Best soup recipes for those chilly days
The best soup recipe you’ve ever tasted may be something as simple as clear broth. No matter how simple or elaborate a soup recipe may be, if it tastes good, it can bring you warmth and comfort any time of the day. If you love soup so much, you can amp up some of the good recipes you have and make them the best soup recipes ever.
A simple cauliflower soup can become decadent if it’s a bit more creamy or has a kick with the spices. Baked potato soup can become more delicious with cheese or meat. Read on for some of the most fantastic and best soup recipes.
Soups as Starters or Full Meals
By definition, soup is a flavorful and nutritious liquid food that can serve as an appetizer, a full meal, or a light snack. It has become many people’s comfort food and family’s generational recipes. The best thing is to have any hearty soup for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Some of the most common ones are vegetable soup, beef soup, lentil soup, cheese soup, and a ton of others that are super easy to make. From vegetable soups like butternut squash soup, tomato soup, and black bean soup to meat soup like chicken tortilla soup and tortellini soup to carb soup like lasagna soup or rice porridge, they can be delicious, hearty, and filling.
5 Best Soup Recipes to Try
While the soup is liquid, don’t dismiss it as an easy or overrated course yet. There are plenty of easy soup recipes for sure, but there are also complex and sophisticated recipes that can make this liquid food all the more appetizing and special. Below are some of the best soup recipes to try in your kitchen if you need some comfort food.
Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup
Perhaps one of the easiest and most common soups to make. It is made with noodles and meat, so it is a filling meal all on its own. This recipe just might give your favorite one from when you were sick as a child a run for its money.
- 2 ½ lb. of bone-in chicken thighs
- 10 cups of chicken broth
- 3 cups or about 8oz. of uncooked egg noodles
- ½ teaspoon of salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon of pepper to taste
- One tablespoon of canola oil
- One large onion, chopped
- One garlic clove, minced
- Four celery ribs, chopped
- Four medium carrots, chopped
- Two bay leaves
- One teaspoon of minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- One tablespoon lemon juice
- In a deep stockpot, heat oil over medium to high heat. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until the skin becomes dark golden brown.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and discard the skin. Discard the drippings or chicken oil but leave two tablespoons.
- Add the onions and garlic to the drippings and cook over medium to high heat until golden brown.
- Add the broth and stir to keep the ingredients from sticking to the bottom. Bring the broth to a boil.
- Return chicken to the pot. Add the other ingredients: celery, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme. Reduce the heat and simmer with pot cover until the chicken is tender.
- Add the noodles and cook until they are tender. Remove from heat. Separate the chicken and, once cool enough, remove the meat from the bones.
- Shred or cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and place it back in the pot. Discard the bay leaves.
- Add in the parsley and lemon juice. Add more seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot and enjoy.
Related Article: Stock vs. Broth – What’s the Key Difference?
French Onion Soup
Onion is an American staple in every menu in every restaurant and diner. Whether fried, baked or made into soup, many people love onions. Even if you’re not a fan of onion’s smell or taste, you might change your mind when you taste this recipe.
- 4 of cups thinly sliced onions
- One garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup of butter
- 6 cups of water
- Eight beef bouillon cubes
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 6 slices of French bread (about ¾ inch thick), buttered and toasted
- Six slices of Swiss cheese
- In a large covered saucepan, cook the onions and garlic in butter over medium to low heat until they are tender and golden. Stir occasionally to avoid burning them at the bottom.
- Add water, bouillon cubes, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Pour hot soup into six oven-safe bowls. Top each bowl with a slice of French bread. Cut each slice of cheese in half and place it over the bread.
- Broil until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Another simple and easy soup recipe is cream of mushroom soup. It is common, and you can order it in many restaurants and even buy a canned version in the groceries, but where’s the fun in that? Cook up your own with this simple but delicious recipe.
- Two cans of 14oz. chicken broth, or you can make your own
- 1 cup of half-and-half cream
- ½ lb. of sliced fresh mushrooms
- Two tablespoons of butter
- ¼ cup of chopped onions
- Six tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon of pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium to high heat. Saute the mushrooms and onion until they are tender and golden.
- Mix the all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, and one can of broth until smooth. Stir the mixture into the sauteed mushroom.
- Stir in the remaining can of broth. Bring the soup to a boil and cook until thickened, occasionally stirring to avoid burning the bottom.
- Reduce heat and stir in the cream. Simmer, uncovered until flavors are blended. Serve hot and preferably with bread.
Egg Drop Soup
Perhaps the easiest recipe on this list, egg drop soup, is familiar and delicious. You probably even have all the ingredients in your pantry already. If not, you can whip them up yourself without running to the store.
- 3 cups of chicken broth, canned or homemade
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons of cold water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 green onion, sliced
- In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil over medium heat. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth and gradually stir into the broth. Bring to a boil, cook, and stir until thickened.
- Reduce heat. Drizzle the beaten egg into the hot broth while constantly stirring, so it doesn’t thicken in one area. Remove from the heat and stir in the onion. Enjoy it while it’s hot.
This one is for all of the vegetable lovers out there. This recipe yields colorful bowls of vegetable soup with a boost of carbs. While minestrone originated from the Roman Empire and is mostly an Italian recipe, many Americans love them and have adapted the recipe.
- One and ½ cups of uncooked spiral pasta or small pasta shells
- ¼ cup of premade pesto
- 6 cups of vegetable broth
- Four large stems of Swiss chard (about ½ lb.) or fresh baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cans of 14.5oz of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can of 16oz. kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can of 15 oz. garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- One medium yellow summer squash or zucchini halved and cut into ¼ inch slices
- 1 medium sweet red or yellow pepper, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Optional toppings: Additionally prepared pesto, shredded Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, and minced fresh basil
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cut the stems from the chard. Chop the stems and leaves separately. Reserve leaves for adding later.
- Add the onion and chard stems and cook until tender. Transfer to a deep, slow cooker.
- Stir in the cans of broth, tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, squash, pepper, carrot, and garlic. Cover the pot and cook on low until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the pasta and reserved chard leaves. Cook low until the pasta is tender.
- Add in the pesto. You can serve with additional pesto, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil for the toppings. Serve while hot and enjoy.
Related Article: The Best Chili Recipe You Need to Try
What are the different kinds of soups?
Due to the popularity of soups all over the globe, there are dozens of recipes inspired by cultures, ingredients, and country of origin. Unsurprisingly, soups have been studied by chefs and food experts.
The word soup is an umbrella term, but there are many different types of soups. Some are clear and watery (thin soups), others are textured and creamy (thick soups). Below are their major classifications, mostly according to consistency and texture.
Bouillon & Broth
Clear soups offer many nutritional health benefits, including keeping your digestive tract clear. Bouillon and broth are sometimes used interchangeably. This is understandable because both clear soups are made from meat, bones, fish, or vegetables boiled in water. When you leave these ingredients simmering, the gelatin from the bones creates an intensely flavorful stock.
The secret to cooking a good consommé is in the method. This type of soup is made by adding a mixture of ground meats, mirepoix (a combination of carrots, celery, and onion), tomatoes, and egg whites into either bouillon or broth. Simmering the ingredients will bring impurities to the surface and congeal enough to be removed. What’s left will be a concoction rich in flavor.
Thick soups are rich in texture and consistency, usually because of the added cream or starches. Bisque is a creamy, thick soup that contains imperfect shellfish not good enough to be sold in the market.
Flavors are extracted from crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and other shellfish. Rice is also added and either strained out or pureed. Sometimes, the shells are ground up and added as a paste to thicken the soup.
There are dozens of creamy soups that come in a variety of flavors. You can see them in grocery stores — shelf after shelf of cream of mushroom, cream of corn, cream of this. Cream soups are pretty straightforward. Take out your favorite soup ingredients, including the broth, and add in cream until the soup’s consistency is to your liking.
Potage is one of the oldest recipes. It originated from Northern France during the Medieval Ages. Pottage is similar, using vegetables and grains.
Villagers would take the vegetables they grew in their gardens and boil them together to make a thick mashed mixture. The boiling took hours to ensure that complex starches were broken down enough to be safe for eating.
Is fresh soup better than canned soup?
Soup is always better when it’s fresh. Although it may come down to preference, fresh soup is healthier. You can adjust the sodium and preservatives added to your soup. Fresh ingredients are always a plus because they are richer in vitamins and minerals.
You may not always have those lying around, so mixing up a canned soup with whatever’s available in your fridge will suffice. Soup is supposed to be a comforting food, so whatever brings you comfort, whether that’s meat, vegetables, dairy, or whatever else, there is surely a recipe for it out there.
Soup is arguably one of, if not the most, flexible food recipe ever made. It has been around pretty much since civilization started. It can be thin or thick in texture and consistency. Bland, flavorful, sour, tangy, spicy, any flavor you can think of can be made into a soup.
Some boiled meat, fish, or vegetables in water, and you already have a hearty bowl. You can try any common but delicious and easy soup recipes and see which one becomes your new comfort food.