Alphabet Soup with Vegetables

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Have a hankering for that Vegetable Alphabet Soup from your childhood? You can make it yourself, without the help of a can. Just good food.

Mug of alphabet soup

I am a child of the 70s which means that carpet was shaggy (as were men’s hairstyles), pants were bell-bottomed, and soup came in a 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 (but only when I was sick). I had my favorites and when we went to the sore, Mom would let me pick out my flavor from the shelf.

And one of my very favorites was Alphabet Soup with Vegetables.

Homemade alphabet soup!

I bought canned soup in college and in my newlywed years, but after a few issues of Bon Appetit and a thorough reading of A Feast of Soups, I realized I could make my own soup — even better than the can.

(Plus, I can pronounce every single ingredient.)

Sometimes I don’t use a recipe, I just use up leftovers in a basic soup like Pantry Challenge Minestrone or Stone Soup. However, when I want to recreate my favorite childhood soup, well this is my recipe. It took a little tweaking, but I think it tastes just like that Alphabet Soup of yore, only it’s got all real ingredients and no funny business.

Ingredients needed for this alphabet soup recipe

Here’s what you need – not much!

and voila!

This soup is featured in my latest cookbook, Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less. If you like this recipe, you’ll love the book. I promise it will more than earn its keep.

How to make 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.

The 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.

My freezer has allowed me to never go back to canned soup ever again!

Where can I find alphabet pasta?

It’s actually fairly common in most grocery stores, or you can buy it online. But if you can’t find any you can substitute it with another small shaped pasta like elbow pasta. 

What do I serve with this alphabet soup?

All this soup needs is some homemade biscuits to complete soup night. Try these flaky buttermilk biscuits or these cheddar biscuits

How can I make this soup recipe economically?

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.

What tools do I need to make bean soup?

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

0 from 0 votes
Alphabet Soup with Vegetables
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
17 mins
Total Time
27 mins
 
Have a hankering for that Vegetable Alphabet Soup from your childhood? You can make it yourself, without the help of a can. Just good food.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: alphabet soup
Servings: 10 cups
Calories: 110 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 6 to 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 large carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup alphabet pasta
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Add the broth, to taste, scraping up any browned bits.
  3. 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.)
  4. Add the pasta and cook until tender, another 7 minutes or so. Adjust the seasonings and serve.
  5. The 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.
Nutrition Facts
Alphabet Soup with Vegetables
Amount Per Serving
Calories 110 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 730mg32%
Potassium 213mg6%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1675IU34%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alphabet Soup | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. Crystal Hankey says

    This is the best soup ever. I have made it 5 times since I got your new cookbook. My husband and I love it that much. Once I didn’t have the alphabet pasta so I added diced potatoes. It reheats well and the flavor is awesome. So easy.

  2. Lori says

    Could I use chicken broth instead of veggie broth?
    Thanks!

  3. JessB says

    I just found your site from thekitchn.com and it’s great! I enjoyed your periscope on the pantry challenge. We live a long way from the city so I buy in bulk when we go and have a full freezer. I printed your pantry worksheet today so that I can inventory what we have and work on using it up! That’s the downside of a chest freezer…it can be hard to keep track of what is in there. Do you have a garden?

    • We have a micro backyard and we’re on water restrictions right now due to the drought, so no garden this year, I don’t think.

  4. Betsy C says

    Yum! I was looking for something to pair with the Italian Cheesewiches from your cookbook and stumbled upon this recipe when following your tips on improving my families diet. A very happy accident! Wonderful as all your recipes prove to be. I was out of dill and subbed thyme, it worked out well!

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