Quinoa Vegetable Soup

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This hearty quinoa vegetable soup is packed with a ton of veggies and plant-based protein. It’s easy to make in the slow cooker and makes great leftovers! Gluten-free and vegan, as long as you skip the cheese.

After posting this slow cooker chicken fajita soup I had a ton of requests to make a vegetarian slow cooker soup. Your wish is my command! Seriously though, I actually love getting recipe requests. It gives me an idea of what you want and makes my brainstorming process a little easier. It’s a win-win for us both.

Bowl of quinoa vegetable soup with a spoon lifting some soup out of the bowl.

Like my classic vegetable soup recipe, this soup is for all my vegetarians and vegans! That said, meat-eaters will surely not complain if you serve them a steamy bowl of this soup, as it is still plenty flavorful and filling with a ton of veggies and protein-packed quinoa. The zucchini, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and carrots add great texture while the quinoa adds a breadiness that almost makes it seem like a pot-pie soup.

The best part? You don’t have to cook the quinoa before adding it to the recipe, whether you’re making it in the slow cooker or on the stovetop.

Ingredients measured out to make quinoa vegetable soup: mushrooms, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, herbs, zucchini, olive oil, carrots, broth, diced tomatoes, celery, sweet potato, kale and quinoa.

Here’s What You Need

  • avocado oil or olive oil – to sauté the vegetables in.
  • vegetables – yellow onion, garlic cloves, carrots, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, sweet potato and kale.
  • quinoa – no need to cook the quinoa beforehand, just throw the uncooked, dry quinoa in!
  • vegetable broth – the liquid base of the soup. I like using low-sodium broth and adding salt to taste at the end of cooking if needed.
  • water – a little extra cooking liquid. Feel free to use more broth if preferred.
  • diced tomatoes – adds more liquid, flavor, texture and color to the soup. I used regular diced tomatoes but fire roasted tomatoes would be delicious as well!
  • lemon juice – for a touch of brightness. I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice as opposed to the juice you find in stores.
  • spices – dried oregano, dried marjoram, dried thyme, sea salt and pepper.
  • grated parmesan cheese – adds some salty and nutty flavor. This is definitely an optional topping. If you need this soup to be vegan, just omit the cheese, use a dairy-free parmesan or make my vegan parmesan cheese.
Four photos of the process making quinoa vegetable soup: adding ingredients to a slow cooker, cooking, adding zucchini and kale and then cooking even more.

Substitutions and Variations

The options are truly endless with this soup!

  • Vegetables – Don’t love one of the veggies I’ve included or have another veggie in your fridge that needs to be used up? Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand.
  • Potatoes – I used sweet potatoes, but any potatoes will do! You can even swap in butternut squash for the sweet potatoes if you want.
  • More protein – This soup already has 9 grams of protein per serving thanks to the quinoa, but if you’re looking to amp up the protein even more you can add a 15 ounce can of chickpeas or white beans to the soup.
  • Spice – I like to add a little crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper to give the soup a little kick!
Overhead shot of a table with a bowl of soup centered and other smaller bowls around it with grated cheese and spices. There are also some metal spoons.

How to Make Quinoa Vegetable Soup on the Stovetop

I love making this soup in the slow cooker for ease. After chopping and sautéing, all you have to do is put everything in, turn the slow cooker on and let it work its magic. That said, you can definitely make this soup over the stovetop. Here’s how I would make it:

Sauté vegetables – Heat oil over medium. Sauté onion and garlic until onions are translucent and fragrant. Add in carrots, celery and mushrooms and sauté for 5-10 minutes more.

Add seasoning – Stir in spices and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Then, add in the tomatoes, broth and potatoes.

Simmer – Stir in quinoa and increase heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25-30 minutes, then remove the lid and add the zucchini and chopped kale. Continue simmering for 5-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and quinoa is fully cooked.

Final touches – Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Divide into bowls and top with grated Parmesan if you’d like.

An up close photo of a spoonful of soup with the bowl in the background.

How to Serve Veggie Soup

Thanks to the quinoa, this soup is a full, filling meal on its own, but I love serving it with some sides for added volume and textures in my meal! Here are some ideas:

Finished soup in the slow-cooker with a wooden spoon lifting some up.

How to Store Leftovers

In general, soup is amazing because of how well it stores! I love making one big batch and eating leftovers throughout the week. It tastes even better after sitting in the fridge for a day or two!

For storage, let the soup cool before placing it in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to one week or store in the freezer for up to one month. I recommend reheating on the stovetop rather than the microwave so you get an even heat without microwave splatters and hot/cold spots!

More Vegetarian Soup Recipes

Popular Slow Cooker Recipes

Quinoa Vegetable Soup

4 from 11 votes
Keep warm with this hearty quinoa vegetable soup. It's packed with a ton of veggies and plant-based protein. It's easy to make in the slow cooker and makes great leftovers! Gluten-free and vegan, as long as you skip the cheese.
Bowl of quinoa vegetable soup with a spoon lifting some soup out of the bowl.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery , chopped
  • ½ cup mixed mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped sweet potato
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups de-stemmed and chopped kale
  • grated parmigiano-reggiano, for topping (omit if vegan)

Instructions
 

  • Sauté oil over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until onions are translucent and fragrant. Add in carrots, celery and mushrooms and sauté for 5-10 minutes more.
    A saucepan with veggies in each quarter.
  • Add sautéed veggies and all remaining ingredients except the kale and zucchini into the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours or until quinoa is fully cooked.
    An overhead shot of the vegetable soup cooking in the slow-cooker.
  • Add zucchini and kale about 30 minutes before soup is finished cooking.
    An overhead shot of the slow-cooker with leafy greens added on top.
  • Taste the soup before serving and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Portion soup into bowls and top with cheese if using.
    Finished soup in the slow-cooker with a wooden spoon lifting some up.
  • Let soup cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • Vegetables – Don’t love one of the veggies I’ve included or have another veggie in your fridge that needs to be used up? Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand.
  • Potatoes – I used sweet potatoes, but any potatoes will do! You can even swap in butternut squash for the sweet potatoes if you want.
  • More protein – This soup already has 9 grams of protein per serving thanks to the quinoa, but if you’re looking to amp up the protein even more you can add a 15 ounce can of chickpeas or white beans to the soup.
  • Spice – I like to add a little crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper to give the soup a little kick!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of recipe without cheese Calories: 230kcal Carbohydrates: 39g Protein: 9g Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 534mg Potassium: 972mg Fiber: 8g Sugar: 9g
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: quinoa vegetable soup

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    29 comments
    1. Christina
      September 27, 2021 AT 4:11 pm

      YUM!! Would like to make this in my instant pot— do you have any suggestions for how long to cook it?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 6, 2021 AT 12:46 am

        I haven’t tried it, but after sautéing and adding all the ingredients to your instant pot I would set to high pressure for about 3 minutes then naturally release for about 10 minutes. Let me know if you try it!!

    2. Dana Lutes
      January 4, 2021 AT 9:04 pm

      I am curious about the sodium level. Doc wants low salt diet. But I love soup.I usually don’t add any salt, except what be in vegetables.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 5, 2021 AT 9:43 pm

        You can leave out the salt if you need this to have very low sodium.

    3. Krysta
      January 26, 2020 AT 10:30 pm

      I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks so yummy! Do you suggest to add anything for some extra protein? Other than chicken/Meat?
      Thanks!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 27, 2020 AT 8:52 am

        Hi Krysta. Adding a bean like chickpeas or white beans would be a great way to add protein. Of course shredded chicken is another great option if you enjoy meat.

    4. Bee
      April 18, 2019 AT 1:52 pm

      5 stars
      I love all of the flavors in this soup! I imagine slow cooking brings out the richness of the ingredients. This soup looks AMAZING!

    5. Taylor Kiser
      October 10, 2016 AT 10:20 pm

      What a great soup for the fall and winter months! Looks so delicious!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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