Recipe: A Vegetable Soup That Tastes Like a Rainbow

Vegetable soup
Alexandra Grablewski/Getty Images
Total Time 45 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 35 min
Yield 9 cups of soup

Rainbow soup is a great way to follow so many nutritionists' advice to "eat a rainbow." In fact, that's what makes rainbow soup unique. While it is generally hard to eat all of the colors of fruits and vegetables at one meal, rainbow soup makes it possible. This is one of those soups that people tend to love, despite the unusual seasoning combination. I often put leftover turkey or chicken in it, but it can stand on its own without meat. It is also good with beans or chickpeas if your diet allows. The idea is that it has vegetables from all the "color groups," so it has lots of antioxidants and other nutrients for your family. If you have any fresh herbs around, feel free to throw them in as well.


  • 1 medium onion (2 1/2 inches in diameter), chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped carrot (you can use chopped pumpkin, if available)
  • 1 heaping tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 3 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cinammon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A little hot sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large leaf of chard, about 1 and 1/2 cups – can use spinach or other dark leafy green such as kale – cut into thin strips
  • 10 oz. frozen green beans (or fresh)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 cups stock or broth (I like vegetable or chicken Better Than Boullion – but watch the saltiness)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


1. In a large soup pot, simmer oil, onion, and celery. Cook on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes to develop more sweetness in the onion.

2. Add garlic and turn up the heat to medium. Cook for a minute or so and add the peppers and carrots. Cook another minute or two and add the spices. Stir and cook until fragrant — another minute or so.

3. Add tomatoes and stock, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add frozen beans and chard and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the beans are cooked.

If adding cooked cubed meat such as chicken or turkey, add at this time.

4. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Serving Suggestions for Rainbow Soup

As a main course, this soup is perfect, but be sure that you add other items for adults to eat before they get to the main dish, so that they won't be over or underfed. A nice starter salad with a vinaigrette dressing is appetizing before soup. You might also try adding meat to the soup as an option for those who are not vegetarian. To cook a great seafood option to accompany the soup, you could make chicken, fish, beef or sausage kabobs and place them on separate plates for those who are interested in making the meal a little more hearty. 

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