Start your day, your meal and your engines with a bowl of winter sustenance.
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8 Jul 2021 - 10:32 AM  UPDATED 3 Nov 2021 - 8:17 PM

A bowl of vegetarian soup is winter's equivalent of summer's salad. It's a welcome way to fill up on nourishing veggies while you treat your taste buds. As any parent will tell you, it's also a welcome way to disguise said veggies and get children filling up on all that goodness, none the wiser.

Feels like home: Bao Hoang on his mum's secret Vietnamese noodle soup
Roll'd eateries owner Bao Hoang lauds the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that fed his family when they arrived to Australia as refugees.

This is possibly why every culture in every corner of the globe has its own take on a classic vego soup. Well, the kid-friendly thing combined with the budget-friendly, cook-friendly, pressed-for-time friendly things, too.

Dip your spoon into a bowl of one of these soups, or all of these soups. After all, soup is very good and winter is very long.

Simply Spanish

On the Spanish island of Menorca, they've been making humble oliaigua amb tomatiga for generations. The name means oil with tomato, and that pretty much sums up what this simple vegan soup is about. Just add in perfectly fresh onions, garlic and green capsicums and you're almost there.

Roast garlic and bread soup (sopa de ajo)

Born from humble origins, this classic Spanish soup can be pulled together with minimal fuss and mostly from pantry staples. Use the best-quality ingredients you can lay your hands on and this peasant dish will deliver humbling results.

Gazpacho andaluz

Hailing from the Andalucian region of Southern Spain, gazpacho is traditionally served in summer, when the tomatoes are at their best and chilled soups offer welcome relief from the heat. The mixture can be refrigerated overnight, then pureed just before serving.

Umami wins

Miso soup is surely the queen of the 'quick meal'? Certainly, it is in Japan. Once you've made the miso broth, you can really add in anything tasty that you have on hand. In this version, soba noodles, choy sum, asparagus and tofu make for a well-rounded meal.

Chilli & ginger noodle soup

This soup means you can have dinner on the table in around twenty minutes rather than leaving it to simmer for hours! The broth base is flavoured with sesame, ginger, spring onions, chilli and lime and then filled with lots of veggies and buckwheat noodles before being topped with fresh coriander. A perfect cosy, comforting supper that will warm and rejuvenate you.

Sweet corn and leek ramen

Popular in the northern island of Hokkaido, traditional miso ramen often features a thick and tangy soup base made with copious amounts of white miso paste. Freshly minced garlic is served on side so diners can give their ramen an extra bit of kick.

Middle Eastern marvel

Nothing feels more wholesome in winter than tucking into a bowl of cauli.

New Year ‘good luck’ soup (aash-e reshteh)

This delicious aash-e is traditionally served for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and the reshteh noodles are used to symbolise the future of your life in the year to come.

Yoghurt and herb soup (dovga)

This creamy dish combines two of the Azeris’ favourite things (soup and yoghurt), so it’s no wonder it’s considered a national dish. It is often served chilled in summer, gazpacho-style, with the tangy herbs and yoghurt providing a refreshing flavour. But in winter, it’s served piping hot, and thanks to its rich creaminess and nourishing rice, offers about as much comfort in a bowl as you could possibly wish for.

Vietnamese classic

The secret to good pho is all in the broth, and the secret to a good vegetarian broth is... Vegemite. It's true! The black, sticky stuff provides just the right amount of salty, umami base to make a vegetarian pho really hit the high notes.

Mushroom hotpot with seasonal vegetables

This warming hotpot of mushrooms and winter vegetables is a perfect comforting dinner to come home to on a cold winter's night. 

Vegetarian pho with shiitake mushrooms

Pho is all about the broth and its seasonings, so a little effort and a good homemade stock will make a huge difference to this vegan- and vegetarian-friendly soup. Flavour balance will take a little trial and error, and as this recipe contains no meat or fish sauce, you’ll have to play around with the lime/hoisin/chilli sauce medley to find your perfect broth.

Syrian comforter

Most Syrian households will have their own version of tlokhe, but all of them will be cheap to make. It's the noodle dish born out of financial hardship following the revolution that stuck around because it tastes so good.

Zuppo Italiano

While it was tempting to feature minestrone as the main Italian vego soup, it just wasn't possible to side line a Julia Busuttil Nishimura offering. Her spiced lentil soup makes a worthy representative.

Pappa al pomodoro

This thick, Tuscan bread soup is a delicious way to use a loaf of stale bread. It’s also an economical dish to make in bulk for feeding large amounts of guests.

Minestrone with risoni

Packed full of beans and vegetables, minestrone warms the soul from the inside, and a steaming bowl of it is perfect to wrap one's hands around on a cold night.

Ribollita

Ribollita literally means “reboiled”. Being a peasant dish, any leftover of this hearty soup would be reboiled over and over again for a few days in a row, each time gaining in flavour.

Moroccan to the max

This flavoursome lentil soup is surprisingly light on the spices. Instead, fresh chilli and coriander do the heavy lifting to create a well-balanced, exceptionally tasty soup.

Harira soup

This traditional soup is eaten to break the fast of Ramadan. Chef Hassan M’Souli’s recipe is a vegetarian version, but you can also add lamb, chicken or beef. In Morocco, harira soup is served with a bowl of fresh dates. While this may seem unusual, the combination is delicious. Hassan advises not to skip soaking the chickpeas overnight, as it will ensure their tenderness.

Bosnian reboot

A vegetarian take on a classic spice-laden čorba, the soup or stew made with pantry ingredients across the Balkans and beyond. The spices added to čorba all have thermogenic and antioxidant properties, making it the ultimate reboot on a cold winter's night.

Chinese champ

Is a congee a soup? Or a porridge? Or maybe it's both. For the purposes of sharing amazing vego soup recipes, consider this one a soup! This is what nourishing breakfasts are all about.

Stir-fried oyster mushroom broth

This gently spicy broth is influenced by Oriental cooking where oyster mushrooms are considered a delicacy. It is a wonderfully easy way to celebrate wild mushrooms.

Suzhou small wonton soup

When my husband and I visited Suzhou in China, we made sure to grab two bowls of steaming hot, fragrant, mini wontons. These wontons are stuffed with a tiny bit of pork filling with a paper-thin skin, and immersed in a rich broth. Slurping them up is like slurping noodles – smooth, fast, and incredibly satisfying. My husband recalled seeing his grandmother in Suzhou make these at home. She’d take a piece of wonton skin, dip her pinkie finger into the meat filling to scoop up a tiny bit of meat, smear it across the skin, and then quickly stuff it into a little baggy pouch – not folded neatly, just smashed together to seal, and that’s pretty much how these wontons are made!

Imperial tofu soup (pingqiao tofu)

This dish, also known as “Pingqiao tofu”, was served to the famous Qing emperor Qianlong during his royal visit to the town of Pingqiao in the eighteenth century. The silkiness of the tofu infused with the richly flavoured stock impressed the emperor so much that he named the dish “China’s best food”.

Mexican 'mato

Tomato soup has always been a winter staple and it's even better made with plenty of heat. Chipotle chilli in adobo is the special ingredient - with the emphasis on special. This is extra-good fare, especially when served with the toasted cheesy fingers.

Gazpacho with avocado salad

This is such a refreshing and healthy soup- perfect for a quick lunch.  Avocados are an important crop in WA and having a cooperative where all the farmers can bring their fruit to be packaged is great. Choose ripe and firm avocados for this recipe and try to ensure your tomatoes are vine-ripened and deep red in colour. Peter Kuruvita's Coastal Kitchen

Pinto bean soup (sopa de frijol)

Beans are one of the staples of Mexican cuisine and they come in dozens of varieties. The simple recipe of cooking them gently with onion and an aromatic herb is perhaps the most common method of preparation for any and all beans in Mexico.

Home-style tomato noodle soup (sopa de fideo de mi casa)

We've served this simple yet popular Mexican noodle soup with grated cheese, but you can add some freshly squeezed lime juice to it.

French finish

A vego soup list without French onion soup wouldn't be a list at all. This classic dish started as a cheap rural dish made with an onion bulb, water and stale bread. It's ended up much refined and on the menu of the finest restaurants in Paris, and, of course, on your table at home.

Soup V.G.E.

This soup/pie hybrid was invented by the 'father of French gastronomy' Paul Bocuse in 1975 for the then-president of the Republic, and packs fresh veggies and black truffle.

Roasted beetroot soup with raspberry and horseradish

Inspired by the trendy Parisian foodie mecca, Rue du Nil, this earthy beetroot soup packs a punch with raspberry vinegar and fresh grated horseradish. Serve as is, or with a crusty baguette.

Roasted pumpkin soup with chantilly and onion confit

Roasting the pumpkin might sound like a bit of a pain (you could just as easily bung everything into a pan with vegetable stock) but it’s well worth it.

 

More vego soups to warm you up
Roast cauliflower and clove soup

Clove is used all the time in my Kashmiri family’s recipes. Cold climates call for warm and pungent spice, which makes clove an ideal addition to this winning winter soup. This is a thick soup, so add more stock or water to the simmer if you like your soup’s thinner.

Broccoli soup with seaweed-butter crouton

This broccoli soup is quite indulgent with butter and cream for a thicker consistency, served with sourdough croutons topped with a herby seaweed butter.

Potato and dumpling soup (sujebi)

I call this the minestrone of Korea. Sujebi is a comforting and wholesome soup, filled with potatoes and hand-torn dumplings, that’s perfect for cold weather.

Fancy instant ramen

Benjamin takes a hefty risk making his own version of ramen for the Ramen King himself, Adam. The dish is quite literally a melting pot as Benjamin incorporates flavours not normally seen in the Japanese dish.

Green minestrone

Plenty of greens and plenty of flavour are what make this fresh minestrone shine. Go for fresh, local veggies for the best soup. 

Butternut and apple soup with salt and vinegar kale chips

Last weekend was rainy and I jumped at the opportunity to make a delicious, rustic butternut and apple soup that was just perfect for a wet and windy day snuggled up indoors.

Tomato and watermelon gazpacho

The group of old ladies that were brought to teach me how to thread tomatoes together into a fine bunch were the funniest lot of pensioners I have ever met. They were animated, self deprecating and sarcastic in just the right quantity. I could spend hours listening to old time stories but they had to be whisked away from the scene for me to make this soup to camera. It was wonderfully sweet – the crew devoured it – and would have done me proud with my old lady friends.

Ezo-the-bride’s red lentil soup (Ezo gelin çorbası)

This soup is named after a real person: Ezo was a very beautiful woman born in the early 20th century who was unhappily married. She tried to make her mother-in-law like her by making her this soup. Her story and the recipe spread all over Turkey, and today Ezo’s soup is eaten for breakfast or as part of a main meal. I like it as part of a hearty weekend brunch.

Garlicky kale and white bean stew

This stew is a perfect example of the humble food I often eat. If you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to mess about in the kitchen, this is the stew for you!