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 […]

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

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.

  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms (.69)
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  • 1 yellow onion (~TN0~xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx
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  • 3 ribs celery (~TN0~xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx
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  • 1/2 lb. carrots (~TN0~xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx
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  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme (~TN0~xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx
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  • 1/4 tsp dried sage (~TN0~xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx
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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.

Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup

I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I’m a little bit of a tomato soup fanatic. I’ve made several tomato soup recipes for Budget Bytes over the past ten years, but this week I tried something a little different. This Secret Ingredient tomato soup has not one, but two secret ingredients that make it ultra […]

The post Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I don’t know if I’ve told you, but I’m a little bit of a tomato soup fanatic. I’ve made several tomato soup recipes for Budget Bytes over the past ten years, but this week I tried something a little different. This Secret Ingredient tomato soup has not one, but two secret ingredients that make it ultra rich, without using any dairy, or animal products at all, in fact. This super luscious, warm and comforting, thick and delicious Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup is 100% vegan.

Five different white bowls of Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup with whole grain croutons and fresh thyme garnishes

Shown garnished with Easy Baked Homemade Croutons and fresh tyme.

What are the Secret Ingredients??

After the success of my Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup, which uses puréed cannellini beans to thicken and make the soup extra creamy, I wondered how puréed beans would work in other soups. The cannellini beans did a great job giving this tomato soup body and richness, without having to use butter or cream.

The second secret ingredient is nutritional yeast. If you’ve never had nutritional yeast before, it’s a flakey dehydrated powder that has a slightly nutty or cheesy flavor (it also happens to be high in B vitamins!). The slight cheesy flavor of the nutritional yeast was the final magic touch that took the flavor of this soup over the top. The flavor is super subtle, but rounds out the base notes to keep the flavor deep and rich.

Can I Use a Different Type of Bean?

While I haven’t tried other varieties, I will say that cannellini are particularly smooth and creamy. I wouldn’t expect other beans to give quite as good results.

Can I Freeze This Tomato Soup?

Yes, this tomato soup should freeze beautifully. Just as a reminder, make sure to cool the soup completely in the refrigerator before transferring to the freezer. It’s always a good idea to divide the soup into smaller portions for faster cooling.

A hand holding a white mug full of secret ingredient tomato soup, garnished with croutons and thyme

 

Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup

This super thick, warm, and comforting tomato soup has two secret ingredients that make it rich and delicious without any dairy. 100% vegan!

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary ($0.03)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste ($0.27)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.04)
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes ($0.89)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth ($0.26)
  • 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans ($0.49)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast ($0.06)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste ($0.01)
  1. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper (about 10 cranks of a pepper mill) to a soup pot. Cook and stir the herbs and oil over medium heat for about one minute, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant.

  2. Add the tomato paste and brown sugar. Continue to stir and cook the tomato paste mixture over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Pour the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth into the pot and stir to combine. As the soup begins to heat through, add a can of cannellini beans (with the liquid from the can) to a blender and purée until completely smooth. Pour the pouréed beans into the soup and stir to combine again.

  4. Place a lid on the pot and allow it to come up to a simmer. Once simmering, turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

  5. After simmering for 20 minutes, add the nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Taste the soup and add salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp). Serve hot.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of a bowl of secret ingredient tomato soup with whole grain croutons and a black spoon lifting a bite

How to Make Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup – Step by Step Photos

Garlic, herbs and olive oil in a soup pot

Start by adding 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and some freshly cracked black pepper to a pot. Cook and stir over medium heat for about one minute, or just until it begins to sizzle and the garlic becomes fragrant.

Add tomato paste and brown sugar to the soup pot with oil and herbs

Next, add 3 oz. tomato paste (just eyeball 1/2 of a 6 oz. can, or about 5 Tbsp) and 1 Tbsp brown sugar to the soup pot with the oil and herbs. Continue to cook and stir for 2-3 more minutes.

Cooked tomato paste with oil and herbs

The tomato paste and oil mixture looks weird, and won’t really mix together, but don’t worry, you’re doing it right.

Crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth added to soup pot

After cooking the tomato paste for a few minutes, add 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes and two cups of vegetable broth. Stir to combine and let it begin to heat through, still over medium heat.

Pureed white beans in a blender, from above.

Pour one 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, with the liquid in the can, into a blender and purée until completely smooth.

Pureed cannellini beans being stirred into tomato soup

Pour the puréed cannellini beans into the pot with the tomato soup and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, and allow it to come up to a simmer. Once simmering, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Simmered soup, with nutritional yeast added

After simmering for 20 minutes, add 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Taste the soup and add salt to your liking (I added 1/4 tsp). You can also add more nutritional yeast for extra cheesy goodness, if you like!

Five different bowls full of tomato soup with the soup pot and ladle at the top

It’s sooooo rich and delicious!!

Overhead view of secret ingredient tomato soup in a white bowl with black rim, and a black spoon.

The post Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

I hope I’ve convinced you to experiment with leftovers in your fridge by now. Most of my favorite recipe creations have come from me just piling whatever I have leftover in my fridge into a bowl or pot, and seeing how it turns out, including this Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen. I’m not kidding when I […]

The post Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I hope I’ve convinced you to experiment with leftovers in your fridge by now. Most of my favorite recipe creations have come from me just piling whatever I have leftover in my fridge into a bowl or pot, and seeing how it turns out, including this Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen. I’m not kidding when I say this is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted, and it only takes about 15 minutes and a handful of ingredients. #totalwin

Noodles being lifted by chopsticks out of a black bowl full of vegan creamy mushroom ramen

I had some coconut milk leftover from making my Easy Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala on Facebook live the other day, plus Aldi had baby bella mushrooms on sale for $1.69 per container 😱 so I had purchased some of those with the intent of roasting them, which didn’t happen. I came home ravenous for carbs after Orange Theory, saw that coconut milk and the mushrooms in my fridge, and immediately knew what I needed to make! 

The super simple broth for this ramen (vegetable broth + coconut milk) is so freaking good that I’m 100% going to be making a regular “cream” of mushroom soup with this method in the near future. So if you don’t like ramen but love creamy mushroom, just hang tight. ;)

What Kind of Mushrooms are Best for Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

Definitely try to get baby bellas or full sized portabella mushrooms for this recipe. The deep color and robust flavor of these mushrooms makes a big impact, and I think regular button mushrooms would fall flat. 

What Kind of Coconut Milk Should I Use?

I used full-fat coconut milk in a can for this recipe and it made the broth extremely rich and delicious (and surprisingly it didn’t taste like coconut). I think you might be able to get away with using light coconut milk, but just be aware that the broth won’t be nearly as creamy or thick. I do not suggest using the dairy milk substitute type of coconut milk that comes in a carton. It is FAR too thin. Only canned coconut milk for this recipe.

Overhead view of a bowl full of Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen garnished with chili garlic sauce and green onion

What Kind of Ramen Should I Use?

I used the super basic, super cheap, 25₵ per pack ramen. Nothing fancy needed here. I did toss the seasoning packet and use my own vegetable broth, though (Better Than Bouillon). 

What Else Can I Put in My Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen?

Whatever you want! Ramen is one of those great “catch all” dishes that is good for tossing all your leftover vegetables and proteins into. Check out my post about 6 Ways to Update Instant Ramen to see what other fun things I like to put in my ramen. Some quick ideas are tofu, sliced bell pepper, sesame seeds, or shredded cabbage or carrot.

 

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen

This incredibly simple Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen is a rich and flavorful 15 minute meal that only requires a handful of ingredients! 

  • 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.02)
  • 4 oz. baby bella mushrooms ($0.85)
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth ($0.20)
  • 1 handful fresh spinach ($0.53)
  • 1 package ramen noodles (discard seasoning) ($0.25)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned) ($0.66)

Optional Garnishes

  • 1 green onion, sliced ($0.11)
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce ($0.13)
  1. Slice the mushrooms. Add them to a small sauce pot with the cooking oil and sauté over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft, dark, and all the moisture in the bottom of the pot has evaporated.

  2. Add the vegetable broth, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil. Once boiling, add the ramen noodles (without the seasoning packet) to the broth. Cook the noodles in the boiling broth for about 3 minutes, or until tender.

  3. Turn the heat off, add a heaping handful of fresh spinach, and stir until the spinach is wilted (about 30 seconds). Pour the coconut milk into the pot and stir to combine.

  4. Serve the Vegan Creamy Coconut Ramen as-is, or with garnishes like green onion or chili garlic sauce.

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up overhead view of a bowl full of vegan creamy mushroom ramen with chopsticks lifting some noodles

How to Make Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen – Step by Step Photos

Baby bella mushrooms being sliced on a white cutting board

Slice 4 oz. baby bella mushrooms (about 4-5 mushrooms or half of an 8 oz. package). If you want to do full sized portobella mushrooms, just slice the caps in half, then slice crosswise into thin strips.

Cooked sliced mushrooms in a sauce pot

Add the sliced mushrooms to a small sauce pot with about 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil (your favorite type of oil to cook with, any type is fine). Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they are soft and dark, and all the liquid they release has evaporated out of the pot.

Vegetable oil being poured into the sauce pot with the cooked mushrooms

Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth to the pot with the mushrooms. I use broth made with Better Than Bouillon broth concentrate. Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the broth to come up to a boil (this goes faster with a lid).

Dry ramen added to the broth in the pot

Add one “brick” of ramen noodles (discard the seasoning packet) to the broth and continue to boil for about 3 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.

Spinach added to the sauce pot.

Turn off the heat and add a heaping handful of fresh spinach to the soup. Stir until the spinach is wilted (about 3o seconds).

Coconut milk being poured into the ramen noodles in the pot

Finally, pour in 1/2 cup coconut milk (the canned kind, not the dairy milk substitute kind in a carton). Stir to combine.

Finished vegan creamy mushroom ramen in the sauce pot

And that’s literally all it takes! Done in about 15 minutes. You can serve it as is, or add some fun toppings.

Front view of noodles being lifted out of a bowl of vegan creamy mushroom ramen with chopsticks

I added sliced green onion and some chili garlic sauce to mine. The sharp chili garlic sauce added a nice contrast to the super creamy broth!

The post Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

This past week I was talking to a reporter from MarketWatch and as I told the story of Budget Bytes I joked about being a broke college graduate and not wanting to eat canned beans times a day. Well, I’m kind of eating my words now because when canned beans are prepared like this, I […]

The post Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This past week I was talking to a reporter from MarketWatch and as I told the story of Budget Bytes I joked about being a broke college graduate and not wanting to eat canned beans times a day. Well, I’m kind of eating my words now because when canned beans are prepared like this, I seriously could eat them all day, every day! This easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup only takes eight simple ingredients, is crazy flavorful, and will give you all those warm cozy fall vibes!

Three bowls of Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup with different toppings like toasted bread, croutons, and pesto.

How to Serve Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

This soup is fairly simple at heart, but still has bold flavor that stands up on its own, with maybe just a piece of crusty bread for dipping. That being said, I got creative when I was photographing the soup and started added some fun toppings. I drizzled a little pesto over one bowl, topped another with some homemade croutons, and shaved a bit of fresh Parmesan over another. I can also imagine a little melty gruyere or smoked mozzarella would be fabulous, or even just a dash of hot sauce.

Optional Add-Ins

You know I like to keep things simple, but if you happen to have these ingredients on hand and need to use them up, feel free to toss them into your Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup: 

  • Diced carrots or celery sautéed with the onion 
  • Bacon cooked until brown, the fat used in place of the olive oil (remove bacon and add back to the soup after cooking)
  • Ham sautéed with the onions until crispy 
  • Zucchini added with the beans
  • Kale or spinach stirred into the soup at the end
  • Lemon juice added to the soup after cooking (1-2 Tbsp)

Can I Use Dry Beans?

You can definitely make a similar soup using dry beans, but it would require several extra steps, which I would need to test before offering instructions. 

A bowl of Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup with croutons and a black spoon in the middle

Can I Make This in an Instant Pot?

Since this soup doesn’t require any fancy techniques, you can probably just use the “soup” function on the Instant Pot (you may still want to use the sauté function for the first step with the garlic and oil). But it’s so fast on the stove top, it might be faster to do it this way than waiting for the IP to come up to pressure and depressurize!

Can I Freeze This Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup?

Absolutely! This soup will freeze very well. I made a fairly small batch, but you can easily double it and freeze half for later. To double the recipe, change the number of servings in the recipe card below to 8, and all the other ingredients will auto adjust.

 

Easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup

This incredibly easy Rosemary Garlic White Bean Soup takes only eight simple ingredients to deliver a bowl full of rich, bold flavor.

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 3 15 oz. cans cannellini beans ($1.47)
  • 2 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth ($0.26)
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme ($0.02)
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste ($0.03)
  1. Before you begin, pour one of the cans of cannellini beans (with its liquid) into a blender and purée until smooth. Drain the other two cans of beans.

  2. Mince the garlic and add it to a soup pot with the olive oil. Sauté the garlic over medium for about one minute, or just until the garlic is very fragrant.

  3. Add the puréed cannellini beans, the other two cans of drained beans, broth, rosemary, thyme, crushed red pepper, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine.

  4. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low, remove the lid, and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Smash the beans slightly to thicken the soup even more. Taste the soup and add salt if needed (I did not add any, 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!

Close up of a ladle full of rosemary garlic white bean soup hovering over the soup pot, steam coming off the soup.

Love beans as much as I do? Check out my entire recipe category dedicated to BEANS! :D

Step by Step Photos

Pureed white beans in a blender, from above.

Before you begin, add one can of cannellini beans, with the liquid in the can, to a blender and purée until smooth.

Minced garlic and olive oil in a soup pot

Mince four cloves of garlic and add them to a soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sauté over medium for about one minute, or just until the garlic becomes really fragrant.

Add white beans (whole and pureed) to the soup pot

Add two DRAINED cans of cannellini beans, plus the can of puréed beans to the soup pot.

Broth and herbs added to the soup.

Also add 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, 1/4 tsp dried thyme, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine.

Simmered rosemary garlic white bean soup

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring it up a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium low, remove the lid, and let it simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After simmering for 15 minutes, smash some of the beans to thicken the soup even more. Give it a taste and add salt if needed (I did not add any). 

Three bowls of rosemary garlic white bean soup with different toppings (pesto, croutons, Parmesan).

Serve the soup hot with crusty bread for dipping, or whatever fun toppings you might have on hand!

Close up of a spoonful of rosemary garlic white bean soup.

 

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