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Making Vegetable Broth and Soup?

When making vegetable broth, can you just keep in the vegetables and use some as a vegetable soup? Would the flavor be too bland for soup? Help?

Also, any good recipes for a vegetarian soup with greens and lots of flavor?

Thank You!

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  1. No, it's better to strain the broth and add fresh vegetables. But to each his own.

    Millions of soup recipes out there. Suggest the Daily Soup cookbook for really good ones. One I've been doing lately with my veg box is a greens/potato soup: saute chopped onions in olive oil till translucent, add a clove or two of chopped garlic, after a few minutes add some diced potato (peeled or not), salt, pepper, a bay leaf. Then add stock. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer.

    Meantime, wash and chop greens, and blanch them if you like (sometimes I do, sometimes not). When potatoes are tender, add greens, adjust seasoning. Smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pan to thicken the soup and add texture. When greens are done, remove bay leaf and serve. Very simple and tasty.

    1. Go to a post entitled LOW FAT STOCK QUESTION. I just answered your query there in the past couple of days.

      1. I agree with Kagey, strain the broth, add fresh veggies.
        Since you are looking for flavor, I would suggest adding something that gets overlooked with many traditional veggie broths, fresh hot peppers. Jalapeno or Serrano peppers can add so much to a good veg broth.
        I heat the broth and add kale, spinach or any cabbage until I have the consistency and amount of veggies I'm looking for. Let them wilt and cook until tender. Just after adding the greens I add refried beans. Good thick beans with a touch of oil.
        Stir all together when cooking, add black pepper/dashes of hot sauce and enjoy with French/Italian bread.
        Go soup.

        1. I agree with the others that the "broth vegs" should be tossed and you can add new ones for the soup. But if you want to give your broth a bit of a deeper flavor, roast the vegetables first and then make the broth. It comes out really well.

          1. Maybe not the right time of year, but a few corn cobs add flavor and starch.

            1. Mushrooms are a good component - if you rehydrate dried ones and strain that liquid to remove grit and put it into the pot, adds a ton of flavor.

              1. you can also use an immersion blender to puree the cooked veg into the soup

                1 Reply
                1. re: thew

                  D'accordo...that kitchen tool is what I used to puree the limp vegetables. The puree is in reserve for the minestrone that is going to be made tomorrow. Fresh onion, celery, carrots and garlic will be sauteed before adding the puree and some beef stock saved from a braised pot roast.

                  Buon appetito!

                2. I made some beet tops and chard last summer. We ate the tops, and then used the left over broth which was about 2 qts, and used it to make some awesome blackeyed peas.
                  chard is one of those veggies that you can cook or simmer for a time, extract some of its flavor and the veggie is delicious.

                  1. Discard the veggies after you've made your broth. They taste like, and have about as much nutritional value as, wet styrofoam.

                    As to stuff to make vegetarian soups more flavorful, try kale, watercress, spinach, water chestnuts, yams or sweet potatoes, ginger, dried orange peels, and even things like figs and dates are also great.

                    1. It totally depends on the recipe. Classic minestrone is exactly what you specify: Vegetarian, with greens and lots of flavor. You make the "broth" as you make the soup.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: dmd_kc

                        I can claim that my minestrone is NOT classic. Only a few of the ingredients for a given batch are the same as included in previous batches. Tomorrows batch will have chard midribs, BBQ sauce, beef stock, and vegetable stock. Those 4 ingredients are leftovers from other meals. I follow the Mario Batali dictum. I paraphrase, "Italians never discard usable foods."

                      2. Since the vegetables are very tender, I would puree the veggies and have a rich tasting broth. A hand blender works very well. Can be blended right in the same pot.