Beet Greens Vegetable Soup
Beet Greens Vegetable Soup, a simple veggie-packed soup mixed with leafy beet greens that can be made on the stove top, in a slow cooker, or in a pressure cooker. A tasty soup recipe to reduce food waste!
Did you know beet tops are edible? They're delicious in sauces, smoothies, salads…and are even a great green to add to vegetable soups for an added nutrient punch.
👉 Here’s why you should be adding beet greens to your favorite vegetable soups:
- It’s comforting. It's the grown-up version of your childhood vegetable soup. With tons of flavor from onions, celery, garlic, and the beet greens, it’s the perfect way to utilize vegetables from root-to-stem.
- It fights food waste. Most people don't know beet tops are edible and throw them away. This recipe was created to help you utilize those under-appreciated beet leaves.
- It can be made on the stovetop, pressure cooker, or Instant Pot. No matter what cooking method you prefer, we've got you covered and have included three ways to cook this soup.
Ready to learn how to use those beet greens in an easy plant-based soup? Let’s do it!
🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Prep beet tops
First, cut beet greens from the stem and place in a colander and run under water, rinsing well to remove any dirt.
Remove any hard stems (save them for homemade scrap soup!), reserving the soft beet leaves. Then chop the leaves into thin strips so they're easier to eat when cooked in the soup.
2️⃣ Step Two: Soften the vegetables
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add diced beets, onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to the pot and cook until they begin to soften.
3️⃣ Step Three: Simmer the soup
Next, add drained white beans, bay leaves, vegetable broth, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the soup pot and increase heat to bring the soup to a boil.
Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to let the vegetables release their flavor.
4️⃣ Step Four: Add beet tops and serve
Finally, remove the soup from the heat and stir in the beet greens. Add red pepper flakes and more salt and pepper, to taste. Serve and enjoy immediately, or cool and store in the refrigerator or freeze for later use.
🍲 Slow cooker + Instant Pot option
This soup is also an easy option in both the slow cooker and in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot.
- Slow cooker instructions: Add the oil, beets, onion, celery, carrots, white beans, bay leaves, broth, and salt and pepper to the pot. Cook on medium for 1 hour, then stir in beet leaves and season to taste before serving.
- Pressure cooker instructions: Add the oil, beets, onion, celery, and carrots to the pot and, using the sauté setting, cook until vegetables begin to soften. Then add the beans, bay leaves, broth, salt, and pepper, and cook on the high pressure soup setting for 10 minutes. Remove lid carefully, stir in the beet greens, and season before serving.
❓ Recipe questions + quick tips
Beet stems are edible and can be eaten. In fact, they’re delicious in sauces like pestos or chimichurris, in soups or to season vegetable broths, and even sautéed as a side dish. They can be treated similar to Swiss chard, but with an earthy, slightly bitter taste.
Beet leaves are a healthy leafy green that can be added to soups, salads, smoothies, and sauces. They are high in iron, vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and fiber (USDA Food Nutrient Database).
Beet skins are safe to eat and do not need to be peeled before cooking. However, if you want to peel your beets, it's best to cook them first. Once tender, their skins rub off easily.
If you’ve already cut the beet leaves from the stems, stick the stem directly into a glass of water to keep them hydrated. If the greens are still attached to the stems and beetroot, stick the actual beet into water and it will absorb and keep the greens fresh.
Beet tops and beet stems are great for flavoring soup stocks. Simply place them in a pot with other scrap vegetables, fill with water, season with salt and herbs, and simmer for one hour. Check out our Beet Top Vegetable Broth for the full recipe.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips and tricks
❤️ Take advantage of beet season.
The best time of year to cook soup with beet greens is when beets are in season, which is typically year-round in California and May through November in most other parts of the United States.
♻️ Reuse beet scraps in vegetable broth.
Make this recipe even more sustainable by using any beet scraps (stems, peels, leaves, ends of the roots) to flavor homemade soup stocks.
🍲 Make a big batch of soup for later.
This soup is perfect for big batch cooking! Use the recipe card below to increase the serving size for the ingredient amounts needed to make a large pot and freeze for future use.
🌿 More recipes using beet greens
We LOVE using obscure ingredients and root-to-stem cooking techniques to reduce our food waste and be more sustainable eaters. Here are a few other ideas for using up beet tops:
Beet Greens Vegetable Soup Recipe
- 1 bunch beets with greens
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 whole celery stalks, with leaves, sliced
- 3 whole garlic cloves, minced
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 1 15-ounce can white (cannellini) beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- Prepare beet tops: Cut beetroot from the stem. Cut the beet greens from the stems and place in a colander or bowl to wash, rinse well to remove excess dirt, then set aside to dry.
- Prepare and simmer soup: To a large soup pot over medium heat, add oil. After oil is heated, add diced onion, celery slices, and sliced carrots to the pot and cook until onions and celery start to soften and carrots begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook 2 minutes more, until it begins to brown and become fragrant. Add bay leaves and vegetable broth, white beans, and a pinch of salt and pepper and increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
- Serve soup: When soup has cooked for 30 minutes, remove from heat and stir in beet greens. Add red pepper flakes and more salt and pepper to taste.
- Slow cooker instructions: Add the oil, onion, celery, carrots, white beans, bay leaves, broth, and salt and pepper to the pot. Cook on medium for 1 hour, then stir in beet leaves and season to taste before serving.
- Pressure cooker instructions: Add the oil, onion, celery, and carrots to the pot and, using sauté setting, cook until vegetables begin to soften. Then add the beans, bay leaves, broth, salt, and pepper, and cook on the high pressure soup setting for 10 minutes. Remove lid carefully, stir in the beet greens, and season before serving.
- Notes: Beet stems are edible. Instead of throwing beet stems out, you can add to soup stocks for extra flavor, like in our Beet Top Vegetable Broth. In this recipe you can add the stems to the broth and then remove before serving (use twine to tie them together for easy removal).
- Tools Needed: knife set, cutting board, colander or large mixing bowl, large soup pot
- Prep Ahead: Wash and dry beet leaves up to a day before serving. We do not recommend washing and drying beet leaves too far ahead of cooking because they will become wilted. To prevent wilting of cut beet leaves, place the stems in a cup of water in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
- Leftovers and Storage: To store leftovers, first bring soup to room temperature and then store in airtight containers. This soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days and in the freezer for up to 2-3 months (or more). To rethaw, simply place in refrigerator overnight or on the counter for a few hours before reheating.
- Nutrition Notes: This simple vegetable soup with beet greens is completely plant-based (great for vegans), gluten-free, and contains a small amount of oil that you can substitute with water if you’re looking for an oil-free soup recipe. It is high in fiber, iron, and vitamin K.