The only list you need to find your new favorite plant-based soup recipe! These vegan soups are easy, hearty, high in protein, and so cozy.
As a plant-forward registered dietitian, I'm always on the lookout for creative ways to whip up delicious, nutritious, and satisfying vegan meals. Soup is one culinary category that particularly shines in the world of plant-based food.
Vegan soups are not only comforting but also versatile. It's easy to simmer up a wide range of flavors and dietary needs.
In this post, we'll delve into the world of vegan soups, answering important questions such as how to thicken them, what kinds of soups are vegan-friendly, and how to make a vegan soup that's high in protein. I'm also sharing my top recommendations for canned vegan soups to buy at the store if you're not in the mood to cook.
Toward the bottom of the post, you'll find a roundup of my favorite vegan soup recipes. Feel free to tap one of the links below if you'd like to jump right to that portion of the post.
- What Kinds of Soups Can Vegans Eat?
- Vegan Soup Thickeners
- How to Make Vegan Soups Taste Meaty
- Vegan Soups for an Upset Stomach or When Feeling Sick
- Vegan Soups That Freeze Well
- Vegan Soups High in Protein
- Canned Vegan Soups to Buy
- Best Vegan Soup Recipes
- Vegan Instant Pot Black Bean Soup
- Vegan Lasagna Soup
- Creamy Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
- Vegan Taco Soup with Rice and Beans
- Vegan Corn Chowder
- Vegan Tomato Barley Soup with Roasted Chickpeas
- Vegan Potato Soup with White Beans
- 8-Ingredient Harissa Bean Chili
- Vegan Turmeric Soup
- One-Pot Yellow Split Pea Soup
- Hearty Vegan Minestrone Stew with Butternut Squash
- Vegan Slow Cooker Irish Stout Stew with Dry Peas and Root Vegetables
- Carrot Ginger Sweet Potato Soup with Split Peas
- Creamy Vegan Potato Leek Soup
What Kinds of Soups Can Vegans Eat?
There are so many great vegan soup options to choose from. Here are some classic and creative ideas:
- Vegetable Broth-Based Soups: Classic vegetable soup, minestrone, and tomato basil soup are all naturally vegan when made without animal-based broth or cream.
- Creamy Soups: Make creamy vegan soups with canned coconut milk, oat milk, cashew cream, or even silken tofu. Think butternut squash, mushroom, or creamy potato leek soup.
- Chili: Vegan chili loaded with beans, vegetables, and spices is a filling and hearty option.
- Lentil Soup: Red or green lentils make for a protein-packed, satisfying soup that's quick and easy to prepare.
- Asian-Inspired Soups: Try your hand at Thai coconut soup or miso soup, both of which can be easily veganized with plant-based alternatives.
- Gazpacho: A refreshing and chilled Spanish tomato soup perfect for summertime.
- Curries: Many curries are naturally vegan, such as chickpea curry or vegetable curry soup. Just make sure to use coconut milk or a dairy-free yogurt for creaminess.
Vegan Soup Thickeners
You don't need heavy dairy-based cream to make a thick and hearty soup! Here are some simple, plant-based foods that work well as vegan soup thickeners:
- Legumes and Grains: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and grains like quinoa and rice are natural thickeners. Just blend a portion of your soup and return it to the pot for a creamy consistency.
- Nuts and Seeds: Soak cashews, almonds, or chia seeds and blend them into a creamy paste.
- Potatoes and Root Vegetables: Cook diced potatoes, sweet potatoes, or carrots until they're soft. Then mash or blend to add body and thickness to vegan soups.
- Coconut Milk: Full-fat canned coconut milk is a fantastic thickening agent. It will add both richness and creaminess to your soups.
- Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder: Whisk these gluten-free starches with cold water and then add them to soups. (Mixing them in cold water first is essential to prevent clumping!)
How to Make Vegan Soups Taste Meaty
Looking for meaty flavor without animal-based proteins? Here are some savory vegan options:
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms, especially shiitake or porcini, have a savory umami flavor that can mimic the depth of meaty broths. Keep dried mushrooms or mushroom broth stocked in your pantry for this use.
- Soy Sauce or Tamari: These sauces add a salty, umami flavor that elevates vegan soup flavors in a flash.
- Nutritional Yeast: Often referred to as "vegan cheese," nutritional yeast adds a cheesy, savory note to plant-based soups. This is a wonderful substitute for parmesan cheese!
- Sun-Dried Tomato: Another convenient source of meaty umami complexity. I love the the flavor and texture they add to Mediterranean-inspired recipes!
Vegan Soups for an Upset Stomach or When Feeling Sick
When you're under the weather, soothing vegan soups can provide comfort without aggravating your stomach. Try these options:
- Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup: Replace chicken with tofu or chickpeas for a protein-packed version of the classic chicken noodle soup that's easy on the tummy.
- Ginger Carrot Soup: Ginger is known for its anti-nausea properties, making it an excellent choice for upset stomachs. The antioxidants in this Ginger Carrot Soup are also helpful for your immune system!
- Miso Soup: Miso is gentle on the stomach and provides essential nutrients. It's easy to digest, too.
- Vegan Broth: Sometimes, all you need is a simple yet flavorful vegetable broth to sip on. It's ideal for helping you feel more hydrated when you're sick.
Vegan Soups That Freeze Well
Preparing soups in batches and freezing them is a fantastic way to have quick, healthy meals on hand. Here are some vegan soups that freeze exceptionally well:
- Chili: Whether it's a classic bean chili or a hearty lentil chili, these dishes freeze beautifully.
- Lentil Soup: Lentil soups tend to thicken slightly when frozen, which can actually enhance their texture.
- Tomato Soup: Creamy tomato soups made with coconut milk or cashews freeze well and can be quickly reheated.
Vegan Soups High in Protein
Plant-based soups can be just as protein-rich as meat-containing alternatives. Look out for these ingredients to make high protein vegan soup:
- Lentil Soup: Lentils are a protein powerhouse, making lentil soup a top choice for vegans.
- Black Bean Soup: Black beans are rich in protein and fiber, making them a perfect choice for a filling vegan soup. You can spice up vegan black bean soup with some chili peppers for an extra kick.
- Split Pea Soup: Split peas are not only packed with protein but also full of essential vitamins and minerals. A classic split pea soup with carrots, celery, and onions can be a protein-rich delight.
- Barley and Chickpea Soup: Barley is not only a good source of protein but also adds a chewy texture to your soup. Pair it with chickpeas for a double dose of plant-based protein. This Tomato Barley Soup with Roasted Chickpeas is my go-to.
Canned Vegan Soups to Buy
When you're short on time or just craving a quick meal, there are several canned vegan soup options available at most grocery stores. As a dietitian and mom, these are the brands I turn to most:
- Amy's Kitchen: Amy's offers a variety of vegan soups, including Lentil, Quinoa Kale and Red Lentil, and Thai Coconut.
- Pacific Foods: Pacific Foods offers an array of vegan-friendly soups, such as Cumin Carrot Oatmilk and Cashew Carrot Ginger.
- Imagine: Imagine's Organic Soups are often vegan, with options like Creamy Tomato Basil and Creamy Portobello Mushroom.
Best Vegan Soup Recipes
Toss black beans, sweet potatoes, and spicy chipotle peppers in your Instant Pot to get this hearty make-ahead meal with minimal effort. The crispy tortilla strips really take this vegan soup to the next level!
Vegan Lasagna Soup is an easier, plant-based version of the comforting Italian baked pasta dish we all know and love. White beans, mushrooms, and spinach are gently cooked in an herby tomato broth with lasagna noodles and creamy (dairy-free) macadamia nut ricotta cheese.
This easy Carrot and Lentil Soup features a cozy blend of warming spices (lots of garlic and ginger!), along with rich and creamy coconut milk for added texture. Bolstered by protein and fiber-rich red lentils, this naturally vegan bowl is hearty (and nutritious) enough to serve as a complete meal all on its own.
Taco night, but make it cozy! This is the best healthy and easy Easy Vegetarian Taco Soup with rice, beans, veggies (peppers, corn, onions, and greens), and Mexican-inspired spices. All of the best taco ingredients (don't forget the toppings!) in one comforting bowl. Not only is this soup healthy and satisfying, but it also has a rich and creamy texture the whole family will love.
Using oat milk is one of my favorite ways to make creamy vegan soups without any regular cream. Here, it’s stirred into a plant-based take on corn chowder soup. Serve this spicy Southwest-inspired soup with any of your favorite toppings. I like fiber- and protein-rich black beans, avocado, salsa, cilantro, and lime wedges.
The combination of tomato and barley is a classic and for good reason. I love this hearty, Tuscan-inspired soup because it's flavorful and satisfying enough to have on its own for dinner. For even more staying power, top it off with protein-packed vegan cheesy herb roasted chickpeas.
Is there anything more comforting than warm, cooked potatoes? This Easy Vegan Potato Soup has a delicious mix of flavors from high protein white beans, punchy sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh green herbs. Make it ahead of time and then serve with crunchy croutons for a satisfying weeknight dinner.
Chili, but make it SIMPLE! Flavored with a scoop of harissa chili pepper paste, this easy bean chili has a nice spicy kick without too much effort in the kitchen. This recipe freezes well, too.
Aromatic spices are simmered with protein-packed lentils in this hearty and satisfying Vegan Turmeric Soup recipe. Top with fresh herbs and dairy-free coconut yogurt for added flavor and texture. This entree-worthy soup works great for meal prep and it freezes well, too!
This soup is inspired by Indian daal. Mushrooms and protein-rich yellow split peas are simmered in a spicy broth flavored with garlic, ginger, turmeric, and coriander. There is so much flavor in this one-pot meal!
This chunky vegan minestrone soup with butternut squash and sweet corn is hearty, filling, and perfect for fall. It's thicker and heartier than the traditional, Italian recipe. Great if you're looking for a more satisfying and filling version of the classic.
Whether you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day, or just looking for a warm and hearty one-pot vegan meal, this Vegan Irish Stout Stew checks all of the boxes. Bonus: you can make it in the slow cooker, so it's truly a "set it and forget it" type of dinner.
The warming spices in this bright and vibrant carrot and sweet potato soup make it a cold-weather classic. Top it with green split peas for protein and dairy-free yogurt for extra creamy texture and perfectly tart flavor.
Classic potato and leek soup gets a high-protein boost of creamy texture from silken tofu. This quick and easy plant-based soup is the ultimate comfort food. It's like a hug in a bowl.
Vegan soups are incredibly versatile and offer a wide range of flavors and nutritional benefits. Whether you're seeking comfort, a protein boost, or relief from an upset stomach, there's a plant-based soup option for you.
From homemade creations to conveniently canned options, the world of vegan soups is both delicious and diverse. So, roll up your sleeves, get creative in the kitchen, and savor the goodness!