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Vietnamese vegetable soup: Top 11 flavorful and healthy picks

29/01/2024 5.334

Among the myriad of Vietnamese delicacies, Vietnamese vegetable soup stands out as both nourishing and flavorful, reflecting the country's agricultural abundance. Let’s embark on a culinary journey through the aromatic world of Vietnamese vegetable soup, exploring traditional recipes and the vibrant culture that surrounds them.

Vietnamese vegetable soups

Vietnam travel, renowned for diverse landscapes and warm hospitality, is also a treasure trove of culinary delights. Vietnamese food is celebrated for its fresh ingredients, balanced flavors, and unique cooking techniques. Among the plethora of Vietnamese dishes, soups hold a special place, offering comfort, nutrition, and a taste of tradition. In this article, we will focus on the soul-warming Vietnamese vegetable soup and its various recipes that grace dining tables across the country.

1. An overview of Vietnamese vegetable soup

Vietnamese vegetable soup, commonly known as "canh," is revered for its nutritional value and aromatic flavors. Vietnamese soups are typically prepared with an assortment of fresh Vietnamese vegetables, aromatic herbs, and sometimes meat or seafood, creating a harmonious blend of tastes and textures. The diverse geography of Vietnam provides an abundance of Vietnamese soup ingredients, resulting in a wide variety of Vietnamese vegetable soups that cater to different tastes and preferences.

Vietnamese vegetable soups

2. Top 11 most popular Vietnamese vegetable soup recipes

2.1. Vietnamese vegetable soup with potato, carrot and chayote (canh rau cu)

Vietnamese vegetable soup with potato, carrot, and chayote, locally known as "canh rau cu," is a wholesome dish that combines the richness of pork bones with the earthy sweetness of potato and carrot, along with the subtle crunch of chayote. Here's how you can prepare this delightful soup for your family:


  • 500g of pork bones
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 chayote
  • 1 shallot
  • Salt, seasoning powder, pepper


  • Clean and chop the pork bones into pieces. Boil them to remove impurities and odor.
  • Add the bones to a pot along with the shallot and water. Simmer until the bones are tender.
  • Peel and dice the potatoes, carrots, and chayote into small bite-sized pieces. Slice the shallot.
  • Once the bones are soft, add the carrots to the pot with salt and seasoning powder. Cook until the carrots start to soften.
  • Add the potatoes and chayote. Simmer until all vegetables are tender.
  • Adjust the seasoning, adding pepper and the sliced shallots. Turn off the heat. Serve this Vietnamese vegetable soup with rice. 
Vietnamese vegetable soups

2.2. Vietnamese watercress soup (canh cai xoong)

Canh cai xoong is a light and refreshing Vietnamese vegetable soup featuring the peppery taste of watercress combined with succulent shrimp. Here's how you can prepare this invigorating soup:


  • 300g of watercress
  • 150g of fresh shrimp
  • Seasoning granules, sugar, salt, shallots


  • Remove the tough stems and wilted leaves from the watercress. Soak in salted water, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Peel and devein the shrimp. Crush them slightly with shallots. Marinate the shrimp with seasoning granules, salt, and sugar.
  • Heat oil in a pot, sauté the shallots until fragrant. Add the shrimp and stir until cooked. Pour in water and bring to a boil.
  • Finally, add the watercress to the boiling water. Adjust the seasoning, then turn off the heat.
Vietnamese vegetable soups

2.3. Vietnamese malabar soup (canh mong toi)

Vietnamese malabar soup combines the sweetness of crab with the freshness of malabar spinach, creating a comforting and nutritious dish. Follow these steps to prepare this delectable Vietnamese vegetable soup:


  • 300g of field crabs
  • 1 bunch of malabar spinach
  • Salt, seasoning granules


  • Clean the crabs thoroughly, removing the shells and gills. Crush the crab meat or grind it with a little salt.
  • Soak the malabar spinach in salted water, then rinse and cut into small pieces.
  • Pour water into a pot, add the crabs, and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally until the crab meat solidifies.
  • Push the crab meat to one side and add the malabar spinach. Season with salt and seasoning granules.
  • Cook until the malabar spinach is almost tender, then add the crab meat back in. Stir and cook for another minute. Serve this Vietnamese vegetable soup with rice.
Vietnamese vegetable soups

2.4. Vietnamese mustard green soup (canh cai be xanh)

Vietnamese mustard green soup features the mild bitterness of mustard greens complemented by savory minced pork. Follow these steps to create this delightful and healthy Vietnamese vegetable soup:


  • 2 mustard green plants
  • 200g of minced pork
  • Ginger, shallots, green onions, sugar, seasoning granules, salt, chili peppers


  • Mix the minced pork with shallots, chili peppers, seasoning granules, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Shape into small meatballs.
  • Soak the mustard greens in salted water, then rinse and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Boil water and add the meatballs. Cook until they float to the surface, then gently move them aside.
  • Add the mustard greens without stirring to avoid breaking the meatballs. Let it simmer for a while until the greens are tender.
  • Stir gently, adjust the seasoning, and turn off the heat. 
Vietnamese vegetable soups

>>> Check out other famous Vietnamese foods also!

2.5. Vietnamese amaranth soup (canh rau den)

Canh rau den is a simple yet flavorful Vietnamese vegetable soup that features the earthy taste of amaranth leaves and succulent shrimp. Here's how you can prepare this nutritious and delicious soup:


  • 300g of amaranth leaves
  • 150g of fresh shrimp
  • Shallots, garlic, salt, seasoning granules, sugar, pepper


  • Peel and devein the shrimp. Crush them slightly with shallots and garlic. Marinate the shrimp with salt, seasoning granules, sugar, and pepper.
  • Clean the amaranth leaves thoroughly, removing tough stems and wilted parts. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pot. Sauté the garlic until fragrant. Add the shrimp and stir until cooked. Pour in water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the amaranth leaves to the boiling water. Cook until the leaves are tender but still green. Adjust the seasoning, then turn off the heat.
Vietnamese vegetable soups

2.6. Vietnamese vegetable soup with tomato (canh ca chua)

Vietnamese vegetable soup with tomato is an easy-to-make yet heart-warming Vietnamese soup. Here's how you can prepare this comforting soup:


  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 chopped shallots, 2 spring onions, a handful of cilantro
  • Fish sauce, pepper, salt
  • 2 eggs


  • Sauté the shallots in a pot until fragrant.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir-fry until they soften.
  • Pour in water and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes.
  • In a bowl, whisk the eggs and add finely chopped spring onions, pepper, fish sauce, and salt.
  • Gently pour the egg mixture into the simmering soup, stirring slowly to create silky egg ribbons.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro before serving hot.
Vietnamese vegetable soups

2.7. Vietnamese soup with bitter gourd (canh kho qua)

Canh kho qua is a nutritious and slightly bitter Vietnamese vegetable soup loved for its health benefits. The bitterness of the gourd is balanced by the sweetness of pineapple, creating a harmonious flavor profile. Here’s how to make it:


  • 300g of chicken (breast or thigh), chopped
  • 1 bitter gourd, deseeded and sliced
  • 1/4 pineapple, sliced
  • Salt and cilantro
  • Fish sauce and sugar


  • Cook the chicken in a pot with salt until tender.
  • Add pineapple slices and continue simmering for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add bitter gourd and cook for 1-2 minutes until tender.
  • Season with fish sauce and a bit of sugar.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot.
Vietnamese vegetable soups

2.8. Vietnamese soup with river-leaf creeper (canh la giang)

Vietnamese soup with river-leaf creeper features tender chicken, fragrant lemongrass, and the unique flavor of river-leaf creeper. Here’s how to make this nutritious Vietnamese vegetable soup:


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 3 pairs of chicken feet
  • 1 bunch of river-leaf creeper (la giang)
  • Lemongrass, ginger, chilies
  • Fish sauce, salt, sugar, broth powder


  • Sauté the garlic in a pot, then add the chicken, water, lemongrass, and ginger. Simmer until the chicken is tender.
  • Season with salt, fish sauce, sugar, and broth powder. Add chilies for spice.
  • Add the river-leaf creeper, water spinach, and water celery. Simmer briefly.
  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs.
Vietnamese vegetable soups

>>> Learn more about Northern Vietnamese food!

2.9. Vietnamese zucchini soup (canh bi xanh)

Vietnamese zucchini soup is a light and refreshing soup that highlights the mild flavor of zucchini. It's quick to make and perfect for a warm, comforting meal. Follow this Vietnamese soup recipe:


  • 1 zucchini
  • Dried shrimp, soaked
  • Spring onions
  • Salt, sugar, fish sauce


  • Sauté spring onions, add soaked dried shrimp, and stir-fry.
  • Add zucchini slices and stir briefly.
  • Pour in boiling water and simmer until the zucchini is tender.
  • Season with salt, sugar, and fish sauce to taste.
  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs.
Vietnamese vegetable soups

2.10. Vietnamese pumpkin soup (canh bi do)

Vietnamese pumpkin soup is a hearty and flavorful soup featuring sweet pumpkin, succulent shrimp, and earthy mung beans. Here’s how to make this comforting Vietnamese vegetable soup that showcases the richness of Vietnamese flavors:


  • Pumpkin
  • 150g of shrimp
  • A handful of split mung beans
  • Shallots, spring onions, coriander 
  • Fish sauce, sugar, pepper


  • Sauté the shallots, add the shrimp, and cook until done.
  • Boil the split mung beans until soft. Add pumpkin pieces and cook until tender.
  • Season with fish sauce, sugar, and pepper. Garnish with spring onions and coriander.
  • Serve this Vietnamese vegetable soup with rice.
Vietnamese vegetable soups

2.11. Vietnamese soup with sponge gourd (canh muop)

Canh muop features flavorful meatballs and tender sponge gourd slices. This Vietnamese vegetable soup is both light and satisfying, making it a popular choice in Vietnamese daily meals. Check out the following Vietnamese soup recipe:


  • Sponge gourd
  • Minced pork, seasoned with salt, pepper, and other spices
  • Ginger and spring onions
  • Cornstarch
  • Fish sauce, salt, sugar


  • Prepare meatballs with minced pork, ginger, spring onions, and cornstarch. Season with salt, pepper, and fish sauce.
  • Boil water, add meatballs, and cook until they float to the surface.
  • Add sponge gourd slices and cook until tender.
  • Season with salt, sugar, and fish sauce to taste.
  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs.
Vietnamese vegetable soups

>>> Check out this detailed Vietnam food list!

Vietnam is a culinary paradise that offers a wide array of delectable dishes, catering to various tastes. Beyond soups, the country boasts a rich culinary tradition that spans from north to south. Travelers seeking an immersive experience in Vietnamese cuisine can embark on a gastronomic journey in key cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu QuocNha TrangHoi An, and Ha Long. Each city offers unique regional specialties, providing a flavorful adventure for food enthusiasts.

For those looking to indulge in both exquisite cuisine and luxurious accommodation, Vinpearl presents an enticing option. Vinpearl is renowned for its exceptional hospitality, seamlessly blending Vietnamese charm with world-class service. These hotels and resorts are designed to offer guests a comfortable and relaxing stay, ensuring a memorable experience during their visit.

Vietnamese vegetable soups

Additionally, visitors can explore the enchanting world of VinWonders, a renowned system of entertainment complexes that promises fun-filled adventures for visitors of all ages. With thrilling rides, captivating shows, and immersive experiences, VinWonders is the perfect destination for families, friends, and adventure seekers.

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu QuocVinpearl Nha TrangVinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long to indulge in the best of Vietnamese hospitality, cuisine, and entertainment!

Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its diverse range of soups, each offering a unique blend of flavors, textures, and aromas. Whether you prefer the comforting warmth of canh rau cu or the refreshing simplicity of canh bi xanh, Vietnamese vegetable soups are sure to delight your taste buds and nourish your body. By exploring these authentic recipes and mastering the art of Vietnamese soup-making, you can bring the rich culinary heritage of Vietnam into your own kitchen. So, gather your Vietnamese soup ingredients, don your apron, and embark on a culinary journey to discover the true essence of Vietnamese soups. Happy cooking!

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