You'll love this easy homemade vegetable soup, prepared Mediterranean-style with loads of vegetables, including zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms; fresh herbs; and even chickpeas. A little lime juice finishes this soup to add brightness and round out flavor.
This is a textbook Mediterranean diet recipe, and it's a delicious way to "detox" and amp up your veggie intake! Vegan and gluten free. Be sure to read through for important tips.
Healthy Vegetable Soup, Mediterranean-Style
As a child, I didn't appreciate mom’s homemade vegetable soup that much. Maybe because she made it too often, or maybe because it had a decidedly “detox” quality to it (which, at the time, I thought of as a form of punishment.) Cut me some slack, I was only a child!
Now as an adult, I am all about a hearty bowl of homemade vegetable soup, and the bigger the bowl, the better!
This one is an amped up version of my mother's healthy vegetable soup with a host of delicious nourishing ingredients like garlic, onions, whole tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes and even some chickpeas.
If you're wonder "what can I add to my vegetable soup for flavor?" This soup boasts bold Mediterranean flavors--loads of fresh herbs, fresh lime juice, and a good dash of warm Mediterranean spices (turmeric, coriander, and paprika).
A pot of this soup feeds a small gang with abundance. Just add your favorite crusty bread or even pita! Lately, we've had it on the rotation for soup night along with Greek lentil soup, Minestrone, and Avgolemono soup.
Vegetable Soup ingredients
Aside from broth (vegetable, chicken, or bone broth), I see this easy vegetable soup as having two main components: hearty chunky vegetables + flavor makers in the form of fresh herbs, spices etc that give this soup a bold Mediterranean twist. Think of it as being similar to Italian minestrone soup, minus the pasta. Here's what you need to make this soup:
- Vegetables & legumes:
- Whole tomatoes from a can- canned tomatoes are easy to use here and add depth and umami
- Chickpeas from a can-adding plant-based protein to our vegetable soup
- Flavor makers:
- Fresh parsley- I use both the finely chopped parsley stems and the leaves here. Parsley stems, which have more flavor, are added earlier in the cooking process, while the leaves are added 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.
Make this 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 every-day vegetable soup recipe like this one. Sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, and even frozen peas, corn and green beans.
And in place of chickpeas, you can dry white beans or kidney beans from a can.
You can still use the flavors and spices used in this recipe to give your soup a bold Mediterranean twist.
How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup:
Step 1: Saute 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 to lend great flavor. Remove the mushrooms and set aside till later (this protects them from overcooking in the soup.)
Step 2: Saute remaining vegetables & aromatics
In the same pot, now saute finely chopped parsley stems (we're working on flavor here!) Add in onions, garlic, carrots celery and remaining vegetables. Stir in the spices (dry thyme, coriander, turmeric and sweet paprika). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring regularly till the veggies soften some (this is why your potatoes should be small diced.)
Tip: be sure to stir the vegetables along with the spices to make sure all the vegetables are well coated with flavor.
Step 3: Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and broth
I used canned whole tomatoes here, which are already peeled nicely and will add some great flavor and color to the soup. Chickpeas are also from a can (and you can use white beans or kidney beans in their place.) Any broth of your choice here (vegetable, chicken, or even bone broth.)
Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover part-way. Let the soup happily simmer for about 15 more minutes.
Step: 4 Add back sauteed mushrooms & finishing fresh herbs and lime
To finish the soup, stir in the sauteed mushrooms and fresh parsley leaves (remember you added the stems earlier.) Finish with the lime zest and lime juice.
Serve with your favorite crusty bread! And if you feel like it, add a few toasted pine nuts. And if you like a little spice, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
What can I add to thicken soup?
In this recipe, the soup is meant to be fairly brothy with chunks of good-for-you veggies and fresh herbs etc.
But there are a few ways to thicken vegetable soup. I'll share some here:
1. Puree a cup or two of the soup. Blend just a little bit of your soup in a food processor or using a stick blender. This will add a little body, while still keeping the chunky goodness. This is my favorite way to thicken vegetable soup because you are not adding anything to increase the carb count or alter the taste.
2. Add bread. If you have some day-old artisan bread, you can use a couple of slices to thicken the soup. Tear the bread slices into pieces and simply let them soak in one or two cups of the hot soup, then puree the mixture in a food processor and stir it into your pot of soup.
3. Add flour. Thickening soup with flour or cornstarch is an old trick almost everyone knows. Whisk 3 tablespoons or so of flour our cornstarch into a little of the soup broth in a separate bowl first, then whisk the mixture into your main pot. This prevents the starch from clumping and helps it dissolve into the soup evenly.
Leftovers & Storage Instructions
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.
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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.
- 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 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp dry thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1 32-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1 lime
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
- In a large pot like this one (affiliate) 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 from now.
- Add more olive oil, if needed and heat. Add the chopped parsley stems (stems only at this point), 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.
- Now add the chickpeas, tomatoes, bay leaves, and broth. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover only partway and cook for 15 more minutes.
- Uncover and add the sauteed mushrooms. Cook for just a few more minutes until mushrooms are warmed through.
- Finally, stir in the parsley leaves, lime zest, and lime juice.
- 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!
- 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, turmeric and paprika!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Healthy vegetable soup, homemade vegetable soup
*This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in 2017 and has recently been updated with new information for readers' benefit.