Bursting with nutritious garden vegetables, hearty vegetable soup made from scratch is 100 times better than vegetable soup from a can.
Why you’ll love it: Pretty much any vegetable can be used in this soup; use your favorites or whatever is in your fridge.
How long it takes: 20 minutes to prep, 50 minutes to simmer
Equipment you’ll need: sharp knife, cutting board, large pan
There are seven different vegetables in this vegetable soup, plus fresh herbs. If you’re like me and looking to increase your vegetable intake every day, this flavorful vegetarian soup is the way to do it. There’s a medley of veggies in every spoonful: onion, celery, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, and fresh parsley.
Homemade vegetable soup is the best vegetable soup ever, no kidding! If the only vegetable soup you’ve tried has come out of can, just erase that recollection from your mind. No comparison can be made between the two except that homemade is light years better and way more healthy.
My grandma frequently made vegetable soup from scratch. She added a lot of beef to it (cubed chuck roast, I think) and veggies from her backyard garden, and cooked it all afternoon. It was thick, almost like a stew, especially since she threw in a bunch of rice, too.
Sorry, grandma, this is not your vegetable soup! She’d probably say, Where’s the beef?! I’m sure she would love it, though. Even if she didn’t, she would say she did, because hey, she’s my grandma and she likes everything I make!
P.S. Vegetable soup is perfect for vegetarians, vegans, those of you who are looking for gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, or if you’re on a Whole30, paleo, or low-carb diet. It’s very low in calories, just 77 calories for a one cup serving.
About This Recipe
The beauty of homemade vegetable soup is that you can have it on the table in about an hour, or if you prefer, you can let it simmer all afternoon. It’s up to you and depends on how your day is going.
Soup is a one pan meal so you won’t have a lot of dishes to wash. That’s a happy thought, isn’t it?
I’ll run through the recipe here but scroll down to the recipe card below for specific measurements, instructions, and nutrition information.
You’ll need a soup pan, Dutch oven, or really large sauce pan. Begin by sautéing onions, carrots, celery, and turnips in a little olive oil. Add vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, and fresh thyme, and let the soup simmer until the vegetables are nearly tender.
Add fresh green beans and shredded cabbage, and simmer for a little while longer. If you like them really tender, you could add the green beans and cabbage when you add the broth. I like to add them a little later so they retain some crispness. It’s up to you.
Right before you serve the soup, throw in a handful of chopped parsley. Garnish the vegetable soup with curls of Parmesan cheese or homemade croutons.
Are you ready for soup? Scoop out a steaming bowlful of hearty vegetable soup and enjoy it with a cornbread muffin, homemade bread, or crackers (maybe homemade Cheez-its!). My family loves a slice of healthy pumpkin bread (made with whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt) spread with vanilla bean whipped cream cheese.
Good to eat and good for you, too!
Replace the broth with tomato or V-8 juice. Add a couple tablespoons of tomato paste. Spice up your soup with garlic, cayenne, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, etc. Sausage or bacon add lots of flavor. Add more herbs. Stir in a splash of red wine vinegar or a squeeze of lemon before serving.
While almost any vegetable can be put into soup, some have characteristics that may make your vegetable soup less appealing. Here’s a short list of some you may want to avoid: beets (unless you’re making borscht), Brussels sprouts, artichokes, winter squash (unless you’re making squash soup), lettuce or other tender greens, mustard greens or other strong-tasting greens.
If you’re planning on freezing the soup, avoid potatoes or sweet potatoes because they tend to get mushy when frozen.
Once you bring the soup to a boil, turn the heat down and cover the pan at least partially and simmer the soup. The lid helps keep in the heat and the soup will cook more evenly.
Make It Your Own
You know, there’s probably a hundred ways you could make this soup your own. Here’s a few ideas:
- Use whatever veggies you like or happen to have in the fridge or garden. Pretty much everything can go into vegetable soup, including greens. Bell peppers, corn, peas, potatoes, or sweet potatoes are all great choices.
- Like my grandma, you can add beef (cubed chuck roast or ground beef), or chicken, or sausage, or bacon, or bison, or venison, or, I’m sure you get the idea. Brown the meat in the pan before adding veggies. Or try this easy veggie-loaded hamburger soup or slow cooker chicken kale soup.
- Add protein with canned beans like cannellini, kidney, pinto, or whatever you have.
- Throw in rice or barley for a thicker soup. Try alphabet pasta or another small pasta like ditalini.
Get a head start on making your soup. Chop up the vegetables a day ahead and put them in the fridge overnight, ready to make into soup later.
Keep in mind that the soup can simmer as long as you need it to. The vegetables will get a bit softer but other than that, it will be perfectly fine. In fact, some folks prefer it that way.
Storage & Reheating Tips
This recipe makes ten cups of soup but don’t worry if that seems like a lot. Vegetable soup is just as good leftover and is perfect for lunch. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze it up to 3 months. Reheat on the stove top or microwave.
Cozy Soup Recipes
I have lots and lots of soup recipes, some with and some without meat. Here’s some of my vegetarian soup recipes you may like to try:
- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup Recipe
- Slow Cooker Minestrone with Quinoa
- Lentil Soup Recipe with Pasta
- Red Lentil Soup
- Creamy Tomato Soup with Whole Wheat Orzo
- Tomato Soup with White Beans
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe
- Pumpkin Curry Soup (20 minute recipe!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion (
- 1 cup chopped carrots (2 medium carrots)
- 1 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
- 3 cups cubed peeled turnips (¾ lb. or 2 medium sized turnips)
- 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
- 2 cups fresh green beans (about 8 oz.), cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Grated Parmesan cheese or [homemade croutons], optional
- Heat oil in large saucepan or stockpot over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and turnips and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add broth, tomatoes, water, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Increase heat to high, and add green beans and cabbage. Return to a simmer, reduce heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, 10 minutes. Taste soup and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Stir in parsley.
- Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or homemade croutons.
- If you prefer softer vegetables, add the green beans and cabbage with the broth. Simmer 30 minutes or more, or until vegetables are desired consistency.
- If you’re not ready to serve the soup, keep it on low heat until ready to serve.
- Variations: Add meat (bacon, sausage, ground beef, etc.); add or substitute other vegetables; add a can of beans such as cannellini, kidney, pinto; add ½ cup of uncooked rice or barley when you add the broth.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.