Are you looking for an easy and affordable way to take your favorite vegetable soup recipes to the next level? Consider adding different herbs to the broth to add more flavor and nutritional value! But if you don’t have time to explore the hundreds of herbs available, you might wonder — what are the best herbs to use in vegetable soup?
From thyme to dried oregano — here are some of the best herbs for vegetable soups. Not only do they guarantee a boost in taste, but also nutrients! See which herb can spice up your veggie soup best:
Why Should You Put Herbs in Vegetable Soup?
No matter well you prep and cook them, most vegetable soups tend to be bland. And if you wish to make your veggie broth tastier or add a unique twist, consider adding herbs. They can add more flavor and health benefits to the soup! From using thyme for a nutritional boost to oregano for a fragrant broth — there are many herbs to explore!
When choosing herbs for your veggie soup, you’ll encounter two kinds: dried and fresh. And it’s all about your preference. But generally, dried herbs add a more robust and denser flavor, perfect for those who want a tasty broth. Meanwhile, fresh herbs add a subtle flavor boost and irreplaceable aesthetics.
Although it’s up to the cook, some professional chefs don’t recommend using fresh herbs for vegetable recipes that need to simmer for over 45 minutes. And they aren’t the strongest, only adding a softer and subtle taste to the broth. But fresh herbs are your best bet to achieve the perfect mix of flavor and style.
Meanwhile, go for dried herbs if you don’t mind how your veggie soup looks. After all, they have a more condensed flavor, boosting the broth’s flavor with each sip. But beware, dried herbs will lose their taste over time, making storage a nightmare!
What are the Best Herbs to Use in Vegetable Soup?
With the endless choices of herbs, many are thinking: what are the best herbs to use in vegetable soup? Check out the seven tastiest and most nutritious herbs to add to your veggie broth:
Parsley is a famous herb for vegetable soups, as it exudes a subtle taste that combines well with any recipe. And it adds brightness and unique herbal notes complementing the earthy flavor of veggies. But note that the kind of Parsley you use can have drastically different effects on the broth.
The popular varieties of this herb are flat-leafed Italian Parsley and continental Parsley. Of course, each has a unique taste, so see which works best for your veggie soup!
Thyme is another popular herb for vegetable soups as it adds a subtle earthy taste to the broth. Moreover, it can bring out the flavors of all the veggies inside, giving you a max flavor boost! But note that some thyme stalks may have essential oils. Hence, always taste your veggie soup broth first before adding more Thyme.
Marjoram is a herb like oregano, boasting a warm and herbal taste with low-key pine and citrusy notes. Moreover, it can add a depth of flavor to the broth, and its Marjoram works so well that it can also work for stews! Aside from that, this herb mixes well with celery, potato, and carrot.
It’s best to add Marjoram when you’re almost done cooking your vegetable soup to preserve its freshness and get the most out of its fragrance!
Many know Basil as a garnish, but did you know that this herb has more to give than merely making your dishes look great? It’s a crucial ingredient for vegetable soups as Basil adds a fragrant and subtle sweet taste. And it’s excellent for picky kiddos who don’t want to eat their veggies — making vegetable soups more fun and tasty.
The amount of Basil you should add to your veggie soup depends on what other herbs you’ve added. One tablespoon of Basil per serving should bring the best out of the broth.
Oregano is a famous herb for adding a unique Mediterranean taste to vegetable soup, adding subtle sweet nuances. Hence, this herb can be a lifesaver for parents with picky kids, making soups more fun and delicious.
For added flavor, you can use dried or fresh Oregano in your veggie soup. And it’s so powerful that Oregano gives your veggie soup incredible depth and an earthy taste. But beware, Oregano may leave slightly bittersweet notes, and though it blends well with other herbs or spices, so may find it overpowering. So, add the oregano to the broth cautiously!
Rosemary is an excellent herb for veggie soups, adding a robust taste that blends well with vegetables. But rosemary can be overpowering, so begin with half of a teaspoon per one gallon of vegetable soup. Overdoing it can bring out the herb’s assertive flavor, overwhelming the other ingredients.
Also, adding fresh rosemary after you’ve cooked your vegetable soup is best to avoid disturbing its delicate flavors!
🌿 Bay Leaf
Finally, bay leaf is a famous herb for traditional vegetable soup recipes. After all, it exudes a herbaceous aroma alongside low-key wooden and floral notes. And thanks to these, bay leaves can highlight the other flavors in your vegetable soup without overwhelming them.
Adding one to two bay leaves to the broth offers a balanced profile, allowing each vegetable to harmonize with one another. And the best part is that bay leaves don’t become intense over time, making their flavor profile more mellow.
One bay leaf should be enough to make your vegetable soup tastier and more powerful. But if you’re making a big batch, consider 2 to 3 medium-sized bay leaves for a balanced aroma and flavor profile.
How to Make Vegetable Soup with Herbs?
Most vegetable soup recipes require a lot of broth of stock. After all, it’s the main attraction! But sometimes, we all want a delicious meal without the hassle of preparing a full stock of veggie broth. And here’s where herbs come in. You can upgrade any bland vegetable soup with fresh or dried herbs like oregano or thyme.
It’s easy to make and cost-efficient, perfect for vegans, vegetarians, and veggie lovers. And here’s an easy-to-follow vegetable herbed recipe that experienced and inexperienced cooks can make.
See the step-by-step guide below to learn to make herbed vegetable soup at home:
1️⃣ Gather Your Vegetable Herbed Soup’s Ingredients and Sauté the Them
Once prepped, heat your preferred cooking oil in a sizeable stockpot over medium heat. Once hot, add onions, carrots, ginger, celery, and garlic. Sauté these veggies for 5 minutes.
2️⃣ Add the Right Amount of Water and the Rest of the Vegetables to the Stockpot and Bring it to a Boil
Pour around three to four cups of water (depending on your stockpot’s size) into the stockpot. Add the rest of your vegetables, like spinach, zucchini, potatoes, barley, and tomatoes. Mix once, raise it to high heat, and wait until the broth boils.
3️⃣ Season Your Vegetable Herbed Soup
Once your vegetable soup comes to a boil, lower it to low heat and sprinkle some salt and black pepper. Mix and add fresh or dried thyme, basil, and one bay leaf. Allow the broth to simmer while it’s half-covered for 30 to 40 minutes or until the veggies have become tender.
4️⃣ Taste and Adjust the Vegetable Soup if Necessary
Once the vegetables have become tender, remove the garlic, bay leaf, and ginger. Let it cool down, taste some of it, and adjust the seasonings or herbs if necessary. And once you’re happy with the veggie soup, ladle the broth into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs.
Note that you can swap or add more vegetables to let them suit your tastebuds. But generally, popular veggie soup recipes include the following:
- Green beans
You can add a freshly-grated Parmesan or a can of beans to add more flavor and make the veggie soup fill you up better.
Easy-to-Make Vegetable Soup Recipes with Herbs
Thanks to the versatility of vegetable soup and the hundreds of herbs to explore, there are many recipes you can try! You can create unique versions complementing any international cuisine you prefer. Swap the veggies in the mix alongside herbs and spices to guarantee an authentic soup experience!
Here are easy and delicious vegetable-herbed soups you can try to make at home:
🍲 Italian-Inspired Vegetable Soup
People mostly think of tomato-based recipes when they think of Italian veggie soups. But that doesn’t need to be the case here, as traditional Italian side dishes often mix sweet and salty. And because of this, you can create vegetable soups with herbs like oregano, parsley, and basil. It’s up to you to see which veggie broth can keep up with your favorite Italian dishes.
🍲 Vietnamese Vegetable Soup
Vietnamese veggie soup is the best recipe if you prefer spicy broths. After all, Vietnamese cuisine is famous for mixing traditional flavors with warm spiciness! For this version, use filling veggies like butternut squash and bean sprouts. They combine well with herbs like ginger, coriander, mint, and clove.
🍲 Mexican-Inspired Vegetable Soup
Mexico has some of the most diverse dishes in the world, and when you think of popular dishes, you’ll get an idea of what herbs and spices will work best for your vegetable soup. You can opt for a full-vegetable or chicken broth and add colorful veggies to match Mexican cuisine’s bright and delicious flavors. But most Mexican-inspired veggie soups often include the following vegetables:
- Capsicum (red or green)
- Dried beans
Complete the Mexican-inspired veggie soup with spices, adjusting it to your preferred level. From chili peppers to coriander, see which can bring your vegetable soup recipe to the next level. Either way, add a jar of salsa to the mix for the perfect combination of veggies and spices!
🍲 Eastern European Vegetable Soup
Eastern Europe cuisine is all about tradition and warm comfort. Hence, you’ll notice many vegetable soup recipes having a similar flavor profile of warmness that simmer the broth for hours on a stove — filling you up without issues. Hence, you’ll often see Eastern European veggie soups containing cabbage, split peas, potatoes, and turnips.
The best herbs for this veggie soup recipe are hearty herbs like bay leaves and dill.
🍲 Spain-Inspired Vegetable Soup
Spain is a melting pot of cuisine, making their herbed veggie soup recipes unique and tasty! You’ll often see chickpeas, carrots, and zucchini in their broth. And they add many herbs and spices to boost the soup’s taste and nutrition. Thus, you’ll see many Spanish vegetable soup recipes containing mint or coriander for that added pop of flavor!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the best herbs to use in vegetable soup to add more flavor to its broth?
A: The best herbs that add a flavorful twist to vegetable soups are parsley, savory, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, bay, and lovage. These add flavor and depth to any veggie broth, making the recipe more delicious and nutritious. And it’s best to also add spices in the mix for an extra kick of tastiness!
Q: What herbs can improve the aroma of vegetable soup?
A: Oregano is the best herb for improving a vegetable soup’s aroma, adding a delicious-smelling fragrance that can make even the blandest broths extra captivating! Meanwhile, chives are best for those who prefer an oniony scent, perfect for plain soups.
Q: What ingredients can I add to make a bland vegetable soup tastier?
A: Consider adding acidic ingredients to your veggie soup if it tastes bland instead of salt. After all, a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of sour cream adds a unique brightness to the dish. And these alternatives are healthier, as too much sodium may lead to many health issues.
Q: What herbs and spices give a vegetable soup the best flavor?
A: A combination of herbs and spices like nutmeg and thyme can add a unique taste and look to any veggie soup. It’s best to add fresh herbs when you’re almost done cooking and your spices from the start. This order lets you develop the flavors you want in your vegetable soup — making it tastier.
Q: Is oregano a good herb for vegetable soup?
A: Oregano is one of the most popular herbs for vegetable soup, as it adds more flavor and fragrance. It’s perfect for those who like fresh and delicious-smelling broths. And oregano mainly works best with tomato-based soups, making a lighter and fragrant undertone. Plus, sprinkle some Cayenne pepper if you like spice but want to avoid overpowering the oregano in your veggie soup.
What are the best herbs to use in vegetable soup for maximum flavor and nutrients? From parsley to thyme, these herbs can upgrade not only the broth’s taste — but its nutritional value too! So, the next time you whip up your famous veggie soup at your next kitchen session, use any of the herbs mentioned for maximum flavor and nutrition.