Seriously Good Vegetable Soup | Cook & Hook
You know how most vegetable soups are pretty tired and “blah”? Not this one! This hearty homemade vegetable soup is full of fresh, wholesome flavors.
I’m excited to share this vegetable soup recipe with you. It’s honestly the best I’ve ever had, and I hope you’ll agree. You just might have all the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy soup on hand already.
I can think of so many reasons to make this soup. Warm up with a big bowl of veggie soup on a cold day. Make it for someone who’s under the weather. My husband has a cold and it’s snowing outside as I type, so this soup is just what we need right now.
Prepare a batch and you’ll have a healthy side dish ready to go for the rest of the week. This soup is a great way to lighten up heavier meals, especially as we get into the holidays. Did I mention that it’s vegetarian, vegan and gluten free for all to enjoy?
Vegetable Options for Vegetable Soup
This homemade vegetable soup is versatile by design, so you can enjoy it from fall through winter. We’ll use onion, carrots and celery as a base.
We’ll also add two cups of seasonal vegetables to make this soup more hearty and interesting. Choose from veggies you have on hand, or grab your favorites at the store. Any of these will work:
- Sweet potatoes or regular potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch long segments
- Bell pepper, chopped
- Cauliflower, cut into very small bite-sized pieces
- Zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
- Fresh greens: Kale, collard greens, chard, or spinach
How to Make the Best Vegetable Soup
We’ll use several simple techniques to build flavor as we cook this soup. Here’s how:
1) Start with the veggies.
We’ll sauté chopped onion, celery, carrots and seasonal vegetables in olive oil, with some salt. This softens them up and enhances their flavors. Adding salt during different stages of the cooking process builds more flavor than simply adding it all at the end.
2) Add fresh minced garlic, curry powder, and dried thyme.
Sautéing these ingredients for about 1 minute wakes up their flavors, but isn’t long enough to risk burning the garlic (burnt garlic tastes awful).
Curry powder is the secret to making this soup so delicious. We aren’t adding much. You probably won’t be able to pinpoint the flavor, but it adds some subtle intrigue and warmth to this soup. I’ve also used curry powder in my lentil soup and chickpea noodle soup as well, and it always works like a charm.
3) Add canned diced tomatoes with their juices.
We’ll cook them all together for a couple of minutes to reduce any tinny flavors. I used fire-roasted diced tomatoes for these photos, but regular diced tomatoes were just as good. I always recommend using Muir Glen brand of tomatoes because they taste the best and come in BPA-free cans.
4) Almost done—add some vegetable broth, water, and more flavorings.
Vegetable broth keeps this soup vegetarian/vegan. We’ll also add bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and a little more salt. If you’re sensitive to spice, you can reduce or omit the red pepper flakes. If you love spice like me, you might even want to double the amount at the end (add to taste). Regardless, we’ll let the soup gently simmer for 25 minutes so the flavors can meld together.
5) Add chopped fresh greens and finally, some fresh lemon juice.
Lastly, we’ll add chopped greens for health bonus points, and simmer for 5 minutes to soften them up. Before serving, we’ll brighten up the soup with a big squeeze of lemon juice (one of my other go-to soup tricks) and add another splash of olive oil for rich flavor. Taste the soup before and after these additions, and you’ll notice a big difference! Finally, season to taste with salt and pepper, as necessary.
Watch How to Make Vegetable Soup
Please let me know how this soup turns out in the comments. I love hearing from you, and your feedback encourages other readers to try the recipe.
Craving more hearty, healthy, meatless soups this season? Me, too. Here are a few more great options:
- Classic Minestrone Soup
- Best Lentil Soup
- Chickpea Noodle Soup
- Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Beans Soup)
- Quinoa Vegetable Soup with Kale
- Sweet Potato, Kale and Chickpea Soup
Don’t miss the hearty soups in my cookbook, Love Real Food. They’re some of my favorites!
Seriously Good Vegetable Soup
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 bowls 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
This vegetable soup recipe is seriously so good! It’s easy to make, and full of veggies and fresh flavor. If you’re feeing under the weather or just wanting to lighten up your meals, this soup is the answer. Recipe yields 6 bowls of soup.
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, green beans, butternut squash, potatoes, bell pepper, zucchini or yellow squash
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, to taste
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, reduce or omit if sensitive to spice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups chopped kale or collard greens or chard (thick ribs removed), or spinach
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, seasonal vegetables and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Pour in the diced tomatoes with their juices and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often.
- Pour in the broth and water. Add ½ teaspoon more salt, 2 bay leaves and the red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Cook for 25 minutes, then remove the lid and add the chopped greens. Continue simmering for 5 minutes or more, until the greens have softened to your liking.
- Remove the pot from heat and remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes. (You might need up to ½ teaspoon more salt, depending on your vegetable broth and your personal preferences.) Divide into bowls and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from my quinoa vegetable soup and lentil soup.
Storage suggestions: This soup keeps well in the refrigerator for about 4 days. It freezes and defrosts well if you want to freeze extra portions for later!
Recommended equipment: I’m convinced that everything I cook in my Dutch oven (affiliate link) comes out extra delicious.
▸ Nutrition Information
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.