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)
Warm weather doesn’t mean you put comforting foods like soup on the back burner. There are a variety of soups that are hearty, healthy, and refreshing. Summer soups are especially great for vegetarians, since they usually don’t involve any meat (you can substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock in any recipe). Two brands of store bought vegetable broth, I find full of flavor are Imagine and Pacific.
Soups are very easy to digest and a large pot of soup is a very affordable way to feed a family or a group of people. Soup stretches a little meat a long way.
Soup is easy to make and it is a complete one-pot meal with minimal effort and minimal clean up.
It is a quick meal for any time of the day. Simply heat and eat. Soup is also an easy lunch to take to work.
Here are some suggestions to try and they are probably soups you have eaten in the past.
Gazpacho is a chunky vegetable soup popular in Spain. You can make it with tomato, which is the most common, or with radishes or watermelon.
2) Sweet Fruit Soups
Using yogurt, you can create a chilled melon soup or a strawberry orange soup. Using lemon juice and sparkling wine, you can create sparkling pineapple soup.
3) Vegetable soups
Avocados, potatoes, spinach, carrots, asparagus, and fennel can all be the star ingredient of a summer soup. Many can be chilled and served that way.
The abundance of summer local vegetables are perfect for soups and are a delicious way to use up this bounty. Whether you’re using fruits, vegetables, or a combination of both, you’re likely to come across some interesting flavors you haven’t experienced before. Spicing your summer soups up with cayenne, cinnamon, pepper, and garlic will add to the number of unique combinations you have available to enjoy.
Following are some summertime soup recipes that you might not have had before.
Golden Summer Squash & Corn Soup
4 servings, scant 1 cup each
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 2 medium summer squash, (about 1 pound), diced
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme or oregano, divided
- 1- 14-15 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels, (from 1 large ear; see Tip)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add squash and 1 teaspoon herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash starts to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add broth and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft and mostly translucent, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the soup to the pan and stir in corn. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with the remaining 2 teaspoons herbs and cheese.
Tip: To remove corn from the cob, stand an uncooked ear of corn on its stem end in a shallow bowl and slice the kernels off with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. If making a soup, after cutting off the kernels, you can reverse the knife and use the dull side to press down the length of the ear to push out the rest of the corn and its milk.
Cold Tomato Basil Soup
- 2 pounds tomatoes
- 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until almost smooth, or until desired consistency is reached.
Transfer to a large saucepan and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
This quick and easy tomato soup is delicious hot or cold. Makes four servings.
Meatball and Zucchini Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1-32 oz carton low sodium chicken or beef broth
- 2 tablespoons long grain rice
- 3/4 pound zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- Meatballs, recipe below
In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil and brown meatballs on all sides. Add onion, oregano, broth, and rice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender (about 25 minutes).Add zucchini and cook, uncovered, until just tender (4 to 6 minutes). Season to taste with salt and serve.
- 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup soft bread crumbs
- 1 pound ground lean beef or turkey or chicken
- fresh ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, beat egg. Mix in salt, garlic, pepper, and bread crumbs. Lightly mix in meat. Shape into 3/4-inch meatballs.
Fresh Summer Minestrone
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight
- 1/2 pound new or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 2 small carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from about 1 medium ear of corn)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 2 ounces spinach leaves, trimmed and sliced into thin strips (2 cups)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 2 heaping tablespoons mixed minced herbs such as basil, marjoram or oregano, thyme and flat-leaf parsley
- dash of crushed red pepper flakes
Bring 3 cups water to boil. in a saucepan or kettle
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add beans and boiling water; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes.
Add potato and carrot; continue to cook, covered, until beans are tender, about 40 minutes more.
Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop tomatoes into water and boil 30 seconds; drain, peel, seed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
When beans are tender, add tomato, corn, peas and spinach; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or room temperature, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with herbs and extra pepper.
Chicken & Barley Soup
Makes 4 servings, about 2 cups each
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, divided
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 large bone-in chicken breast (10-12 ounces), skin removed, trimmed
- 1/3 cup pearl barley
- 2 cups diced plum tomatoes
- 1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced asparagus (¼ inch thick)
- 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup lightly packed torn fresh basil leaves
- 1 strip orange zest (1/2 by 2 inches)
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Grate or finely chop 1 clove garlic; add to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, chicken and barley. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon. Return the broth to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, shred the chicken or cut into bite-size pieces; discard the bone.
3. When the barley is done, add the chicken, tomatoes,, asparagus, peas, salt and a grinding of pepper; return to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.
4. Coarsely chop the remaining garlic clove. Gather basil, orange zest and the garlic and finely chop together. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a generous pinch of the basil mixture.
- 1 pound white fish ( ex. haddock, cod, grouper), cut into small pieces
- 1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp, cut into thirds
- 1 1/2 cups water or fish stock or clam broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 pound peeled, diced Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels
- 2 tablespoons flour (Wondra is good for sauces)
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Chopped parsley and basil
Heat oil in a soup pot and add the onion, bell pepper and celery and cook gently. Add the garlic, potato, corn and coat in the fat.
Sprinkle in the flour and stir well, simply stir Wondra into the cold broth and whisk into the soup.
Gradually add the fish stock, stirring all the time until flour is dissolved. Cook at a simmer for about 25 minutes.
Add the fish and shrimp and cook for 5 mins.
Warm the milk and butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave and pour very slowly into the soup when the potatoes are soft. Top each bowl with some chopped herbs.
- Corn Soup (lifebetweenthepages.wordpress.com)
- Cook Fast, Live Young: Make Ahead and Freeze Soup Recipes Save Time and Money (savings.com)
- It’s Cold Soup Time! Our Recipe for Gazpacho Andaluz (organicauthority.com)
- Quick & Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup (smalldetailfood.wordpress.com)
- Michelle Obama’s corn soup with summer veggies (sfgate.com)
- Eat Here Tonight: Basil Summer Soup At Perbacco (sfist.com)
- A Frugal Dinner to Alleviate Post Vacation Guilt: Fresh Corn Soup (17bites.wordpress.com)
- Heart Healthy Recipes: Spicy Veggie Soup (goldenrule.com)
- (third’s a charm) PureWow Recipes: Soup that chills out (dynamomelano.wordpress.com)
- Italian wedding and vegetable soups (wmur.com)