Low Carb Vegetable Soup that is chunky and full of vegetables, herbs and flavor! We love making up a big batch of this soup so we can eat it throughout the week. It’s a super simple way to get more vegetables and nutrients into your diet, without feeling the need to always eat a salad.
When we tell people that we eat keto or low carb, sometimes there are a lot of questions. A lot of people assume that all we do is eat bacon, eggs, butter and cheese. While we do enjoy these ingredients a lot (naturally) we tell them not to worry, and we still eat plenty of vegetables too! There are a plethora of low carb vegetables out there. Bending the rules is also fine for us, and we basically, whatever vegetables (or fruits) we want, we eat in small portions. Low carb eating has been our lifestyle for about 3 years, meaning, while we do eat off plan from time to time, low carb is our lifestyle because we feel so satisfied with how we eat!
We do get a lot of questions about vegan keto meals, and this is definitely an area we’re pledging to work a little harder on for those of you that are interested in a low carb and vegan lifestyle. While it is admittedly more challenging to be both vegan and low carb, we definitely want to show you some options, and this keto Vegetable Soup is BOMB you guys. Really. We have no shame in admitting that we LOVE meat, and this soup is ultra satisfying for us. It’s a great way to use up those ingredients in the fridge that are about to go bad, and actually enjoy doing it! So, enough of my rambling. Let’s get into this low carb vegetable soup!
We’d like to note that you can use whatever vegetables you want, seriously! This low carb vegetable soup started as a fridge sweep type of soup, and it turned into something we now make on a regular basis, because we seem to always have these ingredients on hand. You can certainly use whatever you want though, just be aware of how different vegetables have different cooking times, so they will want to be added at different stages. It will depend on what you’re using of course. Feel free to let us know in the comments what vegetables you decide to use! Please don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list! You can leave out whatever you don’t have, and we’re sure it will still taste amazing. 🙂
- Onions & leeks – The base of most great dishes start with one or both of these ingredients. Onion and its many varieties are just the base of so many great things. Use your favorite variety of onion, we tend to go for yellow onion, or red onion! For the leeks, you could substitute with just more onion here. Leeks are essentially like a mild and sweeter version of an onion. For this Low Carb Vegetable Soup we only use the white and the light green parts, properly cleaned. We loved using different types of onion in this dish, but as always, use whatever you want!
- Olive oil – Use whatever your favorite cooking oil is. We opted for olive oil this time, but avocado oil or even coconut oil are great.
- Carrots – While not traditionally considered a “keto” ingredient, we like to use small amounts to get a great and sweet flavor, plus some awesome color. You use just one carrot in this recipe, so it’s not much when divided across 6 servings. Besides, keto is not a food, but rather a metabolic state. Everyone is a little different with their carb allotment, and we tend to allow some carrots here and there.
- Bell peppers – Use whatever your favorite colors are! We used some green bell peppers, but red, yellow or orange all work. Poblano peppers would be amazing too!
- Jalapeños- For a little heat! Feel free to scrape out the seeds to lessen the amount of heat in this soup, or skip entirely. Totally up to you. You an use whatever spicy pepper you want in it’s place, like serrano peppers or habanero!
- Dry seasonings – We use quite the dry spice blend to really level up the flavors of this keto vegetable soup! As always, you can add as much or as little of each seasoning as you like. We include: garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, dried basil, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. It’s a lovely blend of flavors and it’s so good!
- Fresh garlic – Fresh garlic packs a huge punch of flavor, and we use it in nearly every savory dish (in some form) that we’ve ever made! Fresh is always best, but you could of course use garlic powder instead.
- Black pepper- Not much to say about this but fresh cracked black pepper just makes everything more delicious, doesn’t it? Add to taste, and add gradually as needed.
- Mushrooms– Baby bella, shiitake, whatever you want! We used baby portobello and cut them into thin slices lengthwise. We add them along with the zucchini and cabbage at the same time. All three of those vegetables are pretty full of water and will cook faster, so we add them after we have cooked down the flavor base of the soup.
- Zucchini– Washed really well then cut into half moon shapes. Summer squash also works! We like for them to retain a little bit of a bite and not cook down entirely to mush!
- Green cabbage– You can use your favorite cabbage. Red cabbage, napa, whatever you want. We used green cabbage, and roughly chopped works just fine. Don’t worry about discarding some of the harder bits, because it will simmer for a while making the white tougher parts soft.
- Kosher salt – Diamond Kosher Salt is our new favorite salt source. It’s much easier to control (in terms of saltiness) when it comes to various types of salt, compared to different types of salt! Not all salts are created equal, and different types of salt are waaaay saltier than others. We love the diamond crystal shape. The texture is amazing it dissolves really well, and it’s perfect for seasoning food gradually.
- Vegetable broth – Pacific Foods makes a wonderfully flavorful vegetable broth that we used for this. Use your favorite!
- Crushed tomatoes – Would this even be a low carb vegan soup without any elements of tomato? We think not, but that’s kind of up to you! You could use diced tomatoes instead of crushed, but we love crushed tomatoes since it will help form a really nice broth. Tomato paste would work too, just make sure to add it for a few minutes with your dry seasonings earlier on in the process to help get that rich tomato flavor throughout the whole soup.
- Lemon juice – A little sweet and subtle acidity really brings this soup together. Plus, lemons are amazing! As usual, fresh squeezed lemon juice is best.
- Bay leaves- This is technically optional, but we add bay leaves to most of our soups, stews and anything we braise for added flavor. They may not look like much, but they definitely add a subtle flavor similar to oregano and thyme to your food. Just make sure to remove and discard the leaves before serving, they’re not fun to eat!
- Whole fresh herbs for simmering- Also optional, but we seem to always have fresh herbs around that need to be used up, so we generally always add them! We added some thyme and fresh rosemary. Make sure to discard before serving. If you’d like to add these flavors but don’t have fresh, just add dried thyme and rosemary when adding the other dried herbs and spices.
- Spinach- We add this next to last, since it just needs a minute or so to wilt. On top of all the other goodness that’s in here, spinach (fresh or frozen) makes everything better and even more nutritious! We used fresh, and cut off the long stems. You could cut the spinach into thin strips to get it to distribute more evenly if you wanted to. We didn’t bother to and it turned out great.
- Parsley, cilantro and green onions- We stir some of these in right around the same time as the spinach and let it wilt a bit. We also more fresh at the end!
How to Make This Low Carb Vegetable Soup:
In a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, add your olive oil and then sauté your leeks, onions, carrots, jalapeños and green bell peppers with a good pinch of salt until softened. This should take around 7-10 minutes. Once softened, add in garlic and dried seasonings and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add in cabbage, zucchini and mushrooms with a big pinch of salt until the vegetables soften slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Now, add in your vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, lemon juice, bay leaves, and fresh herbs if using. Cook stirring frequently until vegetables are cooked to your liking.
Once your veggies are nice and soft, stir in some cilantro, parsley, green onions and fresh spinach to wilt. This should only take a few minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings and dig in, and top with more fresh green onions, cilantro and parsley to taste.
How Can I Add Protein To This Low Carb Vegan Soup If I Am Strictly Vegan?
If you are looking to make this keto vegan soup into a whole vegan meal, there are some options to add protein to this soup that you can take! We’d highly recommend topping this soup with some crunchy and seasoned hemp hearts for a vegan option that’s packed with nutrients as well as protein and fat! (We usually buy our hemp hearts at Costco.) Tofu or edamame would always be a solid option of course too, although we haven’t added it into our soup yet!
Are There Simple Ways To Add Protein To This Soup If I’m Vegetarian and Eat Some Animal Products?
If you are just vegetarian and are okay with some animal products, promise us you’ll try this Low Carb Vegetable Soup piping hot with a couple of poached eggs on top!! This is one of our favorite things to add and easily turns this into a quick meal to eat at any point during the week.
Cheese is always a great option for adding more protein. Really you could add anything. Our picks would probably be pepper jack, parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella, havarti or cheddar! There’s no way there’s a wrong way here.
Lastly, we have to recommend stirring in a bit of Isopure unflavored whey protein isolate powder to taste. It has 25g of protein per scoop! While mostly it is unflavored, there is a slight taste you will notice if you add a lot int . Stir some in sometime and let us know what you think! Speaking of creative uses for Isopure’s unflavored whey protein, it’s 0 carbs and sugar and is great in SO many recipes. Speaking of, (off topic by worth mentioning!!) check out this keto protein cinnamon roll in a mug we made with their protein powder!
Additional Protein Sources For Meat Eaters:
If you eat meat and you’re looking to add more protein to this soup, we have a few additional recommendations. Honestly, any leftover meat will work wonderfully. So if you have leftover meat like beef, pork, or chicken, cut it or shred it up and add it to this keto vegetable soup.
YUM! Another easy thing to do is add bone broth, and we do this often. While different products vary with their protein content and nutrient profile, we’d recommend chicken or beef bone broth by Pacific Foods. Both offer an incredible micro and macro nutrient profile, plus 9g of protein per cup for both varieties.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the addition of Ancient Nutrition’s pure or unflavored bone broth protein. You can use our affiliate code AFullLiving20 to save 20% on Ancient Nutrition’s website! This bone broth protein is the perfect way to add 20g of protein per scoop! It pairs perfectly with savory items, like this soup, if you’d like to remove the vegan aspect.
Are There More Vegetables I Can Add To This keto Vegan Soup?
Absolutely! There’s literally tons of substitutions you could make, and in fact, we encourage you to use what you have on hand, and experiment a little more. Here’s a few ideas of low carb vegetables you could add to this low carb vegetable soup:
- Pumpkin or Kabocha squash
- Green beans
- Butternut squash (in small amounts)
- More peppers in addition to spicy or sweet peppers (serrano, poblano, etc.)
- … & more! Let us know what you’re going to add in the comments.
Here’s Some Low Carb Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes You Will Love:
Some of these keto recipes are vegetarian and vegan. We will mark the vegan recipes with a ‘V’ to denote which ones are vegan. While all of these recipes are vegetarian, they are not all vegan.
- Low Carb Dark Chocolate Nut Bars V
- Asparagus with Lemon, Dill and Goat Cheese
- 15 Minute Low Carb Cinnamon Trail Mix V
- Cabbage and Herb Salad
- Keto Candied Butternut Squash
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Until Next Time,
Briana & Chamere
Low Carb Vegetable Soup
Dry seasoning blend (add these seasonings to taste, ours has a bit of a kick as usual):
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
For the rest of the soup:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 medium leek, thinly sliced (light green and white parts only, dark green tops discarded)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into rounds
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 2 whole jalapeños, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 head cabbage, chopped (small)
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into half moons
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 whole lemons, juiced
- 14 oz crushed tomatoes
- 3 whole bay leaves
- fresh rosemary and thyme, to taste
- 1 tbsp kosher salt, added gradually and to taste
- 8 oz fresh spinach
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced into rounds
- In a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, add your olive oil and then sauté your leeks, onions, carrots, jalapeños and green bell peppers with a good pinch of salt until softened. This should take around 7-10 minutes. Once softened, add in garlic and dried seasonings and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add in cabbage, zucchini and mushrooms with a big pinch of salt until the vegetables soften slightly, about 2-3 minutes.
- Now, add in your vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, lemon juice, bay leaves, and fresh herbs if using. Cook stirring frequently until vegetables are cooked to your liking.
- Once your veggies are nice and soft, stir in some cilantro, parsley, green onions and fresh spinach to wilt. This should only take a few minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings and dig in, and top with more fresh green onions, cilantro and parsley to taste.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.