Introducing a simple and reliable vegetable and bean soup recipe, you can make with what you have on hand! Don’t have a leek? An onion will work beautifully. No celery? Use more carrots! No white beans? Throw in some chickpeas. Not a fan of kale? Skip it or sub another green!
As long as you have something aromatic for flavor (leeks, onions, garlic), a handful of non-starchy veggies (carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, green beans), some starchy veggies (potatoes, rutabagas), and some legumes (beans, lentils, peas) you’re GOLDEN! Choose your adventure!
How to Make Vegetable Soup
To start this flawlessly flexible dish, leeks, celery, carrots, and garlic combine for a savory, caramelized, and super classic flavor base! This combination is similar to the more traditional mirepoix that is used as a base in many soups and dishes around the world!
Next, for a filling and satisfying soup, we add potatoes (Yukon gold is buttery and tender, but any kind will do) along with white beans and lentils for protein and fiber. Nearly any bean or legume would work well here. Who’s ready to clean out the pantry?
Lastly, we add some kale (or other greens of choice) for added nourishment and texture. Optionally, top with parsley, vegan parmesan cheese, and croutons for extra freshness, flavor, and comfort. YUM.
- One large leek, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 leek yields ~2 cups or 180 g sliced // or sub one small onion, finely diced)
- 2 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (if oil-free, sub water and add more as needed)
- Three small carrots, finely chopped (3 small carrots yield ~3/4 cup or 96 g chopped)
- Four stalks celery, finely chopped (4 stalks yield ~3/4 cup or 75 g chopped)
- Three large cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs (or sub-dried basil, oregano, and rosemary)
- Two medium potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces (~2 cups or 300 g // we used Yukon gold // Russet, red, or purple would all work, as would rutabagas)
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (NOT fire roasted)
- 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (any white bean works, as do pinto beans or chickpeas)
- 1 (15 oz.) can of lentils, drained and rinsed (or sub more beans)
- 8 cups vegetable broth (or store-bought)
- One bunch of kale, chopped into bite-size pieces (optional // 1 bunch yields ~4-5 cups or ~170 g chopped // or sub chard, collard greens, or spinach)
- Remove the root end and dark green part of the leek and discard (or reserve greens for making vegetable broth). Slice the white and light green part of the leek in half lengthwise and clean by running cold water over each half, getting in between the leaves to remove any dirt. Then, slice into 1/4-inch slices.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leek and cook until softened and translucent — about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook until softened and fragrant, stirring occasionally — about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the Italian herbs and stir to combine. Then add the potatoes, tomatoes, drained and rinsed beans, lentils, and vegetable broth. Stir well, making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender and the flavors have melded.
- Stir in the kale/greens (optional), then cover and simmer until the greens are tender — about 5 minutes. Serve warm, garnished with parsley, vegan parmesan cheese, and croutons (all optional). Delicious on its own or served alongside grilled “cheese” or garlic bread!
- Leftovers are kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Flavors get better with time!