On cold days, is there anything better than a piping hot bowl of homemade soup? There are endless varieties of soup to choose from, ranging from classic comfort foods — like chicken noodle — to recipes that use trendy ingredients — like kale. The following six recipes will have you ditching the canned variety for a homemade bowl that will warm you up better than a pair of woolen socks.
1. Sausage and Kale Soup
The many health benefits of kale are present in this soup recipe from Martha Stewart. Ready in just under an hour, it makes 4 servings, and can be a main, or side dish for your dinner tonight; it yields 4 servings.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 5 waxy potatoes (1½ pounds), peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
- 3 cans (14½ ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bunch kale (12 ounces), stemmed and shredded
- 12 ounces smoked chicken sausage, cut into ½-inch half moons
Directions: In a large pot (6 to 8 quarts), heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook until soft, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add potatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. In a blender, puree half the soup. Return to pot; add kale and sausage. Simmer until kale is wilted, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Chicken Noodle Soup
Reviewers of this Paula Deen recipe from the Food Network have vowed to never buy canned chicken noodle soup again. It may take a while to prepare, but the result is well worth the effort. Deen recommends serving the soup with a side of hot French bread. It yields 8 to 10 servings.
- 1 (2½ to 3-pound) fryer chicken, cut up
- 3½ quarts water
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 1½ to 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 cups sliced celery, with leafy green tops
- 2½ cups uncooked egg noodles
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- ⅓ cup cooking sherry
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, optional
- ¾ cup heavy cream, optional
- Seasoning salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: To make the stock, add all ingredients to a soup pot. Cook until chicken is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Remove and discard bay leaves and onion. You should have approximately 3 quarts of stock. When chicken is cool enough to touch, pick bones clean, discarding bones, skin, and cartilage. Set chicken aside.
For the soup, bring stock back to a boil, add carrots, and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook according to directions on package. When noodles are done, add chicken, mushrooms, parsley, sherry and rosemary. Add Parmesan and cream, if using. Cook for another 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning, if needed, by adding seasoning salt and pepper.
3. Italian Wedding Soup
According to food historian, Donna Gabaccia, Italian wedding soup isn’t really Italian. Gabaccia told the Pittsburg-Post Gazette that, “It probably arrived in Naples with the Spanish,” but died out. “There is no such thing as wedding soup in Italy.” Wherever the soup originated, Giada de Laurentiis’ Food Network recipe is a delicious way to warm up tonight. It serves 8.
- 1 small onion, grated
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 slice fresh white bread, crust trimmed, bread torn into small pieces
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 8 ounces ground pork
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound curly endive, coarsely chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions: For the meatballs, stir the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese, beef and pork. Using 1½ teaspoons for each, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a baking sheet.
To make the soup, bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and curly endive and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the curly endive is tender, about 8 minutes. Whisk the eggs and cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Finish soup with parmesan cheese if desired.
4. Lentil Soup
Packed with flavors, and vegetables, All Recipes’ lentil soup can not only keep you toasty on cold days, but provides protein, fiber, and iron to your daily diet as well. The recipe makes 6 servings.
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups dry lentils
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
Directions: In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.
5. Chickpea Soup
According to World’s Healthiest Foods, chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a wonderful source of protein and fiber. In a recent study, participants who ate chickpeas reported feeling fuller longer, and snacked less compared to when chickpeas were not consumed. Use your chickpeas, and this Bon Appétit recipe, when you want a warming, healthy meal for 6.
- 1½ cups dried chickpeas, or 3 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 sprig thyme
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- Kosher salt
- 1 bunch broccoli, stems reserved for another use, cut into small florets
- Flat-leaf parsley and fresh tarragon leaves (for garnish)
Directions: If using dried chickpeas, place in a medium bowl and add cold water to cover by 2-inch. Let soak overnight in refrigerator. Drain chickpeas. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and thyme sprig; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, 10-15 minutes. Add chickpeas and wine. Bring to a rapid simmer; cook until wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until chickpeas are very soft, 1½-2 hours for dried chickpeas, or about 30 minutes for canned. Discard thyme sprig.
Working in batches, purée chickpea mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender, adding water by ½-cupfuls if needed, until smooth. Season with salt. Chickpea soup can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Meanwhile, cook broccoli in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water. Reheat soup. Divide soup among bowls and garnish with broccoli and herbs.
6. Spinach and Goat Cheese Bisque
Eating Well explains that if you decide to use red-veined spinach in this recipe, the flavor will work out just as well as if you used green, but the hue of your soup will be closer to an Army-inspired khaki color. It yields 8, 1-cup servings.
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 cups water, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons cream sherry or Marsala
- 4 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
- 24 cups gently packed spinach (about 1¼ pounds), any tough stems trimmed
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (2 ounces), plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
Directions: Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and thyme and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 cups water and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large soup pot or Dutch oven; add potato. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until very soft, 12 to 15 minutes. When the onions are caramelized, stir sherry (or Marsala) into them; add them to the pot along with broth. Return to a simmer. Stir in spinach, cayenne and nutmeg; cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in goat cheese, butter and 1 tablespoon lemon juice; allow the butter and cheese to melt. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice, if desired. Serve garnished with a large soup crouton and crumbled goat cheese, if desired.