Easy Mix-and-Match Vegetable Soup

Easy Mix-and-Match Vegetable Soup

Who needs a one-stop-shop guide to all things vegetable soup? That’s right, we all do! Especially in winter. But more importantly, this guide will teach you how to make vegetable soup with anything you have lying around the house, (no recipe required!) because the best soup is the clean-out-your-freezer vegetable soup. Save money, get full, be happy, and enjoy the endless soup possibilities!!

Easy Mix-and-Match Vegetable Soup

Mix-and-Match Vegetable Soup:


In a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat:

Option 1: sauté 4 slices of diced bacon, do not drain fat
Option 2: brown 1 lb. ground beef/turkey/other lean ground meat, do not drain fat
Option 3 (vegetarian): melt 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil


  • 1 diced onion, sautéed for 5 minutes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, sautéed for no more than 30 seconds at the end

If you have it. . .

Bonus Ingredient 1: 1 cup diced carrots, sautéed 5 minutes
Bonus Ingredient 2: 1 cup diced celery, sautéed 5 minutes


  • 1 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

If you have it. . .

Bonus Ingredient 1: 1/2 tsp. each dried thyme and/or rosemary
a couple springs each fresh thyme and/or rosemary
1 tsp. poultry seasoning


You can scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (FLAVOR) with a wooden spoon if you add a Tbsp. or two of cold liquid, like:

Option 1: dry red or white wine
Option 2: chicken or vegetable stock
Option 3: red wine vinegar
Option 4: water


Option 1: 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
Option 2: 1 Tbsp. tomato paste diced fresh tomato OR cup of cherry tomatoes


Option 1: Quart of low-sodium chicken stock OR vegetable stock
Option 2: 4 cups water + 2 Tbsp. chicken boullion

Add a bay leaf!

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to medium to simmer the remaining starches and vegetables until tender.


Option 1: 1 russet potato, diced OR 4 baby red potatoes, diced OR 1 cup frozen breakfast potatoes
Option 2: 1 can beans, drained and rinsed, (any bean would work here, except maybe for black beans)
Option 3: 1 cup dried grain, (like farro, quinoa, barley, rice, etc.) boiled according to package directions
Option 4: 1 cup short pasta, (like ditalini, stars, macaroni, bowties, etc.) cooked and stored separately and added to soup when serving, otherwise the pasta gets mushy and absorbs all the soup liquid.


I shoot for about ~3 cups-worth/ one 16-oz. bag/ 2 cans of vegetables total. You can use fresh, frozen, or canned.

Choose 2-4:

  • green peas
  • corn
  • green beans
  • lima beans
  • butternut squash
  • spinach/ kale
  • zucchini
  • okra
  • anything you want!


Taste, and add salt and pepper until the soup is very flavorful. Then, you can kick it up a notch with one or all of the extra tastes below:

SPICY: sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes, or add a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper
SWEET: drizzle in a Tbsp. of honey OR sugar
ACID: finish with the juice of half a lemon OR 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar


  • fresh herbs, like basil or parsley
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • crusty bread, crescent rolls, etc.!

Easy Mix-and-Match Vegetable Soup

IDEAS! Vegetable Soup Combinations:

My Go-To (official recipe below):

  1. bacon
  2. onion, garlic, carrot
  3. salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary
  4. red wine vinegar
  5. diced tomatoes
  6. water + chicken bouillon + bay leaf
  7. baby red potatoes
  8. peas, corn, green beans
  9. red pepper flakes, honey, and lemon juice
  10. parmesan cheese and crescent rolls


  1. olive oil
  2. onion, carrot, celery, garlic
  3. salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary
  4. red wine
  5. diced tomatoes
  6. chicken stock + bay leaf
  7. short pasta: ditalini
  8. peas, butternut squash, spinach
  9. red wine vinegar
  10. fresh basil & parsley

Sausage and White Bean

  1. spicy Italian sausage
  2. onion, garlic
  3. salt, pepper, and thyme
  4. diced tomatoes
  5. chicken stock + bay leaf
  6. white beans
  7. kale
  8. crusty bread

Easy Mix-and-Match Vegetable Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 sliced of bacon, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken stock (or 4 cups water + bouillon)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 baby red potatoes, diced into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup corn kernels (I use frozen)
  • 1 cup peas (I use frozen)
  • 1 cup green beans (I use frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Crescent rolls, for serving
  1. Heat a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Fry the diced bacon bits until golden and just crispy.
  3. Add the diced onion, and sprinkle with a tsp. of salt, pepper, dried thyme and rosemary. Stir, and let sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and garlic, stir and let cook another minute.
  5. Pour in the diced tomatoes and chicken stock, stir, and add the bay leaf. Increase the heat to high, let come to a boil, and then turn the heat back down to medium.
  6. Add the potatoes, and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Stir in the corn, peas, and green beans.
  7. Let simmer about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and red pepper flakes.
  9. Top with parmesan cheese and serve with hot, buttery crescent rolls for dipping.
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Written by Ally