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Chunky Vegetable Soup

Chunky Vegetable Soup 6.000

Scott Suchman for the Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Mar 21, 2021

Jacques Pépin’s simple, light soup is made with water, which retains the flavors of the vegetables better than any stock. This goes quickly if you use a food processor — you don’t need to bother cleaning the bowl between uses — but you can do all the cutting by hand if you prefer. Don’t skip the crowning touch: an herb-garlic garnish that gives the soup a fresh burst of flavor. Use this assortment of vegetables or whatever you have in your refrigerator or freezer. Serve with crusty bread, if you’d like.

Active time: 20 mins; Total time: 40 mins

Storage Notes: The soup can be refrigerated, without the herb-garlic garnish, for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months. Defrost and reheat on the stove top or in the microwave, and add the garnish right before serving.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings; makes 12 cups

  • 1/2 medium onion (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 rib celery (about 2 ounces)
  • 4 scallions, trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large carrot (about 4 ounces), trimmed and scrubbed
  • 1 zucchini (about 6 ounces), trimmed
  • 1 small white turnip (about 3 ounces), scrubbed
  • 1 wedge green cabbage (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 to 2 russet potatoes (8 ounces total), scrubbed
  • One (15-ounce) can no-salt-added navy or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves, or a mixture
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Fit a food processor with a slicing blade and process the onion, celery and scallions. (Alternatively, you can roughly chop them by hand.)

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the sliced vegetables and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the carrot, zucchini, turnip, cabbage and potatoes in halves or quarters lengthwise (getting them narrow enough to go through the food processor chute), and use the processor to thinly slice them. (Alternatively, you can thinly slice them by hand.) Add the vegetables to the stockpot, along with the beans, salt and water, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are very soft and the soup is flavorful, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, taste, and add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed.

While the soup is cooking, change the food processor to the chopping blade. Combine the garlic and herbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the bowl and puree until smooth. (Alternatively, you can finely chop the garlic and herbs by hand, and stir together with the oil.)

Divide the soup among serving bowls, top each with a generous dollop of the herb mixture, season with the pepper, and serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Jacques Pépin Quick & Simple” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 215

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 10g 15%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 518mg 22%

Total Carbohydrates: 27g 9%

Dietary Fiber: 6g 24%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 7g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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