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This vegetable sour soup packs many different flavors and aromas but for me, the fact that it’s spicy, sweet and sour, all at the same time, makes it a winner in my cookbook.

The Spicy Vegetable Sour Soup is my take on the classical Romanian sour soup that I grew up with as a child. My mother used to cook this type of soup for me, in different variations, all of them being sweet and sour. What can I tell you? We have a big sour soup tradition in Romania.

Close-up with four bowls of Spicy Vegetable Sour Soup on a wooden table.

What’s interesting about this soup is that the original recipe calls for a special ingredient called “borș”; this is the main ingredient responsible for the sour taste of the soup. Since we don’t have “borș” available, we’ll be using a combination of freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice, which thankfully won’t change the taste of the original soup too much.

If you’re curious, “borș” is a liquid ingredient used in Romanian and Moldovan cuisine to make the traditional sour soup. This ingredient consists of wheat or barley bran, sometimes sugar beet, fermented in water – the result is a slightly yellowish, sour liquid, which can also be drunk as such or can be used in cooking (eg: to make sour soup).

Besides that special sour taste, I also love this soup because it’s loaded with different vegetables and comes packed with plenty of healthy fiber. It’s spicy, a bit sweet and has that special sour taste that I grew up with. For me, this is a soup to die for!

Four bowls of Spicy Vegetable Sour Soup on a wooden table.

This recipe makes for 10-12 medium portions so it’s perfect if you have guests or, if you’re like me and you love your sour soup. I like to serve it on its own or with at a source of healthy fats. You can successfully pair this soup with things like an avocado, walnuts, coconut cream, full-fat raw cream (vegetarian), brie or cheddar cheese (vegetarian). They all work great to enrich the overall flavor of this very special dish.

If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turned out. And if you share a picture on Instagram, don’t forget to tag it #refreshmyhealth so I can see what you’ve made.

More soups to keep you warm and happy? I’ve got you covered! Start with my Easy Red Onion and Garlic Soup since it’s so easy to make and will warm you up in no time. Or how about this wonderful yellow cream soup: Very Simple Sweet Potato Cream Soup? And here’s another yellow cream soup: Porcini Mushrooms and Veggies Cream Soup (Vegan)? I also love this Spicy Colorful Veggies Sour Soup since it’s loaded with all sorts of plants and so hot. Enjoy them all and let me know what you think!

Have you tried sour soup before? Would you try this recipe? Let me know in the comments section below.

Four bowls of Spicy Vegetable Sour Soup on a wooden table.

Spicy Vegetable Sour Soup (Vegan)

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 10 portions
Author: Marcel Corbeanu
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This soup packs many different flavors and aromas but for me, the fact that it’s spicy, sweet and sour, all at the same time, makes it a winner in my cookbook.


  • 1 sweet potato (skin removed, cubed)
  • 500 g frozen vegetables mix (green peas, carrots, cauliflower)
  • 250-300 g frozen broccoli
  • 150 g frozen green beans
  • 1.5 stick celery (sliced)
  • 2 red onion (peeled, sliced big)
  • 1 small garlic head (peeled, sliced big)
  • 10 slices leeks
  • 1/3 red bell pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • white pepper whole (to taste)
  • black pepper grounded (to taste)
  • 3-4 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 lemon (juice only)
  • 1 lime (juice only)
  • 1.5 tsp Himalayan salt
  • water


  • First prepare the veggies: peel, chop or slice them as indicated.
  • Add all the veggies into your cooking pot, including white and black pepper, bay leaves and fresh basil.
  • Cover everything with water (1-2 cm on top of the veggies) and bring to a boil.
  • Cook on medium heat for about 20 min, or until the onions and the carrots are tender.
  • Add lemon and lime juice, together with Himalayan salt. Using a wooden spoon, mix gently a few times.
  • Now let the soup simmer for 5-10 minutes until it develops that sour taste that we’re after.
  • That’s it! Remove from heat, and serve as is or with 1-2 tbsp of full fat cream added into each soup bowl. Enjoy!


Most of the veggies I used were frozen, I just added them into my soup pot without any other preparation. Note that I don’t like to defrost them prior to using them in my soup.
In order to enrich the flavor and texture of this sour soup, you can add 1-2 tsp of raw full fat cream into your soup bowl.
All those veggies work great to compliment the spicy taste from the garlic, leeks and onions.
Using bay leaves and basil leaves with certainly add a lot of flavor to your soup, but will also leave your kitchen smelling very nicely hours after you’ve finished cooking.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Low-carb, Vegan, Whole30
Keywords: greens, simple soup, sour soup, spicy vegetable soup, vegan soup, vegetable soup, vegetables
Marcel Corbeanu

Marcel Corbeanu

Hi, I'm Marcel! I'm a health coach, I write about health and wellness and I love cooking healthy food with fresh and simple ingredients.


  • Monica says:

    This looks absolutely delicious! I am always looking for new recipes that are “casually vegan,” as I think of it – basically just a lot of veggies and seasonings, without a lot of specialty ingredients. This totally fits the bill! Half of my family is vegetarian so we will definitely be trying this soon.

  • David says:

    Looks so tasty and healthy! Haven’t heard the term “sour soup” before, so this was interesting to read about. Seems like you have found a good way to adapt the soup you grew up enjoying!

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