It’s a homemade version of cup-a-soup!!! A creamy Vegetable Soup made without cream, with noodles and lots ‘n lots of veggies. Adapt this recipe to whatever veggies you have – fresh or frozen. This one is all about that creamy broth!
Growing up, our household was devoid of all things convenience food. Frozen meals were a blasphemy. Canned soups were illegal. Jars of simmer sauces were never even a possibility.
And yet, somehow, cup-a-soup slipped through the iron clad gates of my mother’s weekly grocery shop. Mother! Where’s the logic in that?! 😂
So this is a homemade version of the Cream of Vegetable Soup cup-a-noodle packs which is a little optimistically labelled with “lots of noodles!!” Because let’s be honest – a powder soup packet mix for a mug can only have so many noodles in it.
And while we’re on the topic, there’s not that much veggies in it either. (And I STILL loved it growing up!)
Hence the beauty of homemade!
THE SECRET INGREDIENT: VEGETA
This is a standard creamy soup recipe, thickened with a roux made with melted butter and flour. It’s made with both milk and vegetable or chicken broth (or flavour), plus one very important secret ingredient: Vegeta.
Vegeta is a vegetable stock powder and this is what I use in place of salt in this soup. More flavour!! It’s widely available here in Australia, found in the herbs & spices section of supermarkets.
A NOTE ON STOCK POWDERS AND MSG
Vegeta contains MSG which is a food additive. In years gone by, there has been the misconception that MSG is “bad for you”. MSG is one of the most extensively researched food additives and studies show that MSG does not contain anything that is specifically harmful to you. However, there are people who are sensitive to it, just like with many foods like peanuts.
Here is some information on this topic from the Food Authority of NSW, Australia.
FRIDGE FORAGE TIME!!
I’ve made this cream of Vegetable Soup using ingredients that I (think I) spy on the packets of the cup-a-noodle soups. A mixture of fresh (carrots, celery, onion, capsicum) and frozen (peas and corn), all vegetables that make my weekly shop.
However – and regular readers know I say this a lot – feel free to make this using any vegetables you want! Use 7 to 8 cups of chopped veggies of choice, including onion.
I like to break the pasta into short pieces to make them easier to eat with a spoon, because as much as we all love the long pasta pulls, nobody likes hot soup slapping around on their chin.
To mimic the cup-a-noodles, I use linguine here, but any pasta will do – short or long.
If you leave cooked pasta in any liquid, it becomes bloated and overly soft. My Asian roots make me a rice snob – I cannot stand overcook mushy rice – and this snobbery extends to pasta.
So if making ahead or you know you’ll have lots of leftovers, cook the pasta separately and place into bowls then ladle over the soup. This is because pasta left in any liquid becomes bloated and overly soft.
This applies to all noodle and pasta soups!
And PS, I know this is a carb overload, but try it with homemade garlic bread one day. It is outrageous. OUTRAGEOUS! – Nagi x
PPS I should probably mention the SUPER LOW CAL version of this Cream of Vegetable Soup (what’s the secret??!🤫)
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Recipe video above. A cream cream-less soup with lots and lots of fresh veggies, plus noodles! Use 7 - 8 cups of diced vegetables of choice, including onion. If making ahead or you know you'll have leftovers, cook the pasta separately and place in the bowl, then ladle over soup (because noodles left in soup becomes bloated and overly soft).
- 50 g /3 tbsp butter , unsalted
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 onion , finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/3 cup / 70 g flour
- 3 cups / 750ml milk , any (I use low fat)
- 2 cups / 500 ml vegetable or chicken broth , low sodium
- 1 cup / 250 ml water
- 3 tsp Vegeta or other stock powder (Note 1)
- 200 g / 7oz linguine or other pasta , broken into 4 pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 carrots , diced
- 2 celery ribs , diced
- 1 red capsicum/bell pepper , diced
- 1 cup corn kernels , frozen or canned drained
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Fresh thyme leaves
Melt butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes. Then add carrot and celery. Cook for a further 2 minutes, then add capsicum and cook for another 1 minute.
Add flour and mix, cook for 1 minute.
Add about half the broth and mix. Once flour is incorporated into the broth, add remaining broth, milk, water, dried thyme, Vegeta and pepper. Mix, then add corn and peas.
Bring to simmer then lower heat slightly.
Break pasta into 4 pieces and add into pot. Cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is just cooked. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and serve, garnished with a tiny sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves if desired.
1. Vegeta is a brand of vegetable stock powder (see in post). It's my favourite stock powder to use in soup broths where you don't have a flavour boost from cooking a protein or something else. You can use another stock powder - use chicken or vegetable (but Vegeta gives the best flavour!).
It's sold in the herb & spice aisle of supermarkets here in Australia.
Read in post about Vegeta and MSG misconceptions!
2. Use 7 to 8 cups of any chopped vegetables you want, including onion (don't skip onion!)
3. Nutrition per serving, assuming low fat milk is used. This is a big generous bowl!
LIFE OF DOZER
This is what happens if you seat at the table next to me at the coffee shop.