Simple But Perfect Vegetable Soup

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Slices of bread next to and in a bowl of vegetable soup with beans and lentils

Introducing a simple and reliable vegetable and bean soup recipe you can make with what you have on hand! Don’t have a leek? An onion will work beautifully. No celery? Use more carrots! No white beans? Throw in some chickpeas. Not a fan of kale? Skip it or sub another green! 

As long as you have something aromatic for flavor (leeks, onions, garlic), a handful of non-starchy veggies (carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, green beans), some starchy veggies (potatoes, rutabagas), and some legumes (beans, lentils, peas) you’re GOLDEN! Choose your own adventure!

Kale, celery, potatoes, carrots, olive oil, diced tomatoes, white beans, salt, pepper, garlic, dried Italian herbs, lentils, and vegetable broth

How to Make Vegetable Soup

To start this flawlessly flexible dish, leeks, celery, carrots, and garlic combine for a savory, caramelized, and super classic flavor base! This combination is similar to the more traditional mirepoix that is used as a base in many soups and dishes around the world!

Pouring vegetable broth over lentils in a Dutch oven

Next, for a filling and satisfying soup, we add potatoes (Yukon gold are buttery and tender, but any kind will do) along with white beans and lentils for protein and fiber. Nearly any bean or legume would work well here. Who’s ready to clean out the pantry?

Stirring fresh chopped kale into a pot of soup

Lastly, we add some kale (or other greens of choice) for added nourishment and texture. Optionally, top with parsley, vegan parmesan cheese, and croutons for extra freshness, flavor, and comfort. YUM.

Hands holding a bowl of lentil, white bean, and vegetable soup

We hope you LOVE this vegetable and bean soup. It’s:

Comforting
Warming
Nourishing
Quick & easy
Flexible
& Perfect for meal prep!

It’s the kind of soup you need when the fridge is running low on supplies, the weather is chilly, and you’re craving a feel-good meal. Delicious on its own or served with grilled “cheese” or garlic bread!

More Comforting Soup Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Close up shot of a spoonful of lentil, bean, and vegetable soup

Simple But Perfect Vegetable Soup

The ULTIMATE vegetable soup for when you’re craving something comforting and nourishing with flexible ingredients and simple methods. Just 1 pot required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of vegetable and bean soup topped with vegan parmesan cheese
4.88 from 16 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 (~2-cup servings)
Course Entree, Soup
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 large leek, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 leek yields ~2 cups or 180 g sliced // or sub 1 small onion, finely diced)
  • 2 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (if oil-free, sub water and add more as needed)
  • 3 small carrots, finely diced (3 small carrots yield ~3/4 cup or 96 g diced)
  • 4 stalks celery, finely diced (4 stalks yield ~3/4 cup or 75 g diced)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs (or sub dried basil, oregano, and/or rosemary)
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (~2 cups or 300 g // we used Yukon gold // Russet, red, or purple would all work, as would rutabagas)
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (NOT fire roasted)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (any white bean works, as do pinto beans or chickpeas)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can lentils, drained and rinsed (or sub more beans)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth (or store-bought)
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped into bite size pieces (optional // 1 bunch yields ~4-5 cups or ~170 g chopped // or sub chard, collard greens, or spinach)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • Remove the root end and dark green part of the leek and discard (or reserve greens for making vegetable broth). Slice the white and light green part of the leek in half lengthwise and clean by running cold water over each half, getting in between the leaves to remove any dirt. Then slice into 1/4-inch slices.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leek and cook until softened and translucent — about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook until softened and fragrant, stirring occasionally — about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the Italian herbs and stir to combine. Then add the potatoes, tomatoes, drained and rinsed beans, lentils, and vegetable broth. Stir well, making sure nothing is stuck to the bottom, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender and the flavors have melded.
  • Stir in the kale/greens (optional), then cover and simmer until the greens are tender — about 5 minutes. Serve warm garnished with parsley, vegan parmesan cheese, and croutons (all optional). Delicious on its own or served alongside grilled “cheese” or garlic bread!
  • Leftovers keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Flavors get better with time!

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with Pacific brand vegetable broth and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 258 Carbohydrates: 41.8 g Protein: 10.6 g Fat: 5.8 g Saturated Fat: 0.7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1087 mg Potassium: 910 mg Fiber: 11.2 g Sugar: 8.1 g Vitamin A: 766 IU Vitamin C: 37 mg Calcium: 165 mg Iron: 4.9 mg

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  1. Renée says

    I have made this recipe twice this month. I enjoy the flexibility of the recipe and easy substitutions listed. I used one Russet potato, an onion instead of a leek, 2 cups of carrots instead of celery, 2 cans of beans instead of lentils. I used garbanzo beans and cannellini beans the first time and white northern and black beans the second time. I used the entire bunch of kale. It was delicious! It is perfect for a Daniel Fast and cold winter days. Thank you for the recipe. It makes a lot and lasted me all week!

  2. Janet W says

    It is exactly as advertised: simple and perfect. Since I already eat a lot of potatoes, I decided to try rutabagas. I am now in love with rutabagas. They have a nice smooth texture, mild flavor, and work great in this soup. Also, I used great northern white beans and since I already had black beans on hand I used those instead of lentils. I will definitely make this soup again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Janet!

  3. Chris says

    This was a nice, mellow in flavor, nutritious soup that I would happily make again. While not the most “flavor intense,” I found it to be an easy on the stomach recipe for a cold winter night. Next time I would decrease the amount of liquid and add more vegetables as the ratio of broth to veg wasn’t quite to my preference.

  4. Amy O says

    I made this with regular onion, dried lentils, black eyed peas, lots of carrots and sweet potatoes. So good! Thank you!

  5. Beth says

    This soup was perhaps the best traditional vegetable soup I’ve ever made. I followed the recipe (but used onion instead of leeks). I was hesitant about canned lentils (for some reason they weird me out vs. home-made) but used them and was very happy I did for both flavor and the time savings with the preparation!

    I put everything except beans, lentils and kale into the crock pot on low for 6 hours. At hour 7 I added the rest. AWESOME!!! Thanks for another wonderful recipe!!

  6. Kathleen Hemmer says

    I’m wondering why you don’t recommend using fire roasted tomatoes? I’m planning to make it as you have it written, but am curious about the fire roasted tomatoes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kathleen, we don’t think the flavor would be complementary with the dried Italian herbs, but it might work!

  7. Casey says

    I made this last week and loved it; however I loved it even more when I took a frozen serving out of the freezer and had it today! The beans and potatoes really thicken out and make for a delicious and comforting meal! I can’t wait to make it again!

  8. Debbie says

    Simple and delicious!!! I threw in some extra leftover vegetables I had like green beans and butternut squash. Also use dried lentils in place of canned. And YES add the kale

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love that! We made this recipe with flexibility in mind, so we’re so glad it worked out well for you. Thank you for sharing, Debbie! xo

  9. Lynn says

    Wonderful recipe! I have made this a few times already and plan to make it for Christmas Eve with leftovers (I hope!) on Christmas Day —two different groups are joining us. I cannot rave enough about how pleased I am!

  10. Dawn says

    10/10 So delicious on a cold winter night. Started off with you broth recipe that I had already made. Used black eye peas from Instant Pot. Everything fresh. Served on cup of mixed rice.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lucille! We think crushed tomatoes would work! You wont get any big chunks of tomatoes, but it will still be delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Erika, we’d recommend sautéing the items in step 2 for best flavor, then transfer to the crockpot, add remaining ingredients (except kale), and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Just before serving, add the kale and stir until wilted and vibrant green. Hope that helps!

  11. Shaina Alissa Clingempeel says

    This is so good; we can’t wait to make it again. Thanks for this lovely recipe. xx Looking forward to trying more of your recipes. :)

  12. Lindsey says

    Simmering on my stove now for almost an hour — smells delicious! My only comment… the recipe does come out quite big between veggies (I used a lot!) and 8 cups of broth. Use a *large* pot!

  13. Sarah Philbeck says

    This is a lovely vegetable soup! Just what I was looking for. I did not have lentils, but used 2 cans of cannellini beans, which was just fine. However, I think lentils would have been a nice addition.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Danielle, that might work! We’d suggest ~1/2 cup dry red lentils. Sometimes they have trouble softening fully in a tomato-based liquid due to the acidity. You could also sub another canned bean/legume of choice!

    • anon says

      I found red split lentils took hours to soften in bolognese sauce (despite being soaked to avoid long cooking time lol) so I would cook the lentils in unsalted water separately to avoid disaster

  14. Zuza says

    I love it! it’s the type of a veggie and pulses vitamin bomb dinner that I cook thru winter time :) One remark: the recipe says it’s 6 servings while the soup comes out quite huge (I counted 17 cups of ingredients w/o kale), so don’t get surprised.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Zuzu, We’re so glad you love this recipe! Keep in mind the veggies do shrink down when cooked.

    • Debbie says

      Simple and delicious!!! I threw in some extra leftover vegetables I had like green beans and butternut squash. Also use dried lentils in place of canned. And YES add the kale

  15. Yvonne says

    Hello,
    This soup is delicious. I halved the recipes except for the beans and cooked it in my 3qt IP. I enjoyed it with some rice cakes. Leftovers for tomorrow. Yum.
    Thank you for another lovely recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Yvonne. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  16. Atara Dahan says

    My go-to winter dinner!
    I use onion, garlic, fennel, (sauteed first) potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, barley or lentils… and whatever else I find in the fridge or pantry. My favorite is lentils
    Love adding tomatoes or tomato sauce!
    If you use less water and more veggies (just barely enough water to cover them) you can use it like a chile and scoop with tortilla chips or pita!
    For flu season: ramp up the garlic, fennel, and onion (double the amount you’d usually use), and season with extra ginger and turmeric.

    I don’t have veggie broth, in general how would you replace that (water with which spices?)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Atara, thanks so much for sharing! You can replace the veggie broth with water, you may need to season the soup to taste later though!

    • anon says

      Veggie stock is vegetables infused in water for an hour. It tastes of aromatic veg and a little sweet (from carrot, onion). You’ve already got the basis of a veggie stock in the broth – onions, carrot, celery (or fennel, leek) so I don’t see why water wouldn’t work. I would add some frozen peas or a pinch sugar to cut the sharp tomato (or just eat it the next day, tomato needs a rest to taste better).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jane! We haven’t tried it blended and can’t guarantee results, but for a creamier soup you could try blending part of it!

  17. Anne says

    Oh yes, this looks perfect, thank you! These are my favorite type of recipes, this will definitely go in the meal rotation! (and I’ll post my review). Love it! It’s heartier than my usual vegetable soup, so I’m sure I will really like it.