These vegetarian soups are delicious, healthy, and nutritious. Make up big batches on the stove top or slow cooker and have your lunches and dinners ready to go. Several of them are also vegan—free of any dairy or animal products—or easy to adapt with simple substitutions.
Be sure to bookmark your favourites and you’ll have a fine collection to rely on throughout the year.
Also, see healthy living ideas for more recipes.
Secrets to a Great-Tasting Homemade Soup
Once you have some soup-making experience, you begin to see what makes a great soup.
Here’s a few of my tips.
- Freshness matters. Slightly wilted, flavourless carrots are not suddenly going to improve in a soup. In fact, they will probably knock it down several taste notches. Use good, fresh ingredients.
- Broth can make or break it. Whether you make your own broth or purchase it, the flavour sets the entire tone of the soup. I like to taste (approve) the broth before ever adding it to the soup. It’s just too disappointing to find out later that you have a bad or bland batch.
- Proportions matter. Some ingredients work beautifully together, but only within their right proportions. It’s a matter of personal taste, but you’ll know when something tastes perfect. Resist the urge to add more. Step away from the soup pot. You can build up but you cannot build down.
- The basics are worth it. There’s a reason so many recipes start with garlic and onions cooked in a dab of butter or oil. They work.
- A hearty meal is just a cup of rice away. Not satisfied with a basic vegetable soup? A cupful of rice, beans, or lentils converts it to a meal. If you enjoy meat, go for it.
- Time is a soup’s friend. Assembly of a soup is not that time-consuming, but the magic happens over time. Whenever you can, let things simmer together or keep the whole thing in the fridge for a day. That is the pathway to deliciousness 2.0.
- Herbs and spices are personal affairs. Got something you love? Make it your way. If your family will rebel, scoop out some servings just for you and experiment all you like. Or get a new family.
- Thickeners like tomatoes, milk, or cream, can completely change the nature of a soup. If you want it lean and healthier, you may wish to avoid them.
Slow Cooker Tip
- Any of these soups could be adapted for a slow cooker. Let the veggies simmer for hours in the broth and then add the rice, beans, or lentils.
Why Canned Soup Doesn’t Compare
I am probably preaching to the converted here since you are reading this site where I go on and on about my love of fresh vegetables from the garden…
Once you ‘ve found your favourite homemade soup, there is no turning back. For me, it’s not just the taste, which is astronomically better with fresh ingredients, but the ingredients themselves. Even soups labelled as ‘healthy’ in our grocery store have incredible levels of sodium in them. In some cases, a cup of canned soup—even ones marked as ‘reduced sodium’—have over half the recommended sodium for an entire day. I also notice that many soups have added sugar. They boast about reduced fat—compared to what, no one knows—but sneak in added sugar. Gah!
12 Healthy & Delicious Vegetarian Soup Recipes
This is an excellent, basic soup that can enjoyed as it is or transformed into all sorts of variations with the addition of rice or lentils or tomatoes.
I got this recipe from my sister and it is a winter favourite. You can’t beat good quality, healthy ingredients and a dash of spice.
So how do you make a creamy vegan soup? Use coconut milk instead of cow’s milk. It’s a familiar ingredient in curries and works just as nicely for thickening soups.
Traditional French onion soup is very heavy on the cheese and the salt. This skinny variation offers that deliciousness with some healthy refinements. The recipe is listed as vegetarian but it does call for Worcestershire sauce which contains anchovies. Exclude this ingredient if you want it be vegetarian.
Even if you are not a fan of broccoli, I would suggest trying this one. Broccoli prepared in a soup does not taste anything like that overcook mush we are often served. You may just find yourself on Team Broccoli after all.
If I was trying to coax a spouse into the world of fresh, homemade soups, I would probably start with this one. It’s a good entry way into the vegetable world without being scary to those who are veggie-phobic.
Not sure that these soups taste better than canned ones? This is your test. I challenge you to try this soup and then try and tell me that a canned tomato soup even comes close to this taste. Canned soup: 1. Homemade: 10.
Asparagus season doesn’t last long where I live so I enjoy it several ways while it lasts. My favourite is simple grilled asparagus. You can get the recipe here. A lovely soup is another favourite. Again, if you are not sure if you like something like asparagus, this is a good place to start your new food adventure.
Is it a soup, a stew, or a stewp? I am including this one because it is delicious and the same as making a soup. This type of stew can be kept in the fridge for several days and gets extra delicious after the second day. That’s the magic of veggies together.
If you are familiar with the original Moosewood Cookbook, this reminds me of the Moroccan Stew recipe in there.
I hope you will try some of these recipes. And, if there are ingredients like pumpkin, perhaps, that you have never tried, give it a whirl. I am certain you will discover some new favourites and soups are an easy way to make meals ahead of time.