Winter Vegetable Soup

This is originally an Alton Brown recipe and trust me when I say this is a company worthy recipe. Butternut squash is every where right now so why not use some in a delicious vegetable soup. This makes a huge pot full of goodness so you can feed a crowd or freeze some for quick meals in the weeks ahead. I found a slightly revamped recipe by The Healthy Librarian over at Happy Healthy Long Life. I did a few of tweaks of my own and was quite happy with the results!

Winter Vegetable Soup It nearly filled my largest dutch oven to the top! Alton Brown says its the best soup he has ever made! The first day I made it I thought it was pretty good. Day two it was even more yummy and day three double yums!!! The broth and veggies just kept getting better and better. I even served a large bowl of this soup to a carnivore who kept telling me how delicious it was all through the meal. Two thumbs up from everyone – so this soup will be showing up again and again on our menu. Thank goodness it makes enough to freeze up in single servings – oh and a single serving just happens to be 2 1/4 cups big! This is a filling, delicious bowl of soup my friends.

Winter Vegetable Soup The broth is rich with flavor and the vegetables are tender but not mushy.

Winter Vegetable Soup You can sub other squash or a sweet potato depending on what you find in your market – use other greens in place of the kale if you wish. I even added some cooked brown rice when reheating this soup for a quick lunch and that was fun too! You could use an Italian seasoning blend, add some little whole wheat pasta and have a minestrone soup. So many possibilities.

 Winter Vegetable Soup

  •  8 ounces of cremini mushrooms, sliced
  •  1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-4 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  •  4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  •  1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh sage, chopped
  •  28 ounces of  crushed, tomatoes in tomato puree or juice
  • 2 ½ quarts of low-sodium vegetable broth
  •  3 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce (Alton says the soy adds Umami)
  • 2” x 2” skinny square of parmesan rind (TOTALLY OPTIONAL) It stays intact and you can discard it after cooking. *
  •  1 pound  butternut squash cubes – this is also sold pre-peeled and cubed at Trader Joe’s Costco and Sam’s club.
  •  5 – 10 ounces of chopped curly kale, stems removed – I went with 10 ounces chopped up pretty good
  •  2 cans (15 ounce ea.) no-salt Great Northern or Cannellini beans—DO NOT DRAIN! I found them at Whole Foods.
  •  2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 teaspoons Herbs de Provence seasoning blend or Italian seasoning blend.

1. Use a large 8 quart soup pot. Heat on high & sear & brown the mushrooms, until tender. Only add a little water or broth if they start to stick. Remove them from the pot and set aside to add back in later.

2. Lower heat & sweat onions, carrots, & celery over low heat for 30 minutes, at least.  Cover the pot, and stir occasionally, checking to see if they are getting too dry, & need a little water or vegetable broth to deglaze the pan. They’ll be very soft.

3. Add in garlic, rosemary, & sage

4. Add the tomatoes in their juice, cook for about 5 minutes, to blend everything together.

5. Increase the heat, & add the vegetable broth to the pot. Mix in soy sauce & drop in the parmesan rind. Heat just until boiling.

6. Lower heat to a simmer & add the squash & kale. Cover & simmer for at least 30 minutes.

7. Now, add the mushrooms back in, & the 2 un-drained cans of Great Northern or Cannellini beans to help thicken the soup with their starch. Mix well. Then add the 2 TBS  vinegar to cut the acidity from the tomatoes, stir in the Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning.

8. Heat through.

*Some stores like Whole Foods package up small pieces of Parmesan rind for cooking. Check the cheese counter. I did use a small piece of rind and it was still in tact after cooking and didn’t look like it had dissolved at all but I do think it added some good flavor.

Yield: About 6 1/2 quarts soup

Servings Size: 2 1/4 cups

Nutritional Information

Per Serving; 175 Calories, 1.2g Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 393 mg Sodium, 34.7 g Carbohydrates, 9 g Fiber, 6.7 g Protein

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown who says this is the best soup he has ever made. I found a version of this recipe on Happy Healthy Long Life and I made a few adjustments of my own that are reflected in the recipe above.

Nutmeg Notes

I have been on a soup and chili kick lately with more soup recipes in my stack of recipes to try. Thank goodness we have a big freezer as two people don’t make much of a dent in a big pot of soup. The great thing is we have a grand assortment of  healthy soups in the freezer to draw from for easy lunch and dinners. It also comes in handy for me when hubby Tom is out of town on business and I am eating solo.

Happy Cooking!


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  1. Renee@Mykitchenadventures says:

    Oh wow. Definitely going to be making this one. Love all the veg varieties in it! I just made a creamy butternut squash soup a few weeks ago, and I’d love to try it this way!! I agree, homemade soups make one of the best healthy lunches. Have a wonderful day, Tami!!

  2. Sue says:

    I’ll add this recipe to my list to make soon. Never had a bad Alton Brown recipe. In fact, I was about to give up on brown rice until I found his recipe (I think it might have been you to recommend his recipe)!

    Would appreciate an update on your search for a slow cooker. I bought one at Costco. It has two vent holes in the lid. I’ve never needed to add additional water to my beans midway through, but I had to with this new crockpot.

    1. Tami says:

      I did post about Alton Browns perfect oven baked brown rice. That is a wonderful recipe but now that I have a rice cooker with a brown rice setting that is what I use.

      I have never seen a slow cooker with a vented lid – I don’t know why it would be made that way. Of course if you are not happy with it Costco is very good about returns.

      My new slow cooker just arrived yesterday. I ordered it from Macy’s as they didn’t have it in the store and I had a gift card to spend at Macys. Sue,I think you are the one who gave me the heads up that Cooks Illustrated rated it as their top choice, its the Premier Edition Crock Pot brand slow cooker, Model SCVT650-PS with Touchscreen. It has a 3 year warranty and a 6.5 qt oval removable stoneware crock. I just unboxed it this morning and its really light weight compared to my Rival slow cooker that went crazy on me. It looks smaller than my old one but they actually have the same capacity, it’s just a sleeker model. No venting in the lid. Now I just have to choose a recipe and try it out!

      1. Sue says:

        Thanks for the update, Tami. Yes, I think I will return it to Costco since I still have the box and receipt. I’ll be looking forward to you meals and recipes using your new slow cooker. I think I will order the same one as you.

        1. Tami says:

          You are welcome Sue. Good luck with your slow cooker adventures!

  3. Biz says:

    I love soup 24/7. Making your African stew tomorrow night while my husband watches football – I am going to try to make it in my dutch oven vs. the crock pot – do you think that will work?

    1. Tami says:

      Biz this should work well in the Dutch oven.

  4. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I love soup, and this sounds wonderful. I just pinned it.

    I don’t mind leftovers, so I usually just eat the soup I make on the weekend throughout the week. But I think I’ll work on freezing some individual portions as it’s nice to have a healthy meal to defrost!

  5. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    The best thing about colder weather is soup! This looks yummy. Thanks.

    1. Tami says:

      I was just thinking about you the other day Karen. Hope things are going well for you. Are you still working and did you start blogging again?

      1. Karen says:

        Yep, still working. And, no, not blogging. I think about it every so often:)

  6. Lise says:

    I am making this now….don’t see where to add the squash? With the carrots, onion, celery?

    1. Tami says:

      Its listed in step 6 – add the squash and kale and let simmer at least 30 minutes or until tender. Happy Cooking! 🙂

  7. rika@vm says:

    What a lovely soup full of delicious goodness – crimini mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. heck you can even add lentils to the soup! Love the Great Northern beans, they are so tasty in my Tuscan white bean stew I’ve posted today.

    1. Tami says:

      I will have to check out your Tuscan White Bean Soup.

  8. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    I used to have soup a lot as a kid – for dinner in our house too! That looks amazing !

  9. MIZ says:

    I wasnt for years…like 19 or so since we lived in hothothot climes.
    and the 2×2 cheese square is completely intriguing me.

    1. Tami says:

      That little piece of cheese rind is full of flavor and it adds to the taste but it’s rock hard and doesn’t seem to dissolve!

  1. Food Finds & Other Fun Stuff » Nutmeg Notebook says:

    […] and a sandwich is one of my favorite lunches. Have you made this Winter Vegetable Soup yet? It makes a big pot full and luckily I have some in my freezer. It makes good use of butternut […]

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