Garden Vegetable Soup
Endlessly adaptable, this Garden Vegetable Soup is the perfect veggie-packed way to nourish your body from the inside out this soup season! And the best part it is it takes under an hour to make and is only 131 calories per cup so it is great for lunches, dinners and meal prep when you are trying to stick to healthy eating goals!
Table of contents
Why We Love This Garden Vegetable Soup Recipe
Let’s agree to say goodbye to boring, bland veggie soup with mushy veggies that tastes like the tin the soup came out of. Instead give me a big steaming bowl of richly flavored tender veggies– onions carrots, green beans, potatoes, zucchini and more– all simmered together in a deeply complex broth. This is what Vegetable Soup is meant to be! Hand me a chunk of crusty bread and I am in love!
- It can be customized to the veggies you have on hand and what is in season.
- The vegetables are both nutrient-dense and high in fiber but low in calories so it is great if you are watching your calories.
- The seasonings, fire-roasted diced tomatoes and richly flavored broth give the soup tons of delicious homemade taste.
- It is excellent reheated!
- Extra- Virgin Olive Oil
- Vegetable broth: For this soup, we recommend either homemade vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable broth. You can also use homemade chicken stock if you have that on hand. If using a higher sodium vegetable broth, reduce the added salt to 3/4 teaspoon and then adjust to your taste preference.
- Fresh Vegetables: Diced Onion (or leeks), Carrot, Celery, Potato, Zucchini, Green Beans, frozen peas
- Canned Diced Tomatoes: I like the flavor of fire roasted tomatoes best but regular canned diced tomatoes work well. Or you could use homemade peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes when they are in season. The tomatoes add great acidity to the soup and balance all the flavors.
- Seasonings: The soup is seasoned with fresh chopped garlic, Smoked Paprika, Oregano, Dried Thyme, turmeric, bay leaf and rosemary. Plus salt and pepper! Feel free to use Italian seasoning instead of thyme and oregano or use chopped fresh thyme or oregano simply double the amount.
Other veggies that are great in this soup are: mushrooms, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli and cauliflower. You can also add in root veggies such as turnips, celery root, parsnips to name a few. See our Variations To Try to see how to sub in your favorite vegetables.
How To Make This Recipe
Step 1: Saute Onions and Aromatics
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Choose one with a heavy bottom if possible or an high-quality Dutch oven. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onions or leeks and salt and cook, stirring, until the onions are starting to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
Next, add the aromatics. First stir in garlic and cook for a quick minute. Then, stir the smoked paprika, oregano, thyme and turmeric into the sauteed onions and garlic and saute it for about 30 seconds to bloom the flavors.
Step 2: Add Broth and Veggies
Once the spices are fragrant, quickly pour in the veggie broth (or stock) to prevent the spices from scorching. Add in the hard veggies including the carrots, celery and potato along with the bay leaf and whole sprig of rosemary. Increase the heat to high and and bring the soup to a simmer.
Step 3: Simmer The Soup
Once the soup comes up to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer it until the potatoes are almost tender, which takes about 15 minutes. Stir in the soft veggies including the zucchini and green beans along with the canned tomatoes. Simmer over medium heat until the green beans and zucchini are tender which takes about 10 minutes.
Step 4: To Finish
Remove bay leaf and rosemary stem. Stir in the peas if you are using them, and then heat them through for 1 minute. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot.
FAQs and Expert Tips
The key to keeping leftover soup fresh is to chill it quickly and then keep it cold. The best way to quickly chill soup is by setting the soup pot in a large bowl of ice water and stir it regularly to cool it quickly. Alternatively, ladle individual servings to resealable containers and place in the fridge (do not seal shut until they are cold. Refrigerate up to four days. Make sure to reheat it until it is simmering hot. Do not reheat more than once.
Our favorite sides for vegetable soup are crusty bread, or soft freshly baked Whole Wheat Bread, Cornbread, Corn Muffins, Savory muffins and Garden Salad for even more veggies!
Quesadillas, Grilled Cheese and Chickpea “Tuna” Salad Sandwich are also great serving suggestions for veggie soup!
First, it is important to start by cooking onions and minced garlic in oil. This caramelizes their natural sugars and releases fat-soluble flavor compounds.
Next, add the harder veggies with the broth and let them cook in the simmering soup.
Third, add the softer veggies toward the end of cooking. Add greens in the last few minutes.
Reheat in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often until simmering hot. Alternatively reheat in the microwave on high power, stirring once or twice, until the soup is piping hot (about 5 minutes for 1 serving.)
This soup is excellent for freezing. Keep in an airtight container frozen up to 2 months. Defrost and reheat until simmering hot.
This recipe is not ideal for a slow cooker because sauteeing the onions, garlic and seasonings in step one is essential for rich flavor development. That said, you can do so and then transfer the sauteed mixture to the insert of the slow cooker. Layer in the ingredients for step 2 and cook on low for 4 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking add in the ingredients in step 3.
How To Make This Veggie Soup With Any Vegetable
Cut hard veggies into 1 inch pieces and add in Step 2.
Cut soft vegetables into small bite-sized pieces or dice and add in Step 3.
Examples: Yellow summer squash and patty pan squash, Broccoli, Cauliflower, red pepper, green pepper (or any other bell pepper), thicker greens such as kale, cabbage or collard greens, cherry tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, tomatillos and asparagus.
Additional Ways To Customize This Veggie Soup Recipe
- Greens: Stir in quick-cooking greens such as escarole, spinach or swiss chard in the last five minutes of cooking time.
- Beans: Add in canned drained white beans, chickpeas or another favorite bean for more protein and fiber.
- Protein: Stir in leftover chicken, turkey, cooked sausage or another protein to make even heartier.
- Mushrooms: Once you saute the onions, add in 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and saute them before adding in the liquid. This will give this vegetarian soup even more flavor and add great “meaty” texture.
- Corn: add in fresh corn kernels, canned corn or frozen and thawed sweet corn.
- Pasta: Add in a small amount of cooked pasta at the end.
- Frozen Vegetables: Sub frozen veggies instead of fresh vegetables. Just stir in thawed frozen veggies in step 4.
- Whole Grains: They’re a great way to add in more satisfying nutrition. Add in cooked whole grains such as Barley, wheat berries or wild rice in step 4.
- Final Seasonings: Feel free to add in fresh herbs, lemon juice or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese at the end.
- Get creative! Just note that once you add in additional ingredients you will need to taste and add additional salt and black pepper to taste.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
This healthy Garden Vegetable Soup will fill you up with nourishing goodness! It can be customized to the veggies you have on hand, it takes less than an hour to make and is only 131 calories per cup. Perfect for lunches, dinners and meal prep.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, diced or 4 cups cleaned sliced leeks
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 8 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large white or gold potato (not russet) peeled if desired, cut into ¾-inch chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 whole sprig rosemary
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 2 cups trimmed and cut green beans (1-inch pieces)
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
- 1/2 cup frozen or shelled green peas, optional
- Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions (or leeks) and salt and cook, stirring often until the onions are starting to brown, 5 to 8 minutes (3 to 4 minutes for leeks). Stir in garlic and cook, stirring until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in smoked paprika, oregano, thyme and turmeric and cook stirring to bloom the spices, 30 seconds.
- Pour in broth. Add in carrots, celery, potato, bay leaf and rosemary and bring to a simmer over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in zucchini, green beans and tomatoes, and simmer until the green beans and zucchini are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Stir in peas, if using, and heat through for 1 minute. Ladle into bowls and serve hot.
Make Ahead, Freezing and Reheating
Kep leftovers cold up to 4 days. Reheat in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often until simmering hot. Alternatively reheat in the microwave on high power, stirring once or twice, until the soup is piping hot (about 5 minutes for 1 serving.)
This soup is excellent for freezing. Keep frozen up to 2 months. Defrost and reheat until simmering hot.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 2 cups
- Calories: 284
- Sugar: 13 g
- Fat: 13 g
- Carbohydrates: 34 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 9 g
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