Ever wonder what soup mix was? Or how to use it? Turns out it is the express route to a speedy dinner. Throw soup mix into the slow cooker with a few chopped vegetables and some vegetable stock. Eight hours later you will have this delicious thick and hearty slow cooker vegetable soup.
Last Updated: 14th February 2019
Total Time Investment: 8 Hours, 15 minutes
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Have you ever trundled past the packaged soup aisle in the supermarket and spotted various bags of mixed beans, lentils and grains tucked amongst the brightly coloured packets of instant soup? In my supermarket, they are strategically positioned on the bottom shelf, hidden just well enough that only the truly dedicated can find them. Those mysterious bags are soup mix, and as I discovered recently, they are the express route to a hearty, filling and super easy vegetable soup.
I love a steaming hot bowl of soup in the middle of winter, and this recipe makes a lot of soup. Which suits me perfectly, because I have enough for dinner, with loads left over to freeze for later. I regularly freeze soup during the winter months so I always have a meal ready to go in the freezer for those days when nothing goes to plan, or I am too tired to cook. In fact, I freeze so much soup I wrote a whole post on my process. And you can grab my condensed guide from my Resource Library so you always have my tips on hand. Simply click the link below or request the library password at the end of this post.
Now soup mix is not something I have previously used and if I am being completely honest, it wouldn’t have been high on my list of must-try’s had it not been for the packet that appeared in my monthly subscription box. I have to say that I am now a complete convert. Add some stock, a few vegetables and a good amount of seasoning, and you are well on your way to a substantial dinner with very little effort. All you need is a loaf of crusty bread or some soda bread to complete the meal.
So what is soup mix?
Whilst there are many different brands and variations on the market, soup mix is essentially just a mix of lentils, peas, beans and grains that add bulk and fibre to a meal.
Soup mix does not require soaking before use, so can be added straight into your soup liquid. It will also bulk up a simple meat and vegetable stew, giving it a hearty edge. And as soup mix requires just that little more time in the pot to soften to eating consistency, it is ideal for adding to the slow cooker.
Ingredient Substitutions for Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup
This slow cooker vegetable soup is what I refer to as a fridge cleaner. Don’t feel at all constrained by the recipe. I simply threw in the vegetables I had, so feel free to swap in whatever you have on hand. Also:
- If you can’t find soup mix in your local supermarket, you can easily make your own. Mix together 1/3 cup split peas, 1/3 cup green lentils and 1/3 cup barley and use this in place of the soup mix in the recipe.
- Barley is not gluten free. If you need a gluten free mix, and cannot find one locally, then simply use the ratios above but replace the barley with quinoa.
- Chicken stock can be used in place of the vegetable stock. Just be aware that the soup will no longer be vegan if using meat stock.
- Hearty root vegetables would work well in this soup. Try sweet potato or pumpkin, parsnip or celeriac.
- Kale would be a good replacement for the silverbeet or spinach.
Frequently asked Questions about soup mix
Do I have to soak soup mix?
Most soup mixes are generally made from quick cooked pulses and grains, or partially cooked pulses. Soup mix does not generally require soaking, however I would recommend you read the packet carefully to ensure that this is the case for the mix you have purchased.
Is soup mix gluten free?
Most soup mixes contain barley. Barley is not a gluten free grain. If you require a gluten free mix, either purchase a blend that is specifically labelled as gluten free or make your own given the proportions I have given above.
Can you put soup mix in the slow cooker
Yes you can. Soup mix is perfect for using in the slow cooker. This recipe is case in point.
Tips & Tricks for a delicious Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup
This recipe will make a lot of soup, so it is ideal for feeding a crowd or for stocking the freezer. I leave you with a few extra tips to help you make the most delicious soup for dinner:
- A ratio of 1 cup of soup mix to six cups of stock will produce a thick, hearty soup. Add a little less soup mix if you want a thinner soup.
- If you are short on time, don’t bother browning the onions and garlic. This is an additional step I like to take to maximise flavour in the slow cooker but it is not necessary.
- And if you are really short on time, cut up all the vegetables the night before. In the morning just toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker. Dinner will be done in less than five minutes.
- The soup will thicken on standing or freezing. Add a little extra water or stock when reheating to return it to a soup consistency.
- Freeze any leftovers in meal sized portions for ready made lunches and dinners. Make sure you check out my post on how to freeze soup for further tips.
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Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, extra*
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 1/2 litres (6 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 400 g (14 oz) tin of chopped tomatoes
- 125 g (1 cup) soup mix
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 large handfuls chopped spinach or silverbeet
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- Salt & pepper
- Turn the slow cooker to low to allow it to warm whilst gathering your ingredients.
- Saute the onion in olive oil in a small fry pan until lightly browned.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
- Place the browned onion and garlic into the slow cooker.
- Add the stock, carrot, celery, chopped tomatoes, soup mix, and oregano to the slow cooker.
- Season well with salt & pepper. Stir thoroughly
- Cook for 8 hours on low.
- Stir the chopped spinach or silverbeet, and the parsley, through the soup.
- Allow to stand for five minutes before serving.
- *The olive oil is only used if you are frying your onions and garlic. Omit it from the recipe if adding the onions directly to the slow cooker.
- A ratio of 1 cup soup mix: 6 cups stock will produce a thick, hearty soup. Add less soup mix if you want a thinner soup.
- If short on time, skip browning the onions and garlic.
- All the ingredients can be prepared the night before, and just placed in the slow cooker in the morning.
- The soup will thicken on standing. Simply add a little extra water or stock when reheating to thin the soup.
- Freeze leftovers in meal sized portions.
Update Notes: This post was updated on 14th February 2019 to add frequently asked questions and links for freezing soup.