Swamp Soup

$7.22 recipe / $0.90 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.62 from 49 votes
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Despite its “swampy” appearance, this soup is simply one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. If you like tomato soup, you’ll adore Swamp Soup. It’s like tomato soup on steroids and with a grilled cheese built right in. The broth is incredibly thick and hearty, it’s full of tons of vegetables that add texture and flavor, and let’s not forget those creamy, gooey bits of swiss cheese in every other bite. It’s TO DIE FOR.

Two bowls of swamp soup from above with oyster crackers and a bowl of swiss cheese cubes on the side

Soup-er Fast, Soup-er Good.

My favorite thing about this soup is that it’s incredibly fast and easy. It’s ready to eat as soon as it’s heated through, although you can always let it simmer a bit longer, if you want. And if you have some chopped carrots and celery stashed in your freezer (scroll down to the step by step photos if you’re wondering why you’d ever have that in your freezer), it goes even faster!

How to Serve Swamp Soup

As mentioned above, this soup has melty chunks of Swiss cheese floating around in every bowl. While you can add the Swiss cheese to the whole pot, if you don’t plan to serve it all in one sitting, I suggest adding the cheese to each bowl just before serving (after reheating). You’ll probably also want some sort of cracker or crusty bread for dipping!

Can I freeze it?

Yes indeed! This soup is great for stocking your freezer. After cooking, divide your soup into single servings, cool it completely in the refrigerator over night, then transfer to the freezer the next day. You can freeze in quart-sized freezer bags or any freezer-safe meal prep container.

Substitutes for Swiss Cheese

I love the subtle flavor of Swiss with this soup, but if Swiss isn’t your jam you can use mozzarella instead. Mozzarella melts in a similar way to Swiss, so you’ll get the same effect in the soup. Plus, mozzarella also goes great with tomato. If you don’t care about the melty aspect, a little crumbled feta would also be amazing sprinkled onto every bowl.

A red soup pot full of Swamp Soup with a bowl of Swiss cheese cubes on the side

Love tomato soup? Check out my Secret Ingredient Tomato Soup, too!

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Swamp Soup

4.62 from 49 votes
A thick, tomatoey vegetable soup with "swampy" bits of spinach and gooey swiss cheese make this unconventional Swamp Soup unforgettable!
Two bowls of Swamp Soup with a bowl of Swiss cheese on the side, plus a few oyster crackers
Servings 8 about 1.25 cups each
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • 3 cloves garlic ($0.24)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.32)
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (about 4 medium) ($0.30)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.46)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil ($0.30)
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano ($0.30)
  • 3 8oz. cans tomato sauce ($0.75)
  • 3 15oz. cans diced tomatoes ($1.35)
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth ($0.20)
  • 1 10oz. pkg frozen chopped spinach ($0.99)
  • 8 oz. Swiss cheese ($1.69)


  • Mince the garlic, dice the onion, peel and slice the carrots, and slice the celery. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery to a large soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.
  • Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes (with juices), vegetable broth, basil, and oregano to the pot. Stir to combine, then allow the soup to come to a simmer.
  • Once the soup is simmering, add the frozen spinach (no need to thaw). Stir the spinach into the hot soup until it has melted and heated through.
  • Once the spinach is thoroughly mixed into the soup, give the soup a taste and add salt if needed. I did not add any, but this will ultimately depend on the sodium content of your canned goods and vegetable broth.
  • Dice the swiss cheese into small cubes. Add a small handful of cubes to each bowl, then ladle the hot soup over top. Serve and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1.25cupsCalories: 235.95kcalCarbohydrates: 19.71gProtein: 12.5gFat: 12.75gSodium: 934.14mgFiber: 5.58g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

Close up of a bowl of Swamp Soup with a spoon lifting a bit and melted Swiss cheese pulling from the bowl

How to Make Swamp Soup – Step By Step Photos

Chopped onion, celery, carrots, and minced garlic in the soup pot

Dice one yellow onion, peel and slice 1/2 lb. carrots (about four carrots), slice three ribs celery, and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 Tbsp olive oil.

Pre-chopped carrot and celery in a freezer bag

Since most of my soups begin with 1/2 lb. chopped carrot and 3-4 ribs of celery, I just go ahead and chop up the rest of my carrots and the bunch of celery, and freeze it for the next time I make a soup. That way I don’t have to do as much chopping later. I just dump the bag of frozen veggies into my soup pot and go!

Sautéed vegetables in soup pot

Sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic over medium for about five minutes, or until the onions are soft.

Add tomatoes, herbs, and vegetable broth to soup pot

Next, add three 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce, three 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 Tbsp dried basil, 1 Tbsp dried oregano, and 1.5 cups vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine, then allow the soup to come up to a simmer.

Simmered soup with frozen spinach added

Once the soup comes up to a simmer, add a 10 oz. block of frozen chopped spinach (no need to thaw). You can use frozen bagged spinach, too, just estimate about 10 oz. Stir the spinach into the soup until it thaws and heats through.

Taste finished soup

Once the soup is heated through, give it a taste and add salt if needed. Mine did not need any additional salt, but that will depend on your taste buds and the salt content of your canned goods and vegetable broth.

Adding Swiss cheese to soup pot

Chop an 8 oz. block of Swiss cheese into small cubes. If you’re going to serve the entire pot of soup at one sitting, go ahead and stir the cubes of cheese into the soup pot (with the heat turned off). The residual heat will melt the cubes. If you’re going to be eating one or two bowls at a time, add the cheese cubes to each bowl, then ladle the hot soup over top.

A ladle full of Swamp Soup being lifted from the soup pot, viewed from the side

Sooooo gooey and good!

Two bowls of Swamp Soup with a bowl of Swiss cheese on the side, plus a few oyster crackers
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  1. I love this soup! I live alone so I make it and freeze it in silicone cupcake liners and transfer it into a gallon size ziplock bag so I have individual servings ready to go. I’ve been craving it so I just made a fresh batch.

  2. From Louisiana here. This is not swamp soup. No tomatoes. And turnip greens are used. Where are the beans and sausage? This soup should be green not red. This recipe looks good but it’s definitely not swamp soup. Just saying.

  3. Listing the cost of each ingredient is totally useless, irrelevant, and meaningless! Serves no purpose whatsoever. You’re just trying to validate what you feel is the basis of your blog.

    1. I’m not sure why you are choosing to be hostile. This recipe was published back in 2010 & updated in 2020. Of course, the cost was much different then. If you wanted to post constructive criticism, there’s no harm in it – but there is a huge difference between being constructive and being hateful.

  4. Wow! You must the in the US. Here in Canada those prices are double and triple. Some even more. I will still give it a try. Looks good!

  5. I know they’re not the budget-friendliest item, but my family and I love those little mini balls of mozzarella in this soup. :)

  6. I don’t understand how everyone is getting their carrots cooked by the end of this recipe — I’m chopping mine to the same thickness as indicated in the picture, and my carrots are still very hard and raw if I follow these instructions to the letter. I always simmer for awhile before adding the spinach just to make it more palatable. Am I missing a step? Lol

  7. Sounds great but I may leave the spinach out. It’s not my favorite. But then again it may get lost in such a lot of tomato!

  8. This is not my favorite recipe from budget bytes but I’ve made it a handful of times so that tells you it’s not bad. I use 2 cans of fire roasted diced, and 1 can of plain diced. I’ve done 3 cans of plain diced and it’s too bland. It’s super easy and fast to make so a good weeknight meal when you want something comforting with a good amount of veggies.

    1. Yes. There are a few listed where it says “SUBSTITUTES FOR SWISS CHEESE”. XOXO -Monti

  9. I made this tonight, while sick with Covid 19, and it hit the spot. I used frozen chopped kale instead of spinach because that’s what I had, I prefer kale over spinach in soups anyway. I didn’t have crackers or bread, but I had tortillas – so I cut a couple, coated them in oil and everything bagel seasoning, and baked them (following the recipe on this website!). It hit spot like nothing else, even though it’s 80 degrees. This will be my go-to soup recipe when I’m exhausted and/or under the weather. Perfect. No notes.

  10. This soup freezes so incredibly well! I am not a fan of leftovers at all, but I froze this one anyway. I was content letting it sit in the freezer forever, but my partner pulled it out and reheated it for lunch today. We didn’t have any Swiss cheese cubes, but we did have cheddar! Brilliant substitution! Make this soup! I know I’ll be making and freezing more.

    1. Yes! I even pre-cube and freeze the swiss cheese along with the soup (in a separate container, not actually in the soup) for extra easy reheating on days when I don’t have time or energy to cook.

  11. This was so good. I used beef broth instead of vegetable and fresh spinach instead of frozen. I also threw in  some homemade meatballs. Yummy! For the cheese I used jalapeño havarti.  Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. With food prices being so high I really appreciate recipes that are filling, cheap and taste good!