Overflowing with the vegetables of your choice in a delicious ranch and tomato-flavored broth, this easy vegetable soup recipe is certainly a dieter’s best friend.
This homemade vegetable soup recipe is one my mother and I have used for over 30 years and we still love it. Many diets have “free” vegetables, which are basically vegetables that are allowed without restriction. What this soup does is combine those vegetables with a richly flavored broth. A bowl of this vegetable soup is the perfect anytime dish to fight off the munchies, a quick and easy lunch, or a filling side dish with your evening main meal.
Back in the day, cabbage, okra, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, onions, and celery were all considered “free” or vegetables that could be eaten without limitation. I liked to walk on the wild side and toss in some corn too. I live dangerously that way. I’m not sure if these vegetables are considered evil today, I guess you’d have to check outside and see which way the wind is blowing. But common sense refuses to allow me to consider this soup anything but healthy and delicious! The great thing though is that you can omit, substitute, and exchange the veggies in this easy vegetable soup to fit whatever eating plan you are following so it’s a win/win across the board.
Most often, when I am dieting my problem is not so much hunger as a desire to munch. Reaching for this soup rather than pretzels, chips, or any number of higher carb and calorie snacks is definitely a step in the right direction to a healthier you! I make a huge pot and keep it in the fridge, heating it up whenever I need it for up to five days. I always look forward to a delicious bowl of this flavorful and filling soup. Did I mention it’s also ridiculously easy to make? Just pop all the ingredients in a pot and let them simmer until the vegetables are your desired tenderness. That’s all there is to it. Alright, let’s make some homemade vegetable soup.
The ingredients aren’t exact. You mainly need to go with the veggies that you personally enjoy. I’m using:
- Green beans
- Crushed tomatoes (I prefer crushed over diced tomatoes for a thicker, more filling broth).
- Ranch dressing mix
How to Make Easy Vegetable Soup
Wash, peel, and chop any of your veggies that need it, and put all ingredients into a large pot.
I add about 6 cups of water to this but you may prefer more or less, depending on how much liquid you like.
Stir that up and place it over medium-high heat.
Bring just to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes or so, until the veggies are to your desired tenderness.
It will be rather thick but as the vegetables cook up, they’ll create a lot more liquid.
This is how it will look about half an hour after it starts simmering.
You only need to cook it until the vegetables are as tender as you like. I like mine to be tender but not mushy.
I love having this vegetable soup on hand to eat anytime cravings or munchies strike.
This lets me indulge my taste buds while giving my body lots of great veggies.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This is a great meal prep option as you can simply reheat leftovers in the microwave.
- You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating in the microwave.
- I prefer to use frozen vegetables over canned vegetables. Of course, nothing beats fresh vegetables anytime but when those aren’t available to me, frozen wins out.
- Please know I am referring ONLY to dry ranch dressing mix here, not bottled ranch dressing.
- Want to give this vegetable soup a boost? Keep it veggie-friendly and add canned beans. White beans like cannellini beans always work, as well as chickpeas, kidney beans, or black beans.
- You can also easily turn this into vegetable pasta soup by adding cooked pasta about 10 minutes before the soup finishes cooking. You can use any type of pasta, but tortellini soup is always a winner.
- Does it need a little kick? Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
- For more tomato flavor, add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.
- Speaking of… if you want to add more flavor in the form of dried herbs and spices, go right ahead! Some complimentary flavors include Italian seasoning, a bay leaf or two while simmering, and a teaspoon of garlic powder and/or onion powder.
How do you serve homemade vegetable soup?
There are lots of ways to serve this vegetable soup:
- Enjoy it for lunch throughout the week.
- Serve it as a side dish with a simple main meal like grilled chicken, roast chicken, or crockpot turkey breast.
- Serve it as a main dish with cornbread, buttermilk biscuits, crusty bread, or a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Add a garnish of freshly grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
What other vegetables are good in vegetable soup?
The options are basically endless, but here are some other veggie suggestions. Remember, you can use frozen or fresh vegetables:
- Butternut squash
- Frozen peas
- Summer squash
- Green beans
- Sweet potato
- Bell pepper
- Leafy vegetables like kale or spinach (stir in towards the end).
Can I make vegetable soup in the slow cooker?
Absolutely! For crockpot vegetable soup, add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours (or until the veggies are as tender as you’d like).
Can I make easy vegetable soup in the Instant Pot?
You can also make this veggie soup in the Instant Pot. You’ll want to place all ingredients in the Instant Pot and cook for 7 minutes, then let the pressure release manually for 10 minutes.
I think you’d also like these easy soup recipes:
Creamy Vegetable Soup (Low-Carb Version)
French Onion Soup, Restaurant-Style
Senate Bean Soup (With a Shortcut)
Cauliflower Soup Recipe With Cheese
- 16 ounces frozen green beans
- 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
- 4-6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 16 ounces frozen okra
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
- 6 cups water
- Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.16 ounces frozen green beans, 1/2 head cabbage, chopped, 4-6 large carrots, peeled and chopped, 16 ounces frozen okra, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix, 6 cups water
- Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are desired tenderness.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
This recipe was featured on Meal Plan Monday and Weekend Potluck.
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Being from the South yourself, please tell me you know about “field corn” (as opposed to regular sweet corn), and tell the readers how wonderful it is when you cut it off of the cob and cook it in the oven in an iron skillet with butter, salt, and pepper until it browns around the edges, etc.!! That’s what I’m having for supper tonight, and I did not see any fresh corn recipes on your site! Just whetting everyone’s appetites during this cold winter for the wonderful summer vegetables!
Lol, you know I shucked two entire bushels of corn this past summer and put it up, both fried and on the cob. I know just what you are talking about and it is the food of the Gods, its so good! Hang in there, I’ve only been doing this since July and I have a few more hundred recipes yet to be posted!
I issued a “corn challenge” to my three siblings this past summer. The challenge was needed because we all grew up doing so much garden work that none of us have gardens today. We just go to the farmer’s market and get what we want. However, not having the gardens means that none of us have had the good field corn like we were raised up eating. Two of the three sibings accepted the challenge and, over the course of 2 and one-half days we put up 150 quarts–that’s shucking, washing, cutting it off, blanching, cooling, and placing it in our freezers! You absolutely CANNOT get that awesome taste in any brand you can buy in the store!
I agree completely.
My husband didn’t understand why I worked so hard on shucking all of that corn (by myself!) but now I think he gets it 🙂
Fresh Corn is…..oh my the most delicious taste on earth. I could live on it.
Try blancing and cooling corn before cutting it from the cob; I found it much easier and way less messy. I didn’t have to clean corn juice off the ceiling!
When I was growing up we had “Yellow Dent” corn before the hybridized corn that is now grown. It was delicious. The hybridized corn matures faster and it is almost impossible to pick it at just the right stage for eating. We tried growing it in our garden one year but gave up after that season because it was a poor substitute. Now we either buy fresh corn at the super market or use frozen.
Man oh Man, you got the soup with okra in it, between this, the country casserole, and the taco soup, I have three winners I can cook up, like you, I would throw corn in, and me, being part Irish, I have to throw a couple of potatoes in. The ranch dressing just gives it a flavor you dont normally find. Keep these quick and easy ones comin Christy, you are definitely a Southern Cooks best friend.
Hey Robert!! Thank you so much. You always put a big old grin on my face every time you comment!
Southern Cook’s Best Friend? now that is QUITE a title! I’ll take that with pride any day!
I got tons more, stay with me!
Christy – Thanks for the recipe! I never thought of adding Ranch dressing mix – I can’t wait to try it!
My mom used to make something like this when I was a kid – we called it ‘homemade jobby’! Don’t know why!
Ooooh that Ranch dressing mix makes all the difference in the world. You just won’t believe the flavor! If you get to try it, do let us know how you like it!!
Homemade Jobby – thats a new one for me! I bet the name has something to do with kids not wanting to eat “soup” or “stew” – much the same reason why I used to call casseroles “gobblers” when my son wouldn’t eat anything named a “casserole”! lol
Every summer when it is time for the garden to start “comin in”, I clean out my freezer and make vegetable soup with whatever wasn’t eaten-turnips, green beans, crowder peas, squash, okra, tomatoes and anything else I might find. Make the soup and can it, this year made 22 quarts, enjoyed some last night.
Sounds like a great idea! Homemade soup is so much better than store bought, especially with garden veggies!
Thanks for this recipe. I have made it before but I kinda forgot about it. I called it the “cabbage soup diet.” I love soup and will have to try this recipe again. I hope I can find that “seasoning blend” in my market. What a time saver.
I am addicted to your site. My family is enjoying your recipes. =)
Hey Angela!! I am so glad you are enjoying it! I have tons more coming up so stay tuned (February is going to be a BIG month here ~grins).
That ranch makes a huge difference and it is so awfully good, too!!!
its great to have you here!
Wow what timing! I just finished making a pot of it. I didn’t have ranch dressing but I put a bit of Italian seasoning in it. I had the cabbage but I also added turnips to substitute for potatoes. In the broth you can’t tell that much difference in them.
I spent Sunday in the hospital, got a stomach bug and it dehydrated me. I was drinking water but it wasn’t enough. I passed out..never done that before.. it was scary. I was pretty sure I saw Jesus in the Ambulance telling to get up and come with him.. but I was pretty delirious. My dad got the bug now so I made the soup so he could get something down.
I will remember the ranch next time. Thanks!
Now Bill, this ain’t good. If you don’t start taking better care of yourself I am going to be forced to marry you off.
Another little trick to help hydrate, make a little Crystal Lite and add 1/4 a teaspoon of salt to your glass before drinking. The lining of your stomach actually absorbs liquid through it and if you add in the salt, it absorbs that, then the salt attracts more liquid and thereby you get a lot more in your system faster as a decent amount is actually going in when it hits your stomach rather than having to wait to process through your body.
Why am I telling you all of this? I guess I just need a chance to vent some of my useless knowledge from time to time.
I hope you get to feeling better, please keep us posted on your dad and don’t forget to take it easy on yourself.
Heh.. It was weird. I had just finished off a 32 oz bottle of water when it happened. I was drinking it… a little too late. Thats cool to know about the salt in the crystal light. And anytime you wanna gimme advice.. you just go right ahead.
Bill, What is the name of your blog? I was reading it a month ago and LOVED it. I love your cats!!! But, I don’t have your link anymore. Thanks!!
Is this what you’re looking for?
I made veggie soup last night. I didn’t use all the “free” veggies though. And I did add some leftover roast and some spiral pasta to it, but I still feel like it’s pretty healthy. AND perfect for a cold day like today since I’m having some leftovers for lunch! Mmmm!!
I’m with you, sounds healthy and well balanced to me! I basically ate this all day long today and it was great!
I have some chicken in the oven now and am about to make mashed potatoes so the kidders are happy tonight 🙂
Great recipe! I used chicken broth instead of water…added a can of diced tomatoes and a few cloves of garlic. I didnt have ranch seasoning so I used a mixed organic seasoning. Tastes awesome!!