Healthy, low-fat, and flavorful, this Vegan Stuffed Shells Soup is brimming with hearty pasta, protein-packed beans, and wholesome ingredients.
- 1 cup yellow onions, fine dice
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 oz. to 8 oz. mushrooms (of choice), sliced *
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari *
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 – [ 14 oz. can ] petite diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 2 ½ cups water (or broth)
- 2 teaspoons white miso *
- 1 teaspoon organic maple syrup
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 – [ 14 oz. can ] brown lentils, drained and rinsed *
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
- Pinch dried crushed fennel seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt *
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 oz. GF jumbo shells pasta *
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Fill a large stock pot full of water. Add some sea salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil then add the jumbo shell pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Boil the pasta until almost el dente, drain, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch, shake well, set aside, then transfer the cooked jumbo shells into the soup in Step 6.
- Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- In a large ceramic/enamel lined skillet, Dutch oven, or non-stick skillet, add the diced onions, sauté over medium-high heat for 7 to 9 minutes to soften, then add the finely minced garlic and sauté over medium heat for several minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and tamari (see notes for amounts) and sauté for a few minutes, then add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute.
- Next add all the remaining Base Ingredients, stir well, then increase the heat to a boil, then immediately lower to a simmer, add the Spice/Herb Mix, stir well to combine. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Next add cooked pasta, stir well to combine. Simmer on low for 2 minutes. Then remove from the stove, stir in the red pepper flakes, and allow to sit undisturbed for 6 minutes to allow the flavors to marry and the pasta to absorb the flavors.
- Serve topped with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, nutritional yeast or Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
- Optional decadence: Serve with Vegan Cheese Dollops (see notes).
*Tips for Success:
- Pasta Amount: While it is very tempting to use more pasta then 6 oz.; it is important to understand that the more pasta you use, the less broth will be available for this dish. We found that 6 oz. of jumbo shells is the perfect pasta to sauce ratio for this dish.
- Cooking the Pasta: We suggest cooking the pasta separately to avoid losing too much of the broth (as the pasta will soak it right up) and to avoid a cloudy soup as the pasta releases it starches.
- Mushrooms and Tamari Amounts: We loved using 8 oz. of mushrooms. If you use 8 oz. of mushrooms, then use 2 Tablespoons of tamari. If you use 4 oz. of mushrooms, then use 1 Tablespoon of tamari.
- Baby Spinach: Although we did not use baby spinach, you can totally add a couple of handfuls of baby spinach in Step 6. Just note that spinach is a natural neutralizer and is known to mellow out flavors so you may find you need to ramp up spices if you use spinach. (Not shown in photos).
- Recipe for Vegan “Cheese” Dollops (Not shown in photos): To make the optional “Cheese” Dollops by placing all the “Cheese” Dollops ingredients into a small bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside until ready to use. When ready to use simple place a dollop of the mixture on top of the hot soup and serve.
- Vegan Cheese Dollop Ingredients: ½ cup vegan cream cheese *, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, 1 to 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
*Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
*Mushrooms: You can use your favorite mushrooms. We used both cremini and white button in multiple kitchen tests.
*Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium. You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.
*Miso: We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free. Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil. You can also use chickpea miso for a soy free version.
*Lentils: We used Delallo Imported Italian Lentils. They come in a 14 oz. can. Most grocery stores carry them in the specialty aisles. If using dry lentils, select lentils that hold their shape after cooking. Cook dry lentils separately, adjust time accordingly. If cooking dry lentils, use 1 ¾ cups of cooked lentils. Or you can use your favorite white bean.
*Jumbo Shells Pasta: Use your favorite Jumbo Shells pasta. We used Tinkyada Jumbo Shells. Or you can use your favorite pasta of choice like ziti, rigatoni, ditalini, small shells, etc.
*Vegan Cream Cheese for the Optional Indulgence Vegan “Cheese” Dollips: You can use our Vegan Cream Cheese recipe, or you can use your favorite vegan cream cheese. We used Kite Hill Cream Cheese because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant and for simplicity – Optional Indulgence Vegan “Cheese” Dollops. Not shown in photos.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Serving: 4 – 5 Servings (makes 8 ½ cups)
*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 5 days.