In the depths of winter, all I want is foods that are hearty and warming.  Soups, stews, chilis – I love them all.  Of course, at a time of year when the stores aren’t exactly bursting with seasonal produce of every variety, it is important to focus on foods that are comforting but also nourishing.  A recent craving for vegetable soup brought to my attention that I did not have a reliable go-to veggie soup recipe.  I have tried many recipes in the past but none of them really stuck.  Clearly that needed to be addressed.

Gathering inspiration from my crisper drawer and my desire to enjoy garlicky bread in as many ways as possible, this vegetable soup with garlicky croutons was born. I prefer soups with are heavy on substance and not too much liquid, so I added a hefty dose of veggies to the pot.  The soup is great all on its own, but the croutons just take it over the top.  I’m very glad to have another excellent soup recipe in my repertoire.  After all, there is still plenty of winter to be got through.


For the soup: 
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Parmesan rind (optional, but recommended)
12 oz. fingerling potatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
4 cups baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the croutons: 
3 cups multigrain bread cubes
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 01

    In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, melt the butter over medium high heat.  Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pot and cook until mostly softened, about 6-7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and sauté about 1 minute, just until fragrant. Stir in the diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, bay leaf, thyme and the Parmesan rind.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and let cook 20 minutes.

  • 02

    Add the chopped fingerling potatoes to the pot and simmer just until the potatoes are fork tender.  Stir in the spinach and cook until fully wilted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the bay leaf.

  • 03

    While the soup is simmering, make the croutons.  Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat.  Melt the butter over medium to medium-low heat.  Stir in the garlic and cook about 1 minute.  Stir in the bread cubes, tossing with the butter.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to cook the bread cubes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and crisp on all sides (adjusting the heat if necessary).   Serve the soup warm with the croutons on top.
  • Hannah

    Hi Annie,
    How big is your Le Creuset pot? I am trying to decide what size to get. The soup looks delicious!

  • Kinsey Drake

    This looks scrumptious! I love adding parmesan rind to vegetarian soups to add a nice umami flavor. I also love to add a splash of dry white wine while sautéing aromatics to lentil soups to really punch up the flavor. I think I will have to try this recipe this weekend to make my crazy week (aka spending 14 hours a day at school) a little simpler!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    This looks delicious!! Soups are my go-to meals in the winter!

  • annieseats

    Mine is 5 quarts and it has been perfect for our needs. Enjoy!

  • Sara Kilpatrick

    I have been making a lot of veggie soup this winter too. I just threw my recipe together and it came out pretty well, but I see a few things in your recipe that I really want to try. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Stephanie

    I am still looking for a vegetable soup that my daughter likes as much as she likes the Amy’s canned soup. I am going to make this and I know I will love it and maybe she will, too! Thanks!

  • Berna

    This looks good! I think my kids will love this! Do you think this will work in a slow cooker? I will try it out.

  • Stephanie @ Life, Unexpectedly

    This recipe sounds amazing, Annie! Hope to be able to talk the hubby into more veggie soup this weekend :-)

  • Dorota

    I want to make this but I’m out of vegetable stock :(. Which one would you recommend for this soup instead: chicken or beef?

  • April Spicer

    So I made this tonight and it was perfection!!! Thick, scrumptious and healthy! The only change I made was I used a manchego rind because that is all I had. Even 2 out of 3 of my kiddos liked it! We made a loaf of french bread to go with it and man, it was just what my body was calling for. Thank you for this recipe. It will now be my go to veggie soup!

  • We love soups that are more stew-like around here, so I could see this being a BIG hit! Especially with those croutons…I mean, what is better than big garlicky bread chunks?!

  • Sam Derby

    Made this soup last night and it was delicious. I’m fairly new to actually making food so it was quite exciting that this was so tasty. Thanks Annie!

  • Amber

    After craving this soup since you posted it, I finally made it tonight. The whole family loved it (my little ones had second helpings), but I think the winner for my 2-yr old was the croutons. He kept grabbing more “chicken” (anything brown and bite-sized qualifies) to put on his soup. Thanks for our new favorite vegetable soup recipe!

  • annieseats

    Wonderful! So glad to hear it :)

  • Jackie

    YUM! This is so good! Because I don’t eat white potatoes, I subbed yams and it is delicious. Even without the crutons because I can’t eat grains either. Even when all the fun is taken out of a recipe, I still enjoyed the veggies :)

  • Brenna G

    Made this soup today and it is delicious! Adding a parmesan rind gave it amazing flavor. Another FABULOUS recipe, Annie! :)

  • annieseats

    I would recommend chicken stock.

  • Heather A

    The best soup I’ve had in awhile!

  • Melissa

    This sounds amazing! I’ve already added it to my menu for this week. Have you tried freezing it? I’m wondering if it would freeze well, though I’d guess it probably would.

  • annieseats

    I haven’t frozen it, but I think it would freeze well. Enjoy!

  • Francesca @ Love.Bake.Read

    I definitely need to add this to our meal plan. We haven’t eaten meat in months, so this is just what we crave. We’ve been eating Vegetarian Chili like it’s going out of style. Mmm! Mixing it up can’t hurt.

  • Michelle Schaab Rogers

    Annie – Had to share! I made this for the first time today and it’s amazing!! I’ve been looking for a vegetable soup to make for awhile now and this is it. I’ve been a vegetarian for a couple years now, but I’m a picky vegetarian and this is the perfect blend for me. This is definitely now in my meal rotation!!!!

  • Leslie

    Made this tonight while being homebound for ice storm and it definitely hit the spot. Made it without the potatoes because I forgot them at the store and it was still tasty! Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow!

  • Jenn V

    I make this so often I almost forgot where this recipe came from! It’s a family favorite. Making this tonight for the first day of fall :)

  • Erinh12

    Hey annie, I’m gonna make this tomorrow and I’m really excited! I’ve never used a Parmesan rind before to help with the flavor so could you explain more? Do I put the whole thing in and then remove it after? Thanks! I tried to google it and I couldn’t figure it out :)

  • annieseats

    You don’t need to remove it. It will basically dissolve and just add a lot of delicious Parm flavor to the soup. And if it doesn’t fully dissolve, it’s a glob of cheese. So not bad that way either :)

  • Erinh12

    Awesome. Thanks so much!

  • Sara Anderson

    Just made this for dinner (sans croutons – I had no good bread around!) and loved it. I had leftover rolls from our Friendsgiving yesterday and they were perfect to sop up the yummy broth. Thanks for another staple, Annie. :)

  • Lisa Gelber

    What a perfect vegetable soup. I will be making this all through the fall!