This vegetable pantry soup recipe was emailed in, and I couldn’t resist its simplicity and flexibility. It packs in loads of healthy ingredients for a meal in a pinch when your produce drawer is bare. As an added bonus, this pantry soup is like a gluten-free minestrone (using beans instead of pasta), is allergy-friendly (free of all top allergens), and can be made vegetarian and vegan with the vegetable broth option.
To get the most nutritionally from your canned foods, Elizabeth Fassberg, MPH, RD, CDN (owner of EAT FOOD, a food and nutrition consultancy in New York City) has the following tips:
- When possible, opt for canned vegetables or soups with no sodium added or low sodium products. If these options are not available, rinse the vegetables before you use them. You can always season to taste at the end of cooking to have more control over the sodium level.
- Refrigerate leftover canned goods in a glass or plastic container rather than in the original can.
- When you have a need for canned fruit, choose selections that are packed in their own juice, water or 100-percent fruit juice. Avoid those added syrups!
To keep your pantry as fresh as possible, I have a few tips of my own:
- Look for BPA-free canned goods. Companies like Eden Foods and Natural Value are taking BPA demands seriously.
- Choose aseptic or glass. Many “canned food” manufacturers are making the switch in packaging. Glass may be out of budget, but aseptic packages are popping up everywhere, and companies like Imagine Foods and Pacific Foods make some great budget-friendly broths that bypass the tin altogether.
- Rotate your pantry. I’ve learned from many moves that some canned goodies can stow away for years. It’s great to keep a stocked pantry, but like grocery stores, rotate your oldest to the front to ensure it doesn’t get ignored; even canned goods have an expiration!
Special Diet Notes: 10 Minute Vegetable Pantry Soup
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, optionally vegetarian, and generally top food allergy-friendly.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried savory
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth (low-sodium if you desire)
- 1 cup 100% vegetable juice
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 cup canned, diced tomatoes (no-salt added)
- 1 cup canned navy beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (8¼ ounces) sliced carrots, drained
- 1 can (8¼ ounces) cut green beans, drained
- 1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
- Salt and pepper, to taste / as needed
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and sauté until transparent, about 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, savory and sage, and cook 10 seconds.
- Add the broth, vegetable juice and vinegar, and bring to a boil.
- Add the tomatoes, navy beans, carrots, green beans, and mushrooms and let the soup simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.