Vegan vegetable soup

Vegan vegetable soup

vegan vegetable soup bowl

While I am not a massive soup eater at any other time of the year, winter is an exception. Being someone who appears to feel cold quite easily and acutely, I crave all the comfort I can get. This year we have been literally living on one particular type of soup that we both enjoy (we have quite different soup tastes…) and which I have been making on repeat every two days or so for weeks at a time.

A bowl of filling, chunky soup is a particular saviour when you come back in after a run in the cold, which we both tend to break up our ‘stuck inside’ days with. Duncan runs every day and I every other day and knowing that I have a pot of bubbling soup to return to always makes me more excited about my run.

It also helps us to avoid arguments as we are on slightly different schedules to each other in the mornings and our hunger cues are often quite misaligned. Duncan tends to get up ravenously hungry while I have all the time in the world to eat my breakfast, as I rarely feel hunger first thing in the morning. I am a natural owl (twit twoo), I’ve always been like that – to my mum’s despair. Getting me out of bed in the mornings was always highly annoying (sorry mum – love you!!) and sometimes I would get up and then fall asleep on the toilet while leaning against the wall…True story!

These days, I wake up, do some meditation, followed by some online procrastination (which I am trying to stop) and a 30 minute back yoga and only then I’m ready to have my breakfast and my morning coffee by which time Duncan is already starting to idly think about his lunch. A ready made pot of soup allows us each to reheat ourselves a portion and no one feels starved or forced to eat because of the other person and by evenings our appetite and timing usually falls back in sync.

This soup is really simple to make. I chop all the veggies (apart from garlic which I like diced finely) quite roughly so it only takes about 5 minutes and other than that all you need to do is to give the soup a stir every now and then so that it doesn’t catch. You can get on with other things while the soup makes itself bubbling cheerfully on the stove. Super simple, delicious, filling and healthy! And lastly, I want to dedicate this soup to my long time friend, Magda, as it was our conversation last week that prompted me to write this recipe up on the blog. Hope she and everybody else who decides to make it enjoys it as much as we do.

vegan vegetable soup ingredients

vegan vegetable soup before after

vegan vegetable soup close up

vegan vegetable soup pot

20 min
90 min
20 min
90 min
  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml extra virgin olive oil (or vegan stock for oil-free version)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 fresh rosemary twigs, leaves chopped finely or 1 tsp dried
  • 4 fresh thyme stalks, leaves picked or ½ tsp dried
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly diced
  • 2 carrots, roughly diced
  • 1½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1¼ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes (optional), adjust to taste
  • 2 x 400 g / 14 oz cans peeled plum tomatoes*
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh if you have one growing in your garden)
  • 500 g / 17½ oz (5 medium) potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed into 2 cm / ¾” dice
  • 250 g / 8¾ oz (½ small) savoy cabbage, shredded very finely
  1. Heat up the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. If you want to keep this soup oil-free, use veggie stock and add it in together with diced onion.
  2. Once the oil gets hot, throw in diced onion. Sauté on a very medium-low heat until soft (approx. 5 minutes).
  3. Next, throw in garlic and herbs. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Once the garlic is fragrant, add in roughly chopped celery and carrot. Sauté for another 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Stir in smoked paprika, salt, pepper and chilli flakes if you like a bit of heat.
  6. Add plum tomatoes to the pot, squashing them with a wooden spoon or a potato masher once they are in the pot but before adding water as otherwise they will splash everywhere.
  7. Add 0.5 litres / 2 cups of water and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the tomatoes are falling apart. Top up with more water if the pot is looking dry. Make sure to give the pot a good stir every 15-20 minutes to make sure nothing gets caught at the bottom. You are ready to go to the next step once the tomatoes have broken down nicely and the soup looks more or less uniform and thick (see photo above). If not, add another 250 ml / 1 cup of water, cover and continue simmering for another 15 minutes.
  8. Add in about 0.75 litres / 3 more cups of water and the cubed potatoes. Once the soup comes to a simmer, allow the potatoes to simmer in the soup for about 10 minutes.
  9. Next add finely shredded cabbage and allow the soup to simmer for a further 5 minutes, until potatoes are fully cooked through (check with a skewer or a sharp knife) and cabbage is no longer raw.
  10. Taste, adjust the seasoning. You may want to add a touch (½-1 tsp or so) of sugar if your tomatoes are too tangy.
  11. Ideally, allow the soup to ‘cure’ overnight (it will taste better) before serving but that’s not necessary. If you plan to make it for more than one meal, what tends to happen is that the cabbage absorbs all the extra liquid while the soups stands around so make sure to add some more water (go by your preference) when heating it up to bring it back to the consistency you like.
  12. Once in bowls, garnish with a dollop of vegan pesto to impart even more flavour.

HOT TIP: If you have time to make this soup a day ahead (which I recommend), make it until step 7 and allow it to cool down. Finish the remaining steps (8-11) just before serving – that way your vegetables won’t be overcooked and discoloured.

*If you prefer your soup less tomato-y, use one can and some vegetable stock or more water to compensate. It will be thinner though.

13 g
8 g
1 g
7 g
42 g
*per serving
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8 reviews, 10 comments
Tracy L:
Delicious and so healthy! Perfect for a rainy day today. Thank you!
    So happy to hear, Tracy! Thank you for taking the time to review. x Ania
As others have said, this recipe is both delicious and versatile. I used kale instead of cabbage, had no need for the sugar and added in the pesto as recommended. I then proceeded to eat it for lunch, dinner and lunch again!
    Yay, that's so nice to hear, Grace! This was my favourite soup to make last winter - I literally made it on repeat until I needed a break from it ;) So happy you enjoyed it and thank you for letting me know. x Ania
OMWOOOOO!!! Absolutely love this soup, I've thickened the sauce and added vegan sausages to make a sausage casserole and different beans to make a stew type of dish. Wonderful versatile recipe, perfect for wintery months. Even my 13 year old daughter loves this 😳
    So happy to hear that, Amie! Yeah, it's very versatile, I made it on repeat in winter but it's never the same :) Glad your little one loved it too - I hear from friends with kids that getting veggies into little people isn't always that easy! x Ania
Danielle A.:
This was great, thanks, Ania! I added green lentils (cooked separately so they didn't soak up all the soup liquid) and green beans. I'm subbing out spinach for the cabbage, but only adding it to individual bowls as I serve/reheat so it doesn't get lost/overcooked.
    Thanks Danielle! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Ania
Delicious soup! I'm so glad that our conversation inspired you to share this recipe because it's a gem. I can see it becoming a staple in our household .
    :) Me too! So glad to hear that it went down so well with you and your family. x Ania
Mohammad Sefat:
It’s so lovely, thank you!
    Glad to hear! Ania
This looks amazing... can''t wait to make it!
    Thanks Jenna, I hope you will enjoy it! x Ania
Anita, I love your writing, your beautiful photography and your delicious vegan recipes. The first recipe I tried was the beet Wellington that I made to rave reviews for Christmas dinner. Just lovely. Yesterday I made this deceptively simple, and yet complexly flavored soup for dinner tonight. Per your recommendation I made a vegan basil pesto and used it to finish the soup servings. Spectacular! We will have this delectable and nutritious soup for a few more days. What a lovely predicament. Thanks for your hard work and your well written and delicious recipes! Stay well.
    Aw, thank you Jennifer, that's so lovely to hear! I'm delighted that you enjoyed my Beet Wellington as it's probably one of my proudest recipes on here (if you could leave a review there, I would really appreciate it!) and I am so glad that this soup has brought you comfort! It's so lovely to think that I'm virtually sharing the joy of eating the things I personally find nourishing with other people all over the world - sometimes the Internet is a scary place but at other times it's just magnificent. Eat well and stay safe! And once again, thank you for taking the time to let me know that you appreciate my work - it's very motivating. x Ania
Basia Gorska:
This soup is so delicious and flavourful! and great for using up spare veg in the fridge! I will definitely be making it again and again :) I absolutely love these kinds of foods in the winter - they also remind me of Poland. I feel a bit nostalgic (or maybe "homesick") about Polish flavours since I haven't been able to visit for a year and find myself making things like pierogi and bigos (vegan of course) and all of the Polish winter soups... kupiłam ostatnio "Jadłonomię po polsku" i bardzo się z tej książki cieszę :)
    Awesome to hear that you enjoy this soup, Basia! Yes, I know what you mean, not being able to visit home is a total bummer...I like your coping mechanism though and while I haven't got that book, it sounds perfect for nostalgic cooking sessions...x Ania
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