Nothing beats the winter chill like a steaming bowl of soup. Soup can be filling and also budget-friendly, since it can last for weeks or months in the freezer. Let the soup recipes below warm your cold bones. Soup doesn’t have to be rich and creamy to be satisfying, though. The soup recipes here include recipes for a vegetable soup, a chicken soup and several other easy soup recipes that are healthier versions of their more traditional counterparts. I have also added recipes for homemade broth, if you are so inclined.
Here are a few tips to help you add flavor to your soup recipes. These tips will help take bland tasting soups and turn them into delicious, full flavored soups.
Use fresh ingredients at their peak of flavor. Many make the mistake of using old or leftover ingredients, especially vegetables, to make soup. The basic soup vegetables needed for starting soups are, onions, carrots, leeks, celery, sometimes green and/or red bell pepper, parsnips and garlic. Of course you can add other vegetables depending upon your soup recipe.
Homemade broth can really make a difference in how your soup tastes. Soups need bones. Unless you are a vegetarian, this is important to develop a flavor base. You need a flavorful broth or stock and soup bones are key to making a flavorful broth. I save bones from steak, chicken or roasts, etc., in my freezer for this purpose. If not, you can buy soup bones or meat parts that have bone attached. You can buy a whole chicken and keep the non-meaty parts like the neck or back for soups. Chicken wings or a turkey carcass also make a delicious soup stock. Beef shanks make excellent beef stock.
Roasting the bones in a hot oven first also adds more flavor and you do not need to add fat to brown them in the soup pot. Delicious vegetable broth can be made by roasting the vegetables first.
Fish bones are needed for a good fish stock, even shrimp shells will work for this type of stock.
An advantage to making the broth ahead of time, is that the broth can be chilled overnight and, the fat that accumulates on the top of the broth, can be removed before making the soup.
Use herbs and seasonings. Find good fresh, flavorful salt free seasonings. Experiment with different herbs and spices. Try different chilies (they range from mild to hot) and, they are especially good to add to bean soups. Adding freshly ground black pepper can also make a difference and increase flavor in a soup recipe.
Take your time and let good flavorful soups simmer for a few hours or use a crock pot. Make plenty and enjoy delicious, healthy soups even more the next day. Also, put some in the freezer for a quick lunch or dinner.
Easy Method for Making Homemade Broth for Soup
Vegetables do not need to be peeled – just wash – peel and all. Use these broths in the recipes below. Of course, you can use canned broth, if you do not have time to make the broth.
Roast 2 lbs. of chicken bones in the oven at 425 degrees F. for 30 minutes with 3 carrots, 2 onions halved, 2 leeks and 2 stalks of celery in a roasting pan. Transfer to a soup pot and add 2 gallons of water, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black whole peppercorns and simmer until reduced to half. Strain the broth and refrigerate overnight. Remove the fat and continue with your soup recipe or freeze in pint bags. This makes 1 gallon of chicken stock that will last over 1 year if frozen
Roast 2 lbs of shrimp or lobster shells or fish bones in the oven at 325 degrees F. for 40 minutes with 3 carrots, 2 onions halved, 2 leeks and 2 stalks of celery in a roasting pan. Transfer to a soup pot and add 2 gallons of water, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black whole peppercorns and simmer until reduced to half. Strain the broth and continue with your soup recipe or freeze in pint bags. This makes 1 gallon of fish stock that will last over 1 year if frozen
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a roasting pan add 4 carrots, 3 onions halved, 2 leeks, 3 stalks of celery, 2 shallots and 4 tomatoes cut in half. Roast for 45 minutes. Transfer to a soup pot and add 2 gallons of water, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black whole peppercorns and simmer until reduced to half. Strain the broth and continue with your soup recipe or freeze in pint bags. This makes 1 gallon of vegetable stock that will last over 1 year if frozen
Roast 2 lbs of beef bones in the oven at 425 degrees F. for 30 minutes with 3 carrots, 2 onions halved, 2 leeks and 2 stalks of celery in a roasting pan. Transfer to a soup pot and add 2 gallons of water, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black whole peppercorns and simmer until reduced to half. Strain the broth and refrigerate overnight. Remove the fat and continue with your soup recipe or freeze in pint bags. This makes 1 gallon of beef stock that will last over 1 year if frozen
Potato and Kale Soup
Collard or mustard greens can be substituted for the kale.
- 6 ounces bacon or turkey bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 8 cups homemade chicken stock or low sodium canned
- 8 potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled, root ends trimmed
- 1 bunch kale, trimmed, washed and thinly sliced
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
2. In a heavy stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, potatoes and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and garlic to a bowl; lightly mash with a fork (or use an immersion blender). Return mashed vegetables to the soup pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in kale, a handful at a time. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the kale is tender. Stir in the reserved bacon and season with salt and pepper.
Roasted Root Vegetable and Apple Soup
- 2 sweet potatoes, large, peeled and diced
- 8 parsnips, peeled and diced
- 2 small onions, peeled and diced
- 2 apples, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon five spice powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 cups homemade vegetable broth or low sodium canned
- 1/2 cup Marsala (optional)
- 2 ounces dried apples
- 3/4 cup creme fraiche or Greek yogurt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Place the diced vegetables and fresh apples on a baking sheet and toss with the walnut oil, honey, rosemary, five spice powder, salt and pepper. Roast, turning often, until vegetables are softened and lightly caramelized, 30 to 35 minutes.
3. Combine the vegetable broth, Marsala, and dried apples in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; simmer for 20 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables.
4. Working in small batches, puree the ingredients in a blender; (or use a hand immersion blender in the soup pot) and transfer to a saucepan. If the soup is too thick, thin with hot water or vegetable broth.
5. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle a little creme fraiche or yogurt over the top of each serving and swirl with a skewer or a knife.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 leeks, medium-sized, washed and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken broth or low sodium canned
- 1 cup water
- 1 red potato, large-sized, scrubbed and diced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves or Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta (whole wheat, if possible)
- 15 ounces white beans, canned, drained and rinsed
- 2 zucchini, trimmed, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 pound fresh spinach, washed, stems removed or a bag of baby spinach
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add leeks, garlic and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Pour in broth and water. Add potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
2. Add orzo and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 5 minutes. Add beans and zucchini and continue to cook, partially covered, until the vegetables and pasta are tender, about 8 minutes.
3. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season the soup with vinegar. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan.
Chicken and Brown Rice Soup
To make a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth and substitute quartered button mushrooms and/or cubed firm tofu for the chicken.
- 8 cups homemade chicken broth or low sodium canned, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup long-grain brown rice
- 1 small chicken breast (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves thinly sliced or other greens of choice
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring 1/2 cup broth to a simmer. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook about 8 minutes or until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally.
2. Add remaining 7 1/2 cups of broth, water, rice, chicken and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook about 35 minutes or until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through.
3. Remove bay leaf and stir in kale. Continue cooking just until kale is wilted and tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
Bean and Cabbage Soup
A thick, simple soup for a chilly afternoon, this dish is easy to make and tastes even better a day later.
- 1 cup red or white beans (1/2 pound), rinsed and picked over (or use low sodium canned beans)
- 2 quarts water or homemade chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/2 head cabbage (about 1 1/4 pounds), cored and shredded
- 1 – 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- A bouquet garni made with a few sprigs each parsley, thyme, a bay leaf and a Parmesan rind
- Salt to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan for serving
If using canned beans skip step 1.
1. Combine the beans and broth or water in a large saucepan or pot. Discard any of the beans that float. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer one hour. Season to taste with salt. Do not discard bean cooking water.
2. In a large, heavy soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the onions, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring, until tender, five to eight minutes. Add the garlic, stir together for 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant, and add the cabbage and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, for five to 10 minutes until the cabbage has wilted.
3. Stir in the tomatoes, salt to taste and the red pepper flakes or cayenne, and continue to cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture smells fragrant, about 10 minutes. Add the beans and their liquid. If the vegetables aren’t covered with liquid, add more so that they’re just covered. Add the bouquet garni, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes to an hour. The beans should be soft. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve, passing grated Parmesan, if desired, to sprinkle on.
Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: The cooked beans will keep for four days in the refrigerator. The soup also will keep for that long and can be frozen.
- Vegetable Soup in the Crock (upsanddownes.com)
- Mike’s Chicken & Kale Soup (sharonkoski.com)
- Flu-Time Chicken Noodle Soup – My Way! (twistedcheft.com)
- Andouille & Kale Soup (inthehillsonmyown.wordpress.com)
- Quick Cannellini Bean Soup With Arugula (lizthechef.com)
- Veg soup with parsnip fritters (feedthepiglet.wordpress.com)
- Five Winter Soups to Warm You Up (dualshow.com)
- Kale, Yukon Gold & Lentil Soup (sharonkoski.com)
- Chicken noodle soup; grandma’s remedy (laurieanichols.wordpress.com)
- Fish Soup? (thepanamaadventure.wordpress.com)
January 10, 2013 at 9:18 am
Your soups look very yummy! Italian food is wonderful 🙂
thanks for the pingback
January 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm
Your tips for making stock are great – don’t roast the bones normally but will certainly try this next time. Thanks
January 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm
Great. I think you will find it will add much more flavor.
January 10, 2013 at 5:41 pm
I have been making tons of soup lately Jovina to ward off winter’s chill. It’s such an easy, satisfying supper this time of year. Thanks for inspiring me with some new recipes to try. PS–I too am in love with my imersion blender!
January 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm
I can’t imagine how I managed without the immersion blender in the past.
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January 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm
I can tell you know your way around the kitchen! You’re an expert! As I was reading your recipes, I couldn’t understand how you could make your stocks last for more than a year. At first I thought I must have misunderstood something, or maybe that you condensed your stocks somehow, or that you must have put the stock into ice cube trays and froze them. How could she make the stock last for more than a year??? I’m lucky if I can make my stock last for 2 or 3 days! Then I realized that what you meant was that they could keep (not last) for more than a year. There is a subtle difference between the two words, but what you want to say is that they will keep OR, that they can be stored in the freezer for more than a year : – )
I made a stuffed cabbage recipe and I didn’t like the way it turned out. It was too bland. So, I turned it into a soup! I added spices, and a chicken soup starter and it turned out delicious! I’ve yet to make my own pasta, but I think with the very cold weather that is predicted next week, I will try it. I’ve seen enough chefs on TV make it and it doesn’t look hard to do. However, I purchased some Amish noodles a week ago and added them to a chicken soup that I made and it was very, very good! Expensive, but very good!
I never thought of using bones other than chicken bones for a soup stock. Thank you for that tip! What do you think of using lamb bones for a soup stock? (I love lamb and I don’t eat beef.)
I have heard very few cooks write or talk about fish stock and even fewer who offer recipes for a fish soup. The only fish soup I ever eat is clam chowder, the red and the white one. I also know of bouillabaisse but I can’t remember if I’ve ever eaten it. Do you have a good fish soup to post? I would love if you could share it. I am following you now because you give some very good cooking tips. Brava!
January 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm
I made a fish soup with fish stock and it was wonderful. http://thepanamaadventure.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/fish-soup/ I’m sure you could make it with any fish, not just heads. I’ve also made a fish chowder in the past – onions, celery, potato, corn, milk, seasonings, chunks of fish. Google should point you to some recipes.
January 14, 2013 at 10:27 pm
Thank you! I wasn’t interested enough in fish soup until I came to this blog and your blog but now my curiosity is piqued! I will be doing a fish soup search on Google very soon! Cheers!
January 15, 2013 at 7:42 am
Thank you for your recipe and I bet it was wonderful.
January 14, 2013 at 9:12 pm
Yes, the stocks keep for a year if frozen and I would suggest storing it in 1 or 2 cup packages. You certainly can substitute lamb bones for beef bones and if they are roasted first, they will add a lot of flavor to your broth. I have posted several times how to make homemade pasta and there are several fish soups currently on past posts. Do you know that there is an index on the right hand side of the post. It says, Browse by Title and they in the drop down box, you can select what you are looking for.
Thank you so much for commenting and I am happy you will be following this blog.
January 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm
I didn’t have the time to check out your blog more thoroughly which is part of the reason I am following it – so I get the chance to do that. I will check out the fish soups soon!
January 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm
Here is the post cite for a seafood chowder I did awhile back:
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