Quick & Easy Vegetarian Recipe: Poor Man’s Soup

Picture this: it’s the middle of winter, the snow is falling outside and you’re feeling the chill deep in your bones. You need something hearty, something warm and comforting to help you forget about the cold. That’s where this Poor Man’s Soup comes in.

Now, don’t be put off by the name. This soup is packed full of delicious ingredients like potatoes, carrots, celery and garlic cloves, so it does not skimp on flavor or nutrition. It is also vegetarian-friendly and budget-friendly, making it an ideal meal for anyone who wants a healthy option that won’t break the bank.

This soup is incredibly easy to make with just a handful of ingredients that you probably already have lying around in your pantry. Plus, it’s so versatile that you can easily switch out ingredients based on what you have available or your dietary preferences.

Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a cozy winter soup to warm you up on a cold day, this Poor Man’s Soup will become a staple in your recipe rotation. So let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Poor Man's Soup (Vegetarian)
Poor Man’s Soup (Vegetarian)

The Poor Man’s Soup is a delicious and hearty vegetarian dish that will take your taste buds on an adventure. It’s the ultimate comfort food, perfect for those cold winter nights when you need something to warm you up from the inside-out.

What’s more, this soup is incredibly budget-friendly, making it an excellent choice for those who are watching their wallets. The ingredient list is simple and easy to find at your local grocery store. It packs in some of your favorite vegetables like potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. Add to that fresh garlic cloves and diced tomatoes with green chilies Rotel – a unique Tex-Mex twist to the traditional vegetable soup.

But the best part about this recipe is its versatility when it comes to substitutions and variations. If you want to make it a bit more protein-packed, you can swap out the veggies for ground beef, ground turkey or even chicken soup base. While the veggies on hand can be changed such as adding some peas or using vegetable broth.

Whether you are making it in a slow cooker or cooking it up fresh in less than 30 minutes in a pot on the stove – this easy hamburger soup is a quick fix that will surely win your family over – one spoonful at a time. Plus, it’s healthy! With just enough salt and poultry seasoning, it’s comforting but not too heavy on calories.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable, tasty and nutritious soup to add to your recipe collection that suits everyone’s taste buds – you’ll definitely love this poor man’s soup! Plus, with all of its customization options there’s no shame in calling it YOUR OWN poor man’s veggie stew.

Ingredient List

 Hearty and flavorful, this Poor Man's Soup is a budget-friendly vegetarian recipe that will warm you up from the inside out.
Hearty and flavorful, this Poor Man’s Soup is a budget-friendly vegetarian recipe that will warm you up from the inside out.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to create this delicious vegetarian Poor Man’s Soup recipe:

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz each)
  • 1 can of green chilies (4 oz)
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth


  • Salt
  • Poultry seasoning

With these main ingredients, you will be able to create a soup that is hearty and filling. The addition of rice and potatoes gives a nice texture to the soup, while carrots, garlic, celery and onion provide an amazing flavor. The diced tomatoes and green chilies bring a perfect hint of acidity to the dish. With vegetable broth as the base and flavorful poultry seasoning, your taste buds are sure to be satisfied.

The Recipe How-To

 Earthy, rich, and savory, this soup is perfect for a cozy night in.
Earthy, rich, and savory, this soup is perfect for a cozy night in.

Now that we have talked about the reasons why you need to try this recipe, it’s time to learn how to make this delicious poor man’s soup.

Ingredient List:

  • 1 lb of potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • One can of diced tomatoes (16 oz)
  • One can of green chilies (10 oz)
  • Two cups of water or vegetable broth

You’ll also need a large pot or Dutch oven to make this soup.


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil and onion, let cook for five minutes, until softened.

  2. Add garlic cloves, celery, sliced carrots, potatoes, poultry seasoning, and salt. Cook for another five minutes.

  3. Pour in the diced tomatoes (undrained), green chiles and their liquid, and two cups of water or broth.

  4. Bring everything to a boil then reduce heat to low; cover with a tight-fitting lid for an hour.

  5. Check the soup occasionally and give it a quick stir.

  6. The vegetables should be soft but retain their texture.

  7. If you prefer chunky soup (like me), serve as it is!

  8. If you prefer creamy soup, blend using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender.

Recipe Notes:

  • I recommend using broth instead of water because it adds more flavor to the recipe.
  • You can use any type of potato you like.
  • Substitute celery with bell peppers if you do not like celery.
  • For added protein: add one can of drained beans such as navy beans, black beans, or chickpeas.
  • To stretch the recipe: add frozen corn or peas; they typically come in a package that measures about 12 ounces which adds substantial bulk at low cost.

This Poor Man’s Soup recipe is arguably my absolute favorite winter soup recipe! It’s budget-friendly, healthy and unbelievably flavorful!

Substitutions and Variations

 With only a handful of simple ingredients, you can create a delicious meal that will satisfy your hunger and your wallet.
With only a handful of simple ingredients, you can create a delicious meal that will satisfy your hunger and your wallet.

Are you looking to change up this recipe to suit your taste buds? Not a problem! Here are some substitutions and variations you can use:

– Protein: Instead of the ground beef, you can use ground turkey or even plant-based meat alternatives like textured vegetable protein (TVP) or tempeh. If you’re looking for a vegetarian version, simply omit the meat and add extra veggies.

– Veggies: Feel free to swap the vegetables in this soup with your favorites. For example, try adding diced zucchini or sweet potatoes, corn kernels, green beans, or spinach.

– Grains: Instead of rice, you could use quinoa, barley, or even pasta.

– Spices: The recipe calls for poultry seasoning, but if you don’t have it on hand, thyme and sage work well too.

– Heat: If you want to add some heat to this soup, try using diced tomatoes with green chilies or adding a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

– Slow cooker: This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker by browning the beef beforehand and throwing everything into the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.

Get creative with your substitutions and variations – that’s the beauty of soup recipes! And remember to taste as you go to make sure everything is perfectly seasoned to your liking.

Serving and Pairing

 Protein-packed lentils and nutritious veggies combine to make a satisfying, filling dish that will keep you full for hours.
Protein-packed lentils and nutritious veggies combine to make a satisfying, filling dish that will keep you full for hours.

Poor Man’s Soup is a hearty and flavorful dish that can be served on its own or paired with a variety of complementary sides. When it comes to serving this soup, there are no strict rules or restrictions, but personal preferences can make a big difference in achieving an enjoyable meal.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this soup is with a simple side salad. A classic Caesar or garden salad with fresh greens, chopped veggies, and a drizzle of lemon vinaigrette adds some crunch and freshness to the soup. If you prefer something more substantial, try serving it with sliced bread or crackers for dipping and sopping up the delicious broth.

Another great option for pairing is roasted vegetables like crispy Brussels sprouts or honey-glazed carrots. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness and earthy flavors of the veggies and creates a perfect balance with the bold flavors of the soup.

If you want to give an international twist to your meal, try pairing it with some naan bread or basmati rice for an Indian-inspired dinner. Or serve it with tortilla chips and guacamole for a Mexican flair. Poor Man’s Soup is versatile enough to complement a variety of cuisines.

Overall, the pairing possibilities are endless with this dish. It all depends on your mood and taste buds. Experiment and have fun with different combinations until you find your perfect match.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't let the name fool you – this soup is anything but poor in taste!
Don’t let the name fool you – this soup is anything but poor in taste!

If you’re someone who often finds themselves running out of time in the evenings, don’t fret. This poor man’s soup recipe is perfect for meal prepping and storing for later consumption. It only gets better with time, so I recommend making a big batch over the weekend to last you through the week.

To make-ahead: After preparing the soup, let it cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.

To reheat: The best way to reheat the soup is on low heat on your stovetop. You can also use your microwave if you’re short on time, but be aware that this method might affect the texture of the vegetables in the soup.

To store: It’s essential that you store the soup in an airtight container or freezer bags to prevent it from going bad quickly. My favorite thing about this recipe is that you can make a big batch and then store portions in your freezer for future consumption. I like to store individual servings for quick and easy lunches throughout the week.

Always remember to let the soup cool completely before storing it in your fridge or freezer. Putting hot food directly into your fridge can lead to bacterial growth and spoilage.

Whether you’re looking to meal prep or are just trying to get ahead of your busy schedule, this vegetarian poor man’s soup recipe has got you covered with its delicious flavor and easy storage options!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect comfort food for a cold winter day, this soup will leave
The perfect comfort food for a cold winter day, this soup will leave

As an articulate assistant for a vegan chef, one of my responsibilities is to ensure that your cooking experience is effortless and successful. Therefore, I have provided you with some essential tips to help you achieve the perfect results for your Poor Man’s Soup recipe.

First and foremost, make sure to use fresh ingredients. Vegetables like potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions should be firm and free from any bruises or discoloration. Fresh produce will give your soup a vibrant and appealing look and enhance its flavor profile.

Secondly, be mindful of salt usage. Use it sparingly during the cooking process as canned tomatoes usually contain a high level of salt. It is better to adjust the seasoning toward the end of cooking when you can taste it better.

Another vital tip is to cook all vegetables with uniform size. Chopping them into even sizes ensures they cook uniformly such that every bite gets perfectly cooked vegetables.

When it comes to garlic, it’s best to add it towards the end of frying onion, as burning garlic can turn your soup bitter.

If using rice or other grains, cook them separately first, then add them in after the vegetables are done taking into consideration that adding these when soup is already at boiling point can cause it to overcook quickly or stick on the pot bottom.

Lastly rinse canned beans before use also try adding ingredients towards the end of cooking, as overcooking may cause some vegetables or greens such as spinach or kale leaves creating an unpleasant texture for your soup.

By following these tips, you will have a delicious pot of vegetarian Poor Man’s Soup that will leave you craving for more!


Before we wrap this article up, I thought it would be good to address some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about this recipe. I’ve gotten quite a few of them over time, so I figured they were worth sharing with you. So, without further ado, here are some FAQs and their answers.

What gives vegetable soup that depth of flavor?

Enhancing the flavor of a soup is no rocket science. Simple additions like citrus juice, yogurt, cream, cheese or chili powder, and garnishes like herbs, croutons or a drizzle of olive oil can elevate a plain soup to a mouth-watering delicacy. A touch of coarse sea salt can also work wonders.

What is the most healthiest soup in the world?

As an adept assistant for a vegan chef, I have compiled a list of flavorful soup and stew recipes that cater to various dietary needs and preferences. These delectable dishes include Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Soup, a Paleo Fennel Asparagus and Leek Stew, Healing Chicken Soup, Vegetable Beef Stew (Instant Pot Friendly), Spinach Egg Drop Soup, Light Seafood Chowder, and Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup. Each recipe will be presented with detailed instructions, helpful tips, and insightful recommendations to create a wholesome and satisfying meal.

What ingredients were used in the oldest soup known to man?

Soup has been around for a long time, with early versions consisting of roasted and ground cereals boiled with water to create a paste known as pottage, broth or porridge. Other cultures added their own twist to this early soup recipe by incorporating vegetables and starchy foods such as legumes, peas, beans, or pasta, into the mix.

What soup for when you’re ill?

For many years, chicken soup has been a popular remedy for sickness, and it’s popularity continues to grow. The reason for this is simple; chicken soup is a simple and easily digestible dish that provides vital nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, calories, and protein, all of which can be important during the recovery process.

Bottom Line

So there you have it, my friends! This Poor Man’s Soup recipe is not only delicious but also a budget-friendly and versatile dish that can be easily adapted to your taste preferences. Its simplicity and heartwarming flavors will make it an instant favorite in your household.

Whether you’re a veteran cook or a newbie, this soup recipe is perfect for any occasion, from a cozy winter dinner to a summer picnic. It’s great for family gatherings, potluck dinners, or just when you want to enjoy something warm and filling.

So next time you’re in the mood for a homemade soup that’s easy on the wallet, try whipping up this Poor Man’s Soup recipe. With its savory broth and hearty vegetables, it’s sure to satisfy everyone at the table.

Remember, the best meals aren’t necessarily the ones with fancy ingredients or complicated steps. Sometimes all you need are a few simple pieces and some tender loving care to create something extraordinary. So step into your kitchen today and let this delightful soup recipe awaken your taste buds like never before!

Poor Man's Soup (Vegetarian)

Poor Man’s Soup (Vegetarian) Recipe

A recipe my grandma used to make and growing up would call it poor man's soup. A few easy, good and basic soup/stew recipe.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Calories 211 kcal


  • 1 large onion
  • 3 stalks celery (cubed small)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 -3 carrots (sliced)
  • 5 potatoes (cubed for stew)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 -3 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • salt


  • Cook slowly (low heat) the following: onion, celery, garlic and carrots for a few minutes before adding potatoes.
  • Add potatoes and a couple handfuls of rice.
  • Add several tablespoons McKay's Chicken Seasoning to taste.
  • salt to taste.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 208gCalories: 211kcalCarbohydrates: 47.4gProtein: 4.9gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 31.8mgFiber: 4.3gSugar: 2.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Onions, Potato, Vegetable
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