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This creamy vegetable soup is full of fresh veggies, herbs, potatoes and cheese, then finished with a touch of smoky bacon. Serve a bowl of the easy chowder for a cozy lunch or dinner on chilly days. It’s delicious with a side of cornbread, a loaf of crusty baguette, or some warm, flaky buttermilk biscuits!

Overhead image of creamy vegetable soup with a side of bread

Creamy Vegetable Soup Recipe

This simple-yet-flavorful pot of creamy vegetable soup is really just a twist on my classic chicken vegetable soup recipe. The main difference? This version offers that rich, decadent mouthfeel and a hint of cheesy goodness in the background that you don’t get in a more traditional vegetable soup. Thanks to all of the chunky potatoes and veggies throughout, each bowl is like a cheesy potato and vegetable chowder. While the broth is creamy, it’s not too thick or heavy, so it won’t weigh you down!

Adding vegetables to a Dutch oven for a soup recipe

What can I add to soup to make it creamy?

A cream soup typically has 3 main elements: a soup base (made with ingredients like butter, bacon drippings, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and flour), milk or cream, and chicken broth or vegetable broth. This recipe gets its thicker texture from a roux made with fat (bacon drippings and butter) and flour. Some whole milk, half-and-half or heavy cream gives it that creamy flavor, rather than just using broth alone.

Process shot showing how to make creamy vegetable soup from scratch

How can I make my vegetable soup more flavorful?

No boring vegetable soup here! This recipe gets its flavor from fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and parsley, smoky bacon, and cheese that’s stirred in at the end. It’s a nice way to add some extra vegetables to your diet in a satisfying, delicious way.

Pouring milk into a pot of vegetable soup

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a pot of creamy vegetable soup. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Bacon: gives the soup base a nice, smoky flavor and creates a tasty garnish for the finished soup.
  • Butter: add just enough to the bacon drippings to total ¼ cup of fat.
  • Carrots, onion, celery and garlic: the vegetable base of the soup that contributes so much flavor to the finished dish.
  • All-purpose flour: combines with the fat to create a roux, which thickens the soup.
  • Chicken broth: the liquid base of the soup. You can substitute with vegetable broth, if desired.
  • Rosemary, thyme and parsley: fresh herbs are always my preference for the best flavor, but you can substitute with dried herbs when necessary.
  • Bay leaf: for additional savory flavor.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper: enhance the other flavors in the soup. Taste and season as you go, because the total amount of salt necessary will depend on how salty your broth is at the start.
  • Mushrooms: I used sliced baby portobello mushrooms, which add a hearty texture to the vegetable soup.
  • Russet potato: peeled and diced into bite-size pieces.
  • Whole milk or half-and-half: the creamy component in the soup. Do not substitute with lower-fat alternatives or the broth will be too thin.
  • Frozen corn and peas: add them to the pot while they’re still frozen, since they thaw almost immediately. You can substitute with frozen cut green beans if you prefer.
  • Cheese: I prefer the creamy melt that you get with Velveeta cheese, but you can use cheddar as well.
Adding frozen vegetables to creamy vegetable soup

How to Make Creamy Vegetable Soup from Scratch

This recipe comes together in about 1 hour from start to finish, and it’s a nice make-ahead option that you can keep in the fridge and reheat when needed. Such a cozy and flavorful lunch or dinner option for cooler days!

  1. Cook the bacon until crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Sauté vegetables in butter.
  3. Add flour, then broth.
  4. Stir in herbs, seasonings, mushrooms and potatoes.
  5. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add the milk.
  7. Stir in the frozen peas and corn, as well as the cheese.
  8. Cook and stir until the cheese melts.
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with reserved bacon, and serve!
Ladle serving creamy vegetable soup from a Dutch oven

What to Serve with Vegetable Chowder

This hearty and healthy vegetable soup is perfect alongside a loaf of crusty baguette or no-knead breadsoft dinner rolls or crescent rollscornbreadcorn muffinspumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins. Biscuits are also a great option! Try these classic Southern buttermilk biscuits, these easy drop biscuits, or these quick 3-ingredient biscuits. If you like some spicy “kick,” pair the soup with a loaf of Jalapeño Cheddar Bread or a skillet of Mexican cornbread.

Overhead image of a bowl of the best creamy vegetable soup recipe topped with bacon

Storage

Allow leftover soup to cool to room temperature. Pack in airtight containers and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Reheat the soup over low on the stovetop just until warmed through (do not let it boil). Alternatively, you can warm individual bowls of soup in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Do not freeze the homemade creamy vegetable soup. The cream-based broth will “break” when thawed, giving the dish an undesirable look and texture.

Side shot of two bowls of creamy vegetable chowder on a wooden table

Recipe Variations

  • Creamy Chicken Vegetable Soup: omit the mushrooms and cut the frozen peas and corn to ½ cup each; substitute with cooked, shredded chicken for some extra flavor and protein.
  • For a vegetarian soup, omit the bacon and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. If you omit the bacon, you’ll need to increase the butter to ¼ cup.
  • Use just about any vegetables that you like. Feel free to add fresh spinach, zucchini, canned tomatoes, turnips, parsnips, or frozen cut green beans in lieu of other vegetables. See what’s in season and have fun experimenting with different combinations!
  • For a richer broth, use heavy cream instead of half-and-half. For a lighter broth, use whole milk.
  • Add extra cheese to make the soup even creamier and cheesier.
  • Mix up the herbs and use your favorites. In addition to the parsley, rosemary and thyme, good options include basil, oregano and chives.
Overhead shot of hands holding a bowl of creamy vegetable soup

Tips for the Best Creamy Vegetable Soup Recipe

  • You need a total of ¼ cup of fat in your pot to make the roux. If your bacon doesn’t yield 3 tablespoons of drippings, then increase the amount of butter that you add so that the total fat equals ¼ cup. Alternatively, you can omit the bacon entirely and just use ¼ cup of butter.
  • Start with room temperature milk or cream to avoid curdling, and once you add the milk, do not let the soup boil.
  • Use whole milk, half-and-half or cream for a creamy broth. I do not recommend skim milk or other lower-fat alternatives, because you need some fat for that thick consistency.
  • Velveeta cheese melts smoothest into the soup, giving the broth a creamier texture and subtle cheesy flavor. If you prefer to substitute with grated cheddar cheese, make sure that you grate the cheese by hand (rather than using a package of pre-shredded cheese). The pre-shredded cheeses don’t melt as smoothly.
  • You do not need to thaw the peas or corn before adding them directly to the soup. They will thaw almost immediately when they hit the hot broth.
  • If there is a lot of fat that rises to the top of your soup, you can spoon it off and discard it before serving, or just give the pot a good stir.
Close side shot of a white bowl of creamy vegetable soup

More Vegetable Soup Recipes to Try

Overhead image of creamy vegetable soup with a side of bread

Creamy Vegetable Soup

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings 12 cups
Calories 167 kcal
This creamy vegetable soup is full of fresh veggies, herbs, potatoes and cheese, then finished with a touch of smoky bacon.

Ingredients
  

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ cups peeled and diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon each minced fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and fresh parsley (or about ¼ teaspoon of each dried herb)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium russet potato (about 6 ounces), peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • 2 cups whole milk, half-and-half or heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup frozen peas (or sub with frozen cut green beans)
  • 6 ounces cubed Velveeta cheese or 1 ½ cups hand-grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 7-10 minutes. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. You should have about 3 tablespoons of drippings in the pot.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter (or enough to total ¼ cup when combined with the drippings in the pot). Heat until the butter melts. Add the carrots, onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent – about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute.
  • Add flour; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring to combine.
  • Add rosemary, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper, mushrooms and potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes and vegetables are just about tender, 10-15 minutes.
  • Add milk and gently simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes (do not boil).
  • Stir in the corn, peas and cheese. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheese melts and the peas and carrots are heated through, about 5 more minutes. Discard the bay leaf; taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. If there is a good amount of fat that rises to the top of the soup, you can skim it off with a spoon and discard the extra fat, or give the pot a good stir just before serving.
  • Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with reserved bacon and additional fresh herbs.

Notes

  • You need a total of ¼ cup of fat in your pot to make the roux. If your bacon doesn’t yield 3 tablespoons of drippings, then increase the amount of butter that you add so that the total fat equals ¼ cup. Alternatively, you can omit the bacon entirely and just use ¼ cup of butter.
  • Start with room temperature milk or cream to avoid curdling, and once you add the milk, do not let the soup boil.
  • Use whole milk, half-and-half or cream for a creamy broth. I do not recommend skim milk or other lower-fat alternatives, because you need some fat for that thick consistency.
  • Velveeta cheese melts smoothest into the soup, giving the broth a creamier texture and subtle cheesy flavor. If you prefer to substitute with grated cheddar cheese, make sure that you grate the cheese by hand (rather than using a package of pre-shredded cheese). The pre-shredded cheeses don’t melt as smoothly.
  • You do not need to thaw the peas or corn before adding them directly to the soup. They will thaw almost immediately when they hit the hot broth.
  • If there is a lot of fat that rises to the top of your soup, you can spoon it off and discard it before serving, or just give the pot a good stir.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 581mgPotassium: 457mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 3034IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 150mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: creamy potato vegetable soup, creamy vegetable soup, vegetable chowder
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We had this soup for dinner tonight. Oh my goodness, it was so delicious. I will be making this one often. Thank you, Blair.

    1. Yay! Thanks, Mary! I’m so glad that you liked it, and I appreciate you taking the time to come back here and let me know. 🙂