This homemade vegetable soup is full of delicious and nutritious vegetables and protein-packed beans and ditalini pasta. V8 vegetable juice enhances the flavor and adds even more vitamins and minerals. This recipe makes a huge batch to eat not just for dinner, but for lunch throughout the week or to freeze for an easy meal later on. It's simple to make and loved by the whole family!
My family loves soup and homemade vegetable soup is a definite winner in my house! It's perfect for cold winter nights when all you want to do is cozy up on the couch with a blanket and Netflix. This homemade chicken noodle soup is also a pleasantly perfect classic, also great for curling up on the couch with!
Homemade vegetable soup is not just a fantastic way to get your whole family (kids included!) to eat a ton of vegetables in one sitting, but to eliminate a whole lot of processed junk you get from eating canned soup. It's also inexpensive to make this gigantic pot of soup, so it's economical and budget-friendly too!
It's simple to make on the stove top: just 10 minutes of prep time and 90 of stand by time.
Make it even simpler by using the crockpot: just dump and go!
My baby girl turned 1 only two days ago and has been SO picky about eating. I can barely get her to eat two bites of anything before she refuses to eat at all. What used to be her favorites are now thrown on the floor or spit all over the highchair. As any mama would be, I am so worried she's hungry and not getting enough food to keep her healthy. What's a mama to do? Keep on keep on trying!
To my pleasant surprise she LOVED this soup! So much that she wiggled and yelled in her chair when she saw the spoon coming. She devoured an entire baby-sized bowl. She even ate the onions and garlic! It was a happy night for me. Both kids ate their entire meal. YAY!
homemade vegetable soup ingredients
Homemade vegetable soup is an excellent way to use leftover veggies or veggies that are about to go bad. I hate doing my weekly fridge clean out and throwing away vegetables we forgot about or never got the chance to use before they went bad. I like to make this when I have a bunch of vegetables or beans leftover from other meals.
You can use frozen, fresh, or canned vegetables. The choice is completely yours! But keep in mind that fresh will take a little longer to cook than the canned or frozen counterparts, depending on the vegetables.
I always use fresh carrots, celery, onions, and garlic because these help create a flavorful and rich broth base. Aside from using these four vegetables, you can vary the others. Homemade vegetable soup is great because you can use other veggies that you have on hand.
I choose canned corn, tomatoes, and green beans, although you can easily replace them with frozen without altering cooking time. I also use canned white beans for simplicity, but if you want to use dry beans, that's fine too! You will need to soak and boil them though, and that will add a lot of time. Feel free to use red or pink beans instead of white. You can also replace the beans with chickpeas, too.
I highly recommend using V8 brand vegetable juice to really enhance the flavor of the broth. I tried this recipe once using a generic brand and it just wasn't the same.
how to make it
Making homemade vegetable soup is pretty easy. Chopping all the vegetables, gathering the herbs, and opening the cans takes about 10 minutes. Then, add oil to the pot and heat the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery on medium for 5 minutes. Next add the broth, vegetable juice, all herbs and seasonings, tomatoes, green beans, corn, and any other veggies you've chosen.
Simmer for 90 minutes, adding the ditalini and white beans with 15 minutes left. (I add the beans now so they don't turn to mush) Make sure to taste at the end and adjust the seasonings as you see fit. I usually add a little salt and basil to suit my families taste buds.
To make this soup even simpler, or to have it ready when you get home from work on a busy weeknight, dump all ingredients other than the ditalini in a crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, and add the ditalini during the last 20 minutes. (hint: you will need to half the recipe for a standard 4-quart slow cooker)
variations in homemade vegetable soup
Choose the vegetables and beans that you have on hand or change what I recommend based on what you like. You can also use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. But, I have not yet tried this, so I cannot guarantee it will be as good as this.
Also, this soup recipe is already kid-friendly based on the vegetables my kids love. Make it kid-friendly for yours based on what they love! I find that the softer and smaller the vegetables are, the more likely they will be to eat everything (or mostly everything!). When I chop the veggies really small and not in their "typical shape", I can trick them into eating what they normally wouldn't. 🙂 For instance, my 4-year old doesn't like celery. But if I roughly chop them into little squares and odd shapes rather than the classic U shapes, she has no idea they are there.
Made it? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!
Hearty Homemade Vegetable Soup
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 10 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 celery stalks, plus leaves, chopped
- 10 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 8 cups V8 vegetable juice
- 12 cups vegetable broth
- 2 13 oz diced tomato cans
- 1 13 oz can of green beans
- 12 oz corn
- 3 tsp each of parsley, thyme, salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 ½ tsp basil
- 1 13 oz can of cannelloni beans
- 6 oz ditalini pasta (½ box)
- In a large stock pot, heat oil on medium heat and add carrots, celery, garlic,, and onions. Cook until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes (and juices), corn, green beans, broth, vegetable juice, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, and parsley. Simmer on low for 75 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add cannelloni beans and ditalini pasta. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes more, stirring often.
- Remove from heat, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve with crusty bread.