This easy homemade vegetable soup is a textbook Mediterranean diet recipe and a delicious way to amp up your veggie intake! It’s loaded with zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, chickpeas and fresh herbs. It’s cozy, comforting, vegan and gluten-free, but trust me, meat eaters will love this vegetable soup as much as veggie lovers do. 

steamy homemade vegetable soup in a dutch oven next to a wooden spoon.
Photo Credits: Caitlin Bensel

As a child I didn't appreciate Mom’s homemade vegetable soup, but now as an adult I am all about a hearty bowl of vegetable soup and the bigger the bowl the better!

This soup recipe is an amped up version of my mother's healthy vegetable soup with a host of nourishing ingredients like garlic, onions, whole tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes and chickpeas.

Fresh herbs, lime juice, and a good dash of warm spices (turmeric, coriander, and paprika) give this soup a Mediterranean twist.  

Just add your favorite crusty bread or even pita! Lately, we've had it on rotation for soup night along with Cioppino, Greek lentil soup,  Minestrone, and Avgolemono soup. Once you learn how to make vegetable soup at home, it will be on your rotation too! 

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients for Vegetable Soup 
    1. Vegetables
    2. Legumes
    3. Flavor Makers
  2. How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup 
  3. Ways to Make Vegetable Soup Your Own
  4. How to Freeze and Store Soup
  5. More Vegetable Soup Recipes
  6. Sweet Spanish Paprika
  7. Homemade Vegetable Soup Recipe
ingredients for homemade vegetable soup including olive oil, mushrooms, onion, parsley, celery, zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, chickpeas, carrots, bay leaves, broth, lime, pine nuts, garlic and spices.

Ingredients for Vegetable Soup 

Aside from broth (vegetable, chicken, or bone broth), this easy vegetable soup has two main components: hearty chunky vegetables and flavor makers in the form of fresh herbs, spices and a squeeze of lime. This soup recipe is similar to Italian minestrone soup, minus the pasta. 

Here's what you need:

Vegetables

  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Whole tomatoes: I like to use canned tomatoes because they are easy, add depth and body to the soup.

Legumes

  • Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas work great here because they are easy and add plant-based protein to our vegetable soup

Flavor Makers

  • Fresh parsley: I use both the finely chopped parsley stems and the leaves. The stems have more flavor, and I add them earlier in the cooking process. The leaves add color and freshness so I add them later. 
  • Spices and dry herbs: a combination of warm spices and dry herbs give this soup depth. I used dry thyme, coriander, turmeric, and sweet paprika.
  • Lime: citrus goes a long way in adding brightness and rounding out the flavor in this soup. I used lime zest and lime juice here, but you can also use lemon, if that's what you have.

How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup 

Learning how to make homemade vegetable soup is pretty easy. It’s really about cutting vegetables so they cook evenly and adding layers of flavor. 

  • Sauté mushrooms: Toss the mushrooms in a bit of extra virgin olive oil in a large cooking pot. This will help the mushrooms release their moisture and concentrate their natural sugars. Remove the mushrooms and set aside till later. You don’t want them to overcook in the soup.
  • Sauté remaining vegetables and aromatics: In the same pot, sauté finely chopped parsley stems. (We're building on flavor here!) Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and remaining vegetables. Stir in the spices and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring regularly until the veggies soften some.
  • Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and broth: I used canned whole tomatoes and canned chickpeas. Canned tomatoes are already peeled and will add flavor and color to the soup, while the chickpeas add protein. If you don’t have chickpeas, use white or kidney beans in their place. Top it off with vegetable or chicken broth.homemade vegetable soup in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon.
  • Boil and simmer: Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover part-way. Let the soup happily simmer for about 15 more minutes.
  • Return the mushrooms to the pot and finish: To finish the soup, stir in sautéed mushrooms and fresh parsley leaves, lime zest and lime juice.homemade vegetable soup in a dutch oven.
  • Serve: Serve with your favorite crusty bread or piece of pillow focaccia! If you feel like it, add a few toasted pine nuts or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

Ways to Make Vegetable Soup Your Own

Homemade vegetable soup is a great way to use up what veggies you have on hand.

Remember that virtually all vegetables will work in an everyday vegetable soup recipe like this one. 

Vegetable Swaps: Sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, and even frozen peas, corn and green beans.

Legume Swaps: Replace the canned chickpeas with white beans such as navy or cannellini beans or kidney beans. If you typically make chickpeas from dried and have some hanging around you can use those too. 

You can still use the flavors and spices used in this recipe to give your soup a bold Mediterranean twist.

homemade vegetable soup in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon next to a bowl with two silver spoons.

How to Freeze and Store Soup

Whether you’re keeping this soup in the fridge for a couple of days or freezing it for a rainy day the first step is to cool it to room temperature. Once it’s cool, transfer it to a container you can seal with a lid.

To Store:  Leftover homemade vegetable soup will last a good 3 to 4 days in the fridge. 

To Freeze: The liquid in the soup will expand when frozen to leave an inch headspace between the lid and the soup before placing it in the freezer. I prefer to use airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. 

More Vegetable Soup Recipes

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

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Sweet Spanish Paprika

Add an extra layer of warmth to your vegetable soup with our organic Sweet Spanish Paprika. Exceptional flavor and quality!

bottle of sweet spanish paprika from The Mediterranean Dish.
5 from 6 votes

Homemade Vegetable Soup

Suzy Karadsheh
steamy homemade vegetable soup in a dutch oven next to a wooden spoon.
You'll love this easy homemade vegetable soup, prepared Mediterranean-style with loads of vegetables, including zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms, and fresh herbs. A little lime juice finishes this soup to add brightness and round out flavor.
Prep – 15 mins
Cook – 30 mins
Total – 45 mins
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Soup

Ingredients
  

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil, I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO
  • 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, washed, dried, stems and leaves separated, then each chopped
  • 1 medium-size yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, tops removed, sliced into rounds or half-moons or diced
  • 2 golden potatoes, peeled, small diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (32-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dry thyme
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • cup toasted pine nuts, optional

Instructions
 

  • Sauté Mushrooms: In a large pot heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from the pot and set aside for now.
  • Add fresh veggies and spices: Add more olive oil, if needed and heat. Add the chopped parsley stems, (save the leaves for later), onions, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini and small diced potatoes. Stir in the spices, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables have softened a bit.
  • Add the chickpeas and tomatoes: Now add the chickpeas, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and broth. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover partially and cook for 15 more minutes.
  • Return mushrooms to the pot: Uncover and add the sauteed mushrooms. Cook for just a few more minutes until mushrooms are warmed through.
  • Add finishing touches: Finally, stir in the parsley leaves, lime zest, and lime juice.
  • Enjoy! Remove from the heat. Remove bay leaves. Transfer the vegetable soup to serving bowls and top with toasted pine nuts, if you like. Add a side of your favorite crusty bread or pita along with extra lime wedges and crushed red pepper. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Cook's Tip for Storing: Leftover homemade vegetable soup will last a good 3 to 4 days in the fridge, stored in a tight-lid glass container. Make sure the soup is completely cooled before you store it. If you're making this soup for meal prep and want to freeze it, you can! Again make sure soup is fully cooled before storing and freezing in in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Be sure to leave room in the containers for soup to expand as it freezes.
  • Lower Carb Option: You can omit the potatoes for a lower carb option
  • Like a spicy soup? This soup is plenty flavorful, but if you're one for spicy, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Visit our online shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients such as Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil and spices like coriander, and paprika!

Nutrition

Calories: 236.4kcalCarbohydrates: 37.3gProtein: 10.4gFat: 7.3gSaturated Fat: 0.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.8gSodium: 634.1mgPotassium: 1073.7mgFiber: 9.4gSugar: 9.5gVitamin A: 3826.2IUVitamin C: 41.1mgCalcium: 109.8mgIron: 4mg
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*This post has recently been updated with new information for readers’ benefit.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is a delicious, hearty soup. I used chicken bone broth and added some Texas Pete’s hot sauce. The lime juice and zest at the end add a ton of bright flavor.

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this and it is great! I subbed Kidney Beans for Chickpeas and used Smoke Paprika. Will definitely make it again.

  3. 5 stars
    This is simply the best soup to get you on track for better health. My husband and I are on our second week of this being our lunch for work. The prep time does take a bit but so worth it!!

    1. Robbin, you are so right...this recipe is a good "Get back on track" type recipe. I am so glad you're enjoying it!

  4. 5 stars
    We LOVED this recipe. I don't know how anyone could do the prep work in 15 minutes. I used a chopper to chop and it still took longer. However, it was well worth the time!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Betty! My husband tells me I'm fast with prep 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the soup though...isn't it hearty?!

  5. Just signed up for the newsletter, and look forward to trying this. With a glass-topped stove, I can't use iron pots, so will use my Dutch over instead. Can i substitute other mushrooms? And if I want to use my crock pot, how long would I do it? One more question: 6 cups of broth seems like a lot; how big a pot or crock pot do I need? One more comment: The light font is difficult for someone with vision issues to read. What I do is copy a recipe to a word doc, adjust the font size and go to black--and for amounts, especially fractions like 1/4, use a larger font size. Trying to cook more healthily for my severely handicapped husband and myself. Thank you!

    1. Hi Barrra, thank you for your thoughtful questions. This recipe uses a large pot (5 or 6 quart)...a Dutch oven will be great for this. For us, 6 cups of broth was just perfect with all the veggies, chickpeas etc. added in. It's a hearty soup for sure. I have not tried it in a crock pot, however. I'm sorry the font is difficult, I don't have a whole lot of say in it...it is something that came with the site template. We will definitely keep this in mind when we are ready to re-design the site.

  6. My husband and I loved this recipe. Light but filling We've had it three times now. Its a keeper for sure. Thanks

  7. 5 stars
    I just made this and I loved it so so much!! I didnt have a couple of the ingredients (lime, bay leaves, zucchini) but it came out so good! This is my new winter soup

  8. What do you think of using sweet potatoes instead of golden potatoes? If you think it will work, can you provide an amount (e.g., number of ounces)? Many thanks!

    1. I understand, Maria! Yes, I think you can change up the vegetables to suite your needs. Smaller cauliflower florets would work.

  9. Delicious!! I have a large pot all made up. Can I freeze some of it? If so how do you suggest the best way? Would be great for the Maine winters. Hot night but cooled me off. Many thanks, Molly,

    1. Awesome, Molly! Yes, you can freeze this. Let me think...Use a freezer-safe glass container with a good tight lid. Thaw in fridge overnight, and reheat stove-top on medium-low.

  10. This sounds delicious....have you ever used it as a Cold soup? I live in Australia.... so hot soup at this time of year (even for all the right reasons!) really DOES detox you !!!

  11. 5 stars
    Hi Suzy,

    Thanks for the recipe. I notice that the directions mention adding onions to the cast iron pot but yo7r ingredients don't mention onions. Can you clarify what type of onion to use and the amount?

    Thanks!

    1. Thanks for catching that, Eric! It is one medium-sized yellow or red onions, chopped. Either kind of onions would work here.

  12. This vegetable soup looks so hearty and delicious! Love all the veggies and the Mediterranean spices! It's a perfect dinner for the whole family!

  13. This is soup season at our house. I love all the veggies you added to your soup, not the traditional ones only

  14. 5 stars
    That is what I call a bowl of hearty deliciousness. So healthy for the new year and full of flavor. I can't wait to try this soon. Yum.

  15. 5 stars
    This soup looks divine and it's exactly what I'm in the mood for today. Love seeing all those veggies floating around in that enticing broth.