Tomato Herb Soup

I’m constantly looking for new ways to use my favorite (not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce in recipes because it’s just SO good. So, the other day I was thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if I can just make it into a really tasty soup.” The answer is yes. Yes, that deliciously tangy, herb-infused sauce is the […]

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I’m constantly looking for new ways to use my favorite (not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce in recipes because it’s just SO good. So, the other day I was thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder if I can just make it into a really tasty soup.” The answer is yes. Yes, that deliciously tangy, herb-infused sauce is the great beginning to a super fast, easy, and delicious homemade Tomato Herb Soup.

Originally published 9-16-2013, updated 10-12-2020.

A mug of tomato herb soup on a plate with a grilled cheese

What Does Tomato Herb Soup Taste Like?

This tomato herb soup is not your everyday canned condensed tomato soup. It’s not sugary sweet, it’s fairly thick, very rich, and has tons of herby flavor. The magic comes from the melange of dried herbs and the quick act of caramelizing the tomato paste to create a rich sweetness. So yum and it gets better as it refrigerates. Oh, did I mention that it just happens to be VEGAN?

What to Serve with Tomato Herb Soup

A classic grilled cheese sandwich is never a bad idea, but you could also do something like Homemade Garlic Bread, or drop a few Homemade Croutons on top, and make a super simple salad to go on the side.

Is it Freezer Friendly?

Yes, this soup holds up really well to freezing, so feel free to stash a couple servings in there for later! I try to use up my frozen foods within three months for best quality, but you may get a longer life out of it. In the refrigerator, the soup should stay good for about 4-5 days.

Overhead view of a mug full of tomato soup with a black spoon in the center
 
Tomato herb soup in a mug on a plate with grilled cheese

Tomato Herb Soup

Use basic pantry staples to create this quick and easy Tomato Herb Soup. It's thick, rich, flavorful, and perfect for grilled cheese dipping!
Total Cost $2.62 recipe / $0.52 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 1.5 cups each
Calories 168.16kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1/4 cup olive oil $0.64
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary $0.03
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste $0.39
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar $0.02
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes $0.79
  • 3 cups vegetable broth $0.39

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and add it to a sauce pot along with the olive oil, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and freshly cracked pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-low and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic has softened.
  • Add the tomato paste and brown sugar. Stir until everything is mixed (the oil may stay partially separated). Cook the mixture while stirring continuously for 3-5 minutes, or until the tomato paste takes on a darker, almost burgundy hue.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Whisk the mixture together until smooth. Turn the heat up to medium and heat through, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5Cups | Calories: 168.16kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.6g | Protein: 2.86g | Fat: 11.44g | Sodium: 731.8mg | Fiber: 4.68g

How to Make Tomato Herb Soup – Step by Step Photos

Oil garlic and herbs in a soup pot

Start by adding ¼ cup olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes, and some freshly cracked black pepper to a sauce pot. Turn the heat on to medium-low and sauté the herbs in the oil for about two minutes, or until the garlic has softened.

Tomato paste and brown sugar added to the pot

Add 6 oz. tomato paste and 1 Tbsp brown sugar to the pot. Stir until everything is pretty well combined (the oil may never fully mix in). Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes more, or until the tomato paste takes on a darker burgundy hue (see photo below).

crushed tomatoes being poured into the pot

Add one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes are smaller bits than diced tomatoes, but not quite as smooth as tomato sauce. It’s somewhere in between, and doesn’t have any seasoning added.

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot

Also add 3 cups of vegetable broth, which will thin the soup out, add depth of flavor, and just the right amount of salt. I use this Better Than Bouillon to quickly mix up the exact amount of broth that I need.

finished tomato herb soup being lifted with a ladle

Then just whisk everything together and heat through! The end! The flavors are even better the next day.

Tomato herb soup in a mug on a plate with grilled cheese

OMG – grilled cheese + tomato soup FTW!

Now give yourself a high-five for making such a delicious soup in under 30 minutes.

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Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

If ever there was a meal-worthy soup, it would be Broccoli Cheddar! This bowl full of colorful, chunky vegetables and a super thick cheesy “broth” are sure to leave you warm, happy, and satisfied. Unlike some broccoli cheddar soups, my Broccoli Cheddar Soup doesn’t use heavy cream and is ever so slightly lighter on the […]

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If ever there was a meal-worthy soup, it would be Broccoli Cheddar! This bowl full of colorful, chunky vegetables and a super thick cheesy “broth” are sure to leave you warm, happy, and satisfied. Unlike some broccoli cheddar soups, my Broccoli Cheddar Soup doesn’t use heavy cream and is ever so slightly lighter on the cheese, so you still get all that creamy, cheesy goodness without feeling totally weighed down. But, you can always add more cheese if you’d like. #norules This soup is so dang easy I’m sure it’s going to go into my regular rotation!

Three bowls of Broccoli Cheddar Soup with saltine crackers on the side

Smaller Batch for No Leftovers

Most of my soup recipes are big batch so you can freeze the leftovers and stock your freezer with all that goodness, but this Broccoli Cheddar Soup is the exception. Cheese sauces (and in this case broths) thickened with butter and flour roux don’t tend to hold up to freezing and thawing, so I made this a small batch soup so you don’t have to worry about having too many leftovers. This recipe makes four generous servings.

How Long Does Broccoli Cheddar Soup Keep?

As mentioned above, you don’t want to freeze this soup, but it will stay good in your fridge for 4-5 days. And boy are the leftovers ever DELICIOUS. They reheat beautifully in the microwave, or can be reheated on the stove top over medium-low heat, stirring often.

What to Serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This super thick, cheesy “broth” is just begging for some crackers or thick crusty bread for scooping up every last drop. I love saltine crackers with mine, but oyster crackers would be awesome, as would my focaccia rolls

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

Yes, frozen broccoli works quite well for this recipe. I do suggest letting them thaw completely before adding them to the soup, and you probably will still want to chop them into much smaller pieces (think bite-sized, fits-on-a-spoon small).

Make it Vegetarian

I used chicken broth as the base for my soup because it tends to be a little more on the mild side and the light color doesn’t overshadow the orange color of the cheese, but you can use vegetable broth instead to make this soup vegetarian. Just be aware that it tends to have a stronger flavor and the darker color may darken your soup. 

CLose up of a ladle full of broccoli cheddar soup

 
Overhead view of a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with saltine crackers

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This super easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup is chock full of colorful, chunky vegetables in a rich and cheesy broth for a totally meal-worthy soup.
Total Cost $4.97 recipe / $1.24 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 2 cups each
Calories 426.2kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.52
  • 1 lb. broccoli $1.49
  • 2 carrots $0.23
  • 4 Tbsp butter $0.52
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.04
  • 2 cups chicken broth $0.24
  • 2 cups whole milk $0.75
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 6 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded $1.27

Instructions

  • Dice the onion. Chop the broccoli into very small pieces. Peel and slice the carrots.
  • Add the butter and onion to a large soup pot and sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the flour and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more, or until the flour is coating the bottom of the pot and is a light golden brown color.
  • Add the chicken broth and whisk to dissolve all the flour off the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and, while stirring often, allow the broth to come up to a simmer. When it reaches a simmer it will thicken to a gravy consistency.
  • Turn the heat back down to medium and whisk in the milk, smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Allow the broth to come back up to a simmer.
  • Add the chopped broccoli and carrots, allow the broth to come back up to a simmer, and continue to simmer the vegetables, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  • Finally, turn the heat down to medium-low and stir the shredded cheese into the soup, one handful at a time, until it is fully melted. Taste the soup and add salt if needed (this will depend on the salt content of your broth—I did not add any).

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 426.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.43g | Protein: 16.65g | Fat: 30g | Sodium: 949.73mg | Fiber: 2.55g

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Overhead view of a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with saltine crackers

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Step by Step Photos

Chopped broccoli

Dice one yellow onion, finely chop one pound of broccoli, and peel and slice two carrots. I’m showing a photo of the broccoli so you can see how fine you want the pieces. I might even go a smidge smaller on the broccoli next time. You want the pieces small enough to easily fit on a spoon!

Sautéed onion and butter, flour being added to the pot

Add the onion and 4 Tbsp butter to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Add 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more, or until the flour is coating the bottom of the pot and has turned a light golden brown color.

Chicken broth being whisked into the pot

Whisk 2 cups chicken broth into the pot, making sure to dissolve all the flour off the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and while stirring often, allow the broth to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy consistency.

Whisk in milk and spices

Turn the heat back down to medium. Whisk 2 cups milk, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp black pepper, and ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper into the thickened broth. Allow the broth to come back up to a simmer.

Chopped vegetables added to the pot

Add the chopped broccoli and sliced carrots to the pot. Allow it to come back up to a simmer, then continue to simmer the vegetables, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.

Simmered vegetables in the soup

You can test a piece of carrot or broccoli to make sure it’s to your desired tenderness. If not, simmer a bit longer. The soup doesn’t even have any cheese in it yet, but it already looks so good!

Shredded Cheese added to the soup

Finally, add 6 oz. of shredded sharp cheddar, one handful at a time, until it is fully melted into the soup. I stopped at 6oz. (¾ of an 8oz. block), but you could always add the remaining 2oz. if you prefer.

Finished broccoli cheddar soup being stirred

And that’s a wrap! Taste your soup and see if you want to add any additional salt. This will mostly depend on the salt content of your chicken broth. I did not add any, but if your soup is tasting a little bland, a little salt can go a long way toward making the flavors pop!

Side view of broccoli cheddar soup in the pot with the ladle

Soooo thick and cheesy!! 😍

Three bowls of broccoli cheddar soup with saltines on the side

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Turkey Meatball Tortellini Soup with Spinach

This turkey meatball tortellini soup with spinach is an easy, kid-friendly soup and a great way to warm up on a cold winter night. One large bowl is under 300 calories and is very satisfying. Turkey Meatball Spinach Tortellini Soup I love turkey meatballs in my soup. Spaghetti and meatball soup is a regular in […]

The post Turkey Meatball Tortellini Soup with Spinach appeared first on Skinnytaste.

This turkey meatball tortellini soup with spinach is an easy, kid-friendly soup and a great way to warm up on a cold winter night. One large bowl is under 300 calories and is very satisfying.

This turkey meatball spinach tortellini soup is an easy, kid-friendly soup and a great way to warm up on a cold winter night. One large bowl is under 300 calories and is very satisfying.

Turkey Meatball Spinach Tortellini Soup

I love turkey meatballs in my soup. Spaghetti and meatball soup is a regular in my home because my kids love it! I also love making tortellini soup – Spinach Tortellini en Brodo is a winter favorite of mine. This recipe combines the best of both soups and my family loved it. I hope yours does too!

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Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the […]

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I love good quality food, but I also have a small place in my heart reserved for convenience foods like instant ramen or frozen pizzas. I don’t indulge in them often, and when I do I often spruce them up with something special to make them a little more interesting. I’ve posted before about the things I like to add to my instant ramen to give it an upgrade, and now I have a new favorite ingredient—gochujang! This sweet-salty-spicy paste creates a rich broth with plenty of umami that I balanced with some fresh spinach and chunks of mild tofu. This Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to indulge that noodle craving!

Two bowls of gochujang ramen with tofu, a bowl of gochujang on the side

What is Gochujang?

If you’ve never heard of gochujang, it’s a Korean chile paste made with chile peppers, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. It kind of reminds me of a spicy version of miso. Gochujang is really starting to trend in the U.S. because of its uniquely sweet-salty-spicy and UMAMI flavor. And because we’re all kind of over our infatuation with sriracha and looking for the next best thing. It’s those fermented soy beans that really set gochujang apart and give whatever you’re adding it to that extra “WOW” factor. So if you haven’t tried it yet, put it on your list!

Where to Buy Gochujang

Because gochujang is really becoming quite popular, you’ll probably be able to find some at most major grocery stores. My local kroger actually carries about 4-5 different kinds! I’m using this Sempio Gochujang. If you have an Asian grocery store near you, you’re sure to find a really good selection there, and probably much better prices. Want to try to make your own? Try this traditional gochujang recipe, or this quickie 5-minute gochujang.

To Use the Ramen Packet or Not to Use the Ramen Packet

Personally, I like to use my own broth when making ramen instead of using the little seasoning packet that comes with the noodles. I like the freedom of tweaking the flavors and salt content, but you can use the seasoning packet if you prefer. Gochujang has quite a bit of salt, so if you do want to use the flavor packet that comes with the instant ramen I suggest adding the gochujang to the water first (3 cups water), then adding a little of the flavor packet at a time until the broth reaches a reasonable salt level for you.

How Spicy is It?

Decently spicy, IMHO. You can reduce the amount of gochujang to make it slightly less spicy, if you prefer. Or, if you’re looking for non-spicy ways to spruce up your ramen, check out my post about 6 Ways to Upgrade Ramen, or my Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen.

What Should I Do With my Leftover Tofu?

This recipe uses half of a traditional 14oz. block of tofu. My first choice for using up the other half of the block would be to make a half batch of my Curried Tofu Salad. That stuff is to die for. You could also toss it into a stir fry, or chop it up, add some BBQ sauce and make yourself a BBQ Tofu Slider.

Gochujang ramen with tofu in the sauce pot on a yellow background with a black and white zig-zag napkin.

 
One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Gochujang Ramen with Tofu

Spicy gochujang gives this instant ramen extra oomph! Gochujang Ramen with Tofu is a quick and easy way to satisfy that noodle craving.
Total Cost $2.26 recipe / $1.13 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 322.15kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. extra firm tofu $0.90
  • 1 cup water $0.00
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* $0.26
  • 2 Tbsp gochujang $0.46
  • 1 package instant ramen* $0.19
  • 2 cups fresh spinach $0.25
  • 2 green onions $0.20

Instructions

  • Drain the tofu and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Add the water, vegetable broth, and gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang is dissolved.
  • Add the cubed tofu to the pot, place a lid on top, and bring it up to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, add the instant ramen noodles (without seasoning). Boil for one to two minutes, or just until the noodles begin to soften and pull loose from each other.
  • Add two handfuls (about 2 cups) fresh spinach and stir it into the hot broth until wilted. The noodles will finish cooking as the spinach wilts.
  • Slice the green onions and sprinkle over top of the ramen just before serving.

Notes

*If using vegetable broth, discard the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen noodles. If using the seasoning packet, use 3 cups of water instead of 1 cup water and 2 cups vegetable broth. Add the gochujang to the water first, then add a small amount of the seasoning packet at a time until you reach the desired level of saltiness for the broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 322.15kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.55g | Protein: 15.9g | Fat: 12.6g | Sodium: 1347.35mg | Fiber: 3.1g

side view of a bowl of gochujang ramen with chopsticks picking up a piece of tofu

How to Make Gochujang Ramen with Tofu – Step by Step Photos

cubed tofu on a cutting board

Drain a 14oz. block of tofu and cut half of it into ½-inch cubes. See the notes above the recipe for ideas for using the remaining tofu.

Gochujang broth in a small sauce pot with a whisk, tub of gochujang on the side

Add 1 cup water, 2 cups vegetable broth, and 2 Tbsp gochujang to a small sauce pot. Whisk until the gochujang has dissolved.

Cubed tofu being dropped into the pot

Add the cubed tofu to the pot. Adding the tofu before we start boiling the broth gives it a few minutes to start absorbing some of the flavor from the broth, as opposed to adding it at the end. Place a lid on the pot and bring the broth up to a boil over high heat.

Ramen noodles added to the pot, empty package on the side

Once boiling, add the block of instant ramen noodles (without seasoning packet). Let the noodles boil for about a minute, or just until they being to soften up and loosen up from the block.

Spinach added to the pot

Add a couple handfuls of spinach to the pot and stir it in until wilted. This should give the noodles just enough time to finish cooking as well.

Finished gochujang ramen in the pot

Slice two green onions and sprinkle them over the ramen just before serving.

One bowl of gochujang ramen with tofu, chopsticks on the side

Enjoy that spicy goodness!!

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Chunky Ham and Bean Soup

Soup season is already on its way out, but I couldn’t resist one more warm and cozy pot of goodness. For this super easy and deliciously chunky Ham and Bean Soup I took cue from my easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup and used a puréed can of beans to thicken the pot, combined that […]

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Soup season is already on its way out, but I couldn’t resist one more warm and cozy pot of goodness. For this super easy and deliciously chunky Ham and Bean Soup I took cue from my easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup and used a puréed can of beans to thicken the pot, combined that with some chunky and colorful vegetables and a handful of diced ham to round out this meal in a bowl. This is also a great use for your leftover holiday ham, so bookmark this recipe for Easter next month!

Thick & Chunky Ham and Bean Soup

Two bowls of chunky ham and bean soup with torn chunks of bread on the side

What Kind of Beans Should I Use?

I used cannellini beans for this soup because I love their large shape and creamy texture. You can also use a different type of white beans, like navy beans or great northern beans. 

Can I Use Dry Beans?

This recipe is written specifically for canned beans. Using dry beans would require different methods and different amounts of liquids and seasoning, so I would need to develop and test a recipe specifically for dry beans before providing instructions.

What Kind of Ham Can I Use?

You can use virtually any cooked ham. The ham I used is an uncured, fully cooked, thick sliced ham. If using pre-sliced ham, a thicker slice works a little better than thin sandwich slices, which won’t give much texture to the soup. If you have leftover cooked ham from Easter or any other holiday, that can also be used in this recipe.

Can I Freeze Ham and Bean Soup?

Yes, this soup is a great candidate for freezing! Simply chill the soup completely in the refrigerator overnight before transferring to the freezer for long term storage (about 3 months). I prefer to divide my soup into single servings before freezing, so they can be reheated as needed and in the amount needed. Quart-sized freezer bags are great for freezing soup, as are the small blue-top Ziploc food storage containers.

Close up front view of a bowl full of chunky ham and bean soup with a spoon lifting some and a chunk of bread in the side of the bowl.

 
Two bowls of chunky ham and bean soup with chunks of bread on the side
Print

Chunky Ham and Bean Soup

This incredibly easy and deliciously chunky Ham and Bean Soup features a medley of colorful vegetables, browned ham, and plenty of hearty white beans.
Total Cost $6.70 recipe / $1.68 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 553.83kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion $0.32
  • 3 carrots $0.30
  • 3 ribs celery $0.35
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 lb. cooked ham $3.75
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 3 15oz. cans cannellini beans $1.47
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme $0.02
  • freshly cracked black pepper $0.03
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or more as needed) $0.26

Instructions

  • Dice the onion, peel and slice the carrots, slice the celery, and mince the garlic.
  • Dice the ham into bite-sized chunks. Add the ham and cooking oil to a large soup pot. Sauté the ham for 3-5 minutes over medium heat, or until it achieves a decent amount of browning. Remove the browned ham to a clean bowl.
  • Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot in place of the ham. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until the onions have softened. Allow the moisture released from the vegetables to help dissolve the browned bits of ham from the bottom of the soup pot as you stir.
  • While the vegetables are sautéing, add one of the three cans of beans to a blender, with the liquid from the can, and purée until smooth. Drain the remaining two cans of beans.
  • Add all three cans of beans (one puréed and two drained) to the soup pot with the vegetables. Also add 1/4 tsp dried thyme, some freshly cracked pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill), and 2 cups chicken broth. Stir to combine, then turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the soup to come to a boil.
  • Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium and allow the soup to continue to boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the soup boils it will reduce and thicken. If the soup becomes too thick, add more vegetable broth or water to achieve your desired soup consistency.
  • After the soup has boiled for 15 minutes and has thickened, stir the cooked ham back into the soup. Give the soup a taste and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking. I did not add any additional salt, but I did top each bowl with a little fresh pepper. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 553.83kcal | Carbohydrates: 75.33g | Protein: 41.75g | Fat: 9.98g | Sodium: 2143.8mg | Fiber: 18.23g

Close up of a ladle full of chunky ham and bean soup being held over the soup pot

How to Make Ham and Bean Soup – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Before you begin, dice one yellow onion, peel and slice three carrots, slice three ribs of celery, and mince two cloves of garlic.

Uncured ham pacakge

This is the type of ham I used. You can use any cooked ham, but a thicker slice works better than thin sandwich slices. You can also use cooked holiday ham. You’ll need one pound of cooked ham.

Browned ham in the soup pot

Dice one pound of ham and add it to a soup pot with one tablespoon cooking oil. Cook the ham over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the ham is browned on the edges. Remove the ham to a clean bowl.

Diced vegetables cooked in soup pot.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot in place of the ham and continue to cook over medium for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Use the moisture released from the vegetables to dissolve the browned bits off the bottom of the pot.

Whole and pureed beans added to soup pot

While the vegetables are cooking, add one of the three cans of cannellini beans to a blender (with the liquid from the can) and purée until smooth. Drain the other two cans. Add the puréed beans and drained beans to the soup pot.

thyme pepper and chicken broth added to the soup pot

Also add 1/4 tsp dried thyme, some freshly cracked pepper, and 2 cups of chicken broth to the pot. Stir to combine. The soup will be fairly watery at this point.

Boiled ham and bean soup

Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the soup up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down slightly to medium and let the soup boil for 15 minutes, stirring often. The soup will reduce and thicken as it boils. If it becomes too thick for your liking, simply add a little more water or chicken broth to reach your desired consistency.

Cooked ham being poured back into the soup pot

After boiling the soup for 15 minutes, stir the cooked ham back into the pot. Give the soup a taste and adjust the salt or pepper, if needed.

Finished chunky ham and bean soup in the soup pot with bread on the side

Serve the chunky Ham and Bean Soup hot, preferably with crusty bread for dipping!

Two bowls of chunky ham and bean soup with chunks of bread on the side

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Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. Not only is it incredibly easy, but even just the smell of it simmering away is soothing and totally gives me hygge vibes. While I’ve had a stove top version of this Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup for years, I thought […]

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Homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. Not only is it incredibly easy, but even just the smell of it simmering away is soothing and totally gives me hygge vibes. While I’ve had a stove top version of this Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup for years, I thought it was high time to show just how easy and hands-off it is to make with a slow cooker (or crock pot). This is the perfect winter Sunday recipe to have going while you tend to other chores or just catch up on Netflix. :)

Homemade Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Overhead view of a slow cooker containing freshly cooked homemade chicken noodle soup

What Size Slow Cooker Do I Need?

I would suggest using a 6 quart slow cooker. I used a 5 quart slow cooker and it was filled dangerously close to the top, so 6 quart would be a much better fit. If you have a smaller slow cooker you can cut the recipe in half by changing the number of servings in the box next to servings in the recipe card below. This will adjust the amounts of all the ingredients for you. It will still need to cook for the same amount of time.

What Are “Split” Chicken Breasts?

Split chicken breasts are one whole chicken breast that has been split down the breast bone into two pieces (right and left breast) with the bones, rib meat, and skin still attached. Also known as bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Using this type of chicken breast is key to getting the best flavor in your chicken soup. The bones, connective tissues, and dark rib meat are where all the flavor’s at. Bone-in chicken thighs are also a great option.

Can I Use Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast?

Technically you can, but your soup will have a lot less flavor. You may find that you need to use pre-made chicken broth in place of the water listed in the recipe below to get more flavor in your soup.

Overhead view of a bowl full of slow cooker chicken noodle soup

Can I Use Frozen Chicken?

It’s not recommended to add frozen meat to slow cookers. It takes too much time for the meat to thaw and come up to a safe temperature, leaving it in the temperature “danger zone” where bacteria can flourish for too long. If you have frozen chicken that you’d like to use, make sure to thaw it fully using a safe method before adding it to the slow cooker.

To Use Chicken Skin or Not to Use Chicken Skin

I remove the chicken skin from the split chicken breasts before adding it to the slow cooker, but you don’t have to. There is a lot of fat and flavor in the skin, so if you want an extra rich soup you can leave it on. You’ll just remove the skin at the same time that you debone the chicken meat.

Can I Freeze Chicken Noodle Soup?

Yes! This recipe makes a huge batch, so you’ll probably want to freeze half of it. Make sure to divide the soup into single portions just after cooking (so it cools quickly), cool it completely in the refrigerator over night, then transfer to the freezer the next day. You can freeze in quart-sized freezer bags or reusable freezer safe food storage containers.

Overhead view of a ladle lifting chicken noodle soup out of the slow cooker

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Slow cooker chicken noodle soup is an incredibly easy and soothing winter recipe that will fill you up and warm you from the inside out!

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($0.24)
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 medium) ($0.30)
  • 4 ribs celery ($0.43)
  • 2 split chicken breasts* (2-2.5 lbs. total) ($6.30)
  • 1 tsp dried basil ($0.10)
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley ($0.30)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ($0.05)
  • 1 bay leaf ($0.15)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.05)
  • 8 cups water ($0.00)
  • 6 oz. wide egg noodles ($0.68)
  • 1 Tbsp salt (or to taste) ($0.10)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional) ($0.20)
  1. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, peel and slice the carrots, and slice the celery. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to a 6 quart slow cooker or crock pot.

  2. Remove the skin from the bone-in split chicken breasts, then place them on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker. Add the basil, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper to the slow cooker.

  3. Pour 8 cups of water over the ingredients in the slow cooker. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

  4. After cooking on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board and discard the bay leaf. Add the egg noodles to the slow cooker, stir to combine, and replace the lid, with the heat turned on to high.

  5. Use two forks to remove the chicken meat from the bones, shredding the meat as you go. Return the meat to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the soup. The noodles should be tender after about 8-10 minutes of being in the soup (this may take a few minutes longer if the slow cooker was previously set to low).

  6. Once the chicken has been returned to the soup and the noodles are tender, begin seasoning the soup with salt. The true flavor of the soup will not be pronounced until it is properly salted. Start with 1 tsp salt, adding more until the soup is bold and flavorful. I use about 1 Tbsp (3 tsp). Finally, stir in a handful of chopped parsley for garnish just before serving.

*Split chicken breasts have bones, rib meat, and skin attached.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up side view of a bowl of slow cooker chicken noodle soup

How to Make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup in a Slow Cooker – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion, carrot, celery, and minced garlic in the slow cooker

Dice one yellow onion, peel and slice 1/2 lb. carrots (about four), slice four ribs of celery, and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Add all four to a 6 quart slow cooker or crock pot.

Chicken and herbs added to the slow cooker

Remove the skin from two split chicken breasts (leave bones and rib meat attached). Place the chicken in the slow cooker along with 1 tsp dried basil, 1 Tbsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, and some freshly cracked black pepper.

Chicken noodle soup ready to cook

Add eight cups of water to the slow cooker, place the lid on top, and cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.

Remove cooked chicken from slow cooker

After cooking on high for four hours or low for eight hours, remove the cooked chicken to a cutting board and discard the bay leaf (it usually floats on top).

Add egg noodles to slow cooker

Add 6 oz. wide egg noodles to the slow cooker, stir to combine, and replace the lid. Let the noodles continue to cook on high heat while you shred the chicken.

Chicken meat shredded with forks, bones on the side

Use two forks to remove the chicken meat from the bones, shredding it as you go. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker. The noodles will be tender after being in the pot for about 8-10 minutes (this may take a few minutes longer if your slow cooker had previously been set to low).

Season chicken noodle soup with salt

Once the noodles are tender and the shredded chicken returned to the pot, begin seasoning the soup with salt. Start with 1 tsp and keep adding more until the soup tastes vibrant and delicious. I use about 1 Tbsp (3 tsp). Finally, add 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish just before serving.

Finished Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

As with any soup or large batch recipe, it helps to divide the soup into smaller portions before cooling in the refrigerator. This helps the food cool faster, which is a better food safety practice.

Front view of a ladle lifting some chicken noodle soup out of the slow cooker

Add some crackers on top and enjoy this totally from-scratch homemade chicken noodle soup, just like grandma used to make. :)

The post Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Swamp Soup

Despite its “swampy” appearance, this soup is simply one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. If you like tomato soup, you’ll adore Swamp Soup. It’s like tomato soup on steroids and with a grilled cheese built right in. The broth is incredibly thick and hearty, it’s full of tons of vegetables that add texture […]

The post Swamp Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Despite its “swampy” appearance, this soup is simply one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. If you like tomato soup, you’ll adore Swamp Soup. It’s like tomato soup on steroids and with a grilled cheese built right in. The broth is incredibly thick and hearty, it’s full of tons of vegetables that add texture and flavor, and let’s not forget those creamy, gooey bits of swiss cheese in every other bite. It’s TO DIE FOR.

Originally posted 12-21-10, updated 1-9-20.

Swamp Soup – Tomato Soup’s Flashier Cousin

Two bowls of swamp soup from above with oyster crackers and a bowl of swiss cheese cubes on the side

Soup-er Fast, Soup-er Good.

My favorite thing about this soup is that it’s incredibly fast and easy. It’s ready to eat as soon as it’s heated through, although you can always let it simmer a bit longer, if you want. And if you have some chopped carrots and celery stashed in your freezer (scroll down to the step by step photos if you’re wondering why you’d ever have that in your freezer), it goes even faster!

How to Serve Swamp Soup

As mentioned above, this soup has melty chunks of Swiss cheese floating around in every bowl. While you can add the Swiss cheese to the whole pot, if you don’t plan to serve it all in one sitting, I suggest adding the cheese to each bowl just before serving (after reheating). You’ll probably also want some sort of cracker or crusty bread for dipping!

Can I freeze it?

Yes indeed! This soup is great for stocking your freezer. After cooking, divide your soup into single servings, cool it completely in the refrigerator over night, then transfer to the freezer the next day. You can freeze in quart-sized freezer bags or any freezer-safe meal prep container.

Substitutes for Swiss Cheese

I love the subtle flavor of Swiss with this soup, but if Swiss isn’t your jam you can use mozzarella instead. Mozzarella melts in a similar way to Swiss, so you’ll get the same effect in the soup. Plus, mozzarella also goes great with tomato. If you don’t care about the melty aspect, a little crumbled feta would also be amazing sprinkled onto every bowl.

A red soup pot full of Swamp Soup with a bowl of Swiss cheese cubes on the side

Love tomato soup? Check out my Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup, too!

 

Swamp Soup

A thick, tomatoey vegetable soup with "swampy" bits of spinach and gooey swiss cheese make this unconventional Swamp Soup unforgettable!

  • 3 cloves garlic ($0.24)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 medium) ($0.30)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.46)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil ($0.30)
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano ($0.30)
  • 3 8oz. cans tomato sauce ($0.75)
  • 3 15oz. cans diced tomatoes ($1.35)
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth ($0.20)
  • 1 10oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach ($0.99)
  • 8 oz. Swiss cheese ($1.69)
  1. Mince the garlic, dice the onion, peel and slice the carrots, and slice the celery. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to a large soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.

  2. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (with juices), vegetable broth, basil, and oregano to the pot. Stir to combine, then allow the soup to come to a simmer.

  3. Once the soup is simmering, add the frozen spinach (no need to thaw). Stir the spinach into the hot soup until it has melted and heated through.

  4. Once the spinach is thoroghly mixed into the soup, give the soup a taste and add salt if needed. I did not add any, but this will ultimately depend on the sodium content of your canned goods and vegetable broth.

  5. Dice the swiss cheese into small cubes. Add a small handful of cubes to each bowl, then ladle the hot soup over top. Serve and enjoy!

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of a bowl of Swamp Soup with a spoon lifting a bit and melted Swiss cheese pulling from the bowl

 

How to Make Swamp Soup – Step By Step Photos

Chopped onion, celery, carrots, and minced garlic in the soup pot

Dice one yellow onion, peel and slice 1/2 lb. carrots (about four carrots), slice three ribs celery, and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil.

Pre-chopped carrot and celery in a freezer bag

Since most of my soups begin with 1/2 lb. chopped carrot and 3-4 ribs of celery, I just go ahead and chop up the rest of my carrots and the bunch of celery, and freeze it for the next time I make a soup. That way I don’t have to do as much chopping later. I just dump the bag of frozen veggies into my soup pot and go!

Sautéed vegetables in soup pot

Sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic over medium for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Add tomatoes, herbs, and vegetable broth to soup pot

Next, add three 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce, three 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 Tbsp dried basil, 1 Tbsp dried oregano, and 1.5 cups vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine, then allow the soup to come up to a simmer.

Simmered soup with frozen spinach added

Once the soup comes up to a simmer, add a 10 oz. block of frozen chopped spinach (no need to thaw). You can use frozen bagged spinach, too, just estimate about 10 oz. Stir the spinach into the soup until it thaws and heats through.

Taste finished soup

Once the soup is heated through, give it a taste and add salt if needed. Mine did not need any additional salt, but that will depend on your taste buds and the salt content of your canned goods and vegetable broth.

Adding Swiss cheese to soup pot

Chop an 8 oz. block of Swiss cheese into small cubes. If you’re going to serve the entire pot of soup at one sitting, go ahead and stir the cubes of cheese into the soup pot (with the heat turned off). The residual heat will melt the cubes. If you’re going to be eating one or two bowls at a time, add the cheese cubes to each bowl, then ladle the hot soup over top.

A ladle full of Swamp Soup being lifted from the soup pot, viewed from the side

Sooooo gooey and good!

Two bowls of Swamp Soup with a bowl of Swiss cheese on the side, plus a few oyster crackers

The post Swamp Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Vegetable Barley Soup

Can’t stop, won’t stop with the yummy soups over here! Soup is easy, soup is filling, soup is an easy way to pack some more vegetables into your day, and soup (usually) freezes well. This week I’m bringing you this awesome Vegetable Barley Soup that is packed with tons of color, texture, and flavor. And […]

The post Vegetable Barley Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Can’t stop, won’t stop with the yummy soups over here! Soup is easy, soup is filling, soup is an easy way to pack some more vegetables into your day, and soup (usually) freezes well. This week I’m bringing you this awesome Vegetable Barley Soup that is packed with tons of color, texture, and flavor. And thanks to a healthy dose of barley, it’s also super filling. I’m so glad this recipe makes a huge batch because I’m going to be living off the frozen leftovers of this soup for the rest of winter!!

Homemade Vegetable Barley Soup

Overhead view of Vegetable Barley Soup in a red pot with bread and parsley on the side

What is Barley?

Barley is a short, chewy grain that is great in soups, stews, salads, pilafs, and more. You can usually find it in the grain section of your grocery store, near rice and dry beans. It’s usually labeled “pearled barley” which simply means the outer husk and some of the bran has been removed. Barley does contain a small amount of gluten, so it is not considered a gluten-free food. 

Can I Substitute the Barley?

Yep! If you’re not into barley or can’t find it, you can use another grain, like farro or wheat berries, or even pasta. A small shape, like ditalini would be awesome.

Can I Use Other Vegetables?

The beauty of this Vegetable Barley Soup is that it is extremely versatile. You can add just about any vegetable to this soup, which makes it great for using up odds and ends of vegetables in your refrigerator and freezer. I used onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, carrots, potato, frozen green beans, frozen corn, and frozen peas, but you could also substitute or add in any of these vegetables:

  • Celery (add in the beginning with onion)
  • Zucchini (add at the end with green beans and peas)
  • Spinach (add at the very end, stir in until wilted)
  • Mushrooms (add in the beginning with onion)
  • Cabbage (add in the beginning with carrots)
  • Kale (add mid-way, with potatoes)
  • Beans (kidney, chickpeas, cannellini, add mid-way with potatoes)

Broth Matters

Vegetable broth carries a lot of the flavor in this soup, so make sure you use a quality vegetable broth, or one that you know you like. As always, I use Better Than Bouillon soup base to make my broth. It is full-flavored and I can mix up any amount I need when I’m cooking, without having leftovers go to waste.

Close up of a ladle full of Vegetable Barley Soup being held over the soup pot.

How Much Vegetable Barley Soup Does This Make?

This recipe makes a whopping 12 cups, which I would consider to be about 6 large 2-cup servings. Since the soup is mostly vegetables, I usually go with a slightly larger serving size. This is also a very thick soup once finished, so if you prefer it to be a little more brothy, you can add more vegetable broth and the yield will be even higher.

Can You Freeze Vegetable Soup?

Yes! This soup freezes great. Some people find that potatoes change in texture slightly when frozen and thawed, but it’s not something that I’ve ever noticed or that has bothered me, especially when in a soup.

What Do You Serve with Vegetable Barley Soup?

This soup is just asking for a nice piece of buttered crusty bread for dipping! I would go with something with a lot of texture, like a homemade no knead bread, cornbread, or sour dough. I wouldn’t even be against dropping a few cubes of Swiss cheese into this soup, for a little melty goodness in each bite!

Close up side view of Vegetable Barley Soup in the soup pot

 

Vegetable Barley Soup

Loaded with colorful vegetables and filling pearled barley, this Vegetable Barley Soup is a healthy, freezer-friendly staple recipe for winter!

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4) ($0.45)
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes ($1.59)
  • 1 cup pearled barley ($0.89)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.05)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth ($0.78)
  • 1 russet potato (about 3/4 lb.) ($1.22)
  • 1 cup frozen green beans ($0.271)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn ($0.10)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas ($0.19)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.03)
  • 1 handful fresh parsley (optional garnish) ($0.20)
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

  2. Meanwhile, peel and dice the carrots. Once the onions are soft, add the carrots to the soup pot, along with the canned diced tomatoes (with juices), barley, basil, oregano, some freshly cracked pepper, and vegetable broth.

  3. Stir the contents of the pot to combine, place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the soup simmer, with the lid in place, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

  4. While the soup simmers, peel and dice the potato into 1/2-inch cubes. After the soup has simmered and the barley is mostly tender, add the diced potatoes and continue to simmer for 10 minutes more, or just until the potatoes are tender.

  5. Once the potatoes are tender, add the frozen green beans, corn, and peas. Stir to combine, and heat through (about 5 minutes in the simmering soup).

  6. Finally, add the lemon juice to the soup and stir to combine. Taste the soup and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking. Serve hot, with fresh chopped parsley on top as a garnish, if desired.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Front view of a ladle full of Vegetable Barley Soup hovering over the pot full of soup.

 

How to Make Vegetable Barley Soup – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion and minced garlic in the soup pot

Dice one onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion and garlic to a large soup pot (mine is 6 qt.) along with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

Broth being poured into soup pot with vegetables and barley

While the onion and garlic are cooking, peel and slice 1/2 lb. of carrots (about 4 medium carrots). Add the carrots to the soup pot along with one 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup pearled barley, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, some freshly cracked pepper, and 6 cups of vegetable broth. Stir to combine.

Diced potatoes being poured into soup

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer, lid in place, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. While the soup simmers, peel and dice a russet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. After simmering 30 minutes, add the diced potato and simmer 10 minutes more.

Frozen vegetables being poured into the soup

After simmering 10 minutes, the potatoes should be tender. Add 1 cup frozen green beans, 1/2 cup frozen peas, and 1/2 cup frozen corn to the soup. Stir to combine, and heat through (about 5 minutes).

Season finished vegetable barley soup

Finally, stir 1 Tbsp lemon juice into the soup. Give it a taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking (I added a touch more pepper, but no salt). Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.

Overhead view of a pot full of vegetable barley soup with bread on the side

YUMMMM. Vegetable-y goodness got me all warm and cozy!

The post Vegetable Barley Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Smoky Black Bean Soup

I hope you guys don’t get sick of all my soup recipes, because I pretty much live off of soup this time of year! This Smoky Black Bean Soup is definitely going to be one of my new fav’s because it’s so fast, super thick and hearty, and leaves the door open for tons of fun […]

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I hope you guys don’t get sick of all my soup recipes, because I pretty much live off of soup this time of year! This Smoky Black Bean Soup is definitely going to be one of my new fav’s because it’s so fast, super thick and hearty, and leaves the door open for tons of fun toppings. Kind of like tacos, in soup form! I think you’re going to love this smoky, rich, just-happens-to-be-vegan soup!

30-Minute Smoky Black Bean Soup

Two bowls of Smoky Black Bean Soup with different toppings, like cornbread, jalapeño, cheddar, and green onion

Load it Up with Toppings!

I’ve only provided the price breakdown for the soup itself below because there are just so many options for fun toppings. Not only is adding toppings to soup like this fun, but it’s a great way to use up leftovers in your refrigerator. Here are some toppings that I’ve added to my Smoky Black Bean Soup this week:

Smoky Black Bean Soup is a Great Flexitarian Dinner

If you have a family with different dietary needs, this easy soup is a great place to start. This black bean soup in its base form is vegan and gluten-free, but you can add several things to accommodate other dietary preferences. You can add shredded rotisserie chicken or quickly sautéed shrimp to feed those who want a little meat, stir in a dollop of sour cream or cheddar cheese for those who like dairy, or add any of the toppings listed above.

Want more flexitarian dishes? Check out my round up of 30+ Flexible Recipes for Vegetarians and Omnivores.

Side view of Smoky Black Bean Soup in the pot with a ladle lifting some, showing the thickness of the soup

Is This Soup Spicy?

This soup can be as spicy or as mild as you like. The spicy ingredients in this soup are the jalapeño and chipotle powder. If you prefer a mild soup, skip the jalapeño and use smoked paprika in place of chipotle powder. Or you can do any combination of those ingredients to adjust the heat to your liking. :)

Can you Freeze Smoky Black Bean Soup?

Yes! While this is a fairly small batch recipe, you absolutely can freeze the leftovers. As with freezing all other food, I suggest dividing the soup into single servings just after cooking, then refrigerating until completely cooled before transferring to the freezer for long term storage. The soup can be kept in the the freezer for about three months.

To reheat, either use the defrost function on your microwave, transfer to the refrigerator the day before you plan to reheat, or reheat straight from the freezer in a sauce pot, with a lid, over low heat, stirring often.

 

30-Minute Smoky Black Bean Soup

This super fast and easy Smoky Black Bean Soup is rich, filling, flavorful, and waiting to be piled high with fun toppings! An easy vegan weeknight dinner.

  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) ($0.15)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 3 15oz. cans black beans ($2.07)
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($1.00)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle powder* ($0.05)
  • salt to taste ($0.02)
  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeño, then dice the remaining jalapeño flesh. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and olive oil to a soup pot and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

  2. While the onion, garlic, and jalapeño are sautèing, use a blender to purée two of the three cans of black beans (with liquid from the can). If the beans are too thick to purée, add just enough water to make them blend.

  3. Add all three cans of black beans to the soup pot (one can of whole beans with liquid, two puréed), along with the can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), the cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. Stir to combine.

  4. Place a lid on the pot and allow the soup to come up to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. After simmering for 15 minutes, taste and add salt to taste (I added 1/2 tsp). Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

*For a mild soup, skip the jalapeño and use smoked paprika. For a spicy soup, add the jalapeño and use chipotle powder in place of, or in addition to, smoked paprika.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A bowl of Smoky Black Bean Soup with sour cream swirled in and a crumbled corn muffin on top

 

How to Make Smoky Black Bean Soup – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion, jalapeño, and minced garlic in the soup pot

Dice one yellow onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Remove the stem and seeds from a jalapeño, then finely dice the pepper. Add the diced onion, jalapeño, minced garlic, and 2 Tbsp olive oil to a soup pot. Sauté over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent.

Puréed black beans in blender

While the onion, garlic, and jalapeño are sautéing, purée two 15 oz. cans of black beans (with liquid) in a blender. If the beans are too thick to blend, add a small amount of water (about 1/4 cup). Leave the third can of black beans whole.

Add whole and puréed black beans to soup pot

Add one 15 oz. can of whole black beans (undrained) and the two cans of puréed black beans to the soup pot.

Add fire roasted diced tomatoes to soup pot

Add one 15 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes (with juices) to the soup pot.

Spices being stirred into black bean soup

Finally, add 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp dried oregano, and ½ tsp of either smoked paprika or chipotle powder to the soup. Stir to combine.

Simmered black bean soup in the soup pot

Place a lid on the soup pot and let it come up to a simmer. Simmer the soup, stirring often, for about 15 minutes.

Pot of Smoky Black Bean Soup surrounded by toppings like cheddar, sour cream, green onion, and jalapeño

After simmering for 15 minutes, taste the soup and add salt as needed (I added ½ tsp). Serve hot with your choice of toppings!

Two bowls of Smoky Black Bean Soup with various toppings, next to a bowl of sliced green onion and a crumbled corn muffin.

Yummmmm!

The post Smoky Black Bean Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup (Vegan)

Soup is such a great food. So easy, so filling (if you do it right!), a great way to use up leftover ingredients, and the flavor possibilities are endless. I recently discovered how delicious vegetable broth and coconut milk are together (see Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen) and I knew I had to experiment with that […]

The post Creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup (Vegan) appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Soup is such a great food. So easy, so filling (if you do it right!), a great way to use up leftover ingredients, and the flavor possibilities are endless. I recently discovered how delicious vegetable broth and coconut milk are together (see Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen) and I knew I had to experiment with that combo some more. So when I saw a bag of wild rice blend on sale this week, I snatched it up to make this super delish Creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup!

Creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup

Overhead view of a bowl full of creamy vegetable wild rice soup on a wooden plate with a piece of bread on the side

Choose Your Broth Wisely

The type of vegetable broth used in this soup will greatly determine the end flavor, so make sure you use a quality broth. A weak broth will give you a weak and unexciting soup. If you’ve been hanging around here a while, you probably already know that my favorite is Better Than Bouillon. I can keep it on hand indefinitely (refrigerated), make any amount of broth I need, and it comes in tons of varieties (organic, low sodium, etc.). Mushroom broth would also be really good in this soup, but that’s not one I usually keep on hand, so I used vegetable flavor.

What Kind of Coconut Milk is Best for This Wild Rice Soup?

Full fat coconut milk (in the can, not the kind in a carton intended as a dairy milk substitute) is the best choice here. While you can use light coconut milk, it will be a lot less creamy, so just keep that in mind. I used a brand called Field Day Organic this time and it was great. I’ve also tested this recipe with Thai Kitchen and Goya. The Goya is the only one I wasn’t a fan of because the coconut milk was not smooth and left a grainy appearance in the soup. It tasted fine, but it wasn’t pretty.

Front view of a bowl of creamy vegetable wild rice soup with a spoon lifting some out of the bowl

This is NOT a “Thick” Soup

A lot of wild rice soups are a really thick, almost gelled consistency. This soup is not that texture. This is a brothy soup. I did make one of the test batches a thick version by cooking some oil and flour in a skillet until the flour was lightly browned, then whisking it into the soup, but I didn’t feel like it added a lot to the overall enjoyment of the soup, while adding a lot of extra work. So that step got nixed. :)

Can I Skip the Mushrooms?

IMHO, the mushrooms are critical to the overall flavor of the soup. Something about the way the mushrooms and coconut play together really make this soup hit home. So, while I wouldn’t suggest skipping or substituting the mushrooms, that might have to be a personal call.

What Kind of Wild Rice Blend Did you Use?

I used a brand called Lundberg. It’s a mix of wild rice, brown rice, and other rice varieties, so there is a lot of color and texture to the blend. Wild rice isn’t the cheapest thing around, but luckily I got it on sale. Scout those sales and stock up when they hit! 

 

Creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup

This ultra-creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup is chock-full of delicious vegetables and a wild rice blend, with no dairy or other animal ingredients.

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  • 1 cup wild rice blend (uncooked) (.55)
  • 1 13 oz. can full-fat coconut milk (.49)
  1. Wash and slice the mushrooms. Add the olive oil and mushrooms to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms are fully wilted and browned on the edges (cook until all the moisture is released, evaporated, and the mushrooms begin to actually brown for the best flavor).

  2. While the mushrooms are sautéing, mince the garlic, dice the onion, slice the celery, and peel and slice the carrots.

  3. Add the garlic, onion, celery, carrots, thyme, and sage to the pot with the mushrooms. Continue to sauté for about five minutes more, or until the onions are soft.

  4. Finally, add the wild rice blend and vegetable broth, and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down and let the soup simmer for about 45 minutes with the lid in place (or however long the instructions on your brand of rice suggests for cooking).

  5. Once the soup has simmered and the rice is tender, add the coconut milk. Stir to combine and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes more. Finally, taste the soup and add salt if needed (I did not add any, but this will depend on the salt content of your broth). Serve hot with crusty bread for dipping!

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Two bowls of creamy vegetable wild rice soup on wooden plates, each with a piece of bread on the side

 

How to Make Creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup – Step by Step Photos

Sautéed mushrooms in soup pot

Start by washing and slicing 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms. Add them to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil and sauté over medium heat until they are browned. The key here is to not just cook until they’re limp, but keep cooking until all of their moisture has evaporated and they actually begin to brown on the edges.

Onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and herbs added to the pot.

While the mushrooms are sautéing, mince two cloves of garlic, dice one onion, slice 3 ribs celery, and peel and slice about ½ lb. carrots. Add the garlic, onion, celery, carrots, ¼ tsp dried thyme, and ¼ tsp dried sage to the pot with the mushrooms. Continue to sauté a few minutes more, or until the onions are soft.

Wild rice blend package

This is the wild rice blend I used. Depending on what brand you have, it may suggest different cooking times. This brand suggests 45 minutes, so I simmered my soup for 45 minutes. Adjust the soups’s cooking time according to the rice blend you are using.

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot with vegetables and wild rice

Add 1 cup uncooked wild rice blend and 4 cups vegetable broth to the pot. Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let the pot simmer for 45 minutes (or for the suggested cooking time for your rice blend).

Cooked rice in soup

After simmering for 45 minutes, the rice blend is tender and it’s time to finish up the soup!

Coconut milk being poured into the soup

Add one 13 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk (not the dairy milk substitute kind—that stuff is super watery). Make sure to get all the solid fat out of the can. Stir the coconut milk into the soup and then let it simmer for about 5 minutes more. That last bit of simmer time will take the sweet edge off the coconut milk and help the flavors blend together.

Finished Creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup in a ladle above the soup pot

And now the Creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup is finished! Give it a taste and add salt if needed (I did not add any). 

Overhead view of a bowl of Creamy vegetable wild rice soup with bread and a napkin on the side.

Enjoy hot with some crusty bread or crackers for dipping!

The post Creamy Vegetable Wild Rice Soup (Vegan) appeared first on Budget Bytes.