RECIPE: Meatless Monday soups

Three soup recipes that can improve your health and save you money

HOUSTON – Many of us are trying to eat healthier meals and save money in the new year, and you can't go wrong with a veggie soup! Culinary instructor Marcia Smart shares three recipes for a meatless and budget-friendly dinner the entire family will enjoy.

"I try to incorporate it into my meal plans, because it helps me focus on getting more vegetable into my family at least one day a week," said Smart. 

Check out the recipes below: 


Kale and White Bean Minestrone

This pasta-free minestrone is a great way to use up vegetables in your crisper. If you'd like your soup thinner and less like a stew, add two additional cups of stock or water. You can also add an extra can of rinsed and drained garbanzo beans to add more protein to the soup (and to help it stretch to feed more people). Feel free to dice up extra vegetables and add to the pot when you sauté the celery and carrot, such as zucchini, cabbage, fennel or parsnips. Serves 6-8.



  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can stewed tomatoes, torn or cut up and added to the pan with juices
  • 6 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 cup broccoli florets or broccolini, chopped small
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 bunch, about 6-7 leaves, Lacinato, curly or purple kale, center stem removed and chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher, sea salt or Himalayan)
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste



In a large, 5 or 6 quart saucepan pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and a sprinkling of salt. Stir and cook until the vegetables soften, about 3 minutes.


Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. Use your spoon to break up the large chunks of tomatoes. Add the stock or water, potato, broccoli, kale and Parmesan rind. Cook on a low simmer until potatoes soften, about 20 minutes.


Add the drained white beans; stir well and simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning if necessary.




Red Curry Carrot Ginger Soup

Whole30, dairy-free and vegan, this red curry carrot ginger soup is full of flavor. It freezes well, so make a double batch and stash some for a busy night down the road. Serves 6-8.



  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter, coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 6 cups carrot, unpeeled and chopped (roughly 8 medium-size carrots)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (add additional stock later to thin the soup if you'd like)
  • 1 13.5-oz can full-fat coconut milk (low-fat also works fine, I just prefer the thickness of full fat. Shake well before opening.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (a micropaner works best for this)
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Salt
  • Garnish: Cilantro or chili flakes



In a 5 or 6 quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and celery and sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and sweet potato and let cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and coconut milk. Add the garlic, ginger, red curry paste and chili flakes. Cover the cook until the carrots and sweet potatoes soften, about 15-20 minutes more.


After the vegetables have softened, use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Or carefully transfer the soup to a food processor or high powered blender in batches and purée.


Return the soup to the pot and stir in lime juice. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Garnish with fresh cilantro and additional chili flakes if desired.



Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup



  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 12-ounce jars roasted bell peppers
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Optional garnishes:
  • Crème fraîche,
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • Basil leaves



In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Then, add the garlic, basil, and thyme and cook for about 2 more minutes. Stir in the red peppers and tomatoes, with their juices, and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Then, add the stock and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes.


In batches, carefully transfer the contents of the saucepan to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Purée the mixture. Return the puréed mixture to the saucepan to reheat. You can also use a hand held immersion blender, which lets you puree the soup directly in the pot it was cooked.


When serving, garnish with crème fraîche, thyme, and basil as desired.