This collection of our best vegetarian and vegan soup recipes is filled with hearty, nutritious, comforting soups you’ll make on repeat. Find protein-packed soups filled with lentils, chickpeas, beans, grains, creamy vegetarian soups, healthy twists on classics and more!
We’ve just picked out our best vegetarian dinner recipes, now comes a celebration of one of the Mediterranean’s most loved food group: soup!
Vegetarian and vegan soup recipes are a major part of the Mediterranean diet, where soups and stews are celebrated as an essential part of the table. There, you might start your day with a beloved vegan chickpea stew called lablabi, with or without a poached egg. That’s right, soup and salad are just as welcome at breakfast!
For lunch or a late-night treat, Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası, a Turkish red lentil soup warms the belly and keeps you satisfied. And, for dinner, perhaps a minestrone loaded with whatever seasonal vegetables are the freshest.
In this collection of vegan and vegetarian soup recipes, I’ve picked out our most loved soups that swap the meat for fresh aromatics, bold Mediterranean spices, and hearty plant-based protein.
From satisfying bean soups loaded with protein to refreshing chilled vegan soup recipes perfect for a hot day, you’re sure to find just the perfect soup to suit your weeknight dinner, cozy Sunday supper, or to stock your freezer for a rainy day.
Easy Vegetable Soup Recipes
If you ever need a way to push your body’s reset button, vegetable soup can be a delicious and comforting way to do that without going on a harsh detox diet. Plus, what better way to use up those veggies and herbs in the bottom drawer of your fridge? Here are our best vegetarian soup recipes and vegan soup recipes that are loaded with both veggies and flavor:
Vegetable Stew with Peas, Potatoes, and Bell Pepper
You need just one pot and 40 minutes to make this easy vegan soup recipe. Hearty and rich, it’s the perfect way to warm your belly on chilly days. Make a fresh salad, like tabouli or gluten free tabouli while it simmers, and serve with crusty rustic bread.
“Detox” Cabbage Soup with Turmeric and Ginger
Vegan, gluten-free, ultra-healthy, and very flavorful! A whole head of cabbage, loads of savory spices, garlic, veggies, and fresh ginger make for a vibrant, deeply savory soup that is so nourishing and cozy. The cabbage and veggies are filling enough on their own, but a soft bread like simit or challah is a special treat.
A gluten-free, vegan soup recipe layered with colorful veggies, aromatics, fresh herbs, and a big splash of lime juice for the brightest finish. To make it even more hearty, add chickpeas for some plant-based protein.
Mushroom Barley Soup
Hearty mushrooms, chopped vegetables, and tender pearl barley make up this simple and satisfying vegan mushroom barley soup. As comforting as your favorite deli’s barley soup, but with even more flavor and a subtle smoky finish. And, because there’s no cream, it freezes very well.
Tomato And Chickpea Chili (Two Ways)
Hearty and warm, this vegan chickpea chili makes a hands-off dinner any night of the week! I love the layers of vegetables (onions, peppers, scallions, and jalapeño) in this unconventional chili recipe. Stir a spoonful of za’atar into your cornbread batter for a fun Mediterranean twist on the classic combination.
Herbed Vegan Potato Leek Soup
This is not your standard potato leek soup! A healthy dose of garlic and cilantro pack a nice punch and give the creamy soup a vibrant green color. Finish with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and a splash of fresh lemon juice to lift its earthy flavors.
Vegetarian Sweet Potato Stew
Chunks of melt-in-your-mouth sweet potatoes, tender carrots, tomatoes, and wilted baby spinach come together in one pot. To me, the perfect flavor makers here are warm seasonings like cumin and turmeric that complement the sweetness of the tender vegetables.
Vegan Cabbage Soup (3 ways)
A slow cooker works particularly well here because the cabbage lingers in the broth, tenderizing and becoming infused with flavor from the spices and aromatics. You can also use the Instant Pot or make it on your stovetop, if you like. No matter the method, a splash of lemon juice and some fresh herbs, stirred at the very end, make all the difference.
This Italian-style vegetarian minestrone soup is brimming with vegetables, beans, and a little pasta. The draw here is in the flavorful tomato broth with lots of fresh herbs. Minestrone is meant to be adapted, so feel free to make this recipe your own by using what vegetables you have on hand, and use gluten-free pasta or leave it out to fit your dietary needs.
Lentil Soup Recipes
Lentils are a staple of the Mediterranean pantry, in vegetarian and vegan soup recipes and beyond. They are not only affordable, but they’re also high in plant-based protein, fiber, and more. Here are some lentil soup recipes to try:
Italian Lentil Soup
This vegetarian twist on classic Italian lentil soup is just as rich and comforting as the original, with lentils adding enough protein to keep you satisfied. Serve with homemade garlic bread for dipping!
Turkish Red Lentil Soup (Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası)
This easy, economical pantry soup is one to make on repeat! Aromatic vegetables and spices and a hit of fresh lemon juice load the lentils with tons of flavor. It’s blended for a nice creamy quality, though it’s completely vegan! Serve with pita bread or simit (Turkish Sesame Bread Rings).
Hearty One-Pot Lentil Stew
A medley of vegetables and warming spices make this vegan stew so cozy and nourishing. Potatoes and lentils are very filling, so a sprinkling of fresh parsley and lemon juice just before serving is all you need. But if you’d like to round out the meal, crisp salad like Maroulosalata and pita bread go well alongside.
Harira (Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup)
Tomato-based vegan Moroccan soup, made with lentils and chickpeas, fresh herbs, and plenty of flavor from turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon. If you’d like to make it a bit heartier, try serving it over a bed of broken vermicelli pasta or rice. And, for a spicy twist, stir in a spoonful or two of harissa paste (homemade or from our shop).
Spicy Lentil Soup with Spinach
Greek Red Lentil Soup
Red lentils combined with onions, garlic, and sweet carrots in a tomato-based broth. It’s infused with oregano and rosemary and finished with lemon juice and fresh herbs. A sprinkle of creamy feta brings a nice tangy, creamy final touch.
Curried Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup
In this creamy vegetarian soup recipe, I pair tiny red lentils with sweet potatoes for a soup that is as filling as it is tasty. The subtle sweetness of the sweet potato is nicely enveloped in the warmth and earthiness of mild curry powder, paprika, and bay leaf. I use heavy cream for extra comfort, but you can always substitute with whole milk or unsweetened plant-based milk if you’d like to make this soup vegan.
Chickpea Soup Recipes
I am a huge fan of chickpeas in soup recipes (and hummus, salads, and as a crispy snack for that matter). They’re a nutritious vegetarian protein that adds a nice texture to soup, both when they’re puréed or left whole. All of these recipes use canned chickpeas to make them quick and easy, but you can cook from dried if you’d like more control over their texture. You can even use their broth, called “aquafaba” as a thickener. Here are some of my favorite chickpea soup recipes:
Lablabi (Tunisian Chickpea Stew)
This hearty North African stew with chickpeas, rustic bread, warming spices and harissa is traditionally served with breakfast, but I love it any time of day. Serve on its own for an easy vegan meal or with a fried egg on top.
Braised Chickpeas in a Creamy Pesto Sauce
This creamy vegetarian chickpea stew turns a can of chickpeas into a comforting meal in less than 40 minutes. A fresh homemade pesto takes things up a notch, but you can use a high-quality store-bought variety to save some time. I love to add fried lemon rings on top for a nice brightness, but you can skip them if you’d like.
Spinach Stew with Chickpeas
There are many versions of this spinach stew recipe with tomatoes throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East. My mom made her spinach stew Egyptian-style using lean ground beef, but I opted for a vegan option, which is just as hearty and satisfying, thanks to a handy can of chickpeas from the pantry. You can even skip the vermicelli to keep this stew gluten-free.
Instant Pot Chickpea Soup
This vegan chickpea soup is full of vegetables, plant-based protein, fiber, and more! You can prepare it in your slow cooker or on the stove. I share all 3 methods.
Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew
Easy Mediterranean Chickpea Soup
Filled with sweet potatoes and hearty veggies and laced with bold flavors like cumin and fresh ginger, this vegan, gluten-free chickpea soup is satisfying and flavorful.
Bean Soup Recipes
Beans are another staple in the Mediterranean Diet. Like lentils, they are affordable and packed with protein. They’re also a great way to add bulk to soups to make them more filling. Here are some bean soup recipes to try:
Tuscan bean and vegetable soup that is thickened with day-old bread. Ribollita is a hearty and especially flavorful vegetarian soup recipe thanks to the use of one secret ingredient: Parmesan rind–make sure to freeze your rinds rather than throwing them away! I like to use kale in this soup, but you can do spinach or another leafy green.
This vegetarian soup recipe is more than the sum of its humble parts of beans and pasta, and it comes together in 30 minutes or less.
Three Bean Soup with Tomato Pesto
I used canned kidney beans, cannellini beans, and chickpeas, but you can change the beans up according to what you have on hand. What takes the flavor in this vegetarian soup a few notches is the tomato pesto stirred at the very end (do not skip it!).
Fasolada: Greek White Bean Soup
There are several versions of fasolada. This one is simple and vegan, with canned white beans, garlic, onions, and celery. Don’t forget a big drizzle of extra virgin olive oil at the end.
Vegan Quinoa Chili
Arguably one of the coziest crockpot soup recipes on the site! Two cans of beans, a medley of crunchy veggies, and a big splash of lime juice are all you need to make this delicious quinoa chili. And it tastes even better the next day!
Creamy Vegetarian Soup Recipes
There’s nothing more luxurious than a rich, velvety soup! My approach to creamy soups is to bring a decadent richness without overpowering the natural flavor or weighing the soup down. Here are some of my favorite Mediterranean-style vegetable-forward and boldly flavored creamy soup recipes:
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
Vegan and gluten-free, this creamy butternut squash soup is subtly sweet with warming spices and a generous stir of nutty tahini! Surprising on many levels, this one is sure to delight. I love roasted hazelnuts on top, but you can swap them with any nuts you prefer. Or, substitute with croutons or crispy chickpeas for a nice crunch.
Tomato Basil Soup
This vegan roasted tomato soup recipe is creamy as ever with no heavy cream needed. I like using roasted carrots here, which give this soup a subtle sweetness and heft. Serve on its own, or with mozzarella and feta pita grilled cheese for a Mediterranean twist on the classic pairing.
Roasted Carrot Soup with Ginger
This vegetarian carrot ginger soup is great for getting ahead, as it’s even better the next day. Aside from the fresh ginger, I love using garlic and a pinch of allspice which enhance the sweet roasted carrots. The mint is a nice complement to the charred carrot’s sweet flavor, but any tender herbs like basil or parsley work in its place.
Vegan Pumpkin Soup with Lentils
Now this is a pumpkin soup with a bit of a Mediterranean twist. Red lentils are the perfect addition here because they collapse into creamy goodness, giving this soup more nutrition and a nice velvety texture. I like spooning a little zhoug (spicy cilantro pesto) on top for a bit of a kick.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Cauliflower is lightly charred to concentrate its flavor in this rustic, rich vegetarian cauliflower soup. A touch of whole milk adds a nice creaminess, but you can substitute plant-based milk if you’d like–just be sure it’s unsweetened and unflavored. A foursome of earthy Mediterranean spices–turmeric, cumin, sumac, and paprika–take the flavor of this easy soup to new heights.
Healthy Potato Soup
A healthy twist on classic cream of potato soup! Fresh herbs and warming spices bring a welcome depth of flavor and whole milk adds a velvety quality without weighing it down. Serve this vegetarian soup with a bright and crunchy salad like our radicchio salad.
Cold Soup Recipes
If you think soups are only for cold weather, you’re missing out on half the fun! Try these refreshing chilled soups to cool you down on hot summer days.
10-Minute Tomato Gazpacho Recipe
Gazpacho is a Spanish cold tomato soup, perfect to use up summer’s bounty of fresh ripe tomatoes! I keep it vegan, adding cucumber, onions, celery, and a good pinch of ground cumin for a fresh and layered flavor. Feel free to make this in large batches – gazpacho is very freezer-friendly! You can even keep it in a big pitcher in your fridge for easy snacking.
Blending sweet, juicy watermelon with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, this sweet and savory vegan soup is a little spicy, and incredibly refreshing. Serve with a Niçoise salad for a light summer meal (you can leave off the tuna to keep it vegetarian).
Chilled Cucumber Soup, Persian-Style
This fresh cucumber soup with herbs and toasted walnuts is incredibly refreshing, tangy, and creamy all at the same time. Serve as an elegant appetizer to grilled vegetable kabobs, or as a light lunch with Barbari Persian Flatbread on the side.
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Mediterranean Diet Starter Kit
Stock your pantry with the essentials to eat the Mediterranean way, including Greek olive oil, 7 spices, and tahini.
Sauté the aromatics. In a large Dutch oven or cooking pot with a lid, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until fragrant (adjust the heat as necessary to make sure the garlic does not burn).
Soften the veggies. Add the cabbage, celery, carrots, and a big pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (about ½ to ¾ teaspoon each). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened somewhat, about 5 to 7 minutes (it helps to cover the pot partway so that the cabbage will wilt easily).
Season. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and Aleppo pepper and toss to coat the vegetables with the spices.
Simmer. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) and the broth. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot part way allowing just a small opening at the top. Simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Finish and serve. Turn the heat off and stir in the parsley, chopped green onions, ginger, lemon zest and lemon juice. Enjoy!
Calories: 131.3kcalCarbohydrates: 20.7gProtein: 4.2gFat: 5.3gSaturated Fat: 0.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 3.6gSodium: 151.9mgPotassium: 606.7mgFiber: 7.2gSugar: 9.5gVitamin A: 4591.7IUVitamin C: 89mgCalcium: 125.3mgIron: 2.7mg