Why Soups Are One Of The Best Things To Make With Veggies

It’s only November and doesn’t it feel like winter has finally come? Eeek!

What with temps down into the 20's this week, howling wind-chills that freeze-dried our poor White Russian Kale (RIP), and a snow/sleet/rain storm that impacted our CSA pickup to add insult to injury, I’m ready for some bonafide warming comfort food!  How about you?

And a bowl of hot soup hits the spot, right? Definitely for me!

And, to be honest, I would like to have a soup pretty much every day of the fall and winter if I had my act together to do it. Because they taste soooo good!

If you're like me, you already know that taste, seasonality, and warmth are great reasons to make more soups for your meals.  But there are a few other reasons that soups are one of the best things that you can do with veggies and why you might want to try adding a few more soups into your kitchen routine!


 Why soups are one of the best things to make with veggies 


Why soups are one of the best things to make with veggies


#1. Soups help you eat more veggies!

Why?  Because if you haven't noticed, you can cram a whole lotta veggies into a soup.

If you’re looking for ways to eat more veggies, soups are your ticket this time of year! When you cook veggies into a soup you can fit WAY more than you’d think!  And then they taste so good that you're often going back for seconds of what is basically veggies!

#2.  Soups are easy if you're busy or working!

Why?  Because, you can make them ahead and reheat for dinner quickly when you walk into the house after running around with the kids or home from work.  And this is all done without any loss of delicious taste!  What??

Well, you know the saying, “Soups are better the next day”? Well, that is totally true!  So it's a win-win!  Making soups ahead of time is a super good idea in terms of taste AND busy dinner time schedules!  Permission granted, friends.

And if you’re trying to save time in the kitchen, then big-batching a big pot of soup is an awesome way to have a warming tasty meal that can be easily reheated for the whole week or that can be put in the freezer. 

#3.  Soups help you use up extra veggies, preventing waste!

Got any extra veggies that are sitting in your fridge threatening to be composted if you don’t use them up soon? Throw them in a soup! 

Most of the recipes below are flexible and can be used with many kinds of veggies!


My three favorite kinds of veggie-loaded soups for bonafide late fall



#1. Pureed Veggie Soups

Here are our very favorite pureed veggie soups perfect for fall and winter weather.  If you're adventuresome, also check out my blog post:  Formula For A Creamy Vegetable Soup That Will Get Compliments Every Time.


Coconut Curried Squash Soup

There are two ways to deal with cooking your Delicata squash in this recipe. Choose whichever one is easier for you. I often roast a whole oven full of squash, scoop it out and then store it in the fridge for use in recipes just like this one.

  • 2 Delicata winter squash
  • 2 tbls butter
  • 1 cup onion or 1/2 cup shallot, chopped
  • 1 tbls curry powder
  • 1 14oz can of coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • Salt to taste

Delicata cooking option #1: Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place them face down in a baking dish and pour ¼” of water in around them. Bake for 30-45 minutes until a fork easily pierces the skin and flesh of the squash. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a 4 quart pot and sauté the onion, stirring frequently. When the onion is soft, add the curry powder and stir for 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Scoop the flesh out of the cooked Delicata skins and add it to the soup. Stir or blend it in, salt to taste and serve.

Delicata cooking option #2: Peel the raw squash and remove the seeds. Chop the flesh up into chunks. If you choose this method, add your delicata with the coconut milk and chicken stock. Simmer until tender then blend.


Carrot and Cilantro Soup

  • 1 onion, sliced into thin rounds
  • 3 Tbls butter
  • 1 bunch carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • ½ bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and carrots and sauté until tender, 8-10 min. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 15 min. Add cilantro, cayenne, lime juice and seasoning. Puree, either with a hand-held immersion blender, or by allowing the soup to cool slightly before transferring to a blender or food processor. Serve with a dollop of sour cream in each bowl. Serves 2-4.


#2. Veggie soups with “pulses” (aka beans, lentils, etc.)

I love the texture that beans add to a chili or that lentils add to a veggie soup.  They really bulk it up by adding protein and make it a whole meal into itself.  


Red Lentil Vegetable Soup

Garnish, garnish, garnish! That is what my family is obsessed with. So, if you are too, you could garnish this soup with: sour cream, cilantro, chives, crushed tortilla chips, grated cheese, and many more options. If not, just make it plain. You won't be dissapointed.

  • Cooking oil
  • 1-2 cups onion, chopped
  • garlic to taste, minced
  • 1-2 TBLS tomato paste
  • salt, pepper, ground cumin, chili/cayenne powder to taste
  • 6-8 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or a combo of broth and water)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup turnips, peeled and diced
  • lemon juice to taste

In large pot, sauté onion in oil until translucent. Add garlic, tomato paste, and spices. Stir quickly, 1 min. Add the rest of the ingredients (except lemon juice). Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until everything is very tender. Add lemon juice at the end. Check salt.


My Almost Once-a-week Veggie-Loaded Chili

As the title hints, I make this soup A LOT in the winter.  It's variable just what veggies I put into it, but it's always a hit and easy peasy leftovers.  Try it!  

It's also a good way to hide veggies that are otherwise balked at like kale or cauliflower/broccoli.

  • cooking oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef or other ground meat/poultry (optional)
  • cumin and corriander and hot pepper (cayenne), to taste
  • 1-2 cans tomatoes, 15 oz
  • 4 cups cooked beans (or canned, drained)
  • 8-10 cups veggies, chopped (I like to use kale, frozen peppers, frozen zucchini, frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, spinach, cabbage, or anything else I need to use up in my fridge)
  • broth, as needed

Heat oil in large pot.  Add onion and saute until translucent, 10 min.  Add garlic, 1 min.  Add beef to brown.  Add spices and stir.  Add tomatoes, beans, veggies and broth.  Bring to a boil and simmer until all is very tender, 30 mins or so.  Garnish with yogurt, sour cream, cilantro, parsley, grated cheese, and/or chips.  Serve with chips or tortillas or bread.


#3. Chunky veggie soups (with or without meat) 

Have you gotten your deer yet? Or filled your freezer with part of a beef cow? ;) If so, this one is for you!

Sometimes combining meat with veggies can make everything taste so much better that you can’t stop eating it! I know that was certainly true of this recipe that I got from my friend who raises beef.

I first made it in 2018 and it is so good that it has become a family staple at our house! And feel free to adjust the veggies to what you have in your fridge that needs to be used up!

Mexican Beef/Venison Soup

  • 2 pounds beef or venison stew meat*
  • 2 large onions, cut in 16 pieces each
  • 1 TBLS ground cumin, or to taste (We LOVE cumin around here!)
  • 2 TBLS+ cooking oil
  • 4+ cups beef or chicken broth
  • 4 cups water (or use all broth if desired)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, or to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 9 potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 4 ears fresh corn, cut from cob, or frozen kernels, or in years when we didn't have corn, I substituted chopped roasted (or simply just frozen) red peppers for an equally deliciously sweet ingredient option
  • 2 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash; chopped into large chunks (I use frozen from this summer’s harvest)
  • flour or corn tortillas or tortilla chips
  • avocado slices or chunks (optional)

Brown beef with onions and cumin in oil. Add stock, water, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and half the cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30-90 minutes, depending upon toughness of beef.

Add carrots, corn and potatoes; continue simmering until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add squash and return to a boil; simmer 5 minutes. Squash should remain crisp-tender.

Add remaining chopped cilantro just before removing from heat. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with cilantro sprigs and (optional) avocado, and serve with flour/corn tortillas or chips. Let those fresh veggie flavors delight your family and guests!

*Vegetarian variation: Chunky Veggie Soup
Leave out the beef and use veggie broth instead for a vegetarian version!


Are you already a soup lover?  What is your favorite soup for fall?  Please reply and let me know!  I'm always looking for more soup ideas!





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Comments (1)

Hi Mary, Your soup recipes look delicious. The Strouse family loves to have soup, anytime of the day, any time of the year, there are so many we love. A few that I can mention are a quick Thai Seafood soup, his mother's chicken soup with tiny meatballs (we've used beef, pork and venison, whichever we have available) cabbage soup with short ribs, cauliflower and sweet potato chowder, clam chowder, carrot parsnip soup...etc....just finished making turkey soup with all the leftovers. :)