hand holding white bowl of greens soup

A comforting bowl of warm green soup coming right up! This healthy greens-packed soup is made with good-for-you green vegetables, such as broccoli and peas, and a healthy serving of spinach leaves. White beans are what gives this pureed vegan soup it’s creamy texture!

Whether here on my website, or in my books, like Good For Your Gut cookbook, I think the recipe theme is becoming pretty apparent: yummy plant-based recipes for people who don’t want to spend all their time in the kitchen.

I suppose it is a bit self-serving…because despite creating recipes for a living, as an entrepreneur with two kids, on the days I don’t cook for work I am in exactly in the same boat as you. I need to get good food on the table in between quitting time and driving my kids all over town for their activities.

This soup was born of the ‘what are we eating for dinner’ question I sometimes ask myself… at 5PM. Yes, this dietitian is a terrible meal planner. (But at least I’m honest!) I end up making a lot of recipes with spinach, because ALWAYS having a container of baby spinach is one of my hacks for eating enough greens. Like, did I just whip up a meal without enough veggies? I’ll just throw a few handfuls of spinach in and call it a day.

When it’s chilly outside, a soup is one of my go-to meals to get something nutritious on the table AND use up whatever is in the fridge so I don’t have to go to the store. Like when I buy mushrooms at Costco and forget about half of them? I make my vegan mushroom and barley soup! And when there is a bunch of greens in the produce drawer, I make this easy vegan greens soup recipe.

What you’ll need to make this simple greens soup recipe

Think of this soup as a formula, not a follow-to-the-letter recipe and in just 30 minutes, you’ll make a delicious greens soup out of any greens that have been languishing in your fridge not getting enough love. I’ve used white beans in this vegan recipe because they’re my secret weapon for A) adding plant-based protein and fiber and B) make soups, sauces and even mashed potatoes creamier! Plus, it keeps this recipe nut free.

  • Spinach: I always have spinach on hand, but you could easily substitute kale, chard or whatever other leafy cooking greens you have lying around.
  • Broccoli: fresh or frozen works! Alternately, you could use cauliflower or kohlrabi.
  • Onion + Garlic: All alliums are good here, like leek or shallots. Out of all of them? Add a liberal helping of garlic and onion powder. Perhaps 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL).
  • White beans: use cannellini, navy, white kidney, butter…whatever you’ve got.
  • Spices: Cumin and nutmeg add a warm, earthy vibe. Coriander would be great too.
  • Vegetable broth: I’ve generally replaced broth in my life for a tastier (and lower waste) option: Better than Bouillion concentrates…but they’re not gluten free. I would use 2-3 teaspoons of BTB plus 4 cups (1 L) of water in this recipe. If using a boxed gluten free broth, stick to low sodium and adjust salt to taste.

This recipe will serve four as a light meal with some whole grain crackers or bread.

Why I try to eat greens daily

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: all plants are good plants. But there are a few that I try to eat daily, which I call my Daily 3: omega 3-rich seeds, beans and green vegetables.

Why are green vegetables so good for you? Well, a few reasons: the first being that greens offer a ton of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals like carotenoids that are important for immune and skin health. The cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, kale and arugula also contain sulfur-based phytochemicals that are especially potent for good health.

Greens are also mineral-rich, offering vegan sources of iron and calcium as well as magnesium and trace minerals like manganese. While some greens, like spinach, can be higher in oxalates and phytate that can bind minerals, consuming them in cooked form helps to make minerals more bioavailable, like in this greens soup recipe!

FAQ: What greens are good for soup?

It depends on the soup, as each green has a slightly different flavour! If you’ll be cooking on the stove, like this easy greens soup recipe, stick to sturdier leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard and collards. You can use parsley, watercress and cilantro towards the end of cooking to finish a soup for an extra boost of flavour and nutrition!

FAQ: What is the healthiest green vegetable?

All greens are good greens…but if we want to look at the research to choose the healthiest green vegetable, it’s broccoli! Broccoli has much more research on its nutrient composition and its specific benefits than any other green vegetable. From a nutrient-density standpoint, kale, watercress, Napa cabbage, chard and beet greens are the top 5 according to an old (and imperfect) CDC list of powerhouse foods…but that list didn’t take phytochemicals into account.

Because of that, I’d put kale high on that list!

Tips, Tricks and Suggestions

  • This soup will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days, or frozen for a month. Just reheat on the stove on medium until thoroughly steaming!
  • Don’t have an immersion blender? Carefully ladle soup into a blender to blend…but be careful, blending hot liquids can be dangerous! A tip: place a towel over the top and gently rest your hand on it in case the lid pops off.
  • This is meant to be a yummy, but simple soup. Feel free to boost flavour with hot sauce, or more aromatic herbs like basil, dill or cilantro!

More nourishing vegan soups

hand holding white bowl of greens soup

Easy + Nourishing Green Soup Recipe

A comforting bowl of warm green soup coming right up! This healthy greens-packed soup is made with good-for-you green vegetables, such as broccoli and peas, and a healthy serving of spinach leaves. White beans are what gives this pureed vegan soup it's creamy texture!
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups broccoli , chopped, florets and stalk
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 14 oz can white beans, like navy or cannelini, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • chili flakes , to taste
  • 32 oz container of low sodium gluten free vegetable broth, or 4 cups (1L) of water plus 2-3 tsp of bouillon concentrate

Equipment

  • immersion blender or blender

Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat, and sauté onion until glossy and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and broccoli, and saute for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly so garlic doesn't burn, until broccoli is bright green. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Next add spinach and stir until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Add beans and peas and stir until heated through.
  • Add cumin, nutmeg, chile flakes and broth (or water plus bouillon concentrate) and let come to a boil on high for 3 minutes.
  • Take soup off the heat, then carefully puree with an immersion blender to desired consistency. I do about three-quarters pureed so there is still some texture there. You can also puree this soup in your blender but it is about double the capacity of a normal blender so do it in two batches.
  • Serve with whole grain crackers or bread.

Notes

Recipe notes:
This is a super flexible soup. Try baby kale, arugula, green chickpeas…whatever you have lying around. And about seasoning – I like a lot of spices but I created this soup when I was cooking for young kids and a bunch of different taste buds hence the lighter touch. Golden rule of cooking: taste and adjust!

Photo credit: Melissa Quantz