What Goes With Vegetable Soup? The Perfect Side Dishes

Soup is a wonderful way to start any meal, especially if it is made with vegetables. You can have vegetable soup for lunch, dinner, or even as an appetizer. But, what side dishes do you need to prepare that go perfectly with the soup?

Here are what goes with vegetable soup:

  • Soup with pasta (choose a thick pasta such as penne or rigatoni)
  • Soup with rice (choose brown rice over white rice)
  • Soup with crusty bread (whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel, baguette, garlic bread, or focaccia)
  • And many more.

What about other foods? How does vegetable soup go with other dishes? Let’s learn more about the type of vegetable soups, and how to prepare them?

Vegetable Soup: What Is It?

vegetable soup bread
Vegetable soup with crusty bread. Credit: canva

Vegetable soup is a simple, healthy, and flavorful dish made from vegetables that are cooked in water or stock until tender.

The main ingredients of the soup include vegetables such as carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, peas, corn, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, squash, and many more.

Vegetables used for making vegetable soup can vary depending on the recipe.

For example, some recipes may call for using only one type of vegetables while others use several types of vegetables to make the soup.

History

Vegetable soup has been around since ancient times. Archeologists have found evidence that people were eating vegetable soups at least 5,000 years ago. They believed that it was an important part of their diet because it provided them with nutrients needed for good health.

However, this belief changed after the discovery of processed foods. People started to believe that processed food could provide all the nutrition they need. This led to the decline of vegetable soup consumption.

In recent years, vegetable soup has regained popularity among consumers. Many restaurants offer vegetable soup during lunch hours. Some even serve it as a side dish.

Moreover, many grocery stores sell vegetable soup in cans and jars.

Types

There are various kinds of vegetable soup including carrot soup, tomato soup, mushroom soup, potato soup, onion soup, beet soup, chicken soup, vegetable soup, etc. Each kind of vegetable soup has its unique taste and texture.

As mentioned earlier, each recipe specifies the type of vegetables that should be used to create the soup. Thus, you will find different varieties of vegetable soup available in the market.

The most popular vegetable soup is probably carrot soup. Carrot soup is usually served cold. You can add extra flavors to the soup by adding fresh herbs, spices, and/or dried herbs.

Tomato soup is another popular variety of vegetable soup. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system.

The mushroom soup contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that help keep your body strong.

Potato soup is very similar to vegetable soup. It uses potatoes instead of vegetables.

Onion soup is made from thinly sliced onions that are cooked slowly in a large pot.

Beet soup is made from beets that are boiled until soft. Then, they are blended into a smooth sauce.

Chicken soup is made from boiling chicken bones in water until they become soft. After that, the broth is strained out and mixed with vegetables and seasoning.

Another version is creamy vegetable soup. The cream-based soups are made from vegetables that are pureed together. The mixture is then stirred with milk and cream.

Vegetable soup is not just limited to those listed above. There are many more varieties of vegetable soup.

What is the best vegetable soup in the world?

According to many experts, the best vegetable soup in existence is the French onion soup. The reason why it is considered the best is that it tastes like heaven! It is also known as “the king of soups.”

However, other types of vegetable soup are equally delicious. For example, the Italian minestrone is one of the best vegetable soups. It is made from tomatoes, carrots, celery, spinach, beans, and pasta. It is then seasoned with Italian seasonings such as basil, oregano, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.

Is vegetable soup healthy?

Yes, a bowlful of soup is healthy because it provides essential nutrients for the human body. Vegetables contain fiber, protein, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, folate, and antioxidants.

These nutrients help improve your health. They also prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and arthritis.

What Goes with Vegetable Soup?

vegetable soup rice
Vegetable soup with white rice. Credit: canva

It is common knowledge that a bowl of vegetable soup goes well with bread. However, what about other foods? How does vegetable soup go with other dishes?

Let’s take a look at some perfect side dishes for soup:

With pasta

Pasta is a noodle dish that comes in various shapes and sizes. Some of them have a doughy consistency while others are thin and crispy.

For a soup with pasta, choose a thick pasta such as penne or rigatoni. Add tomato sauce on top of the pasta. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and any flavorings you want.

With rice

Rice is a grain that is often eaten as a side dish or main course. It is also used to make desserts.

For a soup with rice, choose brown rice over white rice. Brown rice has a nutty taste that goes well with most flavors.

With crusty bread

Crusty bread is an excellent companion to vegetable soup. It adds flavor and texture to the soup.

The perfect bread for soup includes whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel, baguette, garlic bread, or focaccia. This bread can be served plain or topped with butter, honey, jam, or marmalade.

With meat

Meat is an animal product that is commonly found on restaurant menus. It is also sold in grocery stores.

The best meat dish to pair with soup is steak. Steak is usually grilled or broiled. You can serve it with mashed potatoes or corn on the cob.

Other meats include pork chops, lamb chops, ham, bacon, sausage, and beef brisket. These are all great choices if you’re looking for a hearty meal.

With fish

Fish is a seafood that is high in protein content. It is also low in fat.

The best fish dish for vegetable soup is salmon. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation.

You can season this dish with lemon juice, dill, capers, parsley, chives, and mustard.

With chicken

vegetable chicken soup
Chicken vegetable soup. Credit: canva

Chicken is another popular food option. It is leaner than red meat.

Chicken breast is the best choice when paired with soup. It is easy to cook and makes a good addition to soup.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, sage, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

With salad

Salads are usually composed of raw vegetables. Soup with vegetables can be in different forms, including green salad, sandwiches, wraps, and bowls.

You can also pair the soup with hearty salad such as fruit salad, apple salad, delicious pear salad, green bean salad, pasta salad, etc.

With dessert

Desserts are sweet treats that are meant to satisfy hunger after meals. Desserts can be made from fruits, cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream, and more.

Vegetable soup is a healthy way to start the day. It is also a nutritious meal that will keep you full until dinner time.

How Do You Make Vegetable Soup?

vegetable soup
Homemade vegetable soup. Credit: canva

How do I make vegetable soup at home?

You can easily make vegetable soup at home using ingredients that are already available in your kitchen. However, if you want to prepare this dish perfectly, you need to follow some basic steps.

First, wash all the vegetables thoroughly before chopping them. This will remove any dirt or bacteria on their surface.

Next, chop the vegetables finely so that they cook evenly.

After that, heat the stock in a large pot. Add the chopped vegetables and simmer them over medium heat for about 15 minutes.

Finally, season the soup with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Homemade Vegetable Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped carrot (3 to 4 carrots)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped celery (2 to 3 stalks)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves garlic)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional for heat)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their liquid
  • 6 cups stock or broth (you can use vegetable broth or beef stock or homemade chicken stock)
  • 2 cups chopped potato (2 medium)
  • 3 to 4 heaped cups of chopped or shredded cabbage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice, optional

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a stockpot pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and tomato paste. Stirring often, cook the vegetables for 8 to 10 minutes. They should be soft but not mushy.
  3. Add the garlic, fennel, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the red pepper flakes. Stirring constantly for one minute.
  4. Pour in the canned tomatoes and their juices as well as the stock/broth.
  5. Add the potatoes, cabbage, and bay leaves. Turn up the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to boil. Cover the pot partially with a lid, and keep the heat at a low simmer.
  6. Cook for 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Add the frozen peas to the soup and cook for five more min­utes.
  7. After removing the pot from the heat, take out the bay leaves. Add the cider vinegar or lemon juice to the water. Add more salt, pepper, or vinegar to taste. Serve.

Variations of Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup can be prepared in many different ways. 

These include:

  • Butternut squash soup,
  • Corn chowder
  • Green bean soup
  • Split pea soup or white bean soup
  • Cabbage lentil soup
  • Black-eyed peas soup
  • Cabbage soup
  • Cauliflower soup
  • Eggplant soup
  • Broccoli cheddar soup
  • baked potato soup
  • Albondigas Mexican soup
  • Barley soup
  • Basil soup chicken
  • Chicken Matzo ball soup
  • Chicken noodle soup
  •  Creamy veggie soup: creamy asparagus soup, creamy chicken soup

Tips

What is the secret to making good soup?

There are several secrets to making a good bowl of soup. One of these secrets is to use fresh ingredients.

Fresh veggies have less moisture than frozen ones. So, when cooking them, you should add enough liquid to cover the vegetables completely. If you don’t do this, the vegetables may get soggy after being cooked.

Another important factor is to use quality ingredients. When buying vegetables, choose organic ones. Organic vegetables are usually fresher than non-organic ones. Also, avoid adding salt during cooking. Salt makes vegetables taste bland.

If possible, buy whole spices instead of ground ones. Whole spices retain their flavor better than ground ones.

Lastly, make sure that the soup has a balanced amount of salt and pepper. Too much salt ruins the flavor of the soup while too little salt does not give it the necessary flavor.

What can I add to vegetable soup to make it taste better?

One way to enhance the flavor of vegetable soup is by adding herbs and spices. These ingredients will increase the overall flavor of the soup.

Some popular herbs include rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, bay leaves, and oregano. Spices include cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, curry powder, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Other ways to make the vegetable soup more flavorful include:

1) Adding cream and milk to the soup

2) Using different kinds of meat in the soup

3) Choosing different kinds of vegetables in the soup

4) Making the soup spicy

How long can you keep vegetable soup?

Vegetable soup keeps well in the refrigerator. You can store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days. So you can enjoy your veggie-packed meals every day for 5 days.

Can I freeze vegetable soup?

Vegetable soup can be frozen. To freeze it properly, place the leftover soup into a freezer bag and seal it tightly. Then, label the bag with the date and write down what’s inside. Afterward, put the sealed bag into the freezer.