In the spirit of making the best with what we have, I bring you this radically easy Mexican Vegetable Soup! It is a melting pot (literally) of whatever frozen vegetables you have, a dried chili (or chili powder), some broth, and cream. A downright luxurious bowl of soup anyone can make.
Mexican Vegetable Soup In Five Ingredients
Are you ready for something refreshingly simple? After cooking practically every meal for the last three weeks, I, for one, most certainly am. The best part? This is the most forgiving of recipes, generously welcoming any mostly-used bag of frozen vegetables you have lingering about.
After you’ve gathered up all your frozen veggies all you need is some olive oil, a dried chili, a container of broth, and a bit of cream. Even the most timid of cooks can tackle this 5-ingredient soup recipe.
Soup With Frozen Vegetables
Can you make this soup with fresh vegetables? Sure! But the beauty of this recipe is it transforms those not so texturally beautiful frozen veggies into something truly wonderful.
I’m sure over the past few weeks you’ve grabbed a few bags of frozen veggies, like I did, on your grocery runs. They are great to have on hand should you need them and whether it’s spinach or broccoli, frozen peas or cauliflower any of them will work in this creamy vegetable soup.
My favorites are the bags of vegetable combinations that have some sort of starchy vegetable involved like potatoes or butternut squash or sweet potatoes. The starchy vegetables add some viscosity, making for a thick, rich soup.
Some of my favorite brands are:
- Cascadian Farms Root Vegetable Hashbrowns
- Pictsweet Farms Red Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, and Zucchini
- Earthbound Farm Kabocha Squash
If you have fresh vegetables you’d like to use up instead of frozen, just peel and dice them as necessary and continue with the directions. Keep in mind they will take longer to cook however, more like 40 minutes instead of 15.
What Is This Dried Chili Business?
If you’ve never cooked with dried chiles before, don’t be put off by their hard exterior. They are actually very easy to use—especially in this recipe because you don’t even have to soak them.
Here’s how to use them in this Mexican vegetable soup recipe:
- Rinse the chili. They can be dusty from packaging and handling.
- Snip the stem off with scissors. Cut the chili open vertically and discard the seeds.
- Cut the chili into strips with the scissors and add to the soup.
Pretty easy, right? But if you are still not feeling the dried chiles, substitute chili powder (any kind) instead. Start with 1 teaspoon (unless it is cayenne chili powder, arbol chili powder, or chipotle chili powder—those will be spicier so start with 1/4 teaspoon of those) then add more spice to your tastes.
If you want to give whole dried chiles a try, here are a few of my favorites:
- Guajillo Chiles– Mild flavor, smooth-skinned, musky and sweet, not spicy
- California Chiles– These aren’t spicy either but add a mellow, rosiness.
- Chipotle Chiles– If you want heat, choose dried chipotle chiles. They are the smoked, dried version of jalapenos.
What Kind Of Broth Should I Use? And What To Do If I Don’t Have Any?
If you want to keep this soup vegetarian and if you make a lot of Mexican vegetable soup recipes, then I would keep a few boxes of vegetable broth on hand so you can make easy recipes like this all the time.
If you aren’t concerned about it being vegetarian, then you can use any kind of broth (or a combination) you’d like. Making your own chicken stock at home is really easy and something you can do with leftover chicken bones, raw or cooked.
The next alternative is to use bouillon paste, powder, or cubes mixed with water. Some folks are sensitive to sodium and these tend to have a lot, but high-quality bouillon is great to keep in the pantry. It lasts forever and is ready when you need it.
Finally, if you have none of the above, you can always use water. You will have to use a few good pinches of salt though to make up for the missing flavor of the broth.
How To Blend Hot Liquids In A Blender
As the name implies, this is seriously THE EASIEST Caldo de Verdura or Mexican vegetable soup, but there is one little kitchen tip I want to mention before you dive in.
Be very careful when you are blending hot liquids in a blender. If you do it the wrong way, the blender could explode sending a soup volcano everywhere. Here’s how to do it the right way:
- Only fill the blender halfway to two-thirds of the way full. You may have to blend the soup in batches depending on the size of your blender.
- Remove the center piece of the lid.
- Place lid on the blender —without the center piece.
- Cover lid with a couple layers of paper towels.
- Turn blender on lowest setting, then gradually increase the speed until the soup is smooth.
What To Serve With It
Easiest Soup You Ever Made? Uh-huh!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 (16-18 ounce) bag frozen vegetables
- 1 dried chili (Guajillo, California, or Chipotle), stemmed, seeded, and snipped into strips with kitchen scissors
- 1 (1-quart container) broth—vegetable, chicken, or beef
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- Chopped herbs like cilantro, scallions, or parsley for garnish (optional)
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add the vegetables (its okay if they are still frozen) and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat in oil and let cook until slightly softened. Add chili and cook until vegetables are just starting to brown, stirring occasionally.
Add broth, stir to scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot (flavor!) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Transfer to a blender or use a stick blender and blend until smooth. Be careful if you are using a blender! When blending hot ingredients: Cover the top with a couple pieces of paper towels instead of the lid so it doesn't explode. Hold the paper towels down with your hand and blend on low to begin with, then increase speed until it is very smooth.
You may need to blend the soup in batches depending on how large your blender is.
Return pureed soup to the pot, add cream and return to a simmer. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh herbs if you'd like.
Leave out the cream to make this soup vegan.
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