Have a hankering for that Alphabet Soup with Vegetables from your childhood? You can make this delicious vegetable soup yourself, without the help of a can in less than 30 minutes!
Dish up big bowls of this vegetable alphabet soup with Saltine crackers or go for the gusto with a batch of Pumpkin Biscuits. When you’ve got favorite Homemade Soup Recipes for Dinner, you’ll never need a can.
I am a child of the 70s which means that carpet was shaggy (as were men’s hairstyles), pants were bell-bottomed, and alphabet soup came in a red can. I didn’t know any different for a really long time, and honestly I was fine with that.
I loved Bean with Bacon, Chicken Gumbo, and Chicken Noodle. When we went to the store, Mom would let me pick out my flavor from the shelf. Often that was the Campbell’s Alphabet Soup, formerly known as Vegetable Soup with Alphabets.
Since then, I’ve ditched the can, but now make my favorites at home. Turns out this is a deliciously affordable vegan soup that my whole family can enjoy, especially my teen daughter who eats only plant-based.
Why Make This
It’s a super versatile recipe. While following the recipe is a good start, you can stir in any bits of leftover veg to this basic soup like we do in Stone Soup.
This is a perfect red can copycat. It took a little tweaking, but this vegan soup tastes just like that Alphabet Soup of yore, only it’s got all real ingredients and no funny business.
It’s quick! Whip up a batch of Alphabet Soup in less than 30 minutes. Guaranteed.
Here’s what you need for this vegan soup:
oil: You need a bit of fat to sauté the onion and garlic. I use olive oil, but you can use your favorite cooking oil or plant-based butter.
onion and garlic: These sautéed aromatics add a great base of flavor to the soup. You can also use leeks or shallots if that’s what you have on hand.
vegetable broth: You can make your own vegetable broth or use a commercial broth.
frozen corn, peas, and beans: I typically buy these separate in the frozen section, but if you like you can substitute mixed frozen vegetables. Likewise you can use fresh or canned vegetables if that’s what you normally buy.
carrots: I like to use fresh carrots, but you can substitute canned or frozen if you like.
tomato sauce: A small can of tomato sauce adds great flavor to this vegan soup. You can also use leftover Marinara Sauce.
herbs and spices: dried dill, paprika, ground cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper – You can make swaps based on what you have in the spice cupboard, but this mix is a winner.
alphabet pasta: Alphabet noodles add a bit of whimsy to your vegan soup, but you can also use orzo, salad macaroni, or stars. Any small pasta will do, but of course, then it won’t technically be alphabet soup.
- Saute onion and garlic. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion starts to turn translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Watch for scorching.
- Add the vegetable broth. Add the broth, to taste, scraping up any browned bits.
- Add veggies and spices. Add the corn, peas, green beans, carrot, tomato sauce, dill, paprika, cayenne, and salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil. (This may take up to 10 minutes.)
- Boil the pasta. Add the pasta and cook until tender, another 7 minutes or so. Adjust the seasonings and serve.
This alphabet soup can be cooled and stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Homemade soup is always one of the foods I love keeping my freezer.
Follow these Tips for Making Soups for the Freezer.
Alphabet soup, as Campbell’s has made it, includes vegetables and alphabet noodles in a savory tomato-based broth.
There are a number of simple swaps you can make to veganize a soup recipe. If you see a recipe that calls for chicken or beef broth, you can swap in vegetable broth. If it calls for milk or cream, substitute a plant-based milk such as almond or coconut. If butter or ghee is listed in the ingredients, substitute oil or a plant-based butter.
It’s actually fairly common in most grocery stores. I’ve found it with the pastas on the Latin American aisle, or you can buy it online. But if you can’t find any you can substitute it with another small shaped pasta like orzo, stars, or salad macaroni.
No, alphabet soup is not a pasta, but a soup featuring alphabet shaped pasta.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- oil – $0.02
- onion – $0.50
- garlic – $0.05
- vegetable broth – $1.99
- vegetables – $0.78
- tomato sauce – $0.44
- dried dill – $0.09
- paprika – $0.02
- ground cayenne pepper – $0.01
- salt – $0.02
- black pepper – $0.01
- alphabet pasta – $0.38
While your cost may vary depending on how or where you shop, you can expect to pay about $4.31 for a big batch of this Vegan Alphabet Soup, about 43 cents/cup.
How to Save Even More
By their very nature, soup recipes are very budget-friendly. However, here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe even more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When you see a good price on tomato sauce, broth, or your spices, buy a few extra to stash for later. You know you’ll use them. Stocking up can save you money.
- Buy spices in bulk. I regularly buy larger containers of spices I use frequently, like pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. I store excess dried herbs and ground spices in the freezer if I know it will be awhile before I go through the large container.
Favorite Vegan Recipes
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Alphabet Soup Recipe
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 onion chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 6 to 8 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 cup frozen green beans
- 1 carrots peeled and diced
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- pinch ground cayenne pepper
- black pepper
- 1 cup alphabet pasta
- In a large stockpot, heat the oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion starts to turn translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Watch for scorching.
- Add the broth, to taste, scraping up any browned bits.
- Add the corn, peas, green beans, carrot, tomato sauce, dill, paprika, cayenne, and salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a low boil. (This may take up to 10 minutes.)
- Add the pasta and cook until tender, another 7 minutes or so. Adjust the seasonings and serve.
This post was originally published on February 28, 2016. It has been updated for content and clarity.