Soup Kitchen: Mexican Sopa Verde — Spicy Cilantro Vegetable Soup

This vegan soup is like drinking your vegetables.

It’s a spicy broth flavored with garlic, lemon and cilantro with a few more things from the veggie bin thrown in for good measure.

It’s still chilly here in North Carolina and it’s five more weeks until I get back to Oaxaca.  What draws me closer is the memory of those rich, hearty broths that I love.  As you can tell, these days my Soup Kitchen is overflowing.  This is because we are the beneficiaries of a bounty of fresh vegetables and I’m trying to figure out what to do with them.  Soup is one of the best solutions.  A healthy, low-cal, and easy to make and enjoy tonic–sippable morning, noon and night.

This week, we got a lot of little baby organic broccolini, which I par boiled, laid out on cookie sheets, froze, then transferred into freezer bags.  I kept the water and used it as the beginning of the soup stock.   This version is both vegetarian and vegan.  I use only organic vegetables!

Sometimes, I think I should be calling this the “Leftovers Kitchen.”

Sopa Verde Vegetariana -- Spicy Cilantro Soup


5 quarts water

4 ribs of celery, 1/2″ cuts

1 bunch cilantro, washed, leaves and stalks

1 or 2 carrots

2 small rutabagas or 3 turnips, peeled and quartered

3 green cabbage leaves or 1 baby bok choy

1 small leek or 1 small onion or 4-5 scallions

4 large garlic cloves, peeled, whole

Juice of 1/2 large lemon or more to taste

2 t. salt or more to taste

1 t. ground red cayenne pepper


Bring water to a boil.  Turn heat down to simmer.  Add all the vegetables, cilantro and garlic.  Simmer over medium-low heat until veggies are very limp.  I simmered these on the stove for a good hour.

Remove veggies with a slotted spoon to the bowl of your food processor.  Process on high until completely pureed.  Add fresh squeeze lemon juice.  Process again.  Pour puree back into soup stock.  Add salt and pepper.  Stir.  Taste.  Add more salt and pepper if you prefer.

Optional:  Add cooked whole wheat macaroni for a chunkier soup.  Or you can add leftover chopped chicken, ham or fish pieces, too.  I like the broth version.  Very soothing.


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