Karen’s Favorite All You Can Eat Basic Soup Recipe


Yesterday, I introduced you to Wellness Coach Karen Weeks, she was our guest on episode 8 of the Real Life, Real Passion podcast. We talked a lot about the importance of habits and of eating good food. Today Karen decided to share a recipe she originally found on Good Housekeeping that has become a family favorite.

Guilt Free Eating

This basic soup recipe is full of vegetables, so you can eat as much of it as you want without feeling guilty. Plus, there are many different variations of the basic recipe. I’ve included some popular ones below, and included a few links to get your creative juices flowing!

Karen always has some of this soup base in her freezer. Her family eats six or seven different variations of it and everyone likes it.

These are exactly the kinds of recipes I love. They are easy to make, easy to freeze, and easy to adapt in many different ways.

All You Can Eat Basic Soup Recipe

All You Can Eat Basic Soup Recipe

Author: Karen Weeks
  • 1/2 lb carrots
  • 1 1/2 medium onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 can whole tomatoes in juice (28 oz)
  • 1/4 small head of green cabbage
  • 3/8 lb green beans
  • 3 cups chicken broth (24 oz)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves (8-10 oz)
  1. Spray a 6 quart stockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Add carrots, onions, celery, and garlic to the pot and cook over medium-high heat for 8 minutes or until the vegetables soften and the onions start to turn translucent. Stirring occasionally.

  2. Add tomatoes with their liquid. They can easily be crushed by hand, or broken up with the side of a spoon. Add the cabbage, green beans, broth, water, salt and pepper. Bring to boiling over high heat. Stirring occasionally.

  3. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to high. Add in the zucchini and spinach and bring back up to a boil.

  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are fork tender.

Recipe Notes

This version of the basic soup recipe is actually half of what the original calls for. To make the full version you will need either 2 6 quart pots or a 12 quart stockpot.

Recipe Originally published at GoodHousekeeping.com.

This soup freezes very well.


Soup Variations

Emeril Lagasse's Creole Super Soup
  • 3 cups Basic Soup
  • 3 oz skinless chicken breast diced in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 oz sliced, fully cooked smoked sausage or kielbasa
  • 1 cup frozen okra, diced
  • 1/3 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 tsp Emeril's Original Essence Spice blend
  • 1/4 tsp gumbo file (optional)
  1. To 3 cups of the basic soup recipe, add the chicken breast, sausage, frozen okra, cooked rice, and Emeril's spice blend. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. 

  2. Remove from heat and stir in the gumbo file into the soup. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Do not boil the soup once the gumbo file has been added, or it may become bitter.


Michael Chiarello's Napa-Style Minestrone Super Soup

  • 2 cups Basic Soup
  • 1/2 cup drained and rinsed canned white kidney beans (cannellini)
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 oz ditalini or tubetti pasta (cooked according to label directions)
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. To 2 cups of the Basic Soup, add the cannellini beans, the dried basil and oregano. Bring the soup to boiling. Stir in the cooked pasta and stir.

  2. Top with the grated Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Lidia Bastianich's Lentil and Rice Super Soup
  • 3 cups Basic Soup
  • 1/2 cup cooked or drained, canned lentils
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tangerine
  1. To 3 cups of Basic Soup, stir in the drained or cooked lentils and cooked rice. Heat through.

  2. Top the soup with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with tangerine slices.


Ming Tsai's Hot and Sour Super Soup
  • 1 tsp hot oil
  • 2 tsp minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (white part only, reserve greens for garnish)
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp Asian seasame oil
  • 4 oz firm bean curd (tofu), diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 cups Basic Soup
  • 1 tangerine
  1. In 1 tsp of hot oil, saute the fresh ginger and the white part of the green onions until soft, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add the rice vinegar and soy sauce and heat to simmering.

  3. Stir in the white pepper, sesame oil, and tofu. Add 3 cups of the basic soup and simmer.

  4. Garnish with the reserved green part of the onions, thinly sliced. Serve with tangerine slices.


Dean Fearing's Southwestern Super Soup
  • 3 cups Basic Soup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 oz smoked or roasted skinless chicken breast cubed into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup canned hominy, drained
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 3 Tbsp ripe avocado, chopped
  • chopped fresh cilantro, to taste
  1. To 3 cups of Basic Soup, add the ground cumin, fresh lime juice, chicken, and hominy. Heat through.

  2. Meanwhile, cut 1 corn tortilla into 1/4 inch wide strips and heat on High in the microwave oven on a microwave-safe dish until crispy (about 1 1/2 minutes).

  3. Garnish the soup with tortilla strips, ripe avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro.


Don Pintabona's Italian Super Soup
  • 2 oz crumbled turkey sausage
  • 3 cups Basic Soup
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1/4 cups drained and rinsed canned butter beans
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a small non-stick sauce pan, cook the turkey sausage for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat until it looses its pink color. 

  2. Add 3 cups of Basic soup, the zucchini, beans, and dried basil. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer until the zucchini is tender (about 2 minutes).

  3. Pour into bowls. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.


For more variations, visit the Good Housekeeping website. The original Basic Soup recipe can be found here.

I also found these fun soup variations that build from the basic recipe:


  1. Donne, Tara. (2007). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a5878/soup-diet-beans-rice-ghk1007/
  2. Donne, Tara. (2007). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a8429/soup-diet-goulash-ghk1007/
  3. Donne, Tara. (2007). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a8403/soup-diet-thai-ghk1007/
  4. Donne, Tara. (2007). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a5583/soup-diet-southwest-chili-ghk1007/
  5. Donne, Tara. (2007). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a8378/soup-diet-greek-fish-ghk1007/
  6. Donne, Tara. (2007). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a6847/soup-diet-mexican-chicken-ghk1007/
  7. Donne, Tara. (2007). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a8353/soup-diet-minestrone-ghk1007/
  8. Hammock, Delia A. (2004). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/advice/a12416/third-annual-soup-diet-0302/
  9. Miller, Ellie. (2007). Good Housekeeping. Retrieved from http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a8327/soup-diet-basic-recipe-ghk1007/

Krista Palo

I'm Krista, the owner and creator of Evolve. I have a masters degree in Business Administration and I am passionate about development, motivation, and change. I love stories in all of their forms, and believe in continuous learning and the power of positivity.

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