Spanish Vegetable Soup – a homemade Caribbean soup recipe featuring a Tropical flavor profile from plantains, yuca or potatoes plus tons of lime to balance out the sweetness. A freshly squeezed orange juice broth that hits all the taste buds with savory, sweet and citrusy notes, something incredibly delicious that you might not think belongs here but it’s sure to steal your heart.
Spanish Vegetable Soup
One must think of this easy veggie Caribbean soup more like a Tropical Minestrone of sorts. A favorite with our family, this delicious homemade goodness is a true culinary chameleon. It can be a plantain soup, potato soup, a yuca soup, Cuban Chick’n soup, Sopa Espanola de Verduras, or add noodles and transform it into a Sopa de Fideo aka vegetable noodle soup. It’s bright and filling and satisfying and is sure to awaken a strong sense of wanderlust in one’s soul. I love it in the spring, summer, fall and winter swapping ingredients for seasonal veggies.
About the Broth
Although one can use any store bought vegetable stock here, I’m not a fan. I like to create layers of flavors starting with sauteeing the usual suspects: onion, carrot, celery, followed by bell peppers and tomato. Toss with the spices until you can smell the fragrance then squeeze one lime and one large juicy orange straight into the pot, juices dripping down your hands and inhale. This is the birth of the Citrus Broth! You just can’t get this out of a box. Add water and simmer away allowing the Tropics to mingle and marry into a divine symphony of flavor.
Yuca or Potatoes
If you can find Yuca root (cassava) at your local market by all means grab some and use it here. Go full Caribbean vibe here and make this a lovely yuca soup you’ll be bragging about for days. This starchy vegetable resembles sweet potato and can be used in lieu of or in addition to potatoes here.
If using potatoes or a mix of them please consider that the starchier potato varieties break down and naturally thicken a soup which is great if that’s what you are after. However I wanted individual chunks here in a somewhat clear broth so I used a waxy variety of golden potatoes for different textures throughout the soup. You could use a mix and even add in some butternut squash or pumpkin chunks in the fall. Go wild!
Choose plantains that are ripe, a dark yellow skin with black patches and a soft but firm texture, not mushy. Peel and slice into thick one inch rounds or at an angle. Pan sear until golden on both sides and finish with a sprinkling of coarse salt. Try and time this so they are ready at the same time as your soup, but don’t fret, they reheat beautifully and also keep well stored in the soup for later.
Recipe Tips + Variation
- Make it Spicy – add a sliced up red chili pepper with the seeds at the same time you add the bell peppers or just serve the slices on top to control the spiciness level.
- Cuban Chick’n Soup – Add 1 cup of rehydrated soy curls at the same time with the potatoes or yuca. Alternatively a can of green unripe jackfruit would be great or any favorite vegan chicken you prefer.
- Add Noodles – And you have yourself a nice Sopa de Fideo.
- Corn – Fresh corn on the cob cut into 2 inch pieces make a nice addition here when in season and available.
- Serving Suggestions – garnish with fresh cilantro, basil or parsley, thinly sliced green onions, chili pepper and tortillas or flatbread.
Vegan Soup Recipes
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Vegan Sweet Potato Soup
- Meatless Split Pea Soup
- Lentil Soup
- Dill Pickle Soup
- Vegan White Bean Soup
- Potato Dill Soup
- Vegetable Summer Soup
- Mushroom Bourguignon
- Vegan Clam Chowder
- Spiced Chickpea Stew
- Vegan Potato Leek Soup
- Wild Rice Mushroom Soup
- Miso Noodle Soup.
Spanish Vegetable Soup (Caribbean Style)
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 celery diced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1 bell pepper chopped ( you can use a mix of colors)
- 3 cups yuca root or potatoes diced
- 3 plantains
- 1 orange
- 1 lime + more for serving
- 6 cups water or veggie broth
- 3 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp corriander
- 2 tsp sumac optional
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 cup soy curls rehydrated optional
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, basil or parsley (for garnish)
- salt + pepper to taste
- Preheat a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat and sautee the onion, carrot and celery until softened and start to get some color. Add the bell peppers and diced tomato and sauté a few more minutes.1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery, 1 bell pepper, 2 tomatoes
- Sprinkle in the spices and toss to coat well, allow to toast about a minute or so just until fragrant.3 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp corriander, 2 tsp sumac, 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Peel a couple of inches of orange peel and add it to the soup pot. Cut the orange in half and squeeze all the juices in the pot with the veggies. Squeeze the lime then add the water or stock. Bring to a simmer, cover ad cook for 20 minutes.1 orange, 1 lime, 6 cups water or veggie broth
- Meanwhile scrub and rinse the potatoes, yuca root or pumpkin and add it to the soup. (At this time you can add soy curls or jackfruit if using). Simmer another 15 to 20 minutes until the root vegetables are soft. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and more lime if desired.3 cups yuca root or potatoes, 1 cup soy curls rehydrated, salt + pepper
- Meanwhile preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium hight heat. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan well). Peel and slice the plantains into one inch pieces then pan sear in the hot skillet until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. (Alternatively you can opt for skipping the pan frying and adding the plantains straight into the soup instead at the same time with the potatoes).3 plantains
- Ladle the soup into bowls, add a few plantain pieces and garnish with your choice of fresh cilantro, basil or parsley. Serve with extra lime or lemon wedges on the side.1/4 cup fresh cilantro, basil or parsley
WFPB + Plantricious
- For compliance make sure to omit all oil from the recipe, sautee in a splash of water or veggie broth and add the plantains straight into the soup to eliminate the use for any oil.
- Cuban Chick’n Soup - Add 1 cup of rehydrated soy curls at the same time with the potatoes or yuca. Alternatively a can of green unripe jackfruit would be great or any favorite vegan chicken you prefer.
- Add Noodles - And you have yourself a nice Sopa de Fideo.
- Corn - Fresh corn on the cob cut into 2 inch pieces make a nice addition here when in season and available.