Super-Quick Leftover Vegetable Soup

Hearty vegetable soup
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  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
147 Calories
10g Fat
13g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 147
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 279mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 3g
Calcium 54mg 4%
*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.)

Leftover vegetables lurking in the bottom of the fridge or vegetable basket? Don't worry, we all do it at some point. The quickest remedy is to throw them away and hope no-one noticed, but really it is not necessary much simpler and guilt-free, it to transform them quickly and easily into a hearty leftover vegetable soup.
Sort vegetables your vegetables into types (root vegetables, leafy greens, peppers and soft vegetables like tomatoes) and decide what goes with what then head to the stove.
We always like to start my soups with a base of sautéed onion, garlic, carrots and celery, and a good stock then quite literally almost anything else added to the soup pan is OK. Occasionally we will add a few spices to root vegetable soups for extra flavor. And, a few chili flakes spice things up no end.


  • All the vegetables listed here are simply a guide (use what you have)
  • 1 large onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks)
  • 2 celery stalks (washed and chopped into bite-sized chunks)
  • 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups/ 300 g. vegetables (peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks)
  • 20 fl oz./600 mL vegetable, chicken or beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large stockpot or soup pan, heat the vegetable oil, add the onion and gently cook until the onions begin to soften.

  2. Add the garlic, carrot, and celery and cook for another 5 minutes taking care not to burn the garlic.

  3. Add the chopped vegetables and stir, add the stock and bay leaf (and spices if using) and cook until all the vegetables are soft and cooked through (approx 20 minutes).

  4. Blend the soup in the pan using a stick blender or pour into a food processor and blend. You can choose to create a smooth soup, or leave it a little chunky; the choice is yours. 

  5. Cook the soup for a further 5 minutes to reduce slightly, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

This soup will also freeze very well and is certainly a better way to freeze those leftover veggies. 

Vegetables to Use for Soup

Great vegetables for soup include - parsnips, celeriac, leeks, sweet potato, or any other winter roots, broccoli, cauliflower. Make sure they are the vegetables are cleaned, peeled and cut into similar size chunks. The addition of the root vegetables helps to thicken a soup and means less time reducing on the stove. 

Leafy greens great in soup include spinach, watercress, cabbage, collard greens, and rocket aka ruccola.

And, don't forget fresh herbs for even more flavor.

Don't be afraid of adding cooked vegetables to the soup. These can be added towards the end of the cooking to make sure they are thoroughly heated through.

A great addition to the soup is mashed potatoes, which will thicken the soup as well as add flavor and volume. 

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