Summer Garden Vegetable Soup

I wait all year long to make this soup – until I can pillage my own garden for the produce that fills this soup to brimming. Of course, the year that my zucchini plants failed (who can kill a zucchini plant, really??), I hit up my local grocery store for the goods.

Creamy and delicious, full of tender zucchini, corn, bright tomatoes, and flavorful seasonings, like basil and oregano, this soup is so heartening and filling. I tend to stay away from soups during the summer, but even on a warmer evening, this dreamy, healthful soup just hits the spot.

What To ServeI served this with some of my favorite (and easy!) rolls and it was a perfect summer supper.

Summer Garden Vegetable Soup

One Year Ago: Foil Packet Chicken with Snow Peas and Carrots
Two Years Ago: Cinnamon Rolls

Summer Garden Vegetable Soup

Yield: Serves 8

Summer Garden Vegetable Soup


  • 3 medium zucchini, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ΒΌ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk (can use fat-free or low-fat)
  • 1 Β½ cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the zucchini, basil, parsley and onion and saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Add the flour, salt and pepper and stir and cook for one minute. Gradually add the chicken broth, whisking or stirring constantly. Add the lemon juice; mix well. Bring the soup to a simmer, stirring to prevent sticking, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the zucchini is tender but still has some bite to it (it will continue cooking for a few more minutes). Add the tomatoes, evaporated milk, and corn.
  2. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the soup and simmer until the corn and zucchini are tender. Stir in the cheese just before serving.

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from my wonderful friend, Jenna

87 Responses to Summer Garden Vegetable Soup

  1. Bunnie says:

    I love every recipe I have tried off this site! This soup is a staple in my house. We add spinach (fresh or frozen) and any other vege we have on hand. This recipe is a keeper! The colrs are beautiful

  2. Denise says:

    This is almost identical to the recipe I make but mine calls for 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese! The cheddar cheese makes it taste like broccoli cheese soup! My son thought the recipe was broccoli cheese soup!!!

  3. allie says:

    Any tips on subbing out the chicken stock? Would love to make this for my veggie bf!

  4. Beth W says:

    Holy moly. My family ate. this. up!! I couldn’t get over it! And from start to finish cooking in half an hour. AMAZING! My 7th grader asked to take some in his thermos for lunch today and I had a bowl at lunch, too. Now we’ll have to resort to gladiatorial combat to see who gets the one remaining bowl tomorrow. πŸ™‚

  5. Jessica says:

    Is there a substitute for fresh tomatoes? Or even to replace tomatoes completely?

  6. Barbara says:

    I made this tonight. I added chopped celery, yellow squash, and sliced carrots. I also added an extra tablespoon of butter, along with more salt, and just a dash of garlic powder. I did not have fresh parsley, so I chopped fresh oregano, lemon balm, rosemary, and chives. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!! I will be cooking this again! Thanks for a great recipe.

  7. Heather says:

    I have no experience freezing soups. Do you think this soup could be frozen? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Heather – I think it’s definitely worth a try. The texture might change slightly but usually soups freeze pretty well (especially if they don’t have a lot of dairy products).

  8. […] Summer Garden Vegetable SoupΒ Served with Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches […]

  9. Shannon says:

    This was so quick and easy, I made it for lunch. I didn’t have evaporated milk, so I used cream. It was delicious!

  10. Brittany says:

    I just made this. It was delicious. My broth wasn’t ready when I added the flour, so it browned and made the soup a funny color, but otherwise, it was the perfect summer soup. Thanks for having such a great site. I haven’t been disappointed in anything I’ve tried on here.

  11. Melissa J says:

    Oops….it’s been so warm here I forgot it was still March…..craziness!!!! Can’t wait to make this soup again ~

  12. Melissa J. says:

    Hi Mel,

    I am new to your website and absolutely love it. Although it’s not summer yet April is already pretty warm in Texas…..soooo I made your summer garden medley soup today. It’s delicious!!!! I had to have a second helping. Thank you for all your recipes and cooking tips…..very thankful to have found you ~ Melissa J.

  13. Mel says:

    I’ve never tried it that way, so I’m not sure, Jill.

  14. Jill says:

    Do you think you could blend this soup before adding the corn so that all the healthy tomatoes and zucchini are more disguised from picky eaters?

  15. heidi says:

    Made this tonight. So fresh and yummy! I substituted halfof the zucchini with yellow squash for some color and poured in a little garlic salt as well. This is the closest thing to tomato soup I have ever gotten my husband to eat. I served it with grilled cheese sandwiches on the side. It tasted so good to dip it in the soup!

  16. Lindy says:

    This was absolutely delicious! Made this tonight and even my 3 year old was slurping it up! I will definitely be saving and making this recipe again! Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Mel says:

    maryj – I’ve only ever eaten this warm. You could probably keep this warm in the crockpot (for 1-2 hours on low) but I’ve never cooked it start to finish that way.

  18. maryj says:

    So I wan tto try this for a church function this week, we have an annual soup dinner and we are quite warm here already. May be a stupid question but is it served warm or cold. Can it be simmered in crock pot?

  19. Ariane says:

    I made this tonight but left out the onions because I only had red onions in the house and those didn’t seem very good to put in it. I also divided it by 3 so there’s just enough for only 2 of us. It reminded me of corn chowder, which I love. I think this is the first time it looked 100% like it’s supposed to, which made me very happy. It wasn’t completely filling (and had planned on making your French bread rolls to go with it, but didn’t have enough flour) so I’ll have to make sure those are there for the next time. I loved the taste of the zucchini and tomato and will put this in the “tasty and easy to make” pile.

  20. Shelly says:

    I am an avid follower of you!!! I don’t really love zucchini, but I must say that this soup was delicious! My husband even made the comment that he was full, but wanted to keep eating the soup because it was so good. Another success!!! πŸ™‚

  21. Melissa says:

    Absolutely wonderful! My husband complimented how good it was after almost every bite.

  22. stephanie says:

    Hey! This soup is fantastic:) Do you know the calorie count on this by the way???

  23. Chelsea says:

    Made this as part of Menu 4 and even my husband (who doesn’t love veggies) loved it and went for seconds. Thanks!

  24. Ashley Stott Wray says:

    Had this for dinner last night, and had leftovers for lunch today! So delicious! We didn’t have zuchinni this year so I subbed some yellow summer squash, although not as colorful, still totally delicious. Thanks for all the new delicious recipes you’ve passed along, I’ve loved every one that I’ve tried!

  25. allie says:

    We had this tonight and it was a hit with everyone, even the kiddos. Thanks for a fantastic recipe. I love your site!!!!

  26. Lisa says:

    I made this soup last week and it is on my list for this week again! I loved it… sent the link to my mother in law and she loved it too! It was creamy but not heavy…I loved the lemon… on top of that it was easy! Can’t wait to make it again! I am looking forward to trying more of your recipes…Thanks!

  27. Mel says:

    Jackie – I think the addition of potatoes is delicious! Glad you liked this recipe.

  28. jackie says:

    this was so tasty, we loooooved it! i added some potatoes from my uncles garden and it was perfect. thanks for another delicous recipe.

  29. Kayli says:

    This soup was as delicious as it was lovely! So glad I had a rainy day to make it– it was absolutely perfect.

  30. Jill says:

    I am making this soup for lunch tomorrow. I can’t wait. And your roll recipe? WOW! So very, very good. I now look for excuses to make them. Yum.

  31. Jen says:

    I made this soup and it is DELICIOUS!!! So so good! I shared this recipe with all of my co-workers and everyone loved it!

  32. G. says:

    Mel, I think you are right. I think I left it too long on high heat. We really loved the taste of this so I will definitely try again. I’ve made a lot of your recipes and they are all terrific. I plan on making your lo mein this week. πŸ™‚

  33. Kristi says:

    Melanie this was awesome! Eric, who is not a big fan of soup or zucchini, loved it. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Oh, and you’re still missed around these parts πŸ˜‰

  34. Tarnation says:

    Posted your yummy recipe today on my blog. Thanks for sharing.

  35. Heather says:

    This looks yummy!! Don’t feel bad, I killed my zucchini plant this year too!

  36. Melissa says:

    Wow, we just had this for dinner and it was one of the yummiest soups ever! Amazing. Even my picky kids loved it. Thanks for the all the great recipes – this one is definitely a real winner!

  37. Yvette says:

    This was a HUGE hit…thanks for the wonderful recipe. I love your site!

  38. I tried a variation of this tonight for supper! Yum!

  39. Tarnation says:

    I noticed the lactose intolerant comment and thought I would respond. I believe that any milk would work in this recipe. However, I buy liquid lactase and added it to my daughters bowl of soup allowing enough time to break done the lactose. I plan ahead and do this or I use her lactose free milk which I make myself using the lactase drops.

  40. Tarnation says:

    This soup is wonderful. Everyone gobbled it up. I made one addition and topped it with crumbled crisp bacon.

  41. Katie Organ says:

    Fabulous! Made this tonight and LOVED every mouthful, and believe me there was a lot of mouths full! I always make your french bread rolls and finally I tried them using all whole wheat flour and they were just as amazing, if not better! Can’t believe I didn’t do that sooner. Soooo good with the soup too. Yum, yum, yum.

  42. danielle says:

    This was really tasty. (I ended up adding 1/2 cup parmesan….) Even my vegetable squeamish husband ate 2 bowls. We served it with our favorite basic breadsticks. I will make this again and again…the fresh corn on the cob was so yummy and I used halved cherry tomatoes. Thanks!

  43. hyacynth says:

    Also, ooops. I just saw one of the other answers about the milk question. Sorry!

    • Mel says:

      Hyacynth – that’s ok! I was just about to respond to your comment and let you know that I think any type of milk (or cream) could be used to thicken the roux.

  44. hyacynth says:

    I just went to the store to buy some missing ingredients, and I sent my helpers to get evaporated milk without checking the ingredients … which are not to my liking.
    Wondering if I can sub half and half for the evaporated milk and get a similiar effect?

  45. CaSaundra says:

    Ohhh this sounds heavenly! So fresh and flavorful!

  46. Jessica P says:

    I saw this two nights ago and made it that night for dinner. Only problem: my 3 kids under 3 brain mistook a cucumber for a zucchini. Duh! I realized my mistake when I started cutting the cucumber and just thought I’d throw it in anyway. To add more green, I also did some home grown green beans and sauteed them with the cucumber and onions. It was a hit. At dinner, we had a contest on who could eat the most colors. I loved it so much that I took it to my friend’s house the next day for a taste test. I ended up leaving all the leftovers there because her daughter who is super picky wanted it. I think getting her to eat it and ask for more is the true test that this is a fantastic (and easy to make) soup. Super cheers to you!!

    • Mel says:

      Jessica – three kids under three? Well, then you are certainly entitled to mistakes in the kitchen! I loved all of your adaptations…thanks for including them! I’m so glad this was a hit with your family and your friend!

  47. SJ says:

    I am so excited to try this and use my zucchini in something new. Thanks!

  48. G. says:

    I made this tonight…It was delicious! But, for some reason the milk seemed curdled. It didn’t taste bad but it sort of separated. Can you think of what I could have done wrong?

    • Mel says:

      G. – hmmm, I’m not sure why the milk would have seemed curdled unless it boiled at too high a heat for too long. Once it comes to a boil, turn it down quickly to medium-low. If you did that and it still curdled…well, then, it’s a mystery to me!

    • Julie says:

      Mine did the same thing. Doesn’t affect the taste, but the look is kind of gross. Must have boiled it too long I guess?

  49. jessica says:

    We made this last night and it was so good! I felt so healthy and happy to use up things from my garden πŸ™‚ You are a dinner saver. Thank you!

  50. Kari says:

    I made this today, sooo yummy! I added some quinoa I had leftover from another dinner and chopped my zucchini smaller so the picky kid can’t pick it out. Thanks!!

  51. grace says:

    i love the creamy aspect of this! all the garden veg soups i’ve seen have been brothy, which is fine, but sometimes i really want some creaminess! πŸ™‚

  52. Jenn says:

    I killed my zucchini plant this year too. I got one perfect zucchini and then it went kaput on me. Looks like a great soup!

  53. Lisa says:

    Any recommendations on evaporated milk substitutes? My mother is lactose intolerant so I normally use her lactaid milk while cooking, but I haven’t found any evaporated/condensed/powdered milks that are lactose free.

    • Mel says:

      Lisa, I think this recipe is pretty adaptable to other types of milk. I haven’t used lactaid milk in cooking, but it seems like it should work just fine as a substitute for the evaporated milk. You basically just want some creaminess to help thicken the roux (flour/butter) and make the soup a bit heartier.

  54. shanna says:

    I can’t believe I’ve gone FOUR MONTHS and haven’t noticed you missing from my blog list post updater thing-a-majig! I’m back on track and following you again, but holy moly I have a lot of catching up to do!!!

  55. BertleMama says:

    I saw this and HAD to make it. We just finished eating it for dinner and LOVED IT!!!! Thanks for all the Awesome recipes. We made the oatmeal chocolate caramel bars last night, delish, I’m trying to not think of all the calories I consume with those. Thanks again for all the yumminess, keep it comin!

  56. Kari says:

    My sister just told me about your website. So – this soup was my first of your recipes. It was SO good!! My husband and I loved it and so did our kids – a vegetable soup, who’d of thought they’d have seconds, and thirds? Delicious. Thanks a million.

  57. This looks so absolutely fabulous! I came on your site today to steal the links to my 2 favs of yours: Balsamic Black Bean Salsa, and your Taco meat. They will appear in a post tomorrow! I made them both for a church party and everyone thought they were fabulous!

  58. Tasha says:

    Totally making this tonight! I know it’s hot, but I can never say no to a yummy veggie packed soup! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  59. Katie Organ says:

    This looks fabulous and healthy(always a plus)!! Especially after making your chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake(to die for) and pesto pasta salad(amazingly yummy) on Saturday and nearly eating enough for 5 people all on my own! Definitely on the meal plan for this week.

  60. StephenC says:

    It’s been so hot in Denver we’ve stayed away from soups. Although I’m getting an idea for a room temp soup with some of the wax beans and green beans we’ve got. We do hope for some gazpacho soon though when enough tomatoes are ripe.

  61. Kim in MD says:

    This looks incredible, Melanie! I am also one to steer clear of soups in the summertime, but I will definately make this on the first day when the temps are below 80 degrees! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  62. yum! I can’t wait to try this. And don’t worry, I killed my zucchini plants for the second year in a row. I used to think they were indestructible, and would grow in anything, but I’ve changed my mind. I think we got 4 total zucchini from 3 plans. At least they’re cheap to buy this time of year!

  63. I expected this to be broth based, but love that it isn’t! It looks delicious.

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