Last Updated on November 4, 2022 by Francis
Homemade Vegetable Soup is delicious, nourishing, and hydrating to keep your body healthy and your immune system strong.
It’s also easy to make!
I like to make veggie soup when 1) I feel a cold coming on or want to boost my immune system, or 2) after we’ve been dining out a lot or enjoying extra food & wine on a vacation.
Not only is vegetable soup healing, but it’s also loaded with fiber to help detox your body.
Fiber is essential to good health no matter how you choose to eat. It helps your body more efficiently detox excess estrogen and other hormones, not to mention keeping your digestive system running smoothly.
Veggies for Vegetable Soup
I like to make a “10 Veggie Soup” or “11 Vegetable Soup” to use up what I have in the fridge. While I love this recipe written as-is, you by no means have to use all of veggies! After all, “7 Veggie Soup” is just as good as “10 veggie Soup.” Follow the method below for best results.
- 1 onion: white, yellow, or red all work
- 2 carrots: I like to buy long skinny carrots from the bulk bin and cut them into ¼-in rounds, but if they only have large carrots do half-moons or quarter moons
- 2 ribs celery: save the leaves for a soup garnish if you have them
- 1 parsnip (or another carrot)
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic
- 1 medium to large Yukon gold (yellow) potato
- 1 medium zucchini
- 10-12 fresh green beans; I grab a handful from the bulk bin
- 1 small crown broccoli chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup riced cauliflower (fresh has a better texture—I buy this in the salad section, you’ll have more in the bag for another meal; you can also use 1 cup of chopped cauliflower)
- 1 cup finely shredded cabbage (I used purple cabbage to make it pretty and shred it on a mandoline* or with a sharp knife)
- 1 (14-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes (I like San Marzano), or 2-3 tomatoes, grated on a box grater
- 1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (leave out if you don’t like beans, or, use any beans you like)
See the printable recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and the cooking method.
Budgeting & Costs
Shop in bulk bins at your local store, and use up what you have in the fridge.
The onion, celery & carrot are pretty essential here (called mirepoix in French), but if you want to use all broccoli instead of both broccoli & cauliflower then go right ahead. (You do you!)
I prefer the texture of riced cauliflower in vegetable soup, but if you have a leftover head of cauliflower then chop it up and use it. My store has great-looking green beans in the bulk bin so I just grab a handful, but there’s no need to buy a giant Costo-sized bag of green beans unless you’ll use them all.
Buy by the Pound: When buying something large like cabbage that’s sold by the pound (it almost always is), someone in the produce department is almost always happy to cut it in half for you (and the next person buying cabbage is grateful to see a half there to buy.) I can’t remember the last time I bought a whole head of cabbage. To keep costs in check, only buy what you need.
How to Make Vegetable Soup
- Step 1: Prepare your veggies.
- Step 2: In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (or other healthy cooking oil). Saute the onion, celery, carrot, and parsnip (if using) until soft.
- Step 3: Add the garlic, bay leaf, a few spins of freshly ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning (and fresh herbs if using) and give the pan a few big stirs. Saute everything another 1-2 minutes to cook the garlic and allow the flavors of the spices to release.
- Step 4: Add the potato, green beans, zucchini, broccoli, and cauliflower rice and give it a big stir. Saute 3-4 more minutes to allow the veggies to pick up some flavor in the pan.
- Step 5: Turn the heat to medium-high, then add the crushed tomatoes right away to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the beans, stock or water, salt, and a few spins of black pepper to the pan. Let it come up to a simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes to cook the veggies through.
- Step 6: I like the cabbage to maintain a little body, so I add it last. If you like it softer, add it with the beans and stock in step 5. Add the shredded cabbage (if using) in and let it cook for about 5 minutes to begin to wilt. Adjust seasoning as needed; if you use low-sodium stock or water you may need to add another teaspoon or so of salt. Serve immediately or let it sit on the stove on warm for up to an hour.
- Make It Vegan: You can make this completely vegan if you use veggie stock. Both homemade veggie stock from scraps or store-bought veggie stock works. You an also use water.
- Veggies: As I mentioned above, you can use any veggies you love or need to use up in this recipe. Follow the method in the recipe card below, and add or take away anything that doesn’t work for you. Fresh or frozen corn or peas also make a great addition. In general, use ½ cup to 1 cup of any additional veggies.
- Use Chicken Stock: Chicken stock of course isn’t vegan but you’ll still have a vegetarian vegetable soup if you use it. Chicken stock has more flavor than veggie stock and I prefer it in my veggie soup. You can make your own chicken stock or bone broth, but there’s nothing wrong with getting it from the store. Just avoid cans of broth, they are laden with excess sodium. Stick to the quart-sized boxes or use the Better-Than-Bouillon brand concentrate.
- Change the Seasoning: I use Italian seasoning in the recipe below, but you can change it up and use 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning or 2 teaspoons of chili powder plus 1 teaspoon of ground cumin instead for a more Mexican-inspired soup.
- Beef with Vegetable Soup: Beef with Vegetable Soup is an old American classic. Make this recipe the exact same way, but start with 1 pound of ground beef at the beginning. Simply brown 1 pound of ground beef in the bottom of the pot before adding the onion, celery, and carrot. If you use 80/20, you don’t need to add any extra oil. If you use 90/10, add the olive oil to the pan first to help cook the meat.
- Quinoa Vegetable Soup: If you want to stretch your soup or use up any quinoa, add ½ cup of cooked quinoa when you add the cabbage. Cook the quinoa first because it will soak up too much liquid if you add it uncooked to the pot.
- Beans: I like to add a can of drained and rinsed kidney beans to this vegetable soup recipe, but any beans would be great. I also like it with chickpeas or black beans. Or, leave the beans out if that’s what you prefer.
- Wilt in Greens: The ingredient list of this veggie soup is already long and I use cabbage, so I didn’t include extra greens. If you have some spinach, kale or collard greens to use up, add them when you add the cabbage in the last 5 minutes of cooking to wilt in. Greens in veggies soup are a wonderful addition.
- Garnishes: Again, the ingredient list is already long and I like to keep recipes reasonable. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice into any veggie soup right before you eat is always fantastic so use some of you have a fresh lemon, but you can leave this out if you’re budgeting or don’t have one. A sprinkle of fresh parmesan or fresh herbs like parsley or chives is also nice if you happen to have some on hand.
Can I make Veggies Soup in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot?
Veggie Soup cooks quickly on the stovetop and the order of how you layer the ingredients matters for texture, so there isn’t a good reason to make it in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. It would be ok to throw all of the ingredients in a Slow Cooker and put it on low for 4 hours, but longer might overcook it and turn the veggies to mush.
The pressure cooker will most likely make the veggies too mushy, and the amount of time it takes to come up to pressure and then release isn’t worth the cooking time, in my opinion.
While I do love the flavor and texture of the vegetable soup, one of the best parts about this soup is that it will feed you for days.
I always make big soups like this in my Dutch oven (like this one), enjoy it that day, then keep it in the fridge for lunch or dinner for the next few days. Always let your Dutch oven come to room temperature, then just put the lid on and pop it in the fridge. It can be in there 3-4 days no problem.
Or, store your soup in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. You can freeze it up to 3 months, though the veggies will be a bit softer, so I think it’s best fresh.
Now, make yourself a big bowl of veggie soup and pat yourself on the back for filling up on all of those vitamins and nourishing foods.
This vegetable soup recipe is delicious, nourishing, and healing. Use any combination of veggies you like here; aim for about 4-5 cups of chopped veggies in addition to the onion, celery, and carrot. Omit anything that doesn’t look good at the store, is expensive, or you don’t like. You might end up with a “6 or 7 Veggie Soup,” which will still be amazing.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced (aka finely chopped)
- 2 carrots, chopped (I like to buy long skinny carrots from the bulk bin and cut them into ¼-in rounds, but if they only have large carrots do half-moons or quarter moons)
- 2 ribs celery, chopped (save the leaves for a soup garnish if you have them)
- 1 parsnip (or another carrot), chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium to large Yukon gold (yellow) potato, skin on, chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped (I usually do quarter moons)
- 10–12 fresh green beans (I grab a handful from the bulk bin), chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small crown broccoli chopped into small pieces (about 1 — 1.5 cups chopped)
- 1 cup riced cauliflower (fresh has a better texture—I buy this in the salad section, you’ll have more in the bag for another meal)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup finely shredded cabbage (I used purple cabbage to make it pretty and shred it on a mandoline* or with a sharp knife)
- 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary if you happen to have some on hand (or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary + 6 fresh sprigs thyme)
- 1–quart (4 cups) chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make vegan, or chicken stock, any stock works!)
- 1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (leave out if you don’t like beans)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, more to taste if your stock is low-sodium
- a few spins freshly ground black pepper (about ½ teaspoon), to taste
- optional: juice of half a lemon if you have one
- Clean & prepare all veggies. I typically give everything a good rinse (except the onion and garlic). You only need to peel the carrots or parsnip if they look extra dirty (I almost never peel them). Remove the outer layer of cabbage and you don’t need to rinse it. Potato skins are full of fiber & vitamins so leave ‘em unless you have strong feelings about it.
- In a 6-quart Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, parsnip, and a pinch of sea salt and saute until soft, 5-6 minutes.
- Add the garlic, bay leaf, a few spins of freshly ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning (and fresh herbs if using) and give the pan a few big stirs. Saute everything another 1-2 minutes to cook the garlic and allow the flavors of the spices to release.
- Add the potato, green beans, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower rice and give it a big stir, then saute 3-4 more minutes to allow the veggies to pick up some flavor in the pan.
- Turn the heat to medium-high, then add the crushed tomatoes right away to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, a few spins of black pepper, and the beans to the pan. Let it come up to a rolling simmer (this will take 2-5 minutes), then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it all simmer for about 10 minutes to cook the veggies through.
- Add the shredded cabbage (if using) in and let it cook for about 5 minutes to begin to wilt. Adjust seasoning as needed; if you use low-sodium stock add another teaspoon or so of sea salt. Serve immediately or let it sit on the stove on warm for up to an hour. I like to finish it with fresh lemon juice, but the list of ingredients is already long here and it’s great without it. Use it if you have some. Keeps well in the fridge up to 4 days.
Keywords: Vegetable Soup Recipe, Veggie Soup