Best Ever Vegetable Soup Recipe


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If there’s one thing that signifies winter comfort to me, it’s when we start churning out soups and meals via slowcooker.  A few minutes prep time in the morning and the most tender and delicious dinner by evening; everybody wins!  My very favorite vegetable soup recipe is about as simple as it gets, if you know a few secret ingredients and tricks.  In fact, I can’t just call it ‘vegetable soup’ because it’s actually The Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup {in my humble little opinion}.

Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!

I should probably call this ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ soup, because it’s one of the best ways to get things out of the fridge and into our bellies!  Plus, it’s so healthy.  You can eat two bowls with ZERO guilt.  I’ve adapted it from this recipe and included our favorite ingredients, but you can definitely adapt it to your family as you see fit.  I’m crazy for parsnips and my kids love carrots, so we go a little heavy with those.  Plus my very favorite secret ingredient at the end, can you guess what it is?  😉

Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!
cleaning out the fridge; must be soup time!

Here you go, the how-to for a simple yet satisfying slowcooker soup.  I have some tips and tricks after the directions that will make fast work out of prepping this meal– you won’t want to miss them, so keep reading!

Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!


2 cans diced tomatoes (undrained)

6 cups broth

1/2 large onion, chopped (more if desired)

2 to 4 cloves garlic (minced, pressed, or microplaned)

2 TB Olive Oil (divided)

2 large carrots, chopped

2 parsnips, chopped

1 turnip, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

2 to 4 cups chopped spinach or kale

fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, or sage (use a 1/2 teaspoon of your preferred dried herbs if you don’t have fresh herbs on hand)

salt and pepper

8 oz. small pasta such as orzo or ABC letters (if desired)

half a lemon

optional: Parmesan rind if you have one

Additional Vegetable Ideas (add your favorites!):  leeks, peppers, peas, green beans, potatoes, cabbage


Step 1. Chop all ingredients and have them ready before you begin.

Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!

Step #2: In a large saute pan or wok, heat one TB olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until almost translucent.  Add garlic, saute an additional minute.  Add the rest of your chopped vegetables (except the spinach/kale).  Saute for just two minutes or so.  You don’t want to cook them all the way through, the slowcooker will do that for you.

Best Every Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!

TIP:  Giving the vegetables a quick saute on the stovetop intensifies the flavor.  Don’t skip this step!

Step 3.  Now add the spinach or kale, the fresh or dried herbs, and your salt and pepper.  Saute another minute or so.

Best Every Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!

Step 4.  Add the tomatoes and broth to your crockpot, plus the sauteed vegetables.  Give it a quick stir.

Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!

Step 5.  Cook for 7-9 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high.  About 20 minutes before it’s finished, cook up your pasta on the stovetop according to the package directions.

Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!

Step 6.  Remove Parmesan rind if you used one.  SECRET INGREDIENT —-> Squeeze the juice from one half of a lemon into the slowcooker and stir– this brightens the flavor.  Add cooked pasta in individual bowls, and pour the soup on top.  Serve with a crusty bread and let the healing power of warm vegetable soup wash over you!

Step 7.  When you store the leftover soup, keep the pasta and soup in separate containers to prevent the pasta from soaking up all the broth.

Helpful Tips and Tricks:

Tip #1:  A great knife will be your best friend.  My brother-in-law got me the Vitronox Chef Knife a few years ago and it makes quick work of all this chopping!  Also, you don’t want to overcook the veggies so be sure to have everything chopped before you begin.

Tip #2:  My mom taught me the BEST way to chop an onion.  With a steady hand, make cuts downward almost all the way through.  Repeat across the onion in one direction.  Then, switch directions and do the same– you’ll make a hashtag type pattern.  Then, flip it sideways and chop all the way through.  This will make the most perfect chopped pieces!

TIP:  My mom taught me the BEST way to chop an onion.  With a steady hand, cut it across the onion almost all the way through in one direction.  Then, switch directions and do the same-- you'll make a hashtag type pattern.  Then, flip it sideways and chop all the way through.  This will make the most perfect chopped pieces!  Best Way to Chop an Onion {Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!}

Best Way to Chop an Onion {Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!}

Tip #3:  I don’t like to use too much onion, so I’ll usually half it in most recipes.  I’ll chop an entire onion, use half, and then freeze the other half in a ziploc bag for my next recipe.

Tip #4:  I’m kind of a freak about expiration dates.  Okay, I’m a TOTAL freak about expiration dates.  Since broth is good for about 1-2 weeks after opening, I’ll write a the date on the top to remind myself to use it while it’s still good– and not have any questions about whether I can still use it or not.

soup prep tip Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!

Tip #5: Thank you Rachael Ray for this tip!  Having a ‘scrap bowl’ on the side to collect your cast-offs makes for quick clean-up at the end and saves several trips to the trash can.

Tip #6: I’ve gotten lazy and HATE to clean my garlic press.  But I love using fresh garlic!  Instead, I run a few peeled cloves over my handheld grater and get all the flavor with super easy clean-up.

mincing garlic {best ever slowcooker soup recipe]

Want to clean out your fridge even more?  Here’s a fantastic article on 10 Things to Make Your Soups Even More Delicious. 

By the way, if you are in the market for a great slowcooker the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go is fantastic.  I received it as a gift a few years ago and I forsee it being in my life for the next 20 years.  I’m so in love with it.  Here’s a few links to my favorite kitchen helpers used in this recipe if you are interested:


Having an easy soup recipe with most ingredients already on hand means we have the perfect medicine for what ails us, when what ails us looks like this:

Best Ever Slowcooker Vegetable Soup!

Poor Noodle is fighting a wicked head cold.  Soup to the rescue!

Have a warm and safe weekend, especially to my New England friends.  Be sure to come back Monday for an EPIC giveaway with a few (um, 20) blogging friends.  As for the slowcooker, what’s your favorite recipe to make?  Any tips to share?

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