The Best Vegetable Soup Recipe that is so hearty and comforting! Packed with veggies for an easy flavor packed meal that tastes miles above any canned version.
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This vegetable soup is the pinnacle of versatility when it comes to healthy soups. Use fresh vegetables, frozen, or even canned ingredients and pick the cooking method that suits you – stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Whether you want a comforting meal yet light and veggie-packed or a hearty lunch, this homemade vegetable soup recipe is the answer! You should also try this Mexican vegetable soup with a kick!
Why This Is the Best Vegetable Soup Recipe
- Nutritious and delicious: Chunky vegetable soup is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. It is gluten free and can be vegetarian and vegan when you omit the Parmesan garnish.
- Versatile: Swap out the veggies, herbs, aromatics, and even cooking method and still enjoy the best vegetable soup of your life.
- Clean out the fridge: Have carrots starting to look a little limp, a forgotten about bell pepper in the crisper drawer, or ‘almost’ wilting spinach? Chuck them in.
- Low calorie: Did I mention that it has under 200 calories per serving, too?! Enjoy a few bowls, guilt free!
- A one pot meal: Fuss free and less clean up. What’s not to love about this comfort food?!
Ingredients and Notes
This easy vegetable soup recipe comes together with simple ingredients. Truly, use what you have on hand following our substitutions advice.
Whether you use fresh garden produce or frozen vegetables, it will likely work in this vegetable soup! To give you an idea here is what I used:
- Canned tomatoes: Low sodium diced tomatoes or fire roasted tomatoes for extra flavor.
- Potatoes: Use russet potatoes for more fall apart texture and making hearty soup more creamy naturally. Or red potatoes or yellow potatoes for more intact cooked potatoes.
- Other fresh veggies: Carrots, celery, zucchini.
- Bell peppers: Red bell pepper or yellow bell pepper will add more of a sweet taste. Green bell pepper has earthy, bitter taste which I personally love as well.
- Corn: Fresh corn or frozen corn kernels, no need to thaw.
- Onion: Diced white onion, yellow onion or even red onion works.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves are grated and added at the end to enhance flavor of the soup.
- Vegetable broth: This time I used vegetable bouillon cubes diluted in water. I also like to use vegetable base with water. Any homemade stock or store-bought low sodium vegetable stock or vegetable broth will be great!
- Seasonings: Garlic powder, bay leaf, smoked paprika, dried oregano, salt and pepper.
- Fresh herbs: I like to use fresh dill or fresh parsley but fresh cilantro, basil or fresh thyme would work as well. Use what you have on hand.
How to Make Vegetable Soup
Here is step-by-step guide how to make vegetable soup from scratch. This vegetarian soup is great for meal prep and batch cooking! It will be a year round staple in your kitchen.
Please note there is full recipe card below.
Sauté the onion: Preheat a large Dutch Oven or soup pot over medium heat with a swirl of olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then, add the smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Mix and then cook for a further minute, stirring frequently.
Add stock and longer cooking veggies: Add the potato, carrot, celery, and bell pepper to the pan along with the vegetable broth and can of diced tomatoes.
I crumbled bouillon cube and added water instead of broth. Same thing.
Cover and simmer: Stir well, bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook vegetable soup for 25 minutes, or until the potato is fork-tender.
Add the remaining veggies: Add the frozen corn and chopped zucchini and simmer the veggie soup for a further 5 minutes.
Add the finishing touches: Finally, remove the soup from the heat. Add the grated garlic and dill and mix in. Give the soup one final taste and season to taste with salt. Then serve warm with parmesan cheese and yogurt.
Homemade vegetable soup is so versatile! Here are a few ways to mix it up.
- Other vegetables: Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, kale, spinach (added at the end), pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, fresh green beans. Thinly shredded cabbage could be added 15 minutes before other ingredients.
- Parmesan rind: Add the hard parmesan rind to your soup broth right at the beginning and remove it before serving.
- Cooked beans: Add bulk and protein to this soup and they can even be pureed for thicker veggie soup. White beans, red lentils, and Instant Pot chickpeas are my favorites.
- Herbs and spices: I particularly like rosemary, thyme, sage, and marjoram. Italian seasoning would be a great blend. A pinch of red pepper flakes will add heat.
- Lemon juice: Just a small squeeze of lemon brightens the flavor.
- Pasta or grains: For a heartier soup, add a grain like quinoa, rice, or whole wheat pasta. We love pasta in vegetarian pasta e fagioli!
What do You Serve Vegetable Soup with?
I like to serve my delicious vegetable soup in wide deep plates with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, a tablespoon of yogurt or sour cream, and a slice of whole grain bread, rye bread, or crusty bread like baguette. Also cornbread or garlic bread would go so well with it.
Using wide deep plates allows your soup to cool off faster, which is a huge bonus for kids!
Storage and Reheating Tips
Store: Allow the soup to cool for between 1 – 1.5 hours before transferring to an airtight container. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days. Any longer, and I find the veggies become too mushy.
Freeze: Transfer vegetable soup leftovers to a freezer-safe container or bags, portioned for easy thawing. Freeze for up to 2 months. If you have opted to use potatoes in this soup, be aware that the texture may change upon thawing.
Reheat: Reheat soup on the stove over low heat. You can also reheat the soup from frozen, it just takes longer.
Yes! Add a 6 oz can of tomato paste and skip zucchini. In a large slow cooker, combine all ingredients, cover and cook on Low for 10 hours or on High for 5 hours. Add garlic and dill or optional parsley, and serve hot.
You might also love this slow cooker lentil soup.
Yes! In Instant Pot, add all ingredients plus 6 oz can tomato paste. Do not add zucchini, dill, cheese and yogurt. Pressure cook on High for 20 minutes. After display beeps and says OFF, do Quick Release. Open, add zucchini, close the lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Add garlic and dill, serve hot with garnish of choice.
You can also follow the instructions for my Instant Pot vegetable soup.
Yes, you can use fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, or even canned vegetables for this easy vegetable soup. Generally, you can add frozen veggies in the last five minutes as they are already blanched.
You can use more starchy vegetables like potatoes in the soup or even add pureed legumes. You can also puree part of the soup with an immersion blender.
This soup has it all! But if you still feel like it needs something else, add red pepper flakes, curry powder, soy sauce or more Parmesan cheese at the end.
More Vegetable Soup and Stew Recipes
- Chicken noodle vegetable soup
- Borscht soup
- Green borscht
- Russian cabbage soup
- Lentil spinach soup
- Vegetarian borscht
- 4 large potatoes medium chopped
- 3 large carrots medium chopped
- 3 medium celery stalks medium chopped
- 3 cups bell peppers medium chopped
- 2 medium zucchini medium chopped
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 cups corn fresh or frozen
- 6 cups vegetable stock low sodium
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes low sodium
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 medium garlic clove grated
- 1/3 cup dill or parsley finely chopped
- Parmesan cheese and yogurt for garnish
Stovetop Vegetable Soup
- Preheat large dutch oven or large pot on medium heat, swirl a bit of oil to coat and add onion. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and bay leaves; cook for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.
- Add potato, carrot, celery, pepper, stock and diced tomatoes; stir. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until potato is fork tender.
- Add zucchini and corn, cover and simmer for 5 more minutes. Turn off heat, add grated garlic and dill.
- Serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese and yogurt.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup
- Add a 6 oz can of tomato paste and skip zucchini.
- In a large slow cooker, combine all ingredients, cover and cook on Low for 10 hours or on High for 5 hours. Add garlic and dill.
Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
- Add a 6 oz can of tomato paste.
- In Instant Pot, add all ingredients in the order listed above except zucchini, dill, cheese and yogurt. Pressure cooker shouldn’t be more than 2/3 full.
- Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 20 minutes. After, do Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting.
- Open, add zucchini, close the lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Add garlic and dill.
- Store: Refrigerate for 2 days in an airtight container.
- Freeze: Cool, transfer to an airtight glass container (leaving some room for expansion), and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Reheat: On the stove on low heat, thawed or frozen (it just takes longer).
- Frozen and other vegetables: Use your favorites. You can also add thinly shredded cabbage 15 minutes before other ingredients.
- Adjust sodium: If not using low sodium stock and tomatoes.
- Smoked paprika: It makes this soup super flavorful. I wouldn’t swap it for regular paprika.