“Mmm, mmm soup is good food!” In this post, we’re sharing all our favorite vegan soup recipes for cold winter nights. We’ll also give you a basic framework for creating your own plant-based soups by looking at some of the simple ingredients that make good soups great soups. From savory spices to hearty vegetables, we’ll talk about the best ingredients to keep on hand for when the soup-mood strikes. This is your all-encompassing guide to healthy soup season!
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I love soups at any time of year because they’re so easy to make and so versatile. To my mind, soup is one of the most perfect foods. It can be a starter, a main, or even a soul-warming snack on a wintry day. In this post, we’re talking all things soup.
All you need is some fresh vegetables and a good imagination. And a nice pot of soup is a great way to have prepped meals for a couple of days. Especially with some nice crusty bread.
Most soups freeze really well for a very long time. So soup is great for long-term meal prep. It’s also a fantastic way to use up vegetables from the fridge or garden. And lastly, soup is always something the whole family enjoys.
Simple Ingredients for Vegan Soups
All soup recipes vary. Even recipes for the same type of soup will differ a little. But these are some of the basic ingredients we love to keep on hand for when the soup mood strikes.
Spices and Seasonings for Vegan Soup Recipes
You’ll be amazed at what even the simplest of spices can do to flavor your soup! Take our Copycat Campbell’s Vegetable Soup recipe, for example. The only spices used in that are salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning but the flavor is both bold and sublimely simple.
- Black Pepper – Black pepper has a deep, earthy flavor that is well-known to be a wonderful addition to just about everything! Whole or ground, it’s a common addition to almost every soup.
- White Pepper – Slightly milder than black pepper. White pepper can be used instead for a variety of reasons from aroma to aesthetics – if you don’t want black flakes floating around.
- Red Pepper Flakes – Use these alone or in conjunction with other peppers for a burst of flavor and heat.
- Cayenne – For a deeper spice and heat. Cayenne can be used along with or in place of black or white pepper.
- Smoked Paprika – A great spice for adding deep smoky and earthy flavor without a lot of heat.
- Celery salt – Seen mostly in vegan chicken vegetable soups. Celery seed is also a great addition to tomato-based soups when used in smaller quantities.
- Garlic – Need I say more? Sauteed in a little olive oil, minced garlic is always a welcome addition to any soup for a burst of flavor.
- Dried Minced Onion – A fine alternative to mincing fresh onion. Especially when only a small amount of minced onion is called for in a recipe.
- Cinnamon – Yes, cinnamon. It can be used sparingly as a wonderful hint of offset flavoring to spicy Asian and Middle Eastern inspired soups. Remember, used sparingly.
- Red Curry Paste – An easy way to add intense flavor to a wide variety of soups and stews. We love to keep a jar of this in the fridge
Best Fresh and Dried Herbs for Vegan Soups
Fresh herbs are wonderful for the most flavorful soups. If you don’t have fresh herbs you can always substitute dry herbs. A general rule of thumb is to use 3 times the amount of fresh herbs that you would for dried herbs. If you are using freeze-dried herbs, you can sub for fresh at a 1:1 ratio.
- Basil – Often used with oregano, basil is a common ingredient and a staple herb in many soups. It’s particularly prominent in tomato and hearty vegetable soups
- Oregano – Earthy and fresh, oregano is a staple in many soups, especially tomato based or Italian inspired soups.
- Parsley – Dried parsley is usually recommended in soups for its consistency. Fresh parsley can tend to be tough and is best used as a garnish or topping.
- Sage – Great in a variety of vegan chicken-flavored soups. Some sage advice: a little goes a very long way, so use it sparingly.
- Rosemary – A hearty herb that is a staple in a variety of soups. I especially love it in our No Tomato Vegetable Soup.
- Thyme – Also a staple herb and VERY easy to grow. I love to use fresh thyme in a variety of soups. Lemon thyme is especially good in a vegan chicken orzo soup.
- Dill – Not just for pickles, dill is a great flavor component in potato soups.
- Cilantro – You love it or you hate it, but cilantro is a great addition to Mexican or Spanish influenced soups like a vegan chicken tortilla soup.
- Bay Leaf – Honestly, I don’t know how or why this little leaf became so popular as a soup flavoring, but any soup feels almost naked without two or three bay leaves tossed in.
- Italian Seasoning – a blend of basil and oregano.
Beans and Legumes for Vegan Soup Recipes
.Beans and legumes are great for bulking up your soups and adding plenty of plant protein!
- Black Beans, White Beans or Navy Beans, Kidney Beans – Canned beans are a great addition to soups and are an excellent source of protein.
- Red Lentils and Green Lentils – Not just for lentil soup. We love to add some red lentils to our vegan potato soup for some added texture and protein.
- Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans – I love adding chickpeas to various soups because they get such a nice creamy texture when boiled for a long time. You can also blend them!
Best Vegetables for Healthy Soups
There are endless options for veggies you can add to soup. In fact, I find soups to be the easiest way to get picky eaters to eat veggies they otherwise wouldn’t! Here are a few staples to keep on hand that are common in soups!
- Carrots, Celery, Yellow Onion – The starting trinity of almost every soup. Sometimes called mirepoix.
- Russet Potatoes – a staple in almost every vegetable soup and of course, creamy potato soup.
- Sweet Potatoes – Great as a soup on its own. Also wonderful as a sub for white potatoes in many soups
- Green Beans – Fresh or frozen. These are great in Indian curry soups as well as plain vegetable soup.
- Shiitake Mushrooms – Shiitakes are a tasty and meaty alternative to field mushrooms in soup
- Fresh Garlic – Sauteing the mirepoix with some minced garlic adds a great depth of flavor to any soup.
- Root Vegetables – Think beets, parsnip, turnip, etc.
- Olive Oil – For sauteing the mirepoix and to add a little depth and texture.
- Vegetable Broth or Vegan Chicken Broth – We like to use our homemade chicken-flavored bouillon powder to add a bunch of flavor to our soups.
- Coconut Milk – Great for creamy and curry-inspired soups.
- Tomato Paste – An easy thickener for tomato-based soups.
- Nutritional yeast – The base of our bouillon powder. Nooch is used both as a thickener and to add a cheesy, slightly nutty flavor.
- Soy Sauce – Adds a bold depth of flavor to otherwise bland soup. A great alternative to salt.
- Miso paste – We love adding white miso paste to soups for a fermented parmesany flavor. Red miso is a fantastic choice to add a savory, beefy vibe too!
- Soy Curls – Our favorite vegan chicken substitute for soups because you can just throw them in the pot, and they come out tender and juicy and perfect!
Optional Tools to Make Easy Vegan Soups
Not all of these tools are essential, but if you want to make soups a lifestyle (lol), here are some tools that make it easier.
- Instant Pot – I know so many people love their Instant Pots, and I love the idea of the Instant Pot. But I’m also kind of frightened by them. I’ve had an IP in the box for over two years that I still have yet to use.
- Slow Cooker – Perfect for those lazy days when you just want to set it and forget it until it’s time to eat.
- Immersion Blender – A long immersion blender is a great way to make creamy soups without having to transfer the hot liquid to a blender.
- Dutch Oven – You can get by with just a large stock pot for soup, but nothing beats a classic cast iron dutch oven for even, intense heat.
Our Favorite Vegan Soup Recipes
These are our absolute favorite soup recipes. And we’ve also included a few stews and chili recipes as well because they’re…soup adjacent.
Hearty Vegan Soups
These classic hearty soups are absolutely packed with vegetables and flavor! As opposed to creamy soups where everything is blended together, these are more “full meal in a bowl” type of soups! Easy to make and sure to please, each one is filled with spoonfuls of hugs on those colder days.
Thick, delicious broth packed with flavorful garden veggies, beans, and pasta. Serve this vegan minestrone as an opener to an Italian-inspired main meal or as a meal itself with some homemade crusty garlic bread and a big leafy salad.
This easy homemade vegetable soup is our homage to a childhood favorite. Simple and delicious, it’s mmm, mmm, good. This healthy and hearty vegetable soup is sure to be a crowd favorite.
Warm and cozy broth bursting with flavor, plump brothy noodles, meaty soy curls, and the perfect combo of sauteed carrots, celery, and onions. It’s easy to make, super soothing, and includes a gluten-free option. This is the best vegan chicken noodle soup recipe for colds or for just warming up on a cold winter day!
This is a great recipe for a tomato-free garden vegetable soup that you are sure to love! It’s packed with barley, squash, zucchini, and so many other garden vegetables in a vegan chicken bouillon broth loaded with herbs and spices. It’s easy to make and sure to please. It may just be your new favorite vegetable soup!
This hearty, vegan mushroom stew recipe is easy to make and sure to please!
Packed with root vegetables, earthy herbs, and meaty mushrooms swimming in a thick, velvety broth, this may quickly become your new favorite vegetarian winter dinner!
It’s a super easy and hands-off recipe that is perfect for meal prep or a busy weeknight dinner. Add everything to one pot and let it simmer ‘til dinnertime!
This vegan chicken stew recipe makes the perfect cozy winter dinner and will immediately transport you back to childhood.
This creamy vegetable stew with meaty soy curls is easy to make using common ingredients, methods, and even has hidden vegetables too!
It’s also freezer-friendly and the perfect plant-based meal prep recipe. It’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, and easily made oil-free.
You don’t have to miss out on your favorite childhood comfort food thanks to this hearty vegan chicken and dumplings recipe!
It’s a creamy, dairy-free, veggie and soy curl stew topped with pillowy dumplings. Make this plant-based dinner when you really want to feel cozy!
This creamy corn chowder is oil-free, gluten-free, and (of course) vegan! It’s an easy, cozy, flavorful, and HEALTHY plant-based dinner option, and leftovers can be frozen for later – making it ideal for busy weeknights or weekly meal prep!
Creamy Vegan Soups
We call these soups creamy not because they contain vegan cream or coconut milk, though a couple do. We call these creamy because they are smooth and velvety and perfectly sippable.
This creamy vegan homemade potato soup recipe is easy to make right in your Vitamix or other high-powered blender! It’s the BEST dairy-free potato soup we’ve ever eaten – loaded with flavor, a thick creamy texture, and soul-warming from start to end. Load it with your favorite toppings like vegan bacon and cheese or sip it out of a mug on a cold winter day!
This creamy vegan spinach soup is easy to make in a Vitamix or other high-powered blender. The recipe itself is oil-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free and is packed with hidden nutrients from healthy ingredients like potatoes, red lentils, and miso paste! You’ll love the flavor and luxurious texture (even though there’s not a drop of heavy cream in it!).
This easy vegan broccoli cheese soup is made right in your Vitamix. The recipe is dairy free, oil free, AND gluten free. It’s made with healthy ingredients like chickpeas, cashews (or sub sunflower seeds for nut free), cauliflower, carrots, and of course, broccoli! We serve this vegan broccoli cheddar soup recipe over a big steaming baked potato for total comfort food.
This savory curried pumpkin soup is an easy one-pot plant-based meal. Make it on the stove or in the slow-cooker with either canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin and a few kitchen staples. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free (without coconut milk!), and includes an oil-free option. Make this easy vegan soup today and freeze it for cozy fall dinners ahead!
This simple blended tomato soup recipe is an easy and delicious plant-based and vegetarian dinner or make-ahead lunch. It can be made from either fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes and other simple ingredients. Dairy-free cream of tomato soup is freezer-friendly, perfect for meal prep, and has a rich creamy texture you have to taste to believe.
This cozy vegan beer cheese soup is nut-free and tastes like actual beer cheese soup, not just a healthy version of it! Surprisingly though, this vegan soup is dairy-free, easy to make gluten-free, and includes an oil-free option along with some sneaky hidden veggies. Perfect for Oktoberfest…or Augustfest or Junefest or Marchfest. I’m trying to say, it’s great any time!
Vegan Condensed Soup Substitutes
These vegan condensed soups are our copycat versions of Campbell’s condensed soups. They’re perfect as a 1:1 replacement for condensed soups in stews and casseroles. They’re also entirely vegan, dairy free, and gluten free.
Get ready to veganize all the cozy casseroles of your childhood with this remarkably simple recipe for vegan condensed cream of chicken soup! It’s the perfect healthy vegetarian and dairy free substitute with just 5 ingredients, 20 minutes, and amazing taste.
This Vegan Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup replaces the Campbell’s (which is not vegan) canned version in all your favorite casseroles! This cashew-based soup is dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, and loaded with whole foods. Loaded with whole foods, you’ll be shocked how much this copycat recipe tastes and acts just like the original!
Use this dairy-free condensed cream of potato soup as a 1:1 substitute for the classic Campbell’s version! It adds a thickening base to soups, stews, casseroles, and helps create a super creamy sauce. It’s easy to make in your Vitamix with simple ingredients. You can even freeze it for later! Naturally dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free.
Eat this creamy condensed cheddar soup on its own or use it to add a rich cheesy flavor to all your favorite casseroles, soups, stews, and sauces. It’s easy to make with simple ingredients. You can even freeze this cheddar cheese soup substitute for later! It’s naturally dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and absolutely delicious.
Vegan Soup Meal Prep Tips
First, always be sure to cool soup completely before sealing in an airtight container and storing in the fridge or freezer.
For easy weekly prep for soup, use wide mouth 32-oz mason jars. Depending on whether the soup is an appetizer or main, each jar is 2-4 servings. Stored properly most homemade soup will be at its best for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
If you want to freeze soup for long-term storage, I highly suggest Souper Cubes silicone freezing trays. They have 1 and 2-cup sizes for portioning. Be sure to leave a little space for expansion when the soup freezes. Then you can just transfer the frozen blocks to freezer bags and write the use-by date on them. Storage time will vary, but most soups can be frozen for at least 3-6 months.
Plant-Based Soup FAQs
Still have questions about vegan soup-making? Check out our answers to some common soup questions below. And if we didn’t answer your question here, please leave it in the comments, so we can make this a more complete resource for everyone!
What kind of soup can vegans eat?
Vegans eat all kinds of soup so long as it doesn’t contain eggs, dairy, or other animal ingredients. And it’s really easy just to sub those ingredients anyway.
Is vegan soup good for you?
Yes, vegan soup is good for you. It’s packed with vegetables and grains. Vegan soup is loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber and has zero cholesterol because it has no animal products in it.
How to add body to vegetable soup?
You can use beans or grains to bulk up a soup. If you just want to thicken a soup’s broth, you can use nutritional yeast or our vegan chicken bouillon. You can also use a cornstarch or potato starch slurry to thicken broth.
Does Campbell’s have vegan soup?
Campbell’s condensed tomato soup is vegan, but other than that, you’ll have a hard time finding a vegan-friendly classic Campbell’s soup.Even their tomato soup contains whey and their Vegetarian Vegetable and plant-based Chik’n and Rice contain egg whites. But their Well Yes line has several vegan-friendly options like their Veggie Chili Soup, Power Spiced Chickpea Soup, Plant Based Chick’n with Rice Soup, and Hearty Lentil Soup with Vegetables. There’s also a vegan variety of Savory Vegetable Soup in their Campbell’s Chunky line.
Can vegans eat soup?
Yes, vegans can eat soup. We actually love soup as long as it isn’t made using any animal products. And there are so, so very many soups to choose from. The particular vegan writing this will eat soup all year long.
What instant soups are vegan?
There are a variety of vegan-friendly dehydrated vegetable soup packets. We like the Lipton Onion soup mix and the vegetable soup mix from Knorr. Just be sure to read the ingredients label of unfamiliar products for any animal products like milk powder or chicken fat.
We also love the Ramen Express instant ramen soups from Chef Woo. They come in vegan chicken and beef flavor and we bulk them up a bit with some soy curls and dehydrated vegetable flakes.
I do hope you have found this article helpful. As you can see, there are a surfeit of satisfying soups available for those following a vegan lifestyle.
If you have any questions or comments, or just want to see your favorite soup veganized, leave a comment in the section below.