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How Green is that Green Soup!

Not just a beautiful, vibrant color, but a healthy soup full of vitamin-rich leafy greens and tasty vegetables. Get your healthy on with this super easy Green Soup! {Vegan, dairy-free}

Overhead view of Green Soup in a white bowl, topped with herbs and pomegranate seeds.

Have you ever proudly shown your fam the super healthy, briiiight green smoothie you just made, and they cringed or gasped … or cried a little … and then suddenly had to go rake the leaves or do their algebra homework, while you stood there blinking in confusion?

That reaction always cracks me up, lol — evil green food.

I’m a vegetable gardener, so green is … everything. It’s life and beauty and food. The Crayola crayon produce we love so much — lemons and carrots and bell peppers and pomegranates and blueberries — are all nurtured by green, are only possible because of green. Green leaves and stems and branches. They fill plants with energy and nutrients. Without green, we’d have no yellow, orange, red, purple, or blue.

Green is life.

And from the moment Anna Thomas’s deep green soup crossed my FB feed back in the fall, I was head-over-heels smitten.

Roasted vegetables on a sheet pan, ready to be added to the soup pot.

Seeing that soup inspired months of experimentation. Testing, not because the original soup wasn’t fabu (it was). Or the second or third or fourth version, for that matter.

I couldn’t stop futzing with this green soup because the colors were just amazing. Small tweaks in the ingredient balance meant big tonal swings in the soup, from forest green to mint green to goldenrod.

I’m also on a serious vegetable roasting kick this winter, so, that had to happen. Parsnips, leeks, fennel, onions, and garlic are roasting superstars.

Oh, and so is the romaine. Did you know that romaine can stand up to grilling and roasting? It’s da bomb. Try it and see!

Vegetables and leafy greens cooking in the soup pot.

It was all super tasty, all of it, but still, I was mesmerized by the color.

Loads of leafy kale, spinach, and romaine set the stage for green. Pale root vegetables and rich vegetable stock add varying degrees of yellow.

For the batch that was photographed for this post, a last-minute tossing of fresh cilantro and parsley into the blender kicked a split-green-pea color into neon territory.

So pretty. So refreshing and light. It’s spring in a bowl, with the deep flavor-comfort of winter.

Angled view of Green Soup in a white bowl with garnishes.

This is a fantastic appetizer soup. And also when your tummy just can’t handle anything heavy, but you need to get warmth and nutrients into your body, stat.

I used miso to give this soup extra savory leanings — and a boost of healthy, fermented seasonings — but you can also add ginger, or lemongrass, or loads of garlic rather than just a few cloves.

My green soup is naturally vegan, but do check the label on the miso jar before you buy it if vegetarian/vegan is your goal, too: some misos are made with bonita or fish shavings (ingredients of dashi). The miso I prefer is crafted with just fermented soybeans, grains, and sea salt.

It’s January — let’s go green! 😀

Karen xo


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How Green is that Green Soup?

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Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Karen Gibson


for the vegetables

  • 1 medium-large leek sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 small onion cut into wedges
  • 1 parsnip peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 head hearts of romaine sliced in half lengthwise
  • olive oil

for the soup

  • 1 small bunch of kale thick stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 1 small bunch of spinach stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth low sodium
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  • Arrange the leek, onion, parsnips, and garlic on the baking sheet, leaving room for the two halves of the romaine. Brush all with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Roast for 20 minutes.
  • When there’s 8 minutes left, brush the romaine halves with olive oil and add them to the baking sheet.
  • The vegetables and romaine are ready when their edges are a golden brown. Remove from oven.
  • Meanwhile, bring the broth in a medium soup pot to a gentle boil, then reduce to medium-low and let settle for a few minutes.
  • Spoon the miso into a small prep bowl, and add a few tablespoons of the hot broth, stirring until the miso has dissolved. Add the miso and rice vinegar to the pot.
  • Add the kale and spinach leaves and cook until the leaves have wilted, but are still bright green.
  • Scrape the roasted vegetables into the broth. Stir and taste for saltiness. Add in small amounts until the soup has a gentle pop of bright flavor.
  • Puree the soup in a blender (you might need to do this in batches; I have a standard blender and didn’t have to). Don’t hesitate to let the blender run for several minutes. (Be careful of the top, which will want to fly off because of the hot pressure inside.) You’ll see the bits of kale get smaller and smaller, until they look like flecks of pepper in the liquid.
  • Return the soup to the pot and heat through again. Taste, and add a sprinkle of lemon juice, and more salt, as needed.
  • Serve immediately, with a drizzle of fruity olive oil, and top garnishes such as fresh, chopped parsley, radish sprouts, or pomegranate seeds.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.

Inspired by a recipe at

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Wednesday 19th of August 2020

I would love to try this recipe but I am allergic to soy (miso) and rice! What would be a good vinegar swap, and is this recipe possible without a miso? What else could I use?


Wednesday 19th of August 2020

I haven't tested any of this, so, please just take this in the spirit of suggestion: miso adds a nice umami to this soup, which has to be replaced (without a soy product). I would suggest trying fresh ginger and/or lemongrass paste. If you're comfortable with the sea side of things, you could use a dashi broth, or perhaps add some seaweed (some brands make roasted seaweed snacks, which I sometimes crumble into soups). (Kombu dashi and seaweed are vegan.) For the vinegar, you could just use a little bit less of white vinegar (rice vinegar is usually milder than other grain-based vinegars). If you have trouble with all vinegars, you might consider citric acid, which is a powder that can be added to recipes, similar to salt. It adds a really nice sour note, and could stand in for vinegar. You can find vitamin-bottle sized citric acid in the canning aisle, or at a vitamin store (and Amazon).