Actually Good Homemade Vegetable Soup

Soups & Stews  |  Published Oct 10, 2022  |  Updated Oct 10, 2022  |  By Tawnie

vegetable soup in a blue dutch oven with crusty bread on the side.

Homemade Vegetable Soup is like having the answer to whatever ails you.

Like the title says, this soup is actually good. This soup is far from blah and full of feel good flavors.

If you need a little rebalance from some over indulgence my Homemade Vegetable Soup is the answer. Or if you need to sneak in more healthy, fresh veggies into your families meals, this recipe will do the trick because it’s packed with veggies!

Other feel-good soups I love this is Butternut Squash Soup and Instant Pot Chicken Taco Soup.

The sweet fragrance of caramelizing onions is like a magnet pulling everyone into the kitchen, and your family will be begging for seconds when you serve up Homemade Vegetable Soup.

a close up image of vegetable soup.

Don’t pass over this recipe because your memories of canned vegetable soup are BORING! Trust me, I thought for so many years I was a vegetable soup hater until I got hooked on this recipe. My recipe is so easy to make and it is bursting with freshness and packed with enticing flavors. 

Pro tip: If you have never used Parmesan rind in your soup, make sure you change that up right now.  Just toss in the rind and let it do all the work. As the rind simmers along side all your fresh ingredients the flavors of the cheese infuse into the broth making it slightly thicker, leaving you with richness of flavor that you will crave.

a close up image of vegetable soup.

Why you will love this soup:

  • It’s made all in one pot, so it’s easy to make and clean up is quick and easy!
  • It’s full of healthy veggies like mushrooms, carrots, green beans, corn and potatoes and more.
  • It’s a total feel-good soup.
  • This is a year round soup and so versatile, just change up the vegetables to fit your season or your mood!
  • It’s vegan if you leave out the Parmesan rind, vegetarian and gluten free.
  • It’s freezer friendly if you have leftovers!

Ingredient Notes

You’ll fall in love with the combination of ingredients in this soup.

vegetables in small white bowls.
  • Butter: There is always some type of fat at the base of your soup masterpiece. I’m using butter in this recipe to caramelize onions which gives the onions, and therefore the soup a richer flavor.  Of course , if you don’t have butter, you can use olive oil.
  • Yellow onions: Yellow onions are my ideal onion for caramelizing because they build such great flavor. I diced them up to caramelize a bit but you can also slice them too if you prefer. If you only have white they will work as well.
  • Baby bella mushrooms: There are different schools of thought on how you should clean or wash mushrooms.  I still like to give them a quick wash in the colander , and then pat them dry so they do not soak up additional water which diminishes the earthy flavor.
  • Baby carrots: Baby carrots hold up well and add a touch of sweetness and crunch to your hearty soup.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic gives the soup great flavor and the small little pieces dissolve into the other ingredients as the soup simmers.
  • Green beans: I like to use fresh green beans, they’re vibrant and hold up well in the soup. Be sure to trim them and cut into about 1 inch pieces. You could also use canned or frozen.
  • Yellow corn: I like including yellow corn in my soups and stews because it is sweeter than white corn.
  • Sweet potato: sometimes veggie soups aren’t very filling, so the addition of some sweet potato helps to bulk of the soup and make it more satisfying.
  • Beans: like the sweet potato, the addition of beans helps bulk up the soup to make it more hearty and filling thanks to the additional fiber.
  • Parmesan rind: When you grate off the last bit of cheese, toss the rind into the freezer until you are ready to make your soup or stew. As the rind simmers in the soup the flavors of the cheese infuse into the broth which help take this soup from boring to exceptional. Feel free to leave out if vegan.
  • Vegetable broth: The key to a flavorful soup is to start with a quality broth. 
  • Bay leaves, fresh thyme and rosemary: fresh herbs add a subtle flavor layer that adds more depth to your soup.  
  • Lemon juice: lemon juice adds a game-changing brightness to the soup.

Step by Step Directions

It’s all about caramelizing the onions for this recipe. It really helps to catapult the veggies natural flavor which creates a delicious base for the soup.

onions in a dutch oven and veggies and herbs piled into a dutch oven.
  1. Caramelize the onions in butter.
  2. Start layering flavor to the soup by adding in carrots, celery mushrooms, garlic and seasonings.
  3. Add the broth, remaining veggies and fresh herbs. Bring to a boil, then down to a simmer and cook until sweet potatoes are tender.
  4. Add in the beans and lemon juice. Remove bay leaves.
  5. Add more water or broth to get desired soup consistency. Ladle into bowls & enjoy!
vegetables in a large blue dutch oven.

Tips and Variations for Homemade Vegetable Soup

  • Add chickpeas or black beans if you are looking to add in different beans.
  • Add in different seasonings like curry powder, red pepper chili flakes or cayenne.
  • Don’t skip out on caramelizing the onions. I cook them for about 20 minutes on a medium heat, stirring frequently. The onions will begin to show spots of caramelization on them and begin to smell really delicious. You can caramelize them longer, but I usually stop around this point and add the next veggies.
  • This is a veggie loaded soup, take or leave what you don’t like or add in different veggies you do like. Stir in spinach at the end, use russet potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, etc.
  • Add more water or broth to the soup if it’s too thick. Or better yet, add in V-8 juice!
  • Make it creamy by adding in milk or heavy cream.
  • I’ll mention it again because it’s such a great tip: Next time you’ve grated all the cheese you can from a wedge of Parmesan cheese, don’t toss out the rind. Cheese rinds are an excellent way to add extra flavor and richness to stews and soups. So, just add the rind to your simmering soup and then scoop it out before serving.
vegetable soup in a white bowl with crusty bread on the side.

FAQ

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

Yes you can, just follow steps 1 & 2 and then transfer all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook for  3- 4 hours on high or about 6 hours on low. Stir in the beans and lemon juice at the end.

What other cheese rinds can I use?

Pecorino Romano, Gruyere, or Asiago rinds are all great choices.

What can I add to vegetable soup to make it taste better?

This soup really has it all. The Parmesan rind, the lemon juice, fresh herbs and dried herbs. You could add red pepper chili flakes, cayenne, Herbs de Provence or curry powder for more flavors. The caramelized onions add a lot of depth to the soup but you could also add in tomato paste or even miso or soy sauce.

What do I do if my homemade soup is too thick?

The easiest way is to add more liquid to the soup. For this recipe, that would be more vegetable broth, or you can add in water or even V-8 juice!

What other vegetables can I use in vegetable soup?

The opportunities are almost endless!  Spinach, broccoli, butternut squash, cauliflower, leeks, parsnips, and cabbage are a few that come to mind. 

HUNGRY FOR MORE? If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!

vegetable soup in a blue dutch oven with crusty bread on the side.
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Actually Good Homemade Vegetable Soup

This veggie loaded Homemade Vegetable Soup is cozy, nutritious, and actually really really good. It's packed with vibrant veggies, tomatoes, beans and plenty of fresh herbs. It's a full-of-flavor feel good soup!
5 from 2 reviews
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 269kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup baby carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1, 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 lb. baby gold potatoes, halved
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup yellow corn (canned or frozen)
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 rind Parmesan (optional)
  • 1, 15 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1, 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and caramelize for at least 20 minutes. Stir the onions to check on them about every 5 minutes. Adjust the heat if the onions are cooking too quickly or you notice and burn spots on the bottom of the pan. The onions will be very soft, will start to smell caramelized and you'll see spots of caramelization.
  • Add in the celery, carrots, mushrooms and seasonings and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds or so.
  • Then add in the broth, diced tomatoes, baby gold potatoes, sweet potato, corn, green beans, fresh herbs and Parmesan rind (optional). Stir to combine.
  • Bring this to a boil, then down to a simmer. Cover with the lid on until the potatoes are tender, ~20 minutes. 
  • Lastly, stir in both beans and the lemon juice. Remove the rind and the bay leaves and discard. Taste the soup and adjust any seasonings, as desired. Also, if the soup is too thick, add more broth or water.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with crackers or bread. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Storage: store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Add chickpeas or black beans if you are looking to add in different beans.
  • Add in different seasonings like curry powder, red pepper chili flakes or cayenne.
  • This is a veggie loaded soup, take or leave what you don’t like or add in different veggies you do like. Stir in spinach at the end, use russet potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, etc.
  • Add more water or broth to the soup if it’s too thick. Or better yet, add in V-8 juice!
Find Kroll’s Korner on Instagram!Mention @krolls_korner or tag #krollskorner

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 628mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4178IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg

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JoAnn
21 days ago

Oh my gosh, this is so tasty and hearty — I couldn’t stop refilling the bowl!!

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