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The Best Vegetable Soup

I’m similar to my mom in a lot of ways. (All the good ways, obviously.)

We both have an unhealthy obsession with shoes…particularly cheap, colorful shoes with heels. Some of our best memories have taken place in shoe stores, believe it or not. There’s nothing like bonding over adorable $6 shoe bargains.

My mom has no shame and she’s a say-it-like-it-is kinda woman. Needless to say, I lack a verbal filter, tend to over-share, and rarely get embarrassed. We’re very straight-forward gals, that’s for sure.

Mom also loves soup. She makes a lot of it in the cooler months, and I like to, too.

And my daughter, my dear Lily (yes, my dog = my daughter) is a lot like me.

For starters, she loves to cuddle. She can find a home for that fat, adorable face anyplace on my body. She can snuggle with my foot, head, leg…doesn’t matter. She’ll make it work.

She also HATES rain, just like me. In college, I would go as far as to skip entire DAYS of classes on account of the rain. There may be nothing more I hate than rain, in fact. It makes me sad, tired, and in an all-around cruddy mood. And Lily is on that same page with me. She goes on potty strikes because she refuses to leave the house when it’s raining. I can’t say I blame the girl…I’m just glad I don’t have to go out to use the bathroom!

It was only timely to have this vegetable soup on the menu this week. Ohio has been cold, dark, and rainy…for far too long. Really, really rainy. When I got home from class last night, I could hardly wait to reheat a bowl and enjoy every last drop. While I didn’t name this soup “The Best Vegetable Soup”…it really, truly is!


The Best Vegetable Soup very slightly adapted from My Kitchen Adventures

1 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
dash of dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
64 oz fat free, low sodium chicken stock
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
2 large russet potatoes, diced
2 cups carrots (about 4), sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 cup celery (about 3 stalks), diced
8 Brussels sprouts, ends cut off and quartered
1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen green beans
1/2 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley, minced
1 (10.75 ounce) can of condensed tomato soup + one can of water
1/2 lemon, juiced
additional salt and pepper, to taste


In a 6 quart dutch oven or large stock pot, over med heat, warm oil. Add in onion and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook another minute or so until fragrant. Add red pepper flakes, thyme, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Continue to cook for another minute or so.

Add in the stock and canned tomatoes + their juices and stir. Add in the potatoes and stir. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and loosely cover. Simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 12-15 minutes.

Add in the carrots, celery, and Brussels sprouts. Allow to simmer until the carrots are almost tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Add in the frozen corn and green beans and the parsley. Bring back up to simmer and cook until all the vegetables are tender, an additional 10 minutes or so.

Add in the condensed soup and water and the lemon juice. Test for additional salt and pepper and season to taste. Remove bay leaf. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings (2 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 103 calories; 0.7 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 881 mg. sodium; 20.9 g. carbohydrate; 3 g. fiber; 4.3 g. protein

Result: Quite possibly the best vegetable soup…I concur! We enjoyed every bite of this warm and comforting fall time classic. I’ve never made vegetable soup at home, but the vegetables were all perfectly tender, the saltiness was just right, and the low calorie, low-fat stats are ideal for the waistline. Simple to make, too! Enjoy!


I am proud to report that I got up yesterday morning to complete off one of the best morning workouts I’ve ever had. I ran 3 miles in 32:30 (which included 2 walk breaks). It felt good and it did improve the dreaded rainy day. This week is going as planned…on track and a bit more balanced (even if my “short” day ended up a 12-hour work day…ugh!).

Question: What are your favorite additions to vegetable soup? Do you like rain?

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Joanne
    October 20, 2011 / 6:43 am

    I’m a say-it-like-it-is over-sharer also! Rooming together is gonna be SO.MUCH.FUN. Slumber party?

    And my dog takes potty strikes when it rains as well! Unless you go out there with her and cover her with an umbrella. And beg her.

    Bookmarked this soup! I love veggies and if this is the best ever, I need to get it into my belly!

    • Nicole
      October 21, 2011 / 11:30 am

      Did you even have to ask?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    October 20, 2011 / 6:58 am

    Cold and rainy is right! I’ve definitely been switching over to the comfort foods… salad has been far and few between these days…

    I’ll add pretty much anything into vegetable soup. NOT picky!

  3. Samantha @ Bikini Birthday
    October 20, 2011 / 8:37 am

    I’m definitely a ‘say it like it is’ person. Sometimes it gets me into trouble. Usually I don’t realize what I said until after it’s come out of my mouth and then I think ‘well, I probably could have sugar coated that a bit more’
    Oh and I love soup too. It’s my favourite thing (besides dessert, of course). And this week has been brutally shitty weather here too (I’m assuming that it’s the same weather pattern you’ve been getting in Ohio). I’m not a fan. I hope it clears up for friday afternoon because I promished Matt that I’d watch his high school football game (he coaches).

  4. renee@mykitchenadventures
    October 20, 2011 / 8:51 am

    oh I am so glad you enjoyed this soup! I think of all the soups, a tomato based vegetable soup is my favorite kind! I made split pea soup yesterday for the first time…it was a hit too!

    You are correct about the awful rainy, and rainy and rainy weather we have had. Cleve area just hit a new all time record for yearly rainfall amounts….and I dare to say, this might be a prelude to what is to come as far as frozen precipitation too….shhhhhhhh….you didn’t hear me say this! And for the record, my Molly also goes on potty strikes when it rains…and I have no idea how she does it! lol

    Have a great day Nicole!

    • Nicole
      October 21, 2011 / 11:31 am

      LOVED this soup! I brought some in to share with my health-conscious coworkers today…can’t wait to spread the love (and recipe!)!!

  5. EA-The Spicy RD
    October 20, 2011 / 9:13 am

    Fabulous soup! I enjoy rain every now and then, but definitely prefer the sun to rain. We’ve been having some funky foggy misty days this whole week in San Diego, so it’s definitely been soup weather, although I know I can’t complain about weather too much compared to other places :-). Glad you had a good run!

  6. Andrea@WellnessNotes
    October 20, 2011 / 9:29 am

    It’s been really warm and sunny around here, and I miss “real” fall weather. I know, what a problem to have! But right now, I really like the idea of some rainy days… I know that when we’ll actually have them for weeks at a time, I’ll get tired of them though…

    One of the reasons I like fall so much is all the soups. The veggie soup sounds great. Veggie soup is usually my “clean out the fridge” soup and always changes depending on what I have around…

  7. Anna @ On Anna's Plate
    October 20, 2011 / 9:32 am

    Yummmm…this looks like the PERFECT rainy day soup!!! I hate the rain too– I’m happy we’ve moved to a place that doesn’t seem to get a ton of it; it seemed like it would rain in Pennsylvania for days on end!!

  8. Faith
    October 20, 2011 / 10:14 am

    Aww, this is such a sweet post…I think it’s adorable how sweet little Lily takes after her mom. The soup looks incredible, full of healthy, flavorful ingredients! One of my favorite additions to veggie soup is beans.

    Fingers crossed for sun in the forecast! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    October 20, 2011 / 10:29 am

    It depends on my mood with rain – sometimes I don’t mind it and other times I can’t stand it. The soup looks delicious!

  10. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    October 20, 2011 / 11:34 am

    I love soup when the weather is cold or rainy. Vegetable soup is one of my favorites!!!
    Living in Vegas, I love the rain but I think that’s due to the fact that we don’t get it very often. I am sure I would get sick of it if it rained more often.

  11. Biz
    October 20, 2011 / 4:20 pm

    Okay, first off the bat, I love the nutritional stats on this one! Cooked carrots are hands down my favorite veggie in a soup. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I like when I am inside, don’t have to leave the house, when it rains!

  12. Christina
    October 20, 2011 / 8:26 pm

    I hate the rain. and the cold. but you’re right it sure is soup weather ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Leah @ Why Deprive?
    October 20, 2011 / 11:20 pm

    You get pretty used to the rain around here, it actually doesnt bother me that much anymore. Really, I became ok with the rain the second I bought a brand new car that had windows that all rolled up. The drivers side window in my old car was open 2 inches at all times. Back then, I hated rain too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Nicole
      October 21, 2011 / 11:32 am

      Haha, no kidding!! Your old car may have been worse than mine ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  16. Michelle Thomas
    January 22, 2013 / 1:09 am

    Just wanted to say that this soup definitely lives up to it’s name! Thanks so much for sharing. I first found it last March when trying to make dinner for my whole family (vegetarians and all) and EVERYONE loved it. I’ve made it many, many times since then — just tonight in fact, which got me thinking, I should write a comment about how awesome this soup is. I do everything like you say, except I use vegetable stock instead of chicken (originally to accommodate the vegetarian in my family, but liked it so much I always make it that way). LOVE IT! Thanks again.

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