How to Make the Jacques Pepin Vegetable Soup Recipe At Home

The French chef Jacque Pépin is an iconic figure in the food world. Pépin began his long, illustrious career as the personal chef to French president Charles de Galle in the 1950s.

Upon moving to America, Jacques turned down a job as President Kennedy’s personal chef at the White House. Instead, he took a job with the Howard Johnson chain.

As his career took off, Pépin became a beloved television figure, New York Times food writer, and author of over 30 cookbooks. Pépin himself is an A to Z recipe book filing away recipes to reinvent them and use them at a later time.

One of these infamous recipes is his vegetable soup. Pépin’s wife calls it his “fridge” soup because he uses whatever is in the fridge. Below is his basic version, but he encourages everyone to use whatever you have in your fridge.

How To Make The Jacques Pepin Vegetable Soup Recipe At Home


  • 40 ounces of water (5 cups)
  • 1 rib of celery, diced small
  • 1 small white turnip, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cup of zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup of carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup of onion, diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups of salad greens, loosely packed
  • 3 tablespoons of instant grits
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup of Swiss cheese, shredded


  • In a large soup pot, bring the water to a boil.
  • Add all the vegetables with the salt. Bring the soup back to a boil for about 3 minutes. Pour the grits on top, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve. Spoon 1 teaspoon of olive oil or butter on each bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese on top.

What Can I Add To My Vegetable Soup To Add Some Extra Flavor?

Some folks get a little concerned that the vegetable soup may not be as flavorful because water is used instead of a pre-made stock. But no worries, it will be bursting with flavors from all the veggies. However, if you’re looking for a bit more zing to your soup, try adding one or more of these extra ingredients.

  • fresh or dried basil
  • fresh or dried thyme
  • herb blends like Italian seasoning
  • red pepper flakes
  • paprika
  • curry powder
  • dill
  • parmesan cheese
  • flavored croutons
  • pine nuts
  • rosemary

What Can I Eat With Vegetable Soup?

Vegetable soup is so light that just about anything goes well with it. Here are some healthy, crisp new ideas.

1. Sugar Snap Peas

An easy and tasty addition to your soup. Steam and drizzle some olive oil and garlic powder.

2. Air Fryer Cauliflower

Quick and easy. Add some sea salt and fresh pepper.

3. Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pine Nuts

A healthy and flavorful addition to your healthy soup.

4. Braised Bacon and Kale

The hearty flavor of the bacon and the crisp freshness of the kale make for a great combo.

5. Crash Hot Potatoes

A delicious cross between French fries and a baked potato.

6. Butter Roasted Sweet Potatoes

A simple, but deliciously filling addition to your meal.

7. Garlic Red Potatoes

Garlic is sure to bring out the flavors of the soup.

8. Herb and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinegarette

If you want to keep the meal light, but end up full, this salad is the way to go.

9. Oven Fried Zucchini

Crunchy Parmesan cheese breadcrumbs will be a hit with people of all ages.

10. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The sprouts go with everything.

What Does Vegetable Soup Do For Our Bodies?

Vegetable soup is loaded with nutrients that are great for us. Eating it regularly will help promote a number of healthy activities within our bodies.

1. Full of Antioxidants

Antioxidants help the body fight off free radicals. These organisms wreak havoc on our skin. They also help fight off cell damage that can lead to a multitude of diseases.

2. Promotes Digestion

All of those fibrous veggies help keep digestion flowing in the right direction. It can also help prevent gastrointestinal issues.

3. Promotes Heart Health

Having vegetables on a regular basis helps to prevent blockages in the arteries. It can also help lower blood sugar.

4. Promotes Bone Health

The calcium contained in the vegetable will help to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis.

5. Aids in Weight Loss

Vegetable soup is low in calories but loaded with fiber that will fill you up. You’re less likely to eat if you are full of healthy soup. The weight may start to melt right off.

6. Help Lower Blood Pressure

This soup is very low in sodium, so it will help if you’re on a mission to lower your pressure.

Can I Freeze My Vegetable Soup?

Yes, you can freeze that leftover soup. Chunky vegetable soup will keep for about 3 months, while a smoother soup will last for a year. The best way to freeze vegetable soup is to wait until it is room temperature. Then seal them in airtight containers. Finally, wrap each container with plastic wrap. This will prevent freezer burn.

What Are Some Fun Soup Facts?

  • In a poll done by the Campbell’s soup company, 95% percent of those polled said they like or love soup.
  • Americans eat more than 10 billion bowls of soup each year.
  • The most popular soup in the United States is chicken noodle.
  • The earliest evidence of soup found by archeologists goes back to 6000 BC and it was hippopotamus soup.
  • Condensed soup was invented by Campbell soup company chemist, John Dorrance in 1897.
  • Tomato soup was the first soup condensed and sold by Campbell’s.
  • January is National Soup Month.
  • Women are twice as likely to have soup for lunch than men.
  • February 4th is National Homemade Soup Day.
  • According to soup etiquette, you are only supposed to fill 75% of your spoon with soup.

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