Grandma’s Healthy Vegetable Soup – Comforting and hearty whole-meal soup, packed with healthy vegetables, broth and spices just like Gran used to make! Vegetarian and Vegan.
Cozy yet healthy, Grandma’s Healthy Vegetable Soup is just the thing to warm up the kitchen with the comforting aroma of bubbling soup.
My Gran made her vegetable soup totally from scratch, including using her own homemade vegetable broth. She’d use whatever veggies came from the garden and what was left in the fridge.
There was no measuring of any spices either… her cooking was done by tasting and adding. I learned to make this healthy and meatless vegetable soup by standing on the stool next to her. Later, I created the written recipe by making it myself and adjusting the spices so my vegetable soup tasted just like hers. But Gran gets all the credit!
How to Make Grandma’s Healthy Vegetable Soup
This soup was made using the ingredients listed in the recipe, but there’s no need to stop there. Change up the vegetables, adding or omitting to include your own favorites, or add different seasonings depending on what you like.
We love to mix and match with zucchini, green beans, lima beans, hominy, leeks and fennel. Try throwing in some elbow macaroni during the last 15 minutes of cooking time….it’s a great filler, absorbs the flavor of the broth and can take the place of the potatoes as a thickener. Delicious!
- In a large pot or Dutch oven – heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrots and onion (sometimes called mirepoix) and saute for about 5 minutes until the veggies are just starting to soften. Add the remaining oil, mushrooms and garlic and saute for 3 more minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the soup for 45 to 50 minutes until the potatoes and vegetables are tender. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
- Olive Oil– we like olive oil to keep the sauteing veggies from sticking for this recipe, but vegetable or canola oil are fine. Even butter can be substituted.
- Carrots – fresh is best, but frozen carrots will work too.
- Celery – slice the celery thin (unless you love celery). If you don’t have any, throw in a 1/2 teaspoon of celery seeds to get the celery flavor.
- Onion – yellow onion is what we used, but white onion is good too.
- Mushrooms – works as a meat substitute and adds lots of earthy flavor to the soup.
- Garlic – 1 teaspoon of garlic powder can be substituted for the minced garlic.
- Tomatoes – the tomatoes should be small cut, like the petite diced.
- Potatoes – we used Yukon gold potatoes, but use what you have on hand.
- Vegetable Broth – we love to mix our own using Better Than Bouillon rather than storing cans or cartons of ready-made broth. We order on-line and it’s also in the soup aisle of well-stocked grocery stores. Or use homemade vegetable stock.
- Corn – we love frozen corn kernels for this soup. If using canned corn, drain first and add it during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- Peas – frozen peas were used. We don’t recommend canned peas because they tend to get mushy when cooked in soup.
- Worcestershire Sauce – add savory flavor to the soup. It’s optional.
- Spices – salt, pepper, dried parsley and thyme, bay leaf.
Making Vegetable Soup in the Slow Cooker
As I mentioned, this soup is perfect for busy days when you want to get a jump start on cooking dinner, having your meal ready to serve later in the day. Slow cooking allows plenty of time for all the flavor to develop, making this one tasty soup!
The best way is to get a Slow Cooker with a timer, so you can stop the cooking and have it set to warm until you’re ready to serve. Or use the Slow Cooker function on your Instant Pot if you have one.
- Add all of the ingredients except the corn to the slow cooker. Set to Low for 6 hours or High for 3 hours.
- With 30 minutes of cook time remaining, stir in the corn and continue cooking until DONE!
More Healthy and Comforting Soup Recipes
Grandma’s Healthy Vegetable Soup
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 cup carrots diced, 2 – 3 carrots
- 1 cup celery diced, 3 – 4 stalks stalks
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced, white or baby bella
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 2 15 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup potatoes peeled and diced, about 2 medium
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 whole bay leaf
- In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. .Add carrots, celery and onions. Stir and saute until just starting to soften, about 3 – 5 minutes. Add remaining olive oil, mushrooms and garlic. Continue cooking until mushrooms are tender, another 3- 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, broth, water, potatoes, corn, peas, worcestershire sauce and spices. Stir. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
- Ladle into bowls and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Store leftovers in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. OR label and freeze in airtight containers for up to 3 months.
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