Looking for savory vegetable soup recipe with lots of flavor from herbs/spices

Joined Oct 9, 2017
Hello All;
I have posted here previously but not for several years. Since I posted the previous times, I have gone vegan to greatly improve my health and it's working. My challenge several years ago and still today is to find recipe for a vegetable soup which uses no animal products (Even dairy) but is full of flavor created from herbs and spices. Usually, when I make soup, it is bland even if I go out and use all newly-purchased herbs and spices. I am looking for the sort of recipe that may be served at a restaurant where the chef wants guests to keep coming back for more. It could be mildly spicy but not too spicy. Probably what I am looking for is a good vegetarian soup base because anyone can cut up and add vegetables. Anyone have any thoughts, ideas, techniques, or recipes they'd like to share? Thanks. Tim
Joined May 5, 2010
Welcome back to Cheftalk Tim.....
Most vegetables are bland in and of themselves. The cooking processes are what bring out the flavors.
For instance French Onion soup derives its flavor profile from caramelizing the onions low and slow for a couple hours. It can't be duplicated.

Roasting vegetables first also adds more flavor to the finished product.
Herbs like thyme, bayleaf, marjoram, basil and rosemary add nice aromatics.
Also lesser know herbs and spices can really add some great pazazz to your soups. Things like curries, garam masala, saffron, fenugreek, ginger mace, coriander, and tumeric.

Keep vegetable scraps when cooking and make a stock out of them for a base.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
There are a million ways to make vegetable soups tasty without the addition of animal stocks or dairy. Chefross gave you a few ideas, and here are a few more:
-use a mixture of tomato sauce (or puree) and vegetable stock to make a Minestrone style soup
-grill tomatoes and use that as a base for a variety of tomato soups-changing out the herbs and spices to get a variety of different soups
-winter squashes make great pureed soups-no need for cream or dairy. Personally, I love Butternut Squash soup flavored with standard curry powder-you don't even need vegetable stock for this one, its flavorful enough that you can just use water for the liquid
-use Thai curry paste to make a variety of Southeast Asian inspired soups, either with or without noodles
-wild rice can bring a lot of flavor to a soup

Whatever you do, make sure to use a good amount of onions, and celery as the base of your soup. Even meat based soups can taste rather bland if you skimp on these.
Joined Oct 9, 2008
If you use a pressure cooker on maximum pressure, the vegetables will gain a deeper roasted flavor, because the high heat will encourage Maillard reactions. Of course, this mostly only works with puréed vegetable soups.
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