This collection of our best vegetarian and vegan soup recipes is filled with hearty, nutritious, comforting soups you’ll make on repeat. Find protein-packed soups filled with lentils, chickpeas, beans, grains, creamy vegetarian soups, healthy twists on classics and more!  

an overhead photo of detox cabbage soup in a bowl with a spoon surrounded by small bowls of salt and lemon wedges and a cloth napkin.
Photo of "Detox" Cabbage Soup by Kathrine Irwin

We've just picked out our best vegetarian dinner recipes, now comes a celebration of one of the Mediterranean's most loved food group: soup!

Vegetarian and vegan soup recipes are a major part of the Mediterranean diet, where soups and stews are celebrated as an essential part of the table. There, you might start your day with a beloved vegan chickpea stew called lablabi, with or without a poached egg. That’s right, soup and salad are just as welcome at breakfast

For lunch or a late-night treat, Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası, a Turkish red lentil soup warms the belly and keeps you satisfied. And, for dinner, perhaps a minestrone loaded with whatever seasonal vegetables are the freshest. 

In this collection of vegan and vegetarian soup recipes, I’ve picked out our most loved soups that swap the meat for fresh aromatics, bold Mediterranean spices, and hearty plant-based protein. 

From satisfying bean soups loaded with protein to refreshing chilled vegan soup recipes perfect for a hot day, you’re sure to find just the perfect soup to suit your weeknight dinner, cozy Sunday supper, or to stock your freezer for a rainy day.

Easy Vegetable Soup Recipes

If you ever need a way to push your body's reset button, vegetable soup can be a delicious and comforting way to do that without going on a harsh detox diet. Plus, what better way to use up those veggies and herbs in the bottom drawer of your fridge? Here are our best vegetarian soup recipes and vegan soup recipes that are loaded with both veggies and flavor:

An overhead photo of a bowl of vegetable stew with a spoon.

Vegetable Stew with Peas, Potatoes, and Bell Pepper

You need just one pot and 40 minutes to make this easy vegan soup recipe. Hearty and rich, it's the perfect way to warm your belly on chilly days. Make a fresh salad, like tabouli or gluten free tabouli while it simmers, and serve with crusty rustic bread.

An overhead photo of a pot of detox cabbage soup with a wooden spoon. This is is surrounded by two bowls of the soup with spoons, small bowls up salt and lemon wedges and some pieces of crusty bread.

“Detox” Cabbage Soup with Turmeric and Ginger

Vegan, gluten-free, ultra-healthy, and very flavorful! A whole head of cabbage, loads of savory spices, garlic, veggies, and fresh ginger make for a vibrant, deeply savory soup that is so nourishing and cozy. The cabbage and veggies are filling enough on their own, but a soft bread like simit or challah is a special treat. 

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

Vegetable Soup

A gluten-free, vegan soup recipe layered with colorful veggies, aromatics, fresh herbs, and a big splash of lime juice for the brightest finish. To make it even more hearty, add chickpeas for some plant-based protein.

Mushroom barley soup served in a blue dinner bowl

Mushroom Barley Soup

Hearty mushrooms, chopped vegetables, and tender pearl barley make up this simple and satisfying vegan mushroom barley soup. As comforting as your favorite deli's barley soup, but with even more flavor and a subtle smoky finish. And, because there’s no cream, it freezes very well.

A big bowl of chickpea chili topped with toasted almonds

Tomato And Chickpea Chili (Two Ways)

Hearty and warm, this vegan chickpea chili makes a hands-off dinner any night of the week! I love the layers of vegetables (onions, peppers, scallions, and jalapeño) in this unconventional chili recipe. Stir a spoonful of za’atar into your cornbread batter for a fun Mediterranean twist on the classic combination.

Vegan Potato Leek Soup | The Mediterranean Dish. Warm, rustic vegan potato leek soup, prepared Mediterranean style with garlic, cilantro (or other fresh herbs), and great spices! Not your average potato leek soup! on TheMediterraneanDish.com #soup #veganfood #potatosoup #potatoleeksoup #veganrecipes #glutenfreesoup #glutenfreefood #glutenfreelife #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanrecipes #onepotdinner #easyrecipes

Herbed Vegan Potato Leek Soup

This is not your standard potato leek soup! A healthy dose of garlic and cilantro pack a nice punch and give the creamy soup a vibrant green color. Finish with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and a splash of fresh lemon juice to lift its earthy flavors.

vegetarian sweet potato stew in large Dutch oven

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Stew

Chunks of melt-in-your-mouth sweet potatoes, tender carrots, tomatoes, and wilted baby spinach come together in one pot. To me, the perfect flavor makers here are warm seasonings like cumin and turmeric that complement the sweetness of the tender vegetables.

One bowl of cabbage soup, garnished with fresh dill

Vegan Cabbage Soup (3 ways)

A slow cooker works particularly well here because the cabbage lingers in the broth, tenderizing and becoming infused with flavor from the spices and aromatics. You can also use the Instant Pot or make it on your stovetop, if you like. No matter the method, a splash of lemon juice and some fresh herbs, stirred at the very end, make all the difference.

Minestrone soup in a pot with herbs and vegetables.

Minestrone

This Italian-style vegetarian minestrone soup is brimming with vegetables, beans, and a little pasta. The draw here is in the flavorful tomato broth with lots of fresh herbs. Minestrone is meant to be adapted, so feel free to make this recipe your own by using what vegetables you have on hand, and use gluten-free pasta or leave it out to fit your dietary needs.


Lentil Soup Recipes

Lentils are a staple of the Mediterranean pantry, in vegetarian and vegan soup recipes and beyond. They are not only affordable, but they’re also high in plant-based protein, fiber, and more. Here are some lentil soup recipes to try: 

an overhead photo of italian lentil soup in a bowl with a spoon next to a small bowl of grated parmesan.

Italian Lentil Soup

This vegetarian twist on classic Italian lentil soup is just as rich and comforting as the original, with lentils adding enough protein to keep you satisfied. Serve with homemade garlic bread for dipping!

Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası in a blue bowl.

Turkish Red Lentil Soup (Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası)

This easy, economical pantry soup is one to make on repeat! Aromatic vegetables and spices and a hit of fresh lemon juice load the lentils with tons of flavor. It’s blended for a nice creamy quality, though it’s completely vegan! Serve with pita bread or simit (Turkish Sesame Bread Rings).

vegan lentil vegetable stew in a dutch oven with a wooden spoon, next to a bowl of chopped parsley and an empty bowl with two spoons.

Hearty One-Pot Lentil Stew

A medley of vegetables and warming spices make this vegan stew so cozy and nourishing. Potatoes and lentils are very filling, so a sprinkling of fresh parsley and lemon juice just before serving is all you need. But if you’d like to round out the meal, crisp salad like Maroulosalata and pita bread go well alongside.

harira soup served in a bowl with lemon wedges to the side

Harira (Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup)

Tomato-based vegan Moroccan soup, made with lentils and chickpeas, fresh herbs, and plenty of flavor from turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon. If you’d like to make it a bit heartier, try serving it over a bed of broken vermicelli pasta or rice. And, for a spicy twist, stir in a spoonful or two of harissa paste (homemade or from our shop).

lentil soup in a bowl

Spicy Lentil Soup with Spinach

The combination of vitamin-rich spinach and protein-packed lentils makes this vegan recipe a powerhouse meal. You can use green, brown or black lentils to make this easy soup–whatever you like best or have on-hand. Serve with a cooling salad to balance the spiciness, like our creamy cucumber salad.

One bowl of red lentil soup

Greek Red Lentil Soup

Red lentils combined with onions, garlic, and sweet carrots in a tomato-based broth. It's infused with oregano and rosemary and finished with lemon juice and fresh herbs. A sprinkle of creamy feta brings a nice tangy, creamy final touch.

Curried Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

In this creamy vegetarian soup recipe, I pair tiny red lentils with sweet potatoes for a soup that is as filling as it is tasty. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potato is nicely enveloped in the warmth and earthiness of mild curry powder, paprika, and bay leaf. I use heavy cream for extra comfort, but you can always substitute with whole milk or unsweetened plant-based milk if you’d like to make this soup vegan.


Chickpea Soup Recipes

I am a huge fan of chickpeas in soup recipes (and hummus, salads, and as a crispy snack for that matter). They’re a nutritious vegetarian protein that adds a nice texture to soup, both when they’re puréed or left whole. All of these recipes use canned chickpeas to make them quick and easy, but you can cook from dried if you’d like more control over their texture. You can even use their broth, called “aquafaba” as a thickener. Here are some of my favorite chickpea soup recipes:

lablabi tunisian chickpea stew in a bowl, next to bowls of various toppings.

Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Stew)

This hearty North African stew with chickpeas, rustic bread, warming spices and harissa is traditionally served with breakfast, but I love it any time of day. Serve on its own for an easy vegan meal or with a fried egg on top.

a clost up of a bowl of creamy pesto braised chickpeas topped with sliced jalapenos and fried lemon rings.

Braised Chickpeas in a Creamy Pesto Sauce

This creamy vegetarian chickpea stew turns a can of chickpeas into a comforting meal in less than 40 minutes. A fresh homemade pesto takes things up a notch, but you can use a high-quality store-bought variety to save some time. I love to add fried lemon rings on top for a nice brightness, but you can skip them if you’d like.

A bowl of vegan Mediterranean spinach stew

Spinach Stew with Chickpeas

There are many versions of this spinach stew recipe with tomatoes throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East. My mom made her spinach stew Egyptian-style using lean ground beef, but I opted for a vegan option, which is just as hearty and satisfying, thanks to a handy can of chickpeas from the pantry. You can even skip the vermicelli to keep this stew gluten-free.

Easy Chickpea Instant Pot Soup | The Mediterranean Dish. Mediterranean style chickpea soup, with vegetables, fresh herbs, and great spices. You can make this in minutes in the Instant Pot, or see stovetop and slow cooker instructions. Great for make ahead and meal prep. #chickpeasoup #chickpearecipe #instantpotsoup #instantpotrecipe #instantpot #slowcooker #mediterraneandiet #veganrecipe #glutenfree #lowcarb

Instant Pot Chickpea Soup

This vegan chickpea soup is full of vegetables, plant-based protein, fiber, and more! You can prepare it in your slow cooker or on the stove. I share all 3 methods.

Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew Recipe (tutorial)| The Mediterranean Dish. A delicious vegan, gluten free chickpea stew that is hearty, healthy and flavor-packed. Roasted cauliflower and carrots are added with chickpeas and spices in a chunky tomato sauce. Easy Mediterranean recipe with step-by-step tutorial from TheMediterraneanDish.com

Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew

This chickpea stew is a winner in my family, with a warm Mediterranean spice mixture including cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric adding deeply cozy flavors. Serve this vegan stew over quick-cooked couscous or rice. Some rustic bread to sop up all the goodness won't hurt, either!

chickpea soup in a blue bowl with a silver spoon

Easy Mediterranean Chickpea Soup

Filled with sweet potatoes and hearty veggies and laced with bold flavors like cumin and fresh ginger, this vegan, gluten-free chickpea soup is satisfying and flavorful.


Bean Soup Recipes

Beans are another staple in the Mediterranean Diet. Like lentils, they are affordable and packed with protein. They're also a great way to add bulk to soups to make them more filling. Here are some bean soup recipes to try:

Ribollita served with a garnish of Paremsan

Ribollita

Tuscan bean and vegetable soup that is thickened with day-old bread. Ribollita is a hearty and especially flavorful vegetarian soup recipe thanks to the use of one secret ingredient: Parmesan rind–make sure to freeze your rinds rather than throwing them away! I like to use kale in this soup, but you can do spinach or another leafy green.

Vegetarian Pasta Fagioli Soup served in bowl

Pasta Fagioli

This vegetarian soup recipe is more than the sum of its humble parts of beans and pasta, and it comes together in 30 minutes or less.

Mediterranean bean soup

Three Bean Soup with Tomato Pesto

I used canned kidney beans, cannellini beans, and chickpeas, but you can change the beans up according to what you have on hand. What takes the flavor in this vegetarian soup a few notches is the tomato pesto stirred at the very end (do not skip it!).

Easy Greek Bean Soup (Fasolada) | The Mediterranean Dish. Simple, flavor-packed Greek soup with white beans, celery, Mediterranean spices and aromatics. A satisfying weeknight dinner for a family on a budget! See the recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

Fasolada: Greek White Bean Soup

There are several versions of fasolada. This one is simple and vegan, with canned white beans, garlic, onions, and celery. Don't forget a big drizzle of extra virgin olive oil at the end.

Bowl of Vegan Quinoa Chili with a side bowl of sliced jalapeno peppers

Vegan Quinoa Chili

Arguably one of the coziest crockpot soup recipes on the site! Two cans of beans, a medley of crunchy veggies, and a big splash of lime juice are all you need to make this delicious quinoa chili. And it tastes even better the next day!


Creamy Vegetarian Soup Recipes 

There's nothing more luxurious than a rich, velvety soup! My approach to creamy soups is to bring a decadent richness without overpowering the natural flavor or weighing the soup down. Here are some of my favorite Mediterranean-style vegetable-forward and boldly flavored creamy soup recipes:

A bowl of roasted butternut squash soup with tahini and honey

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Vegan and gluten-free, this creamy butternut squash soup is subtly sweet with warming spices and a generous stir of nutty tahini! Surprising on many levels, this one is sure to delight. I love roasted hazelnuts on top, but you can swap them with any nuts you prefer. Or, substitute with croutons or crispy chickpeas for a nice crunch.

tomato basil salad web story poster image.

Tomato Basil Soup

This vegan roasted tomato soup recipe is creamy as ever with no heavy cream needed. I like using roasted carrots here, which give this soup a subtle sweetness and heft. Serve on its own, or with mozzarella and feta pita grilled cheese for a Mediterranean twist on the classic pairing.

Top Mediterranean Recipe of 2016 | The Mediterranean Dish. Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup. See this recipe and all 10 Mediterranean recipes on TheMediterraneanDish.com

Roasted Carrot Soup with Ginger

This vegetarian carrot ginger soup is great for getting ahead, as it’s even better the next day. Aside from the fresh ginger, I love using garlic and a pinch of allspice which enhance the sweet roasted carrots. The mint is a nice complement to the charred carrot’s sweet flavor, but any tender herbs like basil or parsley work in its place.

Vegan Pumpkin Soup in serving bowl. Topped with spicy cilantro pesto and jalapenos

Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Lentils

Now this is a pumpkin soup with a bit of a Mediterranean twist. Red lentils are the perfect addition here because they collapse into creamy goodness, giving this soup more nutrition and a nice velvety texture. I like spooning a little zhoug (spicy cilantro pesto) on top for a bit of a kick.

a close up of roasted cauliflower soup in a bowl with a spoon garnished with dill.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower is lightly charred to concentrate its flavor in this rustic, rich vegetarian cauliflower soup. A touch of whole milk adds a nice creaminess, but you can substitute plant-based milk if you’d like–just be sure it’s unsweetened and unflavored. A foursome of earthy Mediterranean spices–turmeric, cumin, sumac, and paprika--take the flavor of this easy soup to new heights.

close up of a bowl of potato soup topped with green onions and parsley next to two pieces of toasted bread.

Healthy Potato Soup

A healthy twist on classic cream of potato soup! Fresh herbs and warming spices bring a welcome depth of flavor and whole milk adds a velvety quality without weighing it down. Serve this vegetarian soup with a bright and crunchy salad like our radicchio salad.


Cold Soup Recipes

If you think soups are only for cold weather, you’re missing out on half the fun! Try these refreshing chilled soups to cool you down on hot summer days.

Tomato Gazpacho Soup, topped with fresh herbs

10-Minute Tomato Gazpacho Recipe

Gazpacho is a Spanish cold tomato soup, perfect to use up summer’s bounty of fresh ripe tomatoes! I keep it vegan, adding cucumber, onions, celery, and a good pinch of ground cumin for a fresh and layered flavor. Feel free to make this in large batches – gazpacho is very freezer-friendly! You can even keep it in a big pitcher in your fridge for easy snacking.

watermelon gazpacho web story poster image.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Blending sweet, juicy watermelon with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, this sweet and savory vegan soup is a little spicy, and incredibly refreshing. Serve with a Niçoise salad for a light summer meal (you can leave off the tuna to keep it vegetarian).

Persian Chilled Cucumber Soup (Abdoogh Kiar) | The Mediterranean Dish. A cold cucumber soup in a yogurt base with lots of fresh herbs, toasted walnuts, and raisins. Think detox soup to help you cool off and rest your body! See the recipe on TheMediterraneanDish.com

Chilled Cucumber Soup, Persian-Style

This fresh cucumber soup with herbs and toasted walnuts is incredibly refreshing, tangy, and creamy all at the same time. Serve as an elegant appetizer to grilled vegetable kabobs, or as a light lunch with Barbari Persian Flatbread on the side.

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Vegetarian Soup Recipes (32 Recipes to Make On Repeat!)

picture of author Devin Fuller.Devin Fuller
detox cabbage soup in a bowl with a spoon surrounded by small bowls of salt, pepper and lemon wedges and a cloth napkin.
As you can see in this vegetarian soup recipes round up, vegetarian and vegan soups in the Mediterranean are packed with flavor, texture, legumes, and a vibrant variety of seasonal vegetables. If you're wondering where to start, try this weeknight-friendly "Detox" Cabbage Soup recipe. A whole head of cabbage stews with warming Mediterranean spices and aromatic veggies until it's silky-smooth and loaded with flavor. Vegan gluten free, this nourishing soup is where health food and comfort food join forces! Consider this your new go-to for when you crave a healthy, and, most importantly, delicious reset!
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 30 minutes
Total – 40 minutes
Cuisine:
American/Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Soup

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium head of green cabbage, cored and chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomato
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped parsley leaves (from about 1 bunch parsley)
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1- inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced

Instructions
 

  • Sauté the aromatics. In a large Dutch oven or cooking pot with a lid, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until fragrant (adjust the heat as necessary to make sure the garlic does not burn).
  • Soften the veggies. Add the cabbage, celery, carrots, and a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (about ½ to ¾ teaspoon each). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened somewhat, about 5 to 7 minutes (it helps to cover the pot partway so that the cabbage will wilt easily).
  • Season. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and Aleppo pepper and toss to coat the vegetables with the spices.
  • Simmer. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) and the broth. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot part way allowing just a small opening at the top. Simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Finish and serve. Turn the heat off and stir in the parsley, chopped green onions, ginger, lemon zest and lemon juice. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 131.3kcalCarbohydrates: 20.7gProtein: 4.2gFat: 5.3gSaturated Fat: 0.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.6gSodium: 151.9mgPotassium: 606.7mgFiber: 7.2gSugar: 9.5gVitamin A: 4591.7IUVitamin C: 89mgCalcium: 125.3mgIron: 2.7mg
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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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