Herbed Vegetable Soup

Herbed Vegetable Soup

The Spruce / Loren Runion

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
202 Calories
6g Fat
35g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 202
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 846mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 25mg 124%
Calcium 153mg 12%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 1063mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Most soup recipes call for plenty of broth of stock, but sometimes you need a warm, filling meal and you don't have any prepared broth on hand. Thanks to some flavorful ingredients like garlic, ginger, onions, bay leaf, and dried herbs, this vegetable soup makes its own broth. It's an easy and cost-effective vegan and vegetarian meal.

Even though it's not stock-based, this warming vegetable soup has plenty of flavor thanks to the liberal use of herbs and spices. Plus, because success doesn't rely on exact measurements, this recipe is a great candidate for experimentation. Try adding beans or changing the vegetables to suit your taste.

Serve the herbed vegetable soup with crusty bread, cornbread, crackers, or a green salad for a complete meal.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)

  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 3 (1/4-inch) slices peeled ginger

  • 3 large cloves garlic

  • 6 cups water

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, chopped

  • 1 large zucchini, sliced (about 2 cups)

  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 1/4 cup pearl barley

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Fresh basil, or parsley, for optional garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Herbed Vegetable Soup ingredients

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  2. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, ginger, and garlic. Sauté until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Add the onions, celery, carrots, ginger, and garlic to a Dutch oven

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  3. Add the water, tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, potato, and barley. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.

    Add the water, tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, potato, and barley to the vegetables in the Dutch oven

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  4. Once the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat and add the salt, basil, thyme, bay leaf, and black pepper (to taste). Simmer the soup, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until vegetables and barley reach desired tenderness.

    add the salt, basil, thyme, bay leaf, and black pepper to the soup

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

  5. Remove the ginger, garlic cloves, and bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs (if desired).

    Remove the ginger, garlic cloves, and bay leaf from the soup

    The Spruce / Loren Runion

Recipe Variations

  • You can easily swap out or add to the vegetables in this soup to suit your tastes. Good options include turnips, parsnips, green beans, peas, other leafy greens like kale, corn, bell peppers, and sliced mushrooms.
  • If you're not vegetarian, you can add cooked, crumbled sausage or ground beef for protein. Try spicy sausage for a flavorful soup.
  • Add a can of beans to make this soup more filling. Chickpeas, white beans, and kidney beans are all good choices.
  • Try topping the soup with some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.