Mexican vegetable soup is a hearty and nutritious vegetarian meal featuring quinoa for added protein and satiety. Ready in under 20 minutes and easily customizable to the veggies you have on hand.
Mexican vegetable soup also known as “sopa de verduras” is one of those perfect ‘clean out the fridge and pantry’ type meals.
It’s flexible to what you have on hand with subtle Mexican flavored undertones, ready in under 20 minutes and incredibly hearty while still offering plenty of nutrition in a low-calorie, low-fat meal. I think of it like a Mexican minestrone.
I have a thing for Mexican soups. This spicy chicken lime soup and its cousin, sopa de lima (a very popular traditional soup), are two long standing favorites. There’s something about fresh cilantro and lime juice that brings an unmatched bright refreshing flavor to soups like these.
If you love that vibe, I’m thinking you’ll be a fan of this vegetable soup that utilizes the same fresh traditional Mexican ingredients.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE MEXICAN VEGETABLE SOUP
- olive oil
- bell pepper
- diced tomatoes
- tomato paste
WHICH VEGETABLES ARE BEST?
As with most vegetable soups, this recipe is flexible to what you have on hand.
While the recipe uses onion, peppers, tomatoes and corn, feel free to throw in others like green beans, zucchini and peas.
Using a variety of bell peppers is also a good way to add some color and variety to the recipe.
CAN I USE FROZEN VEGETABLES IN THE SOUP?
Either fresh or frozen vegetables will work. If you’re using fresh, you’ll want to add them in the beginning with the peppers so they have a chance to cook a bit.
Frozen vegetables can be added in the second step with the tomatoes since they’re already cooked before freezing.
HOW TO MAKE SOPA DE VERDURAS
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium flame. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, peppers and cumin. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and broth. Stir until combined and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few more minutes.
Add the cooked quinoa, beans and corn. Stir together and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook until everything is warmed through and flavors are nicely melded.
Garnish with fresh cilantro, serve with lime wedges and add grated cheese if desired. A Mexican blend or cheddar pairs nicely with the vegetables in the soup.
You can also juice half to a full lime into the pot if preferred at the end of cooking for a more pronounced lime flavor in the broth. I often do this as I love lime!
MAKING SPICY MEXICAN VEGETABLE SOUP
If you love spice (I do!), add a jalapeño to the soup when you sauté the peppers, onions and garlic. Chipotles in adobo sauce are another way to add heat to the soup. Start with one chopped chipotle pepper and adjust to your taste from there.
You can also add some ground cayenne pepper if you’re feeling bold along with the cumin.
Buffalo chicken soup with orzo is another soup you might like if you’re craving spice.
VEGETABLE SOUP WITH QUINOA
The addition of quinoa to this vegetable soup serves a couple of purposes.
Added protein – quinoa is one of the few seeds (it’s often thought of as a grain but it’s actually a seed making it gluten-free!) that is also a complete protein. This means it contains all the amino acids found in other complete protein sources like animal meat.
Focusing on protein is one of the easiest ways to ensure satiety. While not exactly traditional in a sopa de verduras recipe like this, its addition makes this vegetable soup much more well-rounded in terms of macronutrients.
Bulk – I’m a volume eater so I hate meals that don’t leave me feeling full. In order to do that though, you have to be selective about what you’re eating to accomplish that so you don’t end up overeating calorically speaking. Quinoa is a great ingredient for volume as it’s nutrient dense, higher in fiber and lower in calories than other ingredients like rice and pasta.
Of course, if you’re not a fan of quinoa, you can certainly leave it out or replace it with rice, millet or amaranth to keep the soup gluten-free.
Adding another can of beans is a good replacement for quinoa that will also allow for added satiety.
SERVING THE SOUP
This vegetable soup with Mexican flavors is just begging for some corn tortillas or tortilla chips on the side. I also love crumbling a few chips on top for that contrasting crunchy bite with each spoonful of soup.
It’s an easy meal that doesn’t need anything fancy to accompany it.
The one thing you can’t forgo is the fresh cilantro and lime for serving. Kinda like with steak and shrimp fajitas, those two ingredients are essential to pulling all the flavors together and making this a truly Mexican tasting meal.
OTHER VEGETABLE SOUPS TO TRY:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
- 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup sweet corn
- 15 ounce can red or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
- salt and pepper to taste
- grated Mexican blend or cheddar cheese for garnish, *optional
- lime wedges, for serving
- Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, bell pepper and cumin. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add corn, beans and quinoa. Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with lime wedges, additional chopped fresh cilantro and top with grated cheese if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 1003mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 12gSugar: 12gProtein: 16g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.