10 Plant-Based Soup Recipes We Absolutely Love
Plant-based soups that incorporate flavorful ingredients like coconut milk, beans, greens, spices, and all the vegetables can pack just as much of a punch as meaty stews, and regardless of whether you’re a vegan or vegetarian, eating plant-based meals is a great idea — for your health and for the planet. Here are some of our favorite vegan soups to nourish you when the temperatures drop.
Never underestimate the healing powers of coconut milk and chickpeas. You’ll love this rich, creamy soup so much you’ll forget that it’s healthy. Although it’s definitely that — chickpeas are a rich, fortifying source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins (including iron, potassium, vitamin A, zinc, and more), which will help keep you fuller for longer. And on that note: Instead of tossing both cans of chickpeas into the soup, we recommend roasting some of those chickpeas in the oven and adding them as a topping. Crunchy, crisp, golden-brown chickpeas… yum. We wouldn’t say no to a handful of fresh spinach here, either — just add in a handful when the soup has only a few minutes left to cook.
A giant pot of minestrone soup does the body good, especially if you incorporate seasonal vegetables of different colors into the mix. While a minestrone isn’t a minestrone without the greens, beans, and tomatoes, you should feel free to include whatever other vegetables sound good to you (the bigger the variety, the better). Swiss chard, squash, cauliflower, and cabbage are all welcome to the party.
There’s a reason why people are always extolling the virtues of lentils: They’re high in vitamins and minerals, and are an excellent source of protein and fiber. And while lentil soups are a dime a dozen, this one is something special. It’s the combination of yummy spices (cumin and curry powder) and lemon juice added at the end that gives this soup its shimmery brightness and depth of flavor. Do rinse the lentils; we know it’s tempting to skip this step, but you could end up with dirt and even small rocks in your soup if you don’t.
If you’re not a tofu person, we’re positive that it’s simply because you haven’t found the right recipe yet. When tofu is well-flavored and cooked until it’s evenly browned, like it is in this recipe, you’ll soon forget any bad memories you may have of spongy, bland cubes. Tofu is also high in protein and low in calories and fat, which makes it a great addition to many people’s diets. This soup is absolutely tasty as is, but feel free to leave out the noodles if you’re trying to avoid refined carbs, or replace them with shirataki noodles.
Kale, white beans, and quinoa are powerhouse foods, and they’re all included in this great soup recipe. Aside from being oh-so-healthy (and versatile), this soup comes together quickly and can be made in one pot, which makes it a great option for a fast, easy weeknight dinner. Spring for the really good-quality vegetable broth (or make your own) for this recipe; it makes a noticeable difference. This would also be a great time to bust out the Maldon salt (or other fancy sea salt) if you’ve got it on hand.
Hearty but not heavy, butternut squash soup is the perfect antidote to your winter blues. Unlike the cream- and butter-laden butternut squash soups we grew up with (and loved, tbh), this recipe doesn’t leave you feeling like you need a three-hour nap afterwards. Now isn’t the time to use light coconut milk, however; the soup will turn out thin and watery. And don’t skimp on the fresh parsley — it adds a nice dash of color and a vegetal brightness to an otherwise-plain-colored, mellow-tasting meal.
There’s just something about a good tortilla soup, with its lively, spicy, crowd-pleasing flavors. To make this recipe plant-based, just don’t add sour cream or cheese. And we recommend going heavy on the other garnishes: we love roasting cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper while the soup cooks, and then adding these in at the end along with sliced avocado, plenty of fresh cilantro, and of course, the (non-negotiable) corn tortilla strips. When choosing a corn tortilla, opt for one made from “whole grain corn flour” to avoid refined grains.
Elegant and easy to make, carrot ginger soup always hits the spot, especially on chilly evenings. Feel free to skip peeling your carrots (but do make sure to wash them thoroughly) to save time, especially if they’re farmers market-fresh. And although this recipe provides two methods for cooking the carrots (roasted and stovetop), the roasted version yields a richer flavor profile. This would be great with a slice of avocado toast made with sprouted grain bread, or some roasted broccolini.
A bowl of corn chowder, without the stomach-clenching, skin-clogging side effects of dairy… sign us up, please. Traditional corn chowder gets the plant-based treatment with this recipe, which uses potatoes and coconut milk to get that thick, creamy texture we all love. (Just don’t add yogurt or cheese at the end if you’re going for a fully plant-based dish — it’ll still taste great.)`
The beautiful simplicity of roasted red pepper tomato soup cannot be denied. In this recipe, the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are really doing some heavy-lifting; they impart a smoky, near-meaty flavor that really puts this soup over the edge. Serve this up with a Mediterranean white bean salad, and you’ve got a light-but-filling meal.
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