Hearty Vegetable Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 25 min. Cook: 1 hour 20 min.
This hearty vegetable soup is packed with flavorful veggies and garbanzo beans in a tomato-based broth. This crowd-pleaser is easy to make and perfect for weeknight dinners.

Updated: Jun. 04, 2024

Making hearty vegetable soup from scratch is easier than you might think. Simply combine and simmer lots of veggies, chickpeas, V8 juice and seasonings in a stockpot. A couple of hours later, voilà! Dinner is served. This homemade veggie-packed soup is comforting and packs a punch of nutrition. And it tastes even better the next day for lunch.

Using a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables makes this one of the easiest and most customizable soups. I love adding garbanzo beans to my soups and stews. They’re packed with protein and add a creamy texture. But chickpeas aren’t the only secret ingredient in this hearty vegetable soup: V8 vegetable juice adds a smooth consistency and savory tomato flavor. It’s key to making a great-tasting soup everyone loves all year long.

Ingredients for Hearty Vegetable Soup

  • Olive oil: You need a scant amount of oil to saute the veggies. The best olive oil adds a buttery and bright flavor and silky consistency.
  • Vegetables: This hearty soup uses a lot of vegetables: carrots, onion, celery, green pepper, garlic, cabbage, and frozen cut green beans, peas and corn. Feel free to toss in whatever vegetables you have on hand.
  • Garbanzo beans: Also known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans are small, round legumes with a nutty taste and buttery texture. They are high in fiber, protein and other important minerals.
  • Seasonings: This soup has layers of flavor from bay leaf, chicken bouillon granules, and dried parsley flakes, marjoram, thyme and basil. You can easily swap in homemade Italian seasoning instead. Of course, you also need salt and pepper.
  • Diced tomatoes: A can of diced tomatoes with their juices adds even more tomato flavor to this soup.
  • V8 juice: It’s the key to this vegetable soup! V8 juice is a vegetable juice made of water and concentrated juices from beets, celery, carrots, lettuce, parsley, watercress, spinach and tomato. It adds incredible flavor to this dish and serves as the broth.

Directions

Step 1: Cook the vegetables

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the carrots, onions, celery and green pepper until crisp-tender. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, for one minute.

Step 2: Add the remaining ingredients

Stir in the chopped cabbage, frozen green beans, frozen peas, frozen corn, garbanzo beans, seasonings, water, diced tomatoes and V8.

Editor’s Tip: Use chicken or vegetable broth as a substitute for chicken bouillon. It can replace the water called for.

Step 3: Boil the soup

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat. Let simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, and serve.

A bowl of Hearty Vegetable Soup on a wooden tableTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Make it vegetarian: Use vegetable bouillon cubes or vegetable broth to make this soup vegetarian and vegan friendly.
  • Add pasta: Once the vegetables are tender, stir 1 cup uncooked macaroni pasta (or your favorite pasta shape) into the soup, and cook until al dente.
  • Make it spicy: Use Spicy Hot V8 and a couple teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes to add some heat.
  • Add more veggies: Toss in additional veggies like chopped potato, zucchini or yellow squash.
  • Make it in the slow cooker: Dump all ingredients into a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for three to four hours.

How to Store Hearty Vegetable Soup

Store leftover vegetable soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warm.

How to Freeze Hearty Vegetable Soup

Freezing soup is a great way to keep hearty vegetable soup longer. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before transferring to a freezer container. Stick it in the fridge to bring the temperature down before freezing. Label the soup, and store in the freezer for up to three months.

To reheat frozen hearty vegetable soup, thaw in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to eat, bring it to a simmer on the stovetop or warm it in the microwave.

Hearty Vegetable Soup Tips

Hearty Vegetable Soup served in a bowl with bread and a spoonTMB Studio

How can you add more flavor to vegetable soup?

This vegetable soup is already full of flavor, but adding a few toppings will really elevate it. Try grating fresh Parmesan cheese over bowls or topping with oyster crackers.

How do you thicken vegetable soup?

Thicken soup the way you’d thicken sauce. We recommend using tomato paste or flour to thicken this recipe. You could also add more veggies and chickpeas to “beef” up your soup.

What can you serve with hearty vegetable soup?

Our favorite foods to serve with vegetable soup are crusty Dutch oven bread and a simple side salad. Crackers, homemade biscuits and cornbread are also great options.

Watch how to Make Hearty Vegetable Soup

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Prep Time 25 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 16 servings (4 quarts)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 2 cups frozen cut green beans (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups frozen peas (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cups V8 juice

Directions

  1. In a stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat; saute carrots, onions, celery and green pepper until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Remove bay leaf.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 105 calories, 2g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 488mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 5g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch.

A friend gave me the idea to use V8 juice in vegetable soup because it provides more flavor. My best vegetable soup recipe is perfect to prepare on a crisp autumn afternoon. —Janice Steinmetz, Somers, Connecticut
Recipe Creator