Pick your own adventure vegetable soup!

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I was trying to come up with a good recipe to post this week which would work with Nutrition Month (March is Nutrition Month!!).

After some deliberation I decided on soup. Soup is such a universal comfort food. It is good to warm up on a cold day, it goes down easy when you’re not feeling well, it can be an appetizer or a standalone meal, and most importantly, it is usually highly adaptable. The best soups are sometimes the ones you whip up without a recipe just to use up some leftovers or forgotten veggies.

This recipe is more of a guide; you can follow this basic format, but for each need there is a substitution or addition.

Ingredients (gluten free, vegetarian option)

2 Tbsp oil

1 ½  cups chopped onion (about 1 medium)

2 cups chopped carrots (about 5 medium)

1 ¼ cups chopped celery (about 3 large stalks)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 litre liquid (vegetable or chicken stock, water, tomato juice, or some combination)

1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes (undrained)

3 cups peeled and 1/2-inch thick diced potatoes (from about 3 medium)

⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley (About 2 Tbsp dry or omit)

2 bay leaves

½  tsp dried thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 ½  cups chopped frozen or fresh green beans

1 ¼ cups frozen or fresh corn

1 cup frozen or fresh peas



Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute 5 minutes then add garlic and saute  1-2 minutes longer.

Add in broth tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, bay leaves, thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil, then add green beans.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until potatoes are almost fully tender, about 20 – 30 minutes.

Add corn and peas and cook 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.


Low potassium (CKD) option:

Substitute 1-1 ½ cup cooked rice or noodles of choice for potatoes (add with frozen veggies near the end)


High protein option (omnivore):

Add 1 lb stewing beef, lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken (brown in pot while sauteeing veggies)


High protein option (vegetarian):

Add 1 can drained and rinsed beans or lentils (add with frozen veggies near the end)


Higher calorie option:

Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1-2 cups high fat milk, or 1-2 cans full at coconut milk near the end


Low FODMAP option:

Substitute regular onions for green onion (no white part)

Sautee cloves of garlic (halved, not minced) but remove cloves (Garlic flavoured oil is ok as long as you do not eat the cloves); alternatively just skip the garlic!

No beans!


Low Carb option:

Skip the potato/corn and add some more of the other veggies


Low sodium option:

Use your own homemade broth or choose a low sodium option (option to use half broth and half water with extra spices and flavourings added)


Other options:

  • Substitute/add any preferred fresh, frozen, or canned veggies (eg bell peppers, cabbage, mushrooms, cauliflower, squash)
  • Substitute any other starch (rice, noodles, barley, quinoa, couscous)
  • Mix up the spices:
  • Add oregano, basil, or Italian seasoning to the current recipe
  • Add or substitute paprika or curry
  • Add chili powder and cumin
  • Have a bottle of tomato juice or clamato taking up space in the fridge? Throw those in as part of the broth!




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