A delicious cream of vegetable soup, with croutons. Makes use of your left-over cooked or raw vegetables!
Regular readers of Seasons and Suppers have probably already gathered this, but I hate wasting food! It’s almost a religion for me. Nothing goes to waste and I have a bunch of strategies to help minimize what goes in the trash. One of my favourites ways is to use leftover vegetables to make soup. Especially this time of year :)
I freeze a lot. Always in my freezer is a special freezer bag where small amounts of leftover vegetables go. When I have a bit left after a meal, I add it to the “For Soup” freezer bag. When the bag gets full, I make soup.
This Cream of Vegetable Soup is my favourite. Since it uses vegetables that are already cooked, you can be enjoying a bowl in about 15 minutes (or 30 minutes if you start with raw frozen vegetables). It’s perfect for a quick, hearty and healthy lunch of dinner. I serve it with homemade croutons, which I make from day-old baguette bits, so I don’t have to throw them out. I told you it was a religion for me :)
It makes no matter what vegetables you start with. All you need is 3-4 cups worth (or a full medium-sized freezer bag). Don’t forget to add leftover mashed potatoes to the bag, too. They make a great addition to the soup and help to thicken it . If you’re someone who has regular bits of raw or frozen raw vegetables left-over (maybe the bit at the end of the bag that’s not enough for another meal), you can start another “For Soup” freezer bag with raw vegetables. They’ll work just as well in this soup, except that you’ll have to cook them until tender in the chicken stock for 15-20 minutes, before pureeing.
Get the Recipe: Cream of Vegetable Soup
For the soup:
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
- 3-4 cups frozen vegetables, raw or left-over cooked
- 1/2 cup Half and Half 10% cream, mixed with 2 tsp. cornstarch
For the croutons:
- 1/2 baguette, cut into cubes
- 2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened. Add chicken broth and thyme.
- If using raw frozen vegetables, add them now. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes.
- If using cooked frozen vegetables, bring stock to a boil, then add frozen vegetables. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to cook a few minutes, until vegetables are warmed.
- Using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender, puree soup until smooth. Return to pot and over medium heat, add the Half and Half/cornstarch mixture. Cook stirring, until mixture is warmed and slightly thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- For croutons: Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Add diced bread to a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Toss well. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and cook in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times, until golden. Allow to cool on baking sheet.
Jennifer, greetings from the Prairies (north central Alberta). It’s the beginning of March, many of us have a dreadful cold/virus that has hung on for weeks…so, happily, I am going through your Soup Category! Such inspiring stuff, I feel better just reading the recipes. Your photos are divine, very accomplished and artful. Thanks for your dedication. I look forward to exploring your many other offerings. Now, if I can summon the energy, I’ll be off to make your Chicken Orzo Soup.
Hi Vivi and thanks so much! I hope you’re seeing small signs of Spring in central Alberta. We are having a March cold snap here in central Ontario (-22 last night!). I’m ready for Spring. Sorry to hear about your colds, but good choice with the Chicken Orzo soup. It will be super comforting. Enjoy :)
Hi there! After doing a search online how to use up my leftover veg from a family dinner, I found your very awesome idea! I’m all for decreasing food waste and using leftovers for brand new meal additions…never thought to actually freeze my leftover veg and accumulate to make soup–brilliant idea! I’m all for repurposing leftover ingredients to make a great new meal. Bravo! I have pinned :)
Thanks so much, Kellie. They make a very delicious soup! :)
Genius recipe!! Wonderful way to keep from wasting food! Beautiful photos too! I want to lick my ipad screen!
Thanks! It was really a delicious soup :)
I feel like whenever I have leftover vegetable odds and ends, I go for stir-fry, but this is such a nice change from that! Sounds tasty. And I am with you, I cannot tolerate wasting food. Ever!
I’m the same Sophie. I do the stir-fry thing, too. I like the freezing thing for times when I don’t want to deal with the left-overs right away ;)
I completely agree I agonise over throwing away a shrivelled up piece of celery! This soup must be perfect for the cold weather you are being hit with.
Thanks Julia. And yes, this soup is welcome on out cold and snowy days lately :)
The soup looks delicious and such a great idea to use up leftover veg!
thanks so much, Jessie :)
This is the perfect soup to repurpose leftovers and I love the crispy toppers!
Thanks Laura :)
Great post! I haven’t thought about freezing leftover vegetables for soup. Genius!
Thanks Monika. They make a great soup and the best thing, no two soups are the same :)
I need to take this to heart…I don’t want to be a food waster, but I’m afraid I’m guilty! Beautiful soup!
Thanks Sue. It’s hard, I know. I was guilty for years, too. Once I found a few easy alternatives to throwing out stuff, it’s helped a lot :)
I hate wasting food too, and this looks like the perfect way to use up vegetables! Lovely soup!
Thanks Katrina. This is one of my favourite soups and I love how quick and easy it is!
I’ve been using my freezer a ton. Great way to put my leftovers to work. And who can say no to crispy toppers?
Thanks Heidi and I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t freeze my surplus :) The croutons are especially nice with this smooth soup, for a little crunch!