Veggies are the main ingredient for a healthy diet, which is why there are so many vegetable based soup recipes out there. There are few things I crave more on a cold day than cuddling up with a hot soup, but finding a vegetable soup that will satisfy my taste buds as much as clam chowder is no easy feat. I’ve scoured the web for the best vegetable based soup recipes that will rival your favorite bisque at a fraction of the calories.
1. Garden Vegetable Soup
It’s 4PM, and you realize you haven’t had a single leafy green all day. Sound familiar? Not to worry, this soup packs in tons of veggies, is super easy to make and tastes as good as your mom's minestrone. For an extra kick, add a little spice to this recipe with some paprika or hot sauce. It's one of my favorite vegetable based soup recipes.
Ingredients: Make 2-3 Servings
2 cups veggies: sliced onions, chopped spinach, sliced carrots, chopped mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, chopped zucchini
¼ tsp fresh oregano
¼ tsp dried basil
1 garlic clove, minced or you can use garlic salt too!
2 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
Spray a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray, and heat.
Sauté vegetables over low heat for 5 minutes, until softened.
Add broth, tomato paste, basil, and oregano. Bring saucepan to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
2. Cucumber Puree
This soup is cool as a cucumber. Soups aren’t just for cold weather; they can provide a refreshing snack on hot days too! If you are a gazpacho fan, this is the soup for you, and it’s so flavorful!
Ingredients: Makes 3 Servings
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
1 tablespoon margarine
1-1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 teaspoons farina
A pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
Peel, seed, and chop 2 cucumbers.
Cook the chopped scallions in the margarine until soft. Add the chopped cucumbers and the wine vinegar.
Pour in the broth, and stir in the farina. Salt to taste, and add tarragon. Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes, or until the cucumbers are soft.
Put the soup into a blender, and puree it.
Pour the puree into a bowl, and whisk in the sour cream. Taste the soup for seasoning. Pour the soup into bowls, and garnish with cucumber slices and chopped parsley.
3. Chicken Vegetable Soup
You can’t help it, you’re a meat eater at heart and soup just isn’t soup for you unless it has some hearty meat in it. Satisfy your carnivorous taste buds while still getting a healthy dose of vegetables with this chicken veggie soup from Martha Stewart.
Ingredients: Makes 8-10 servings
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves, stems reserved
5 whole black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 clove garlic
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 to 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (4-pound) chicken, rinsed
Tie parsley stems together using kitchen twine.
Prepare a bouquet garni: Place peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic in a 5-by-5-inch piece of cheesecloth; tie to enclose using kitchen twine.
In a large pot, combine parsley stems, bouquet garni, carrots, parsnips, onions, and chicken, breast-side down.
Add enough water to cover; season with salt.
Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes.
Skim any foam that rises to the top and discard.
Remove chicken from pot, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Skim fat from surface of soup, if desired, and discard.
Remove and discard parsley stems and bouquet garni.
Remove meat from bones; discard skin and bones.
Shred meat into bite-size pieces, and return to pot.
Cook until heated through; season with salt.
4. Ham and Potato Soup
Let’s face it, most men aren’t going to jump at the idea of eating vegetables, and if you’re going to cook for them, you’d better include their 2 main food groups: meat and potatoes. This hearty soup will please your man’s stomach as well as his heart. Plus, it’s packed with hidden vegetables that you both will love too!
Ingredients: Makes 4 Servings
1-3/4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons diced celery
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons diced cooked ham
1-1/2 cups and 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons and 1-1/2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons and 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.
5. Slow Cook Split Pea Soup
This rich vegetable split pea is more of a hearty stew than a simple vegetable soup. Packed with carrots, celery, potatoes, split peas and plenty of spices, it’s sure to leave you satisfied. The best part of cooking your soup in a slow cooker or crock pot is that you just throw the ingredients in, set the crock pot, and when you return from your work day, the soup is ready!
Ingredients: Makes 8 Servings
2 cups green split peas
8 cups water or vegetable broth
3 vegetarian bouillon cubes
2 potatoes, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped (optional)
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a crock-pot or slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for at least 4 hours, or until peas are soft.
Remove bay leaves before serving.
6. Red Pepper and Fennel Soup
This creamy, delicious soup is equal parts sweet and spicy, perfect if you are looking to break away from the traditional vegetables like carrots and celery. With exotic ingredients like sweet red peppers, fennel and Pernod liquor, this soup pairs well with Mediterranean flat bread. One taste of the savory flavors will make you swear your kitchen just turned into a bazaar.
Ingredients: Makes 6 Servings
2 medium red sweet peppers, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, cored and sliced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1-3/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup water or chicken broth
1 tablespoon Pernod, Anisette, or other anise-flavored liquor (optional)
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup chopped roasted red sweet peppers (optional)
Place a 10- to 12-inch heavy cast iron skillet in a cold oven; heat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine sweet peppers, fennel, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Remove the hot skillet from the oven. Carefully pour the vegetables into the skillet. Roast, uncovered, for 12 minutes, stirring twice.
Carefully spoon roasted vegetables into a blender and add the 1 3/4 cups buttermilk and the water. Blend until smooth. Add liquor, if using, and blend again. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with the 1/4 cup buttermilk and, if desired, roasted sweet peppers.
7. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
While this soup takes a whopping 2 hours to prepare, it’s indisputably worth the wait. Rather than peeling and dicing the butternut squash (which can be tiresome), Chow.com recommends baking it in the oven. This technique will also keep the flavors concentrated. Need a healthy dish for a dinner party? This should be your go-to.
Ingredients: Makes 6 Servings
4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
1/2 medium yellow onion
8 fresh sage leaves
2-1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.
Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the blender lid (the pour lid) and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the lid from popping off). Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds, if using.
8. Moroccan Vegetable Stew
Ok, so it’s not technically a soup, but this stew has all the low-fat benefits of a vegetable soup with flavors inspired by Moroccan dishes, and it’s 100% vegan. Combining traditional vegetables like tomatoes, carrots and celery, and sweetened by unexpected ingredients like raisins and apple juice, this is a soup to rival your best gumbo. Add in a little cumin and ginger and this stew’s spicy and savory flavors will warm you up on even the coldest winter nights!
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 cups vegetable broth
28 oz can chopped tomatoes
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 tsp Moroccan seasoning
3 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp apple juice concentrate
Salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, peppers, celery, carrots, and mushrooms for about 10 minutes or until tender.
Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and chickpeas and bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, cover partially, and let simmer until cooked (about 15-20 minutes).
Stir in seasonings, raisins, and juice. Serve!
Whether you're a vegetarian soup lover or just looking for a way to eat more veggies, there are so many great vegetable based soups to choose from. Which of these soups are you going to cook? Leave me a comment and let me know how it goes!