under performed with cucumbers 🙁

    • Reply


      October 22, 2013

      At least mine weren’t the only ones! I was so excited to make pickles and then they all turned sour yellow instead of green. Ah well, next year hopefully!

  6. Reply

    Melinda's Musings

    October 21, 2013

    This looks so good, I can’t wait to make it!

  7. Reply


    October 21, 2013

    This looks so wonderfully delicious and wholesome. Big pots of minestrone are my go-to meal for busy weeks or when cosiness is needed. I’m equal parts happy and jealous of your gardening endeavours! I am slowly, slowly cultivating a green thumb, but it’s often thwarted by our local wildlife and really bad soil. I guess I’ll just survive vicariously through your success!

    • Reply


      October 22, 2013

      Oh no! Local wildfires?! That is one problem that I can easily say I don’t have to deal with…. I could see how that could get in the way though!

  8. Reply

    Sarah | The Sugar Hit

    October 21, 2013

    Your photos are looking absolutely amazing! And this soup looks hearty, warming and wonderful.

  9. Reply


    October 22, 2013

    Shelly, this is a gorgeous post. I love, love that recipe and your photos as usual are stunning! So glad you were able to rescue that gorgeous chard!!

  10. Reply

    Shashi @

    October 23, 2013

    Fabulous photos! Fabulous looking and sounding recipe! Thanks so much for sharing

  11. Reply

    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    October 24, 2013

    This looks amazing! I’d love to have it for dinner soon. Pinned 😀

  12. Reply


    October 24, 2013

    Omit the parmesan for vegetarian! Legally it has to contain Rennit! Which comes from a calves stomach

    • Reply


      October 24, 2013

      Ugh, what an awful visual picture! I could have sworn the Parmesan that I get at my co-op is stamped vegetarian but I’ll need to double check now.

      • Reply


        October 26, 2013

        You can get lots of Parmesan style cheese that tastes the same but just doesn’t contain the Rennet. You can even get great Vegan Parmesan which is weird! But still so good!

        But its under some rural traditional Italian law that it has to!

  13. Reply


    October 24, 2013

    sounds great for a cold day like today!

  14. Reply


    October 25, 2013

    oh my belly is hungry for this immediately. this recipe is gorgeous and practical and i will make it, that’s for sure.

  15. Reply

    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    October 28, 2013

    What a cozy bowl of soup!

  16. Reply

    Katie @ Produce on Parade

    October 28, 2013

    Wow, this looks so perfect right now. Alaska is cold and super windy and this soup sounds like the remedy I need 🙂

  17. Reply


    October 28, 2013

    I make a somewhat similar recipe from one of Moosewood Restaurant’s made-for-kids cookbooks on the regular- it uses loads of garlic, carrots and tomato juice, but so easy to cook up! I’m awful at budgeting time to chop veggies, and it allows time to cut them up while other things simmer!

    • Reply


      October 29, 2013

      That sounds delicious! Anything with loads of garlic and I’m in.

  18. Reply

    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

    November 1, 2013

    This looks delicious!

  19. Reply


    November 10, 2013

    Hi! I just recently found your blog and I’m dying because I love it so much. Your photography is incredible, I can’t get over how awesome you make everything look! I am also vegetarian so I’ll be trying out your recipes. I’m running off to the grocery store right now to pick up veggies for this soup. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
    You’re awesome, don’t stop blogging!!!

    • Reply


      November 11, 2013

      Hey Catherine – thanks so much for the kind words!! Can’t help but love positive feedback like this! Please let me know how the soup turns out for you!

  20. Reply


    December 11, 2013

    This was fabulous! So fresh tasting and delicious…even my toddler gobbled it up! Wouldn’t change a thing.

  21. Reply


    January 6, 2014

    just made this tonight. What an incredibly tasty soup. I just shared the recipe with a bunch of friends! Thank you!

    • Reply


      January 13, 2014

      So glad to hear it!!! I absolutely love knowing people are trying out my recipes!

  22. Reply


    January 20, 2014

    Delicious soup! Except I substituted pasta with quinoa, which has much more protein and health benefits. Yum!

    • Reply


      January 20, 2014

      Love the quinoa idea! Will most certainly need to try that next time!

  23. Reply


    February 3, 2014

    Do you cook the pasta before adding it to the soup?

    • Reply


      February 3, 2014

      Nope – you’ll add the dried pasta and keep the soup simmering for 10 minutes which will cook the pasta all the way through. Hope that helps!

  24. Reply

    Rosella Sturniolo

    February 10, 2014

    How do I print the recipe “Chickpea tomato Minestrone with vegan options” without including all the comments on the bottom.

  25. Reply


    April 13, 2014

    I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times because it’s absolutely delicious in every way and tastes even better leftover. I’m not a huge Swiss chard fan, so I sub kale or spinach but no matter, it’s awesome. Thanks!

  26. Reply

    Angela Mcguire

    July 22, 2015

    Just made your soup recipe today, my family all loved it x

    • Reply


      July 24, 2015

      Yay!! So glad to hear it!!

  27. Reply


    September 13, 2015

    This was so easy and delicious. I loved the chard as well but never added red pepper flakes to my minestron in the past. Really liked that little bit of heat. Thanks!

  28. Reply


    October 1, 2015

    This was delicious!!

  29. Reply


    October 8, 2015

    Can this soup be frozen?

    • Reply


      June 29, 2017

      Yup! I would just wait to add the Parmesan until right before serving. I will say that the pasta doesn’t hold up as well once frozen but it’s still delicious.