Garden Vegetable Soup

October 14th, 2010
by: Grue

I want to learn to make a vegetable soup like Sue’s. So one day I was researching vegetable soups (not the correct approach, but I am what I am), and I ran across an Alton Brown recipe from 2004. This soup is not like Sue’s, but it is simply outstanding. I could not believe there was no meat or fat (beyond the olive oil) in the soup – it tasted so rich and flavorful, it didn’t seem like it was possible that it was made from 100% vegetables – but it is. This recipe is going on my very short list of favorites.

My changes to Alton Brown’s recipe: I used turnips instead of potatoes because they’re more flavorful and they stand up to liquid better; I added zucchini to the recipe because I like it in soup; and I changed parsley to cilantro just because I roll that way. Oh, and I bumped the garlic by 50% just on general principle. I used organic vegetable broth (the recipe calls for chicken or veggie) because I liked the idea of it being 100% vegetables. HEB Central Market makes an outstanding organic vegetable broth.

Garden Vegetable Soup
Based on a recipe from Alton Brown, 2004
Prep Time: 40 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)
3 tablespoons finely minced garlic
Kosher salt
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
2 cups peeled and diced turnips (3/4″ cubes)
2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups zucchini, chopped into quarter rounds (approximately 2 medium)
2 quarts organic vegetable broth
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat.
  2. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, turnips, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, zucchini, and pepper.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add the cilantro and lemon juice.
  8. Season, to taste, with kosher salt.
  9. Serve immediately.