Southwestern soup is one of my favorite recipes because it’s so frugal and chock full of healthy ingredients, especially this particular version, which is vegetarian.
I made this soup because I was craving southwestern flavors in soup form.
Unfortunately for me, there are zero southwestern restaurants in my coastal part of Maine.
But it’s okay because I’m a DIY girl.
I’m not a vegetarian but I feel better the more vegetables I ingest and you probably do too.
Next to a big salad, vegetable soup is a simple way to eat more vegetables.
I made this particular veggie soup with cumin, smoked paprika, ground ancho chile powder, fresh jalapeno and black beans.
Serve with a shower of freshly snipped cilantro leaves. (Not shown)
Southwestern Soup Vegetarian Recipe
How to Make Southwest Soup!
Southwest Soup is a great recipe for you to make when you have vegetables in the crisper that are starting to go by.
Let my recipe be just a suggestion. If you’re out of celery, you can leave it out.
If you don’t like sweet potato, swap it for carrots.
A rule of thumb is to put in eight cups of whatever chopped vegetables you like.
If you’re busy, there’s no shame in tossing a bag of frozen vegetables in the pot.
I like to make soup at least once a month because if you’re anything like me, you’re probably throwing away food because it spoils before you eat it.
What to Do for the Carnivores in Your Family?
If someone in the family doesn’t think soup is a meal unless it contains meat, throw a cup or two of grilled chicken in the pot or whatever leftover chicken you have. Or add a cup or two of seasoned ground beef for a taco soup.
But what if I don’t like Southwest flavors?
But if you stumbled here through the interwebs looking for a soup recipe and your people don’t like southwestern flavors, Never Fear!
You can easily customize this soup to the flavors you like.
If Italian is more your preference make these swaps:
Swap cannellini beans for black beans.
Use pastini instead of rice.
Replace the sweet potato with chopped zucchini.
Add handfuls of kale to the soup before serving.
Maybe finish with a splash of wine and or balsamic vinegar.
Shower with shreds of fresh basil instead of cilantro.
What can I add to vegetable soup for flavor?
- Garlic, no matter what flavor profile you’re going for, start with garlic when making vegetable soup.
- Ground spices like smoked or sweet paprika, black or white or red pepper
- Salt, I prefer kosher. If your soup tastes bland, did you remember the salt? I salt at several steps because. Initially, when you’re sauteing the aromatics, salt will help soften and make them sweat. You should also salt after adding starches to the pot such as beans or rice or potatoes. You may need to sprinkle a bit more salt over the soup after it’s finished. Taste the soup before you serve it.
- Make sure you use broth or stock as a base for your soup. When I was learning to cook, I tried using water instead of broth. Water doesn’t work. I think I might have been trying to save a few bucks by using water. But, there’s no sense in making soup with water when no one will eat it.
- Add a splash of citrus juice such as lemon or lime to each individual portion before serving.
- Add a quarter or half-cup of white or red wine depending on what type of soup. Either wine works for vegetable soup.
- Grate a bit of hard rind Parmesan over each portion before serving.
- Top each bowl of soup with a few teaspoons of pesto or pistou. Do you know the difference between the two? Pistou is just like pesto–basil, hard rind parmesan, garlic, olive oil but no nuts. Pistou is a great pesto alternative for people with nut allergies. I like it on pizza too.
- Top with salsa or thin tortilla strips.
Is vegetable soup healthy?
So healthy! Vegetable soup is the healthiest. Thanks to all the vegetables, vegetable soup has vitamins, minerals and fiber. Add a little parmesan on top and it has calcium too.
How do you make soup from scratch?
- Saute aromatics that you’ve chopped, -garlic, onion, celery
- Add spices
- Pour broth in the pot
- Add grains such as rice or potatoes and more vegetables
- Next, bring soup to a boil then turn down the heat. Simmer soup for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Add meat if you’re going to use any like cooked, shredded chicken or beef and cook for ten more minutes.
- Ladle into bowls.
- Top with a garnish or a sprinkle of cheese or pesto or pistou.
- Serve with crackers, tortillas or crusty bread.
- I Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 jalapenos, diced (wear gloves, wash your hands after)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground chipotle powder
- ½ tsp ground smoked paprika
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 small to medium sweet potato-approximately ½ to ¾ of a pound, peeled and chopped
- Fresh corn sliced off two corn on the cobs, if you don’t have fresh corn, you can substitute one cup of canned or frozen
- 64 ounces of vegetable broth or whatever you have
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups white rice, cooked
- Kosher salt
- Garnishes--quartered lime slices, freshly minced cilantro, tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, tortillas.
- Warm the oil in a stock pot or soup pot.
Add diced onion and celery.
Sprinkle with sea salt to help the vegetables sweat.
Saute over low to medium heat about five minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
Add garlic and one of the diced jalapenos.
Saute for a minute.
Add cumin, chipotle powder and smoked paprika.
Stir for another minute to warm spices.
Add tomatoes and black beans.
Add a teaspoon of kosher salt.
Mix together thoroughly so the spices are evenly incorporated.
Taste soup for seasoning. Add more salt if needed.
Add diced sweet potato and bring soup to a boil.
Once boiling, immediately turn heat down to a simmer.
Cook soup for 20 minutes.
Add cooked rice just before soup is finished cooking and stir thoroughly.
Let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Garnish with cilantro, tortilla strips, lime wedges, grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese.
Use caution when chopping jalapenos. I strongly encourage you to wear a pair of disposable gloves. Wash your hands with soap and water after handling the jalapeno pepper.
If you're missing one of the ingredients, substitute it for something else. If you don't like sweet potato, use carrots. Are you out of celery? Leave it out. The soup will be fine.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 194 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 4mg Sodium: 917mg Carbohydrates: 34g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 7g
More soup reading:
Let me know if you try this recipe!
What’s your best vegetable soup recipe?