Vegan Sardinian Minestrone Recipe

Sardinian Vegan Recipe-Leafy Souls Vegan Blog Post

Sardinian food is delicious. A blue zone in the Mediterranean, these islanders eat locally-produced food that is full of flavour. A lot more known for meat-based dishes, there are however a few gems that vegans can add to their recipe collection.

Sardinian Minestrone Soup

A bountiful dish that is eaten every day for lunch by some of the world’s longest-lived families in Sardinia, Italy. It can be made with seasonal vegetables from the garden, but always includes beans and fregula, a toasted pebble-size semolina pasta that is popular in Sardinia.


  • 1⁄2 cup dried peeled fava beans
  • 1⁄2 cup dried cranberry beans
  • 1⁄3 cup dried chickpeas
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about 2⁄3 cup) 2 medium celery stalks, chopped (about 1⁄2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (about 31⁄2 cups)
  • 3 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced (about 11⁄2 cups)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups chopped fennel
  • 1⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons
  • chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2⁄3 cup of Sardinian fregula, Israeli couscous, or acini di pepe pasta
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Soak the fava beans, cranberry beans, and chickpeas in a large bowl of water for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours (that is, overnight). Drain in a colander set in the sink. Rinse well.
  2. Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery; cook, stirring often, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, parsley, and basil, as well as the drained beans and chickpeas. Add enough water (6 to 8 cups) so that everything is submerged by 1 inch.
  4. Raise the heat to high and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly, uncovered, until the beans are tender, adding more water as necessary if the mixture gets too thick, about 11⁄2 hours.
  5. Stir in the pasta, salt, and pepper. Add up to 2 cups water if the soup seems too dry. Continue simmering, uncovered, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into each off our serving bowls. Divide the soup among them.

Tip: You can vary the beans in the minestrone: pinto beans make a good substitute for cranberry beans; great northern or cannellini beans, for the favas.

Tip: Use the stalks and fronds that come off a fennel bulb for the most intense flavour. No feathery fronds on the bulb? Add a teaspoon of fennel seeds to the aromatic vegetables you sauté to begin the dish.

Tip: Add other fresh vegetables from the garden or market, such as zucchini, cabbage, green beans, and cauliflower or broccoli florets.

Tip: Want a stronger tomato taste? Stir in a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. You get the idea!


Sardinian Caponata

Traditionally Caponata in Sardinia is made not only copious amounts of peppers & aubergines, but it also uses local capers & olives & currants- and sometimes a tomato or two. 

This dish does take a long slow simmer on the stove, but the rewards are completely worth the hot effort. This is delicious the next day, served at room temperature. Or serve over pasta or as part of a mezze type lunch, with plenty of bread to dip into it. Make a full batch and use it up over a few days. It improves the longer you leave it, the flavours melding into one another gorgeously. It freezes well too, perfect for a quick supper, or in the dead of winter to pull out & reheat for a lush reminder of warmer days. 


  • 1 large Aubergine (Eggplant) Chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 3-4 Medium Red Peppers Deseeded & Chopped into 1 square pieces
  • 1-2 Medium Courgettes (Zucchini) Chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes Chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 4-5 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbs Capers roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 3 Tbs Olives (Stones out) chopped
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional but nice)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic


  1. In a deep and wide saucepan add half the olive oil and peppers, cook over medium heat for 5 minutes
  2. Add the aubergine, adding a little extra oil and cook for another 10 mins until the aubergine softens (Nobody likes undercooked aubergine, so keep going until its really cooked!)
  3. Add the courgettes & garlic and cook for another 5 mins 
  4. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano and tomato paste and put the lid on the saucepan, simmer for 10 mins 
  5. Add the wine (if using) or a little water, capers and olives and simmer for another 15 mins 
  6. Check.- At this stage, the vegetables should all start collapsing, the juices sort of squishing into each other. If it isn't quite to the squishy level desired, cook a little longer. 
  7. Taste for salt and pepper & add as needed.  Serve with a little drizzle of olive oil. 

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