High-Protein Vegetarian Soup Recipes: Meatless Surprises

Vegetable chili

There was a time when vegetarian soups were known as glorified "rabbit food." However, the culinary world has since embraced meatless eaters by coming up with mouthwatering taste sensations that don't skimp on flavor or texture. Even the most novice cooks will find preparing hearty, high-protein vegetarian soup recipes is easier than ever.

Popular High-Protein Vegetarian Soup Recipes

The following recipes prove you don't have to carve a chicken, shred a turkey, or slice up steak to make soups rich and filling. Rather, by using delicious and nutritious items rich in protein such as lentils, beans, and tofu, you can create a super vegetarian soup without missing the meat.

Spicy Tofu and Vegetable Chili


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-oz. package of extra firm tofu, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp. chili powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 c. celery, diced
  • 1 c. green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 c. diced zucchini
  • 1 14-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, with liquid reserved
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 28-oz. can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 29-oz. can black beans, drained


  1. Heat oil in medium pan.
  2. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until golden brown, about three to five minutes.
  3. Add tofu and the seasonings, and sauté for another three minutes.
  4. Add the celery, bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini. Stir well.
  5. Sauté for another five minutes.
  6. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, sugar, and beans.
  7. Cook for two more minutes. Stir well.
  8. Cover and simmer the chili for 45 minutes. Serve hot.

Lentil and Vegetable Soup


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/4 c.)
  • 1 medium celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped (3 c.)
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped (2 c.)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. brown lentils, rinsed
  • 9 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 large bunch kale (about 9 oz.), ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over high heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrots, celeriac, and rutabaga.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté the mixture until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the lentils.
  5. Add broth and kale.
  6. Bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate the kale.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid slightly ajar, and simmer the soup until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  8. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired, and cook for 10 more minutes.
  9. Serve hot.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 Hungarian pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) of black beans
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 c. vegetable stock
  • Salt to taste


  1. Pour the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, peppers, cumin, and oregano until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Mash one of the two cans of beans with a potato masher, and then add garlic cloves to the puree.
  3. Add the pureed beans and whole beans to the pot, and cover them with stock.
  4. Bring to a boil, and then allow the soup to simmer for about 30 minutes. Add salt near the end of cooking time.
  5. Serve with freshly chopped scallions or cilantro.

Cooking Tips

Meatless soups can often be a bit too watery for some. To thicken high-protein vegetarian soups, cook them with the lid off, which allows water to evaporate and results in a thicker soup. Another way to add some texture is to puree the soup in a food processor. Finally, protein-rich mashed potatoes and heavy cream are also great thickening agents for vegetarian soups.

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High-Protein Vegetarian Soup Recipes: Meatless Surprises