Pantry Soup: a healthy, delicious, and easy plant-based soup

May 21, 2020

Pantry Soup, it’s what’s for dinner… any – ol’ – night!

Because this soup is made with staples that we tend to keep on hand – hardy pantry vegetables, dried herbs and spices, and beans – it’s a healthy vegan recipe you can rely on any time.

Last week I shared a huge pantry post. And today, a soup to get cooking from those pantry basics.

I’ve talked before about my love for soups and stews. They are always a favorite meal for me to make.

That might be one of the few things I don’t love about summer – and one of the few things I really love about fall… making hot soups!

Large pot of pantry soup, containing beans, vegetables, greens and with wooden spoon in soup pot

And, right now it’s still cool enough for most of us that we can prep and dig into a hearty vegan stew.

And, because this vegan soup offers flexibility in the vegetables used, this is a recipe you can rotate weekly.

What’s in this Soup?

It’s a little of this and a little of that! It’s that kind of soup you can make when you are using up vegetables in the fridge, or only have those hardy vegetables like spuds and carrots on hand.

Sometimes I’d think of this as “kitchen sink soup” – what’s in it? Everything but the kitchen sink, so to speak.

But, I didn’t think kitchen sink soup sounded all that appetizing, so I went with Pantry Soup!

The concept is the same, though. And, if you are short on one type of veg, you can swap in another. I give notes in the recipe for guidance.

Pantry soup in two serving bowls

Pantry Soup Q & A

  1. Can this soup be made ahead of time?
    • Yes. Just don’t add the greens until a few minutes before serving. But, the rest of the soup can be made in the morning or even the day before. Then, just reheat to add the greens. Bonus: The soup tastes better after it has had time for the flavors to meld.
  2. Can I use other vegetables in this soup besides the ones you’ve listed?
    • Absolutely. Just keep in mind that some vegetables take longer than others to cook. If using green vegetables, always add later, much like the greens. You want to cook them until just bright green, and then serve.
  3. Why the miso? Can I omit it?
    • The miso isn’t essential, but I love the extra salty ‘umami’ quality to finish the soup. It’s best not to boil/overcook the miso (especially for nutritional value). Rather, just stir through before serving. But, if you need to reheat, it’s a-ok. I enjoy using chickpea miso, but you can use any miso you like.
  4. Why the apple cider vinegar?
    • Much like with the miso, it adds a finishing flavor that’s nice in this soup. You can omit it, or also experiment with a little lemon juice.
  5. Can this soup be frozen?
    • Yes. However, keep in mind that the texture of certain vegetables like potatoes and squash will change with thawing. They become less firm and break down more. Also, if you are preparing ahead of time to freeze (rather than freezing leftovers), don’t add the greens. They will just thaw and reheat into a bit of a grey-green sludge. Best to omit and add later when reheating.
  6. Can I use other greens or beans?
    • Yes, you can easily swap out the type of cooked bean used. And other greens can be wilted in the soup, such as swiss chard, dandelion greens, or even bok choy (the stems of bok choy will take longer to cook).
hearty vegan soup in serving bowls
Large pot of pantry soup, containing beans, vegetables, greens and with wooden spoon in soup pot


Pantry Soup

I sometimes call this a ‘kitchen sink soup’ – using all the common veg you have in the fridge and in your pantry, along with other pantry staples. It’s entirely flexible, see the notes for substitution ideas. Whatever you use, it will turn out delicious and comforting.
Course dinner, Soup
Keyword beans, carrots, celery, gluten-free, low-fat, oil-free, potatoes, soup, stew, sweet potatoes
Servings 6 or more


  • 3 – 4 tbsp white wine optional, can use water
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dill seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups combination of sliced/chopped carrots and celery
  • 4 cloves minced/grated garlic
  • 5-6 cups combination of cubed potato sweet potato, parsnip, winter squash, or rutabega/turnip
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 5-6 cups water or more if needed
  • 2 – 3 cans 14oz beans of choice, rinsed and drained (ex kidney, chickpeas, white beans, pinto, black beans)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4-5 cups torn kale leaves or spinach optional, see note
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp miso optional, can season with extra salt


  • In a soup pot over medium-hight heat, add wine or water, onion, mustard, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, dill seeds, salt and pepper. Stir through, let cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. If vegetables are sticking, add a splash of water. Add garlic, and stir through to cook for another couple of minutes, reducing heat slightly to avoid garlic burning. Add remaining vegetables, stock, water and beans. Increase heat to bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender (this will depend on how small/large the vegetables are cut and also type of vegetable used). Once tender, remove soup from heat. Add greens and apple cider vinegar. Remove a few spoonfuls of broth in a bowl, and make a slurry with the miso (if using). Then add it back to the soup and stir it through. Let the greens sit in the hot soup until just wilted. Once wilted, taste and season with more salt/pepper if desired. Serve immediately to maintain vibrant color of greens.


  • Beans Note: This stew can easily hold 3 cans of beans. Feel free to use 3 cans if you like. Two cans is the equivalent of about 3 1/2 cups, and 3 cans roughly 4 1/2 – 5 cups of cooked beans.
  • Kale/Spinach Note: If you have greens like spinach, chard, or kale on hand they are brilliant to add to this soup just before serving. It’s best to add just before serving, so the greens stay bright green and taste the best. Spinach will wilt much more quickly than kale. It will cook through in just a minute or so. Kale will wilt in the hot soup in a couple of minutes.
  • Other veg: Can you use other vegetables in this stew? Absolutely! Consider the “hardiness” of the vegetable, and add it to the soup in according cooking time. For instance, cauliflower will cook a little faster than the root vegetables, but also won’t turn off in taste or color. So, it can be added at the same time. Broccoli, however, will turn in color. So, it’s best to add that just in the last minute or two of cooking.

And that’s about the gist of it! Easy, satisfying, healthy, and delicious.

Please let me know how you enjoy the pantry soup! x Dreena

food photography credit: Angela MacNeil

The post Pantry Soup: a healthy, delicious, and easy plant-based soup appeared first on Dreena Burton.

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