Recipe: Honest Vegetable Soup

Everybody loves a good honest bowl of soup.


Doesn’t everyone love a good soup?

Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ahhh, Saturday is here. It was a long week. Ain’t that the honest truth..

I’ve battled a cold (some say I get man-sick), and it’s been a tough weather week here in Vancouver – can you say endless grey and rain? Add to that a smattering of snow, slush, drizzle, mist, wind, and pretty much everything else and you’ve got a perfect reason to make:

A pot of Honest Soup!


Yep, I am calling it Honest Soup because when it comes to making a killer soup, you don’t have to be a master in the kitchen, or even a super confident cook (in my humble opinion anyway).

Honestly, once you find a few tricks when it comes to proportions, you rarely even need recipes. And if you (like me and especially my family) enjoy reveling in a little flavor, you know that the secret to a delicious veggie soup is in the butter, the salt, and the cheese* (that’s for you, Charlie).

*unless you don’t.

I like dairy free soups too (all you wonderful vegans out there, that’s for you), and the same rule applies. A few tricks are all you need!**

But (let’s be honest here) what home cook doesn’t already know that?

All you need is:

  • (just a little) onion
  • (usually) potato or sweet potato for starch
  • a random selection of vegetables
  • a blender or hand blender
  • and (just a little) inspiration!

Since this blog is all about living with (just a little) less, last night was also a perfect opportunity to forego an unnecessary shopping trip to the market and clean out the fridge. All this blogging, recipe writing, and cooking has me pretty inspired, and I had a real beautiful mess of random veggies left in my crisper.

This is what it looked like to start (not terribly glamorous, folks!):

Honest Vegetable Soup:

  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium/large yellow onion)
  • 2 cups potatoes, chopped (skin on)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli (including the stalks)
  • 1 lonely celery stalk, chopped (broken in 2 pieces!)
  • 2 cups green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 cup heaping grated sharp cheese (tonight it was an English Dubliner Cheddar)(optional for vegan soup)
  • 1 cup milk (optional for vegan version)
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 1-2 tbsp butter (optional)
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • black pepper

Chop all your veggies and separate veggies in bowls according to cooking time.* Heat olive oil on medium high and add onion and one tbsp. of salt. Cook, stirring for 5-8 minutes until brown. Add chopped potatoes, and cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring. Add water and broccoli, broccoli stalks, and celery and bring the water to a very gentle boil on medium heat with the lid on. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes, until stalks are soft. Add cabbage and kale (stir them in gently) and cook, covered for another 5 minutes.

With your hand blender (or blender in batches), blend all to a very smooth puree in the same pot you cooked it in. Add grated cheese, milk, remaining salt, and pepper.

Anything tastes good with cheese, salt, and butter (but there are other ways too). And a good blender is a must.

Turn heat to low and stir until creamy and all the cheese is melted. Add butter if desired, and season to taste with pepper. Serve in bowls topped with chopped fresh herbs, more black pepper if desired, and (always) (just a little) swirl of olive oil.

*Always cook veggies according to their type: 2-3 minutes for leafy greens, 5-8 minutes for celery, carrots, cauli/broccoli, 10+ minutes for potatoes and starches.

**For a delicious vegan soup, I simply omit the additional milk after blending and add a few tbsp to taste of medium miso to the soup. This adds flavor, richness and a yummy salty kick in the pants (honestly). Top with green onions and olive or sesame oil.

Serve this soup with crusty bread or crackers, a good glass of wine, and an (honest) smile.

A warm bowl of soup on a cold night can’t be beat, and my fridge is looking pretty sweet this morning too.

Here I come kitchen πŸ™‚

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

~ Thomas Jefferson





I’d love to know how you clean out your fridge and make use of the random bits that just don’t make it into your delicious creations throughout the week.

Stay tuned this week, I’ve got a killer kale pesto to share and another creative (and tasty) use for almond pulp!

Thanks to two of my favorite bloggers for the Versatile Blogger shout out – I’ll be reciprocating some of that love over the weekend…you guys are all amazing!

Happy Saturday folks!

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cheap, Children, Cooking, Family, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Soup, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

36 responses to “Recipe: Honest Vegetable Soup

  1. What a great reminder that there’s always a delicious soup hiding in the fridge if only we know how to look for it.

  2. Peaches

    Honestly, that sounds delicious! πŸ™‚

  3. Totally making this today. We want to stretch our fridge till Tuesday and this is the perfect soup to use all the little little bits of veggies left over. Very excited to sneak in the kale. Got the hubs on chopping duty right now!

    • Awesome! I’d love to know what your veggie variables are, that’s what makes it so fun! I have a really tough time getting kale into the hubby and teenager, and this (not even to their knowledge) worked brilliantly! Keep me posted on your results and enjoy! Have a great Saturday Hillery! πŸ™‚

  4. Mmmm, that looks good. For some reason I never have thought to use my hand blender on vegetable soup but I am fully planning on it the next time I have a hankering for soup. That just might be today…

  5. Now this is one great bowl of soup! I would love to sit at a table and find a bowl of this waiting for me.

  6. We ended up using two stocks of celery, three potatoes equalling about 2 cups, three medium onions (the hubs loves onions,) two broccoli stocks, a good sized bunch of kale, some garlic cloves, and I added a cup of frozen corn just to soften up the green. We ended up using coconut milk because that’s just what we had. I wish we had some cheese because this would be amazing with some aged cheddar. I seasoned it with a tiny bit of rubbed sage, some sea salt, crushed red pepper and a little cayenne and used my hand blender to blend it all up. The results are a delicious savory chowdery soup and the coconut milk sort of lends a light butteriness to it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Wow – my pleasure! That sounds wonderfully yummy, how creative and inspiring too!! So happy to have shared – enjoy the rest of your weekend! Cheers to the hubs too :)!

  7. Looks mighty tasty. Reminds me of the vegetable soups they would serve in EVERY pub in Ireland (I lived there for a year). I get a little “homesick” for Ireland sometimes and this has me feeling very nostalgic! Might try to cook up a dairy-free version soon πŸ™‚

    • Awesome – I bet Ireland was soooo fun! Was just partying it up with a few Irish friends last night (though they are 80) – I bet you enjoyed the movie Once and Swell Season then? If I lived alone, I would likely be dairy free, something about that darned family I have to feed…and it is rather delicious on occasion πŸ˜‰ ! Have a great weekend!

  8. Man-sick? You? How rude!

    Really loving your blog. The soup looks wonderful and the kale pesto sounds a m a z i n g.

    Cheers from Syders, Jx

    • I know! I really do pity my co-workers having to deal with me in that state – all needy, whiny, and sickly self-pitying! Love that you are appreciating – I love your blog too! Loving all your comments, so nice to have someone ‘getting it’ (maybe it’s just that itty bit of (qu)irk factor, hehe!) Cheers to you too! hope it’s not down-pouring! πŸ˜‰ x

  9. Cleaning fridge soup is one of my favorites – some of my best soups come from that!

    Thanks for sharing and hope you are feeling better!

    • Thanks! I am better just in time for my hubby to get it – the soup was a good remedy but alas, couldn’t save him.. πŸ˜‰ Have a great weekend!

  10. Shira that soup looks so delicious. I’ve got to get myself a blender as that’s the one piece of kit I don’t have now I’ve moved in with my boyfriend. There’s nothing quite like homemade soup!

    As for fridge stragglers, I often make tortilla/fritata/spanish omlette (everyone seems to call it something different!) which is a great way to get rid of bits of veg and potatoes that have seen better days. And all you need is a box of eggs so it’s really cheap and perfect to take to work for lunch!

    • Thanks! I got a hand blender for Christmas quite a few years ago and have come to think it the most important small kitchen tool of all (also comes with a handy nut grinding attachment)! Brilliant suggestion of fritata – I always have wanted to make one as I have enjoyed on many occasions – excellent for all sorts of leftovers, awesome! Maybe I’ll just try that today!

      • They’re so easy – I watched my Spanish friend make it a couple of times and then had a go myself. And if you make a massive one, you can put it under the grill to cook the top rather than flipping it. I like to put chorizo in mine, adds a bit of something extra, particularly when you’re using up tired bits of broccoli! πŸ™‚

      • Great tip! I’ll let you know how I make out when I need a fridge cleaning again…that’s my next course of action! πŸ˜‰

  11. Reblogged this on JAMIE'S TABLE and commented:
    A nice hearty veggie soup here. You can substitute a nut milk (or some miso as suggested) for the cow’s milk, Dayia cheddar (a nondairy cheese that actually melts) for the cheddar, and Earth Balance for the butter. The recipe doesn’t call for any thickening agent, so no wheat or gluten issues. Enjoy the recipe and this wonderful blog.

  12. Soup is one of my favorite things; I love that you can usually come up with some kind of great soup by just looking at the ingredients on hand! Your soup here looks absolutely delicious, and I love the quote from Beethoven!!!

  13. Ji

    I had this soup last night (that you graciously brought into work yesterday) and it was delicious! Lovely flavours, texture, hearty and warming. My hubs and I ate curled up on the couch!



  16. Pingback: Creative Kale Pesto « GlutenFreePDX

  17. I’m suffering with a bad head cold so I’m home in bed & reading all of your posts (if you hadn’t noticed!). At the moment I’m having Thai pumpkin soup using our homegrown pumpkins, some red curry paste, onion, extra ginger & garlic (to kill these cold germies) & chicken stock. Blended up, it’s delicious.
    Cathy πŸ™‚

    • Oh man, that soup sounds amazing, and perfect for healing up when you are sick! I hope you are feeling better soon, and really appreciate that you spent some time here at IPOM!! Looking forward to sharing more with you Cathy – and thank you! πŸ™‚

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