Bursting with nutritious garden vegetables, hearty vegetable soup made from scratch is 100 times better than vegetable soup from a can. 

Recipe Overview

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
Servings: 10

Overhead view of vegetable soup in a white bowl with handles. Bread also pictured.
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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! 

Homemade vegetable soup fits into lots of specialized diets. It’s 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.

Bowl of soup with vegetables in a small crock style bowl, bread in background.

About This Vegetable Soup Recipe

It isn’t fussy with time. 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.

Easy clean-up. 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?

Overhead view of a bowl of color homemade vegetable soup.

Sauté the vegetables. 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 liquids and simmer. Add vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, and fresh thyme, and let the soup simmer until the vegetables are nearly tender.

Stir in beans and cabbage. 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.

Serve. 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.

What to serve with vegetable 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.

Two bowls of soup on a wooden serving platter with bread.

FAQs

What can I add to vegetable soup to make it taste better?

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.

What vegetables can you not put in soup?

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.

Do I cook soup with the lid on or off?

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.

Overhead view of a bowl of soup with carrots, green beans, and more.

Make It Your Own

You know, there are probably a hundred ways you could make this soup your own. Here are 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.
  • Add meat. 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 beans. Boost the protein with canned beans like cannellini, kidney, pinto, or whatever you have.
  • Add grains or pasta. Throw in rice or barley for a thicker soup. Try alphabet pasta or another small pasta like ditalini. 

Make-Ahead Ideas

Head start idea. Chop up the vegetables a day ahead and put them in the fridge overnight, ready to make into soup later. 

Keep it warm in a crockpot. 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. 

Meal plan 15 graphic.

Free Meal Plans

Interested in weekly meal plans that include this recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #15 or Meal Plan #66. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week! We add a new meal plan weekly.

Bowl of soup with lots of vegetables: carrots, green beans, celery, cabbage and more.

More Soup Recipes

Recipe

Homemade Vegetable Soup Recipe – so good!

4.80 from 5 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Bursting with nutritious garden vegetables, hearty vegetable soup made from scratch is nothing like vegetable soup from a can. 
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Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium 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, optional (for topping)
  • homemade croutons (for topping)

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 77kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 227mg, Potassium: 344mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 2672IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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6 Comments

  1. Eileen Conrod says:

    I love the soup recipies here . I also make up my own . soo good

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thanks Eileen! Soup is definitely great this time of year!

  2. Justin says:

    Sometimes I have a ‘cheat’ day and use chicken broth with the vegetable soup haha. But either way, this is delicious!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      That’s a great way to add more flavor for non-vegetarians! :)

  3. denise says:

    perfect for gameday

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      100%!