Take advantage of your garden or farmer’s market bounty with this healthy chili soup recipe. It features all your favorite chili seasonings mingling among lots of vegetables in a rich, savory tomato broth with no beans.
This veggie chili soup recipe takes full advantage of the summer garden bounty. It can be easily customized to what you have on hand.
Make it mildly spicy or not spicy at all.
If you’re not a fan of beans, then this recipe is especially for you! This beanless chili soup is hearty and nutritious and you’re gonna love it!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
So what is in this chili soup if there is no meat or beans? Lots of fresh vegetables for a hearty, “meaty” texture, but that still tastes light and won’t weigh you down. Perfect for the summer months when heavy foods aren’t as pleasing.
Veggies ~ Onions and garlic for their aromatics. Eggplant and zucchini for their “meaty” texture. Bell peppers for their sweet mild flavor and beautiful color. Carrots for their firm texture and subtle sweetness.
The great thing about this recipe is that it’s easily customized using the vegetables you have on hand. Other great choices to add or substitute would be: summer squash, green beans, and/or corn.
Heat ~ Jalapeño and banana peppers for their mildly spicy heat.
If you don’t like things spicy, you can leave out the jalapeño and banana peppers or just use one or the other.
On the other hand, if you like thing spicy hot, you can leave in the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño and banana pepper for extra heat.
For a non-spicy, veggie loaded soup, try this Minestrone Soup recipe.
Spices ~ I use traditional chili seasonings, like chili powder, cumin and oregano along with smoked paprika and optional liquid smoke for depth of flavor.
Or try this chili seasoning substitute.
Beans ~ Nope, not in this recipe! However, if you can’t imagine chili without beans, feel free to add a can or two (rinsed and drained) of your favorite kind.
How to make the recipe
Sauté the onions until soft and translucent (1).
Add the garlic, bell peppers, carrots, and hot peppers, and cook for a few minutes to start to soften (2).
Add the remaining vegetables (3) and spices (4), stir, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.
Add the tomatoes and broth and simmer for 15 minutes, until thick and bubbly. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
How to serve
This dish is great all by itself but if you’re looking for a bit more, here are some options.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy chili is served over macaroni noodles.
We love it with a side of sweet maple cornbread or spicy jalapeño cornbread.
Also, try it with a side of crackers or garnishes of fresh chopped cilantro, vegan sour cream, easy homemade guacamole, or pickled jalapeños.
Storage and freezing
Fridge: Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Freezer: Let the chili soup cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. It should keep well for up to 6 months.
To reheat: If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. Gently heat the soup on the stove in a pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, or in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl in 20 to 30 second increments until warm.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Dice the bell peppers, hot peppers, and carrots into similar size small pieces.
~ Chop the eggplant and zucchini into similar bite size pieces.
~ Remove the ribs and seeds of the hot peppers for a mild heat. Leave them in for a spicier kick.
~ Sauté the spices with the veggies in a bit of fat until fragrant before adding the tomatoes and broth to allow the natural oils to release and bring out their flavors.
~ Simmer the chili soup until thick and bubbly and the veggies are tender.
~ Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking!
Yes, of course you can! In fact, some might argue that true chili does NOT have beans. Traditional Texas Red Chili doesn’t contain beans…it also doesn’t contain tomatoes.
Most other chili recipes are based on chili con carne which is defined as a “spicy stew containing chile peppers, meat, and often tomatoes and beans. Other seasonings may include garlic, onions, and cumin.”
In this day and age there are so many variations of chili that pretty much anything goes, including vegetarian and vegan versions with no meat at all.
There are many variations of vegetarian and vegan chili. Some use a base of beans or lentils, some use store-bought vegan ground “beef”, and others use crumbled tofu. This particular version of veggie chili soup uses a wide variety of garden vegetables to make it hearty and traditional chili seasonings to spice it up.
Typical chili is not considered a soup. It is traditionally thick in consistency, more like a stew, but mostly in its own category altogether. This veggie chili soup recipe, however, is broth based. While the flavors are similar to traditional chili and it’s definitely “meaty” and hearty, it is more like a soup in texture than a chili.
More vegan chili recipes
- Meatless Taco Chili
- Black Bean Quinoa Chili
- Vegan White Chili
- Vegan Lentil Chili
- Vegan Cincinnati Chili
- Slow Cooker Black Bean Chili
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Beanless Veggie Chili Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (use broth or water for an oil-free option)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 1 hot banana pepper seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 1 medium zucchini diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 small eggplant diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 2-3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- salt/pepper to taste
- a few dashes of liquid smoke (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)
- In a big soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil and sauté the onion for about 4 to 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic, carrots, green and red bell peppers, banana pepper and jalapeño pepper and sauté 5 minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the zucchini, eggplant, and spices and sauté 1 to 2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes and vegetable broth, bring to a simmer, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes until thick and bubbly.
- Taste and add salt/pepper as needed. Adjust any other seasonings to your preference. Add the liquid smoke, if using. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve hot garnished with fresh cilantro, chopped raw onion or bell pepper or any garnishes you desire.
Storage/Freezing Fridge: Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Freezer: Let the soup cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. It should keep well for up to 6 months.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.
DELICIOUS! Made it tonight without the eggplant. I might add potato instead next time because I normally don’t have eggplant, HOWEVER it was delicious without. I served over rice for some and over riced cauliflower for others.
The jalapeno and banana pepper were from a jar tonight, and added on top of those that wanted the spice. And I did also add the fresh cilantro on top.
Note to self: To make a little thicker/less brothy, take out a small portion, blend, and add back into the soup.
This is a keeper 🙂 Thank you!
Jenn S. says
Wonderful, Stacy! So happy to hear you love it. And I’m glad that you were able to make it your own!
How would you can this chili does it have to be pressured or water bath.
Jenn S. says
Hi, Florence. I’ve never canned anything so I’m afraid I can’t give you instructions on that. Sorry.
Jenn this recipe is amazing! I’ve also made a variation which I like to do as I’m not a big fan of carrots. I remove the eggplant, carrots and vegetable broth out of the recipe and instead I put in one pack of veggie ground and double up on the zucchini. I also add chili flakes. It’s amazing, give a shot one day!
Thanks again for a great recipe!
Jenn S. says
Thank you, Sim! So glad you love it! Your version sounds delicious as well! My brother, who is vegetarian, also makes chili with the veggie ground too. 🙂
Dianna L Norwood says
This chili was so appetizing as it was filled with bright green, red, & orange vegetables. I served chili over brown rice to a receptive non vegetarian guest. The chili tasted wonderful & will be a favorite dish that will be prepared often. I liked the fact that there would be leftovers to simply reheat. I did use 1 1/2 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar at the end because I use a limited amt. of salt & enjoy a sweet flavor. I sprinkled black pepper on my bowl to give it a kick.
Thanks for the recipe.
Jenn S. says
Thank you, Dianna! Love the idea of drizzling some balsamic to finish. I do that with a lot of soup, but never thought to add it to chili. I’m totally trying that next time! So happy to hear you all loved it!
This looks great but if it doesn’t have meat or beans it’s not chili. This is a spicy vegetable soup.
Jenn S. says
According to Webster Dictionary Chili is defined as “a thick sauce made from meat and chilies. Also: a similar dish made without beef; vegetarian chili.” Have a great week!