Simple and Nourishing Vegetable Soup

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Introducing our Simple & Nourishing Vegetable Soup—a comforting bowl of goodness that’s perfect for any occasion. Packed with vibrant vegetables and aromatic herbs, this soup is a wholesome and satisfying meal that will warm you from the inside out.

Whether you’re seeking a quick and easy dinner option or looking to cozy up on a chilly evening, this recipe has got you covered. Get ready to savor every spoonful of this nourishing delight!

Side photo of a honeycomb pattern blue bowl filled with Hearty Vegetable Soup, Mean Green Chef.

You won’t even notice the omission of meat. And if you’re inclined to include some rotisserie chicken, it will undoubtedly elevate the flavor. Additionally, swapping water for chicken stock is a simple and effective way to enhance the taste even further.

However, if you prefer to stick to vegetables with our Simple & Nourishing Vegetable Soup, simply follow the instructions, and you’ll have a fantastic pot of soup ready in no time!

Overhead photo of a honeycomb pattern blue bowl filled with Hearty Vegetable Soup, Mean Green Chef.

1. Sweating the Vegetables: To enhance the depth of flavor in our soups, we employ the technique of sweating vegetables. This method involves gently cooking vegetables over low heat, coaxing out their natural flavors without browning. Commonly known as aromatics, vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, shallots, and garlic benefit greatly from this process. By softening these ingredients and breaking down their cell walls, we unlock their delicate aromas, setting the foundation for a flavorful soup base.

2. Seasoning Every Step of the Way: Achieving optimal flavor in our soups is a meticulous process that involves seasoning at every stage of cooking. Adding salt throughout the cooking process is essential for building layers of flavor. Whether it’s seasoning meat before searing, adding salt while sweating vegetables, or adjusting seasoning as you go, each step contributes to the complexity of flavors in the final dish. By seasoning continuously, we ensure that every element of the soup is perfectly seasoned, resulting in a well-balanced and delicious outcome.

3. Searing the Meat (If Applicable): When incorporating meat into our soups, searing is a crucial step in intensifying its flavor profile. This process, often conducted in batches over high heat, creates a dark crust on the meat’s surface, imparting a rich and savory essence to the soup. Whether searing in a hot pan or grilling, allowing the meat to develop a deep crust ensures maximum flavor extraction, elevating the overall taste of the dish.

Side photo of a honeycomb pattern blue bowl filled with Hearty Vegetable Soup, Mean Green Chef.

From Scraps to Stock: Crafting Flavorful Vegetable Stock from Kitchen Leftovers

Transforming kitchen scraps into flavorful vegetable stock is a sustainable and cost-effective way to elevate your culinary creations. Raid your refrigerator and freezer for leftover vegetable scraps such as onion peels, carrot tops, celery ends, and herb stems, along with any other vegetable trimmings you have on hand. These often-overlooked remnants are packed with flavor and nutrients, perfect for infusing depth into your homemade stock.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Gather Vegetable Scraps: Collect a variety of vegetable scraps from your refrigerator and freezer. This can include onion skins, carrot peels, celery ends, mushroom stems, garlic cloves, and herb stalks. Avoid using vegetables that may impart bitter or overpowering flavors, such as Brussels sprouts or cruciferous vegetables.

  2. Prepare the Scraps: Rinse the vegetable scraps under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Chop larger pieces into smaller pieces for better flavor extraction.

  3. Simmering Process: Place the vegetable scraps in a large stockpot and cover them with water. Add aromatics such as garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme to enhance the flavor profile. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

  4. Flavor Infusion: Allow the stock to simmer uncovered for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the vegetables have released their flavors and the liquid has reduced slightly. Stir occasionally and skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface.

  5. Strain the Stock: Once the stock has simmered to your desired flavor intensity, remove the pot from the heat. Use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain out the solids, separating the liquid stock from the vegetable scraps. Discard the scraps or compost them if desired.

  6. Cool and Store: Let the vegetable stock cool to room temperature before transferring it to airtight containers. Store the stock in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze it in portion-sized containers for longer-term storage.

By repurposing kitchen scraps into homemade vegetable stock, you not only reduce food waste but also enhance the flavor of your dishes with a rich and aromatic base. Enjoy the versatility of this homemade stock in soups, stews, sauces, and countless

Building Blocks of Flavor: Essential Vegetables for Homemade Vegetable Stock

  • Onion (including skins)
  • Carrot (including peels)
  • Celery (including leaves and ends)
  • Garlic (whole cloves or peels)
  • Mushroom stems
  • Leek greens
  • Tomato (including cores)
  • Parsley stems
  • Thyme sprigs
  • Bay leaves
  • Peppercorns
  • Bell pepper cores
  • Potato peels
  • Cabbage or kale stems (in moderation)
  • Fennel scraps
  • Corn cobs (for a hint of sweetness)
  • Root vegetable trimmings (such as beet, parsnip, or turnip)
  • Herb stems (such as basil, cilantro, or sage)
  • Any other vegetable scraps or trimmings from your kitchen

Soup Toppers: Creative Ideas to Elevate Your Bowl

  • Croutons (plain or seasoned)
  • Grated cheese (such as Parmesan, cheddar, or Gruyère)
  • Fresh herbs (chopped parsley, cilantro, dill, or chives)
  • Garlic-infused olive oil or chili oil
  • Toasted nuts or seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds)
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Crispy bacon or pancetta bits
  • Sliced scallions or green onions
  • Fried shallots or onions
  • Drizzle of balsamic reduction or truffle oil
  • Dollop of pesto or basil oil
  • Avocado slices or guacamole
  • Pickled vegetables (jalapeños, red onions, or carrots)
  • Crumbled crackers or tortilla strips
  • Lemon or lime zest
  • Diced avocado or tomatoes
  • Poached or fried egg
  • Sprinkle of smoked paprika or chili flakes
  • Microgreens or sprouts

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Overhead photo of a honeycomb pattern blue bowl filled with Hearty Vegetable Soup, Mean Green Chef.

How to Make Simple & Nourishing Vegetable Soup

Side photo of a honeycomb pattern blue bowl filled with Hearty Vegetable Soup, Mean Green Chef.

Simple & Nourishing Vegetable Soup

Easy Hearty Vegetable Soup, this is truly the BEST Vegetable soup we've created to date! We develop some seriously robust flavors through a quick sauté, bringing our fresh veg up to full throttle!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Mean Green Chef

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 2 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 large red bell diced
  • 1 large green bell diced
  • 1 large yellow bell diced
  • 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 3 bay leaves fresh or dried
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 medium zucchini sliced
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled plum tomatoes hand crushed
  • 8 cups vegetable stock

Instructions

  • Heat a large heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and reheat for 30 seconds. Add the diced red onion and sauté stirring occasionally allowing to caramelize about 5 minutes. Toss in the red pepper flakes (if using) and sauté for another 30 seconds. 
  • Add the carrots, red, green, and yellow bell peppers. Sauté, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. (Pour the plum tomatoes into a bowl and crush by hand or with a potato masher while the carrots and peppers cook). 
  • Combine the tomato paste, bay leaves, and Italian seasoning to the onion, carrot, and pepper mixture stirring to brown the paste and release the aroma and flavors of the spices. About 3 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Toss in the broccoli and cauliflower cook stirring 5 minutes. Pour in the hand-crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes check the doneness on the veggies and cook till al denté. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Indulge in a comforting bowl of Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, where tender chicken, hearty orzo pasta, and vibrant lemon flavors unite in a delightful harmony. This soothing soup is the perfect blend of nourishing ingredients and zesty citrus notes, creating a satisfying meal that warms the soul with every spoonful.

Savor the bold flavors of Mexico with our Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup. This vibrant dish combines tender chicken, hearty vegetables, and authentic Mexican spices, all simmered to perfection in a savory broth. Topped with crunchy tortilla strips, creamy avocado, and zesty lime, it’s a fiesta for your taste buds!

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Hey there, fellow food enthusiast! Welcome to Mean Green Chef, where every dish tells a story and every recipe is a labor of love. I’m thrilled to share a bit about myself and the journey that led me here, stirring pots and sprinkling spices for over three decades!

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    Join the Conversation

    1. I love vegetable soups! This one looks so hearty and delicious.

      1. They’re especially delicious and nutritious, Erika! lol Thanks so much 🙂

    2. I am a soup fanatic! This one is extra awesome because it’s loaded with veggies.

      1. Thank you, Tamara! 🙂

    3. I cannot wait to make this!

      1. Thanks, Kari, be sure to let us know how it turns out! 🙂

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