5 Hearty Vegan Soup Recipes for Winter

A bowl of spicy vegetable chili

Soup is so much more than a delicious comfort food; it’s an ideal way to sneak a heaping load of nutritious veggies into your meals in one shot. Because you retain and consume the water in which it’s cooked, soup packs quite a vitamin and mineral punch. It makes your belly feel full and warms your body from the inside out.

Soup has also long been thought of as a healing food. That’s why, when you were feeling under the weather as a child, mom or grandma may have made you a pot of nourishing soup. If that’s not enough reason to love soup, here’s another bonus—soup gets better with time (within reason of course). Veggies, spices, and juices that meld together for more than 24 hours create a more flavorful concoction.

Here are five scrumptious soup recipes to add to your recipe repertoire. Some of these soups are filling enough to be eaten as a main dish, perhaps with a slice of toasted rustic bread. But they can also serve as a delicious side dish or starter to a healthy winter meal.

Carrot Ginger Soup

Just a few simple ingredients combine to make a flavorful (and creamy, thanks to the coconut milk) soup that’s sure to please your taste buds. Fresh onion, carrot, ginger, and garlic are all full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help strengthen your immunity during the cold winter months.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can full fat coconut milk
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, sauté onion in oil over medium heat for five minutes.

Add carrots, ginger, garlic, and curry powder and toss vegetables until coated in spice. Cook an additional five minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 20 to 25 minutes until carrots are soft.

Remove from heat and allow to cool until just warm.

Puree mixture in blender until smooth.

Return mixture to low-medium heat and stir in coconut milk.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Broccoli “Cheese” Soup

This hearty soup can definitely stand on its own as a meal, thanks to carbohydrate-rich potatoes, fiber-filled broccoli, and protein-packed cashews. If the soup is puréed, the broccoli can’t be detected at all, making this a great choice for people (especially those little ones) who may not adore the taste of this nutrient-dense veggie.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 medium potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast*
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Optional: vegan cheese

Directions:
In a large pot, sauté onion in oil over medium heat for five minutes.

While onions are cooking, blend cashews with one cup of broth in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

Add garlic and sauté an additional three minutes.

Add remaining vegetable broth, potatoes, and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add broccoli and simmer an additional five minutes.

Add cashew mixture and stir well.

Add nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Soup can be enjoyed chunky, or you can purée the mixture in a blender.

*Nutritional yeast provides a nutty, cheesy-like flavor, but you can also add your favorite vegan cheese.

Spicy Veggie Chili

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a bowl of warm chili and side of homemade corn bread. This soup is filled with healthy veggies and legumes, all packed with fiber to help you feel full longer. It’s also got just enough spice to add a mouth-watering kick of heat.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 5 Portobello mushrooms, cubed
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 cups cooked black beans or canned beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Optional: sliced avocado, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro

Directions:

In a large pot, sauté onion in oil over medium heat for five minutes.

Add bell peppers, garlic, and Serrano peppers, and cook until soft, about three minutes.

Add zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook until vegetables start to brown, about six minutes.

Add chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add beans, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, and broth. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and adjust seasoning, to taste.

Add avocado, green onions, and cilantro to serve, if desired.

Potato Leek Soup

There is only one word to describe this soup—comfort. It’s thick, creamy, and bursting with flavor. Leeks are often underutilized in the kitchen, but they’re a phenomenal source of vitamins and antioxidants, not to mention quite delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 leeks, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 russet potatoes, cubed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can white beans
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Sauté leaks in oil over medium-high heat for about five minutes, until softened.

Add garlic and potatoes and sauté two more minutes.

Add broth, beans, and spices.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree mixture in a blender. If soup is too thick, add water until desired consistency is reached.

Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Ginger Shiitake Noodle Soup

It can be tough to get enough Vitamin D at this time of year when you’re not exposed to as much sunlight as you are during warmer months. The good news is shiitake mushrooms serve as a great food source of Vitamin D. Couple this with nutritional powerhouse bok choy, and you’ve got yourself one healthy meal in one bowl of yumminess.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 3 ounces (about 15) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 heads baby bok choy, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: dash of tamari to serve

Directions:

Sauté mushrooms in oil over medium-high heat for about three minutes.

Add bok choy and cook for about three more minutes.

Add garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about one minute.

Add broth and cook until broth begins to boil.

Add rice noodles and cook until al dente.

Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, to taste.

Add tamari before serving, if desired.

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About the Author

Jen Stiff

Writer and Yoga Teacher (RYT-200)
Jen is a writer, editor, and storyteller. She lives in California with her mountain man husband and two pugs. When she’s not writing or frolicking with animals, Jen is practicing or teaching yoga, traveling to faraway lands, and cooking up delicious vegan desserts. Jen has healed her own mind, body, and soul through yoga, meditation, and healthful eating, and she loves to share her passion for health and well-being with the world through writing.Read more