Vegan soup from scratch? Here is how to convert a soup recipe that will have as much or more flavour than the original beef version.

How exactly do you ‘veganize’ a soup recipe? I will give you the recipe, and then I will show you what I did with it to produce a vegan version of it from scratch.

It has just as much great flavour as the original. I promise.

I call this ‘Friendship Soup’

A chum was going away on a holiday and cleaned out her fridge and brought me her perishables.


She buys organic and this was a real windfall. She also brought me a recipe to utilize the vegetables. Her version called for ground beef.

Friendship Soup
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 can plum tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 1 large white potato diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 2 TLBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 TLBS sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups savoy cabbage cut in thin strips
  1. Cook celery, onion and garlic until celery and onion are limp
  2. Add beef and cook until done
  3. Add all other ingredients except cabbage.
  4. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 to 45 minutes
  5. Add cabbage and cook another 30 minutes
There are many great substitutes for meat on the market today. Even my rural grocery store has great choices. I don’t use straight tofu, as the flavour isn’t there and the texture gives away the game.

Back in the day I used TVP (texturized vegetable protein). This was a dry product that to be soaked for a few hours. Rather than use water, I used vegetable broth or Tamari Sauce (soy sauce, Braggs Aminos) for more flavour.

Here is the Vegan Version of the Recipe
  • Yves vegetarian ground beef/Tofurky sausage (3) cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can organic fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 – 4 vegetable boullon cubes (I cross-hatch them wutg a knife to disolve faster)
  • 1 large white potato diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 3 TLBS FIG BALSAMIC vinegar instead of the 2 TLBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 TLBS maple syrup to equal 1 TLBS sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 TLBS dried parsley to equal 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp HUNGARIAN paprika
  • 3 cups savoy cabbage cut in thin strips
Build a Flavour Base
The most significant thing in vegan cooking is to build a flavour base. This is simple to do. Write this in stone, because if you want to move to less meat in your diet, this is the foundation of most everything you will make.

  • Olive Oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Celery (optional)
  • Spices/herbs
  • Bouillon cubes/powder

Be patient.

Let the onions/garlic cook well before adding anything else. Again, this will build flavour.

Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add onions. Cook for a bit and add the minced garlic and celery. Cook until onions are almost to the caramelizing point (more flavour). Add a tablespoon or two of water if it looks like it might stick/scorch.

Add the other vegetables and cook to tender. Add the Hungarian paprika and saute`for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Again you can add a tablespoon or two of water if it looks like it might stick/scorch.

For more flavour

add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard to the onion mixture and a tablespoon of water. Cook for 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, liquid and all, and water/broth. Bring to a boil.

Lower heat to a simmer and add

  • parsley
  • bouillon cubes
  • balsamic vinegar

Adjust flavour balance

Dishwater soup is not an option. Remember, you can always add one more bouillon cube or add more water to balance out flavour.

Now, if you announce that you are serving tofu soup, or ‘pseudo’ meat soup, no one…and I mean no one is going to line up.


Say it is turkey soup, or beef soup…what ever. Just let people come to it with an open mind.

If your food tastes great, and it will, you never have to apologize for what isn’t in it.

Let me know how this works out for you.

If you want more recipes from the ‘healthy side’, contact me below.

Basic Signature [embed_popupally_pro popup_id=”3″]

Disclaimer: All information in this article is for education purposes only. If you have health issues, please contact a reliable and qualified health care provider.
Bio PicNelda McEwen has been practicing as a Medical Intuitive in SW Ontario for over 25 years; counselling individuals and families, as well as offering her signature ICH training to other Medical Intuitives in the health field. Nelda’s professional research has been acknowledged and published in the Professional Kinesiology Practitioners Manual. The PKP program is recognized through the International Kinesiology College of Zurich Switzerland.