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
    Second comment on this soup. Currently dealing with iced roads here in Dallas. Husband took me to the store around the corner in his 4 WD. No parsley due to deliveries being halted. But, no worries. I have my fabulous spices from here and Sumac and Aleppo will help!

    I came here to tell you that I share this recipe all the time and so many people rave.

    We had to do a diversity and inclusion presentation at work. I highlighted how food brings people together and teaches us about other cultures. How I love blogs that don’t just throw a recipe but provide background. I used yours and my heartbeats.com (Indian). It was a hit! My boss is Muslim and really loved the varieties. She even decided to seek out Halaal wine!

    Thank you sharing and the fabulous recipes. The husband is going to hang with me tonight to learn the “voodoo” in the kitchen, haha.

  2. 4 stars
    Very good if you like lime flavor. Couldn't find fresh flat leafed parsley so used a bit of cilantro snd celery leaves.

    1. Marsha, lemon can be milder and you can go light on the zest or just serve on the side. It’s really versatile. My husband doesn’t do chickpeas so we do chicken. I’ve even puréed some for a neighbor who had surgery and couldn’t really chew.

      I’ve subbed in basil, oregano and even made an Asian themed version using a veggie mix I got that had specific veggies and fell in love with parsnips!

  3. 5 stars
    Best vegetable soup ever! I used butternut squash instead of potatoes and will double the mushrooms next time. Chilli flakes and the addition of lime put it over the edge in terms of flavour.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this soup last week to enjoy when it was raining and cold outside. It was so easy to make and came out perfectly. It was super delicious with lots of flavor, even though it did not require long hours of cooking. I followed the recipe as it was printed to get the best result and was so pleased. I have made several of your recipes and enjoyed them all. Thanks for sharing them with us all.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was delicious! I made the recipe as is but deleted the potato, and next time will add additional veges, as well as doubling the mushrooms. The lime juice and zest made this for me!

  6. 5 stars
    I also love your recipes. This soup was so good and I particularly like the spices you use. The lime was a little twist that added to the flavor profile.
    I have ordered spices from you and they are such good quality and I use them frequently in many things I make.
    To their person who asked about the slow cooker, I did make this in the slow cooker, but prepared the vegetables as you do in the recipe first, before adding to the slow cooker. I think this deepens the flavor of a slow cook soup. It turned out really well!

  7. 5 stars
    This is a good recipe, Doubles the garlic and increased the cooking time for veggies by 10 minutes to soften them up a bit more. I used small dice tomatoes instead of whole.

  8. 5 stars
    I love you recipes. They will be what I serve at my yoga retreats.
    I love your cooking videos as well. Just plain good food. Thank you for sharing your talent and beautiful recipes .

  9. 5 stars
    First recipe I've ever tried from your sight. Gotta say - KNOCKED IT OUTTA THE PARK! I never thought of doing veggie soup with this kind of twist but it was SOOOOO good. Thank you! I'm looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  10. 5 stars
    Loaded with veggies and lots of flavor. My husband said this is his new favorite, and we have some really good soups!

    1. Hello! The whole recipe can be divided by 6 to get the "serving size". The nutrition info here is our best effort and we use a program that calculates that for us based on the ingredient list. The exact serving size measurement (by cups, etc) is another layer that's harder for us to precisely calculate at this time.

  11. 5 stars
    Count me in with the others. Great soup. I happened to have a bit of cabbage in the fridge— tossed it in. Really good, but then, I love cabbage