9 Soup Recipes That Are Both Delicious *and* Planet-Friendly

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"It's officially time to put a pot of soup on the stove. Take a look at our planet-friendly picks!"

Soup season is officially upon us. It’s the perfect fall meal—it’s warm, easy to make, and delicious. But if you’re still sticking to the basics like chicken noodle, you’re missing out. There are some seriously delicious planet-friendly options that will keep you cozy for months to come.

When building an eco-friendly bowl of soup, the best thing you can do is focus on adding plenty of veggies. Plants not only use fewer resources than animals (like land and water), but growing them also produces fewer carbon emissions. If you add in animal protein, some picks are more eco-friendly than others. While chicken, turkey, and seafood tend to be the best choices, pork, beef, and lamb come in last.

Another sustainable way to make the best soup recipes around? Utilize your veggie scraps to make the broth. Carrot peels, potato peels, and celery or onion ends make for a flavorful base for any of these soup recipes. You can also shop for locally-sourced vegetables, which have fewer food miles than those shipped to typical supermarkets.

Ready to get cooking? Here are some of the best soup recipes to get you started.

The Best Soup Recipes for 2021

1. Classic Minestrone Soup

best soup recipes
PHOTO: COOKIE AND KATE

Making your own minestrone soup is so easy with this recipe. First of all, it’s versatile, making it perfect for different dietary needs. For example, it can easily be made vegan without the cheese (or with a dairy-free option), and you can add beans or meat to make it heartier.

2. Simple Vegan Gazpacho

PHOTO: KEEPING THE PEAS

You can make this gazpacho in just 10 minutes with only seven ingredients. Gazpacho is basically veggies blended with spices, so it’s a healthy recipe that’s perfect for any beginning aspiring chef. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover tomatoes you have on hand.

3. Coconut Green Soup with Celery, Kale, and Ginger

best soup recipes
PHOTO: THE FIRST MESS

If you’re looking to add more green veggies to your diet but can’t stand salads, this is a great place to start. It’s full of zucchini, kale, and celery, and ginger adds an amazing flavor. Serve it with some bread or over rice with chickpeas for a boost of protein.

4. Creamy Seafood Chowder

PHOTO: SPEND WITH PENNIES

This dish is a classic seafood chowder, with shrimp, clams, potatoes, and white wine. Take a look at your local fish market or see if your nearest grocery store has sustainably-caught seafood to keep this soup as eco-friendly as possible.

5. Vegan Cheeseburger Soup

best soup recipes
Photo: Namely Marly

Intriguing, right? This vegan cheeseburger soup uses potatoes, veggie broth, cashews for creaminess, veggie crumbles for the meat, and dairy-free shredded cheese. Yum.

6. Thai-Inspired Chicken Soup

soup recipes
Photo: Minimalist Baker

If you grew up eating chicken noodle soup from a can, you’ll love this recipe. It takes a classic childhood meal but switches things up by giving it a Thai twist. Feel free to use homemade chicken stock or vegetable bullion to get started. You can also skip the chicken and use tofu instead.

7. Ground Turkey Soup with Spinach

best soup recipes
PHOTO: RACHEL COOKS

This soup recipe has some substance without being too heavy. Opt for sustainable and ethically-raised turkey options by searching for “Certified Humane” or “Animal Welfare Approved” logos. It’s also a fast dish: It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, then less than 20 minutes to cook.

8. Easy Vegan Potato Soup

soup recipes
Photo: Nora Cooks

Potato soup is one of the best soup recipes around. This vegan version is just as creamy and comforting as the traditional recipe thanks to using coconut milk in the base and all the toppings—vegan sour cream, cheese, and plant-based bacon bits.

9. Korean Kimchi Stew

PHOTO: COOKERRU

Kimchi is a Korean dish made with spicy fermented cabbage. This soup uses tofu as its protein source, along with tuna. But you can skip the fish entirely—it’s flavorful enough on its own.


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It's officially time to put a pot of soup on the stove. Take a look at our planet-friendly picks!

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