Mix-and-Match Vegetable Soup

Turn your favorite veggies into a colorful soup: The combinations are endless!

FN0129141_SOUP_01.tif

FN0129141_SOUP_01.tif

Photo by: Levi Brown

Levi Brown

1. Pick your vegetables. 

Prepare 3 cups total (use up to 3 kinds) from one color category:

Red/Purple

  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • Beets, peeled and diced

Orange

  • Butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • Orange bell pepper, chopped
  • Sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • Carrots, peeled and chopped

Yellow

  • Frozen corn kernels
  • Yellow squash, chopped
  • Yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • Golden beets, peeled and diced

Green

  • Broccoli florets
  • Peas, thawed if frozen
  • Zucchini, chopped
  • Asparagus, chopped
  • Leafy greens (spinach, arugula, watercress or kale), chopped
  • Frozen edamame

White

  • Cauliflower florets
  • Garlic cloves, peeled (up to 1 cup)
  • Fennel bulb, chopped
  • Potato, peeled and diced (up to 2 cups) 
 
2. Make the base. 
 
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion or leeks and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes; season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add 1 cup chopped peeled potato, then add up to 3 of the following ingredients. Cook, stirring, until the potato is coated, 2 to 3 more minutes.
 
  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, peeled and chopped
  • Garlic, 1 clove, minced
  • Bay leaf, 1 whole
  • Thyme, 3 to 4 sprigs
  • Rosemary, 1 sprig
  • Cayenne pepper, a pinch
  • Grated nutmeg, a pinch
 
3. Cook the vegetables. 
 
Add 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a simmer; add your prepared vegetables. Cook until all of the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes (if using peas or leafy greens, add during the last 5 minutes). Remove from the heat, discard any whole herbs and let the soup cool at least 5 minutes. Carefully puree until smooth with an immersion blender or in 2 to 3 batches in a regular blender (do not fill the blender more than halfway).
 
4. Finish the soup. 
 
Reheat the soup, if necessary, adding more water if it is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. For a richer soup, stir in 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk, or 1 tablespoon butter. 
 
5. Choose your toppings.
 
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with any of the following:
 
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley and/or chives), roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews or walnuts), toasted and chopped
  • Sour cream
  • Pepitas or sesame seeds, toasted
  • Fried onions or shallots
  • Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Croutons

Mix-and-Match Soup Ideas

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Swirl Plating Trick

Next time you serve soup to friends, double the fun and try this plating trick: Make two colorful pureed soups, then pour both soups into the bowl at the same time, from opposite sides. Gently twist the bowl from side to side until the two soups swirl together. 

 

(Pictured above: Beet Soup and Sweet Potato Soup; photo by Ralph Smith)

Photo By: Ralph Smith

Beet + Red Cabbage

Photo By: Levi Brown

Carrot + Sweet Potato

Photo By: Levi Brown

Asparagus + Watercress

Photo By: Levi Brown

Corn + Yellow Bell Pepper

Photo By: Levi Brown

Cauliflower + Garlic

Photo By: Levi Brown

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