This Quinoa Vegetable Soup is filling and flavourful. Quinoa, mushrooms, beans, and a blend of fresh, vibrant vegetables simmered together to create a cozy and comforting fiber and protein-packed healthy soup. This easy recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
If you’re looking for a vegan soup recipe that won’t leave you wanting more, this hearty soup is just that.
It’s packed with quinoa, mushrooms, beans, and vegetables to make a light yet filling and satisfying soup. Imagine the best minestrone soup you’ve ever tasted with quinoa instead of noodles.
Despite this being a meatless soup, it’s packed with plant-based protein thanks to mushrooms, beans, and quinoa.
I usually cook the quinoa and mushrooms separately for this soup.
Cooking the mushrooms separately, in particular, helps deepen their savory, nutty flavor and deepens the taste of the broth.
But don’t worry! Cooking the quinoa and mushrooms in advance doesn’t take any extra time. While they cook, you can chop the rest of the veggies. With a little bit of multitasking, this quinoa vegetable soup comes together in a cinch!
Why You’ll Love this Veggie Quinoa Soup
- It’s healthy comfort food! Savor the incredible flavor and health benefits.
- It freezes and reheats well so you can make a big batch and keep it in the freezer for later.
- This delicious recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
Ingredients You’ll Need
This quinoa vegetable soup is loaded with a hearty blend of fiber-rich veggies, beans, and quinoa:
- Quinoa: I like using tri-color quinoa which is a mix of white, red, and black quinoa.
- Oil: You’ll need a neutral-tasting oil to cook the vegetables, like extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.
- Mushrooms: White or brown mushrooms are my go-to in soups. They add irresistible umami flavor to the broth. Feel free to use crimini mushrooms or baby portabellas here or some of each.
- Onion: Onion enhances the comforting flavors and aromas. I like using yellow onion here, but you can also use Vidalia or shallots.
- Celery: Celery adds another layer of flavor and a ton of antioxidants and fiber.
- Carrot: Carrots are loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene. They add a subtle sweetness to this soup and a pop of color.
- Zucchini: As the zucchini cooks, the flesh helps thicken the soup and adds excellent flavor. Not to mention, zucchini boosts the fiber content of the dish.
- Bell Pepper: More veggies! I like red bell pepper, but feel free to use another color or a little bit of each.
- Diced Tomatoes: You’ll need a can of diced tomatoes to add volume to the soup. Fire-roasted diced tomatoes add fantastic flavor.
- Vegetable Stock + water: A combination of stock and water makes the broth. I use low-sodium vegetable stock. That said, season with salt and pepper after tasting as some veggie stocks are saltier than others.
- Red Beans: You will need a can of red beans, rinsed and drained.
- Spices & Seasonings: This soup is far from bland. Dried oregano, dried basil, and garlic powder is all you’ll need as the veggies and stock are already loaded with natural flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: You will need just a little bit of each to round out the flavors and make the sweet, savory, and umami flavors pop.
How To Make Quinoa Vegetable Soup
- Prepare the quinoa: Add the quinoa into a deep bowl and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes to 4 hours. Drain and rinse well under cool running water to remove any left-over debris and bitterness. Then, place the quinoa in a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes or until all of the liquid has absorbed and the quinoa is soft and fluffy. Set aside while you make the rest of the soup.
- Prepare the mushrooms: In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and the moisture released evaporates. Set aside.
- Cook the vegetables: In a large pot, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add the celery, carrots, zucchini, and red pepper to the pot and cook for a few more minutes until the veggies begin to soften.
- Simmer the soup: Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, water, cooked mushrooms, beans, spices, and seasonings to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and give everything a good stir. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the quinoa: Now, you can go ahead and add your prepared quinoa to the pot. Simmer gently for 5 more minutes and serve.
Time-saving tip – To save time, cook the quinoa and mushrooms while chopping the rest of the vegetables.
Pre-chopped veggies – Save yourself even more time and use pre-chopped vegetables (mirepoix contains onion, celery, and carrots).
Add some heat – To give your soup a spicy kick, add a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes.
Garnish the soup – Serve your quinoa vegetable soup topped with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten things up. Freshly grated parmesan cheese is also excellent (although not vegetarian/vegan). To keep things plant-based, use your favorite vegan parmesan.
- Quinoa substitutions – If you’d rather use a different cooked grain, go for it. Barley, bulgar, and brown rice are tasty alternatives. You can also omit the quinoa entirely and double up on the beans and vegetables.
- Add extra veggies – In addition to the carrots, fall vegetables like diced sweet potato, butternut squash, cabbage, and turnips are fantastic in this soup. Chop any hard root veggies small, so they cook at the same rate as the softer veggies.
- Experiment with beans – Feel free to use a variety of beans in your quinoa vegetable soup, such as kidney beans, black beans, red beans, Great Northern beans, lima beans, chickpeas, and cannellini beans.
- Add some corn – Stir in fresh or frozen corn kernels during the last 15 minutes of cook time.
- Add leafy greens – Stir in a couple of handfuls of baby spinach leaves or chopped kale at the end, and let the residual heat wilt the leaves.
Serve quinoa vegetable soup as is or make it a meal with one of the following:
Storing & Freezing
- Storing: After cooling, transfer the vegetable quinoa soup to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezing: Transfer your cooled soup to a freezer-safe container (leaving a couple of inches at the top for expansion) and freeze for 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave for a minute or so.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does quinoa need to be rinsed?
Rinsing quinoa helps rinse away any left-over saponin residue (a natural insect repellent) that gives quinoa a bitter taste. If the slightly bitter taste doesn’t bother you, you can skip this step. I always soak quinoa first because I’m not too fond of bitter foods.
Can you cook quinoa in soup?
This recipe has only been tested with pre-cooked quinoa. However, you can try cooking it with the rest of the soup. Add an additional cup of stock or water to the pot and add the quinoa when there are 10 to 15 minutes left of cook time.
Can I make quinoa vegetable soup in the slow cooker?
You can! Follow the recipe as written. Unless your slow cooker has a “SAUTE” function, you’ll need to cook the mushrooms and vegetables in a pan separately. Then, you can dump everything into your Crockpot and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours or on low for 2 to 3 hours.
- 3/4 cup quinoa (I used tricolor quinoa which is a mix of whole grain white, red and black quinoa)
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 pound white or brown mushrooms, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 can (28 oz/796 ml) diced tomatoes
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 5 cups water
- 1 can (19 oz/ 540 ml) red beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- To prepare the quinoa, rinse and soak it in cold water for 30 minutes to 4 hours. Drain and rinse well one more time. This helps to get rid of any left-over saponin residue (a natural insect repellent) that gives quinoa a bitter taste. ( You can skip this step if the slightly bitter taste doesn't bother you. I always soak quinoa first because I don't like bitter foods. )
- Place the quinoa and 1 1/2 cups of water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the quinoa is fluffy and has absorbed all of the liquid.
- To prepare the mushrooms, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft, reduced in volume, and the mushroom liquid has evaporated, for about 8 minutes. Set aside. ( To save time, I usually cook the quinoa and mushrooms as I chop the veggies).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, for about 4 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, zucchini and red pepper. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally until they start to soften, for about 3 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, water, mushrooms, beans, oregano, basil, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper. Stir a few times and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and cook for 5 more minutes.
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Nutrition InformationYield 7 Serving Size 1/7 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 180Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 0mgSodium 282mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 5gSugar 9gProtein 5g
Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.