“Waiter, there's a Meta in my soup.” January 25, 2019 5:19 AM   Subscribe

End of another week, let's lighten the mood and talk about something that is not politics. Here in Canada it's bitterly cold and I could do with some warmth, some happy in my tummy. I'm thinking about soup. Tomato, chicken-noodle, broccoli-cheddar, roasted squash, whatever it is, share your recipes with MetaFilter. Feel free to also talk about your favorite store-bought ready made soup. Or maybe it's a memory of a really good soup a loved one made for you. Whether it's a broth, bisque, consomme, or chowder, I want to talk about soup. Also,a gentle remember to be kind to each other and take care of yourself.
posted by Fizz to MetaFilter-Related at 5:19 AM (120 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

My favorite soup is drinking chocolate. It's rather a cold day and I just realized I haven't had drinking chocolate in a very long time, and there's a place that sells it down the street. If you'll excuse me.
posted by duffell at 5:35 AM on January 25, 2019 [6 favorites]

One of my favourite winter soups is this chestnut one with rosemary pesto. It's great with or without the pancetta.
posted by zamboni at 5:37 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Here in the forgotten Atlantic part of Canada it's unseasonably warm and all the snow has melted.

But earlier this week we had a storm day so I resumed my new tradition of simmering beans on the stove during the afternoon to make red beans and rice for dinner. Turns out Louisianans invented the perfect Winter comfort food.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:55 AM on January 25, 2019 [7 favorites]

So you can do this with many vegetables but I usually do it with green peas or white beans.

Sauté an onion or two in olive oil or butter until it's soft. Add a box (or more! how much soup do you want?) of broth, chicken or vegetable, and let that heat up to a boil. Add your veg - two cans of beans, a bag of frozen peas, equivalent amount of whatever veg (if you want to use something like sweet potato, steam it first or use frozen - it won't cook enough from raw). Cook until it's heated through. Blend with stick blender! (Forgot that step, thank you edit window!) Add an herb if you like (rosemary for the white beans, some people like mint with peas but I don't happen to, basil is nice). Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

For most veg a little plain yogurt or sour cream is nice on top. With the white bean, I like to serve melted cheese toasts on the side - gruyere would be nice.
posted by wellred at 5:55 AM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ok ok ok

Here is my recipe for black bean enchilada stew. It's meant to last about a week for one person but could easily be devoured by 4 people in one sitting.

You will need:

Canola oil
1/2 carton of low sodium broth, chicken or veggie
1/2 carton of Trader Joe's spicy black bean soup
1 white onion, chopped
2-3 orange and red bell peppers, diced/chopped finely
Half a can or two cups of freshly cooked black beans
Half a can of white beans
One big 8oz can of plain tomato sauce (key ingredient)
Salt to taste

Tortilla chips
Cheese of your choosing
Red rice

Sautee onions and bell peppers until soft and browned. Add broth, then tomato sauce. Simmer for 5 min. Add beans and black bean soup base. Taste test. Add more tomato sauce. Cook on low to medium heat until beans are al dente or you can't wait anymore to eat.

Serve with toppings. I mix in the red rice and cold salsa almost immediately then sprinkle with cheese. Mmmmm.
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:00 AM on January 25, 2019 [11 favorites]

Any Persian soup, or ash. Ash-e Reshteh [Saveur magazine recipe link] is a noodle soup and the most well known. Lentils, reshteh noodles (or sub in linguine), spinach, a mix of chickpeas with kidney and cannelini beans, garlic, turmeric, mint, parsley, chives. Super comforting in the winter.
posted by nightrecordings at 6:03 AM on January 25, 2019 [9 favorites]

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup — it's so good.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
5 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 sprig rosemary
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

If you have leftovers, the orzo ends up soaking all the juices up, so it turns from a soup into a delicious pasta stew, which you can just scoop up/dump on some crusty bread.
posted by Static Vagabond at 6:04 AM on January 25, 2019 [8 favorites]

I have also been doing the lemon orzo chicken theme this week, because it's my favorite use for leftover roast chicken (which I made Saturday). Shred up the leftover chicken. Put it in a pot with the marinade from 1-2 15oz jars (depends on how much chicken you have; I normally end up with 1 jar per 1/4 chicken) of marinated artichoke hearts, and reserve the actual artichoke hearts. Add zest and juice from one lemon. Simmer until heated through, while boiling water for orzo in a separate pot. Add artichoke hearts to the chicken, and let that simmer for 10 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper as needed. Cook and drain the orzo, and serve the chicken over the orzo. Leftovers microwave fairly well.

I actually got my act together over the weekend (helped that it was a three-day weekend) and made lunches for the week and prepped a bunch of food for dinners and it's amazing how nice it is to come home and have a good, warm dinner easily ready. Hermione Granger and Space Coyote are giving me good ideas for my next batch of warm goodness.
posted by lazuli at 6:27 AM on January 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

Ooh, and avgolemono. My friend said her chickens have started laying again, so when she brings me fresh eggs, that is my plan for them.
posted by lazuli at 6:28 AM on January 25, 2019

Nice thread. I think it has motivated me to make the red lentil soup from America's Test Kitchen again.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:48 AM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

Soup 1:
2 quarts of broth
a pile of collard greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 turnip, peeled and cubed
3 ribs of celery, cut thin
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound Italian sausage meat, shaped in small balls
1tItalian/Greek seasoning
Ingredients into a pot, bring to a boil, simmer until the sausage is cooked through and the greens are tender.

Soup 2:
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes packed in juice
1/2-1 T garam masala
Put the entire can's contents into a blender/food processor, blend until smooth, strain out seeds. Put into a pot, add garam masala, bring to a simmer. Add salt if necessary. Serve with a pat of butter on top.
posted by plinth at 6:55 AM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

As I said when I posted it previously, this Tostada Soup sounds a bit odd, but is really tasty. The toppings make it.
posted by gudrun at 6:56 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

You know, I'd also be interested in people's soup hacks, ways for improving a store-bought can so that it sort of becomes something better.

Love the recipes thus far, keep em coming. :)
posted by Fizz at 6:56 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth only of Beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:20 AM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

My favorite soup is drinking chocolate.

A vanilla soy latte is a three bean soup.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:24 AM on January 25, 2019 [19 favorites]

This simple Instant Pot butternut squash soup takes less than half an hour to make, including the time it takes for the IP to come to pressure. It's a perfect cold night soup.

1 medium butternut squash (about 3lb), peeled, seeded and cut into pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into pieces
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and seeded. then cut into pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
2-3 fresh sage leaves
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper
cream, milk, or half-and-half to finish

Put everything except the cream in the Instant Pot, seal, set to Manual and set timer for 8 minutes. When the timer finishes, do a quick release of the steam then remove the lid. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. You can also remove the cooked mix to a blender and puree if you don't have an immersion blender. Add cream and stir in to desired level of creaminess (I use half-and-half and add somwhere between 1/4 and 1/3 cup). Adjust seasonings to taste. Serves 4-6.
posted by briank at 7:27 AM on January 25, 2019 [8 favorites]

I tend to eat a lot of soup this time of year: a) it's Canada, b) it's dark, c) I don't super trust myself when it's seizure season. My crockpot gets turned off pretty much just for cleaning.

A lot of scratch soups forget that the difference between soup and a pot of wet things basically boils down (haha!) to fat and umami. Almost anything can be tasty soup if you add butter and soy (or parm or anchovy etc).

Commercial soup often forget that good soup should either be texture-less or texture-full; ie not a bowl of varying mushes. You can spruce up a tinned soup _alot_ by adding a handful of something fresh. For example: a handful of torn mature kale will wilt (with a nearly meaty mouth feel) but holds that texture even with multiple reheating. A little sliced onion on top of an acidic soup rarely goes wrong. Finely grated root vegetables need almost no heating and add depth and earthiness without much effort or fear of remaining "too raw".

As far as specific soup types/idea I'd like to 2nd the above mention of Persian soups. Oh my there's a culture that can cook. I'll go in a slightly different direction and suggest ghormeh sabzi. We had a Turkish/Iranian couple living near by when I was growing up (yay for the hick home-town being an ESL/refugee center!) and just thinking about the food prompts very warm (literally and figuratively) memories.
posted by mce at 7:31 AM on January 25, 2019 [7 favorites]

Helen Rosen: Win Thanksgiving (and Post-Thanksgiving) with Double Stock

Thanksgiving Double Stock
Makes 10 cups


4 pounds roasted turkey parts (bones, skin, and meat), or roasted whole chicken thighs
10 cups high-quality chicken stock, preferably homemade and without salt, chilled
Kosher salt


1. Place the turkey parts in an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, or heavy-bottomed pot. Cover turkey parts with the cold chicken stock and secure the lid on whatever vessel you’re using.
2. If using a pressure cooker: Set the cooker to the highest pressure. Once the pot has reached pressure, cook for 90 minutes. Allow the pressure to decrease naturally.

If using a slow cooker: Set the cooker to high heat and cook for 4 hours, or cook for 7 to 8 hours at low heat.

If using a soup pot: Bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to low or medium-low, so that the stock is just barely at a simmer. Cover the pot again, leaving just a tiny crack for steam to escape, and simmer for 3 hours, replenishing with water or additional chicken stock if the volume of the liquid substantially diminishes.

3. Uncover the stock and use tongs to lift out the solids and place them in a sieve or colander over the stock, pressing down on the turkey parts with a large spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Use a slotted spoon to lift out any smaller bits of meat and bone and place them in the sieve. (The bones will probably be very soft and falling apart. That’s good! It means the stock is as rich as it can be.) Let the stock cool to room temperature.

4. Transfer the stock to airtight containers and refrigerate until chilled. (The stock may thicken into a gel; it will re-liquefy when warmed.) Remove the solid layer of opaque fat that forms at the top of the container. (This fat is magical stuff; store it in the fridge and use it to sauté greens or roast root vegetables.) Once the fat is removed, return the stock to the refrigerator and use within 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Remouillage: Where Frugailty Meets Flavor

Veal Stock and Remouillage - "Remouillage: A second stock made from bones that have been used once for a primary stock in order to make complete use of the bones. It’s a weaker stock, of course, and is often added to the primary stock and reduced."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:43 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's been cozy in my workroom. So, over the last two weeks, I have put all (well nearly) of my vintage patterns and may of the modern ones (those are boring) into a database. Then I started doing the same for my fabric stash--which involved going through receipts and trying to find fabric content to make sure I have washing instructions for everything. It's been extremely satisfying to build this database. I've started swatching projects out now, too. The goal is to browse my own stash when I'm daydreaming and 1) get some things made plus 2) stop buying more. I even had "not owned" parts of the database for patterns which were too expensive or sold before I could get them (same with fabrics).

I may make some of that delicious Mexican drinking chocolate in my cupboard as a reward. I'd planned to make a cabbage and farro soup, but I did not make it to the grocery on my way home yesterday. So I'll just have to make do with drinking chocolate.
posted by crush at 7:47 AM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Feel free to also talk about your favorite store-bought ready made soup.
Andersen's Pea Soup. Before I permanently relocated to the San Luis Obispo area, I frequently traveled up here from L.A. and routinely stopped at the Andersen's restaurant in Buellton for some not-fast food. And between trips, I made sure to keep a shelf-stable can or two in my pantry. A very fine accompaniment to any sandwich, and unsurpassed for dipping into. A distant second was Campbell's Cream of Tomato. And as an ingredient, since I have an odd distaste for mushrooms (or mushrooms have an odd distaste to me), my go-to substitute for Cream of Mushroom has been Cream of Broccoli (it makes the ubiquitous Green Bean Casserole just that much greener).
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:55 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

My go to soup this winter is a classic beef bourguignon (nyt) and it's warm and tasty and happiness.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:58 AM on January 25, 2019

Manhattan clam chowder and a loaf of bread with plenty of butter, sitting outside on the bench in front of the Crab Cooker in Newport Beach. Smoked albacore is optional.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:58 AM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

My favorite soup is drinking chocolate.

A vanilla soy latte is a three bean soup.

But is it a sandwich?
posted by Fizz at 7:58 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Feel free to also talk about your favorite store-bought ready made soup.

Not my favorite, but I've always loved that fact that Warhol produced his Campbell's soup canvases because, as he told Artnews, "I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for twenty years, I guess, the same thing over and over again." But biographers have pointed out that Andy was even more taken with Campbell's soup than that remark suggests; that it figured as the soup his mother fed him as a frequently sick child and that it continued to be his comfort food—and given his injuries, sometimes his only food—until the end of his life.

My favorite store-bought soup is Amy's Thai coconut, tho, I usually put an extra dash of chilli sauce in it. I may yet produce a series of canvases celebrating the Amy's line.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:14 AM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

My most recent take on French Onion soup included a twist: black garlic and red miso. You can use pretty much any standard onion soup recipe - like this one, based on Julia Child's. I used a mix of different types of onions - a red one, a white one, and a couple yellow ones, I think. I may have tossed in a shallot or two also.

After they're thoroughly caramelized - leave yourself a good long time to do that - then I add one clove of garlic, minced, and about three black garlic cloves. (clear a spot on the bottom of the pot, put the black garlic there and smash it with your spoon - it's soft stuff, so hard to chop, just mash it into a paste so it'll dissolve into the soup.)

Then continue the recipe as written there - I also add some thyme and a bay leaf during simmering. Hold back on the salt a bit during the simmering. Then near the end, add a couple big spoonfuls of red miso, stir to dissolve, and taste to see if you want more or not.

Ladle into bowls or crocks, top with croutons and grated Swiss cheese, put in the oven or under a broiler to melt the cheese.

The miso adds lots of interesting flavors to the traditional soup. And some texture also.
posted by dnash at 8:16 AM on January 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

My very favourite tinned soup used to be M&S cream of vegetable soup, but of course it was discontinued because I am one of those harbinger of failure product people. I've never found a replacement and the soup I make at home just doesn't hit that same spot.

Recently I have a constant craving for this super lazy soup I make, which is tinned mixed beans in tomato sauce + vegetable stock + chopped carrots + macaroni pasta + chili flakes + mozzarella balls.

My secret to a really good leek and potato soup is to bake the potatoes first and add a tonne of bay leaves and leftover parmesan rind.

Soup with croutons is probably one of my favourite foods.
posted by stillnocturnal at 8:31 AM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

You know, I'd also be interested in people's soup hacks, ways for improving a store-bought can so that it sort of becomes something better.

- It's a dirty chef secret that cream and/or butter improves the flavor of most everything. You just can't care about calories.
- Chopped fresh herbs
- Kosher salt (good quality) and freshly cracked peppercorn
- Using a wide rim oven-safe bowl or French onion soup crock, sprinkle shredded cheese over it and bake in the oven for maybe 10 minutes, keep an eye on it til it looks golden brown
- I will take small spoonfuls and mix with trace amounts of things like soy sauce, broth, a pinch of salt, hot sauce, onion powder, etc and taste test as I go along. This way I don't ruin the whole soup but can safely experiment to find what I want to add to the whole soup
posted by nightrecordings at 8:39 AM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

My own hack is to add fresh pepper and/or tobasco, I do this with canned tomato soup and it improves flavour dramatically. It's simple enough but it's so yummy to take the time and do this.
posted by Fizz at 8:43 AM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

My secret to a really good leek and potato soup is to bake the potatoes first and add a tonne of bay leaves and leftover parmesan rind.

My partner generally recycles leftover mashed potatoes into leek and potato soup, which works really well with the fact that making just enough mashed potatoes is harder than making way too much mashed potatoes.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:57 AM on January 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'm dieting, and I'm really losing weight in a sustainable way, thanks in no small part to soup. Studies Have Shown that it does keep you full for longer. I enjoy Progresso's pasta fagiole (called "macaroni and bean" so as not to look ethnic) and cheese tortellini soup, and I'm eating a lot of Trader Joe's tomato and red pepper soup.

Of course making my own is the gold standard, but my own is too damned good for dieting, at least at present. My technique was always to start by sauteing onions in butter, so you can imagine that some retrenchment is required; I have to measure everything. I made a vegetable barley soup the other day that was bright and filling but a little bland.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:57 AM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

Taste the soup
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:58 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love this copycat version of Amy's Organics lentil soup. It's a little bit bland as-is, so I like to add some spicy paprika and a bit of cayenne pepper.
posted by neushoorn at 9:04 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Dated a human who just didn't like soup. I'm not saying its the reason we broke up...but I'm not saying its not.
posted by Grandysaur at 9:05 AM on January 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

I come bearing two recipes - one super-detailed and one super-simple.

The detailed one is my personal recipe for clam chowder; I'm just going to link to it here where I contributed it to the "can i eat this" cookbook.

The simple one is one of those so-simple-you-don't-need-measuring recipes:

Peel and cut up one butternut squash. Dump the cut-up squash into a pot, add a couple whole cloves of garlic, add just enough water to barely cover everything over and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer, and simmer until the squash is soft. Add some sage if you like sage, if you don't like sage just forget it. Puree and add salt to taste. Done.

variation: you can do exactly the same thing with practically any firm vegetable (carrots, parsnips, turnips, etc.). Or combine them (carrot/celery root, squash/carrot, etc.). this is also a good way to clean out the fridge.

I like this simple version because I find a lot of pureed vegetable soups gild the lily with things like juice, curry, other seasonings, etc. and I have always liked the pure taste of certain vegetables just as themselves. This lets the pure carrot/squash/whatever shine and also couldn't be easier.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:14 AM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

This Classic Tomato Soup from Chowhound is, quite simply, the best. I have served it to everyone from skeptical fathers-in-law to visiting Indian friends to my starting to be picky toddler and it gets rave reviews and cleaned out bowls from all. The garnishes are essential, particularly really good olive oil. I'm always trying new recipes, but this is one I've made again and again. I always use the San Marzanos they recommend as well.
posted by peacheater at 9:15 AM on January 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

I had a lot of leftover ratatouille, and so I put it in a big pot with some extra water, half a bag of green lentils, and simmered until the lentils were soft. Stick an immersion blender in there, and you have a delicious, can't be healthier, stuffed with good things soup. Which I immediately poured a splash of heavy cream into.
posted by Liesl at 9:23 AM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Was just coming in to post that, peacheater!! Agreed, it's magnificent.
posted by JanetLand at 9:23 AM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love soup. Cold season hit us hard in Casa Perla Rosa last weekend, so I made a lot of soup. There was a dried mushroom soup, a chicken and purple rice soup, an andouille and ground beef chili/taco soup hybrid, and my personal favorite, tomato soup (and grilled cheese sandwiches, of course). My sense of smell was a bit off by the time it came to make the tomato soup, so I added probably twice the black pepper and red pepper than what was absolutely necessary, but it was flipping spicy and delicious and so creamy that I might mess it up on purpose again next time.
posted by PearlRose at 9:41 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

My secret to a really good leek and potato soup...

is pancetta. Start with diced pancetta, or bacon, then sweat the leeks in the rendered fat.
posted by dnash at 9:46 AM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Peel and cut up one butternut squash. Dump the cut-up squash into a pot, add a couple whole cloves of garlic, add just enough water to barely cover everything over and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer, and simmer until the squash is soft. Add some sage if you like sage, if you don't like sage just forget it. Puree and add salt to taste. Done.

Perfect. I do something similar, but at the risk of gilding the lily a touch - I take the additional step could of tossing the squash and garlic in some olive oil, tossing them on a baking sheet, and roasting them in a 400 degree oven until they start to brown a bit, and then tossing them into the pot.

But yeah, pureed vegetable soups are fantastic.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:48 AM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've never made it myself, but my favorite soup-like thing is Caldillo de Congrio, a fish dish whose most famous recipe is in the form a of an ode by Pablo Neruda.
I've had this dish in at least 50 different restaurants up and down Chile, and didn't really have a favorite until two weeks ago. Coming back late and tired from Rapel, a man made lake 2 hours from Santiago, we decided to grab a late dinner, and chose a spot highly ranked on Foursquare just off the road we were on.
It was a bit of a climb up a not-too-savoury part of a small rural town, and my wife and son where starting to make comments about turning back, when we got to a charming restaurant at the top of the hill with a view over the valley. Inside it was traditional Chilean rural dining with a left-wing touch to the music and posters. The owner used to be a folk singer, and there was a small stage set up near the entrance.
I saw Caldillo de Congrio on the menu, and had to try it. It was perfect. Creamy, thick, with a strong but not overpowering fish flavor. Large shrimp. The right balance of herbs and other things. This is what Pablo was talking about.
…Ya sólo es necesario 
dejar en el manjar 
caer la crema 
como una rosa espesa, 
y al fuego 
entregar el tesoro 
hasta que en el caldillo 
se calienten 
las esencias de Chile, 
y a la mesa 
lleguen recién casados
los sabores 
del mar y de la tierra 
para que en ese plato 
tú conozcas el cielo.
posted by signal at 9:48 AM on January 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

I really like minestrone soup. When I see it on a restaurant menu, I order it—and am inevitably disappointed by it. It's not hearty enough, it's too salty, it's just not what I was expecting.

I'm beginning to suspect that I just had one extremely good bowl of minestrone somehow somewhere, and that in reality, I don't really like minestrone soup.
posted by What is E. T. short for? at 9:50 AM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

All my favorite restaurants have a soup that I love. The Himalayan restaurant does soup momos with tomato soup; the Filipino restaurant does a killer clam chowder with clams in the shell, and the Italian place does an amazing cream of mushroom.

At home, my favorite trick is to simmer parmesan rinds in my soup. Any kind of soup, really.

Whenever I get a cold or flu, I crave really salty soup. Tom Yam is fine, or hot and sour, even mediocre hot and sour. Just has to be really sodium laden and spicy is good too. If I'm feeling really bad, I make a box of chicken noodle and add hot sauce and drink it all day.
posted by BibiRose at 9:57 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

An ex in college had an amazing leek soup with potatoes and cabbage and milk. I've been trying to 20 years to find the recipe where I wrote it down in my college journals and scrapbooks because I've never seen a recipe that duplicated it.
posted by crush at 10:29 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Last weekend I made a pot of a soup that I love but hadn't made in years. In the late 90s my parents gave me a little cookbook that was a collection of culinary comic strips (which I just discovered are still running on Go Comics, something that will engage me for a while). My mother mentioned that it was something that my father had zeroed in on--I remember that for its oddness, as he is not a big gift shopper.

The soup in question is called "A Soup for All Seasons," and unfortunately I can't find a copy of it online. It's basically a carrot cream soup, with onion, garlic, ginger and cumin. It's a pretty color, it smells good, it's easy to deal with (other than having to be whizzed in a blender) and it's comforting. I'm surprised it's been so long since I made it. My spouse is quite fond of soup in the winter (proudly announced a couple weeks ago that we had THREE regular go-to recipes for cheese soup, as it turns out--I'm good with that).
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:30 AM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm beginning to suspect that I just had one extremely good bowl of minestrone somehow somewhere, and that in reality, I don't really like minestrone soup.

I strongly recommend Marcella Hazan's minestrone recipe. The version I use (from Classic Italian Cooking, I think) which I can't find online, calls for ham hock (the one you can find online is otherwise about the same). Using bacon works. I also leave out the zucchini and sometimes add small pasta if I'm in the mood.
posted by tangosnail at 10:40 AM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

is pancetta

Haha, yes, should have added that we are vegetarian so we don't have that option. In general though, more fats = more delicious.
posted by stillnocturnal at 10:52 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

My favorite soup is Frosted Mini Wheats.
posted by phunniemee at 11:10 AM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

My favorite soup is Frosted Mini Wheats.

Oh yeah, my husband's favourite soup used to be "oreo soup" which is just oreos mashed up in milk.

I do not personally recommend that one.
posted by stillnocturnal at 11:21 AM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I was just thinking about graham crackers mashed up in milk! I had that many many mornings for breakfast as a child. I would probably intensely dislike it now, but in the abstract it makes me happy.
posted by lazuli at 11:30 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

A Norwegian fish soup that my mother got from a Scandanavian cookbook many years ago. It's really more like a stew, I guess, since it has a fairly thick broth as well as big chunks of potatoes and leeks and fish. It has Aquavit in it, and bacon - ahead of its time!
posted by thelonius at 11:36 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

if you like savoury and tamarind . . . . here’s a gently sour soup for you! Being Filipina + North American meant growing up with island food that works surprisingly well during hard winters. I can’t get to my recipe binder right now but this is pretty close: Sinigang na Baboy or Pork Soup. Pork belly or shoulder can also be used. I drop the okra as the texture doesn’t work for me. Substitute chicken and it’s called Sinampalukang Manok.
posted by lemon_icing at 11:45 AM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

I don't know if it will be a favorite, but I'm making this vegan tom ka soup this weekend.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 11:52 AM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

This veggie dumpling soup is probably the #1 favorite soup in our house. It's so good, but I hate making it because I always stubbornly insist on making my own veggie stock, which turns a pretty simple soup into an hours-long cooking process. Even though I can usually convince myself the dumplings eliminate the need for fresh bread. And then I think about the bushels of dill I'm going to have in my garden about a month after soup season is over, as I sub in some sad dried dill from the cupboard. But I persevere and make the soup a couple times a year, because it's so friggin good. I would eat it every week of the winter if only I could get some soup elves to show up to my house and make it.
posted by gueneverey at 11:59 AM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

The best soup I ever had was the sunchoke soup at the Grand Tier restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera. It was topped with a wild mushroom and black truffle espuma, shaved hazelnuts, brioche crouton, and chervil. Absurdly rich and delicious.
posted by jedicus at 12:07 PM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh wow lemon_icing how I miss Sinigang (no eggplants please lest I die). I should make some, thanks for the reminder.

For commercially available soup, I love this Thai coconut one. Canada only I think.
posted by wellred at 12:13 PM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is so simple and good:

Green Bean & Ham soup

1 lb frozen green beans
8 oz. lean diced ham
Medium yellow onion, diced
Dried basil (or dried italian herb seasoning)

Throw everything into a big soup pot, add water to cover, and boil the shit out of it til the beans are real soft. That's it. Salt & pepper to taste (you'll want lots of each.)

The recipe originally called for peeled and diced potatoes but that's too many carbs for keto and too many points for WW, so I started leaving them out and don't really miss them.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:17 PM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

We've been cycling through soups this week - had carbonade flamande (I use the Cooks Illustrated version) early in the week followed by this Celeriac soup. Space Coyote's red beans & rice though sure sounds nice.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:20 PM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love soup. One of my favorites is a luscious French onion soup served at a local French crepe restaurant, where in addition to the soup and crepes they serve a delicious Morrocan mint tea, and slices of good bread topped with raspberry sauce, a sprinkle of cheese and powdered sugar. To die for. A few months ago I was craving the soup and stopped in, only to learn they take it off the menu in the summer. This baffles and displeases me greatly. Why would you not serve soup in the summer? They have other hot foods on the menu. I assume it is done just to annoy me, as most things are.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 12:25 PM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

My favorite soup memory doesn't take place in winter but in summer. I was a teenager, vacationing with my family on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. It's not frequently visited by tourists though it's very beautiful. We were staying on one side of the island and one day decided to visit a beach on the other side of the island (iirc, the island is only a mile or two wide so it was a short drive in the rather beat-up station wagon we rented for our stay). When we arrived, there was some sort of event going on--not necessarily to mark an occasion, just locals gathered on the beach eating, listening to music, and playing games--I think there was probably something like beach volleyball but what really surprised me was the stack of board games (surprised because--board games at the beach? ok!).

The food on offer--and I don't recall if we even paid for it or were just given it--was chicken souse, essentially a basic chicken soup but with huge amounts of citrus and a wonderful kick of chile. It was tart, spicy, bold--amazing. Like no chicken soup I'd ever had (coming as I do from an Ashkenazi Jewish tradition of chicken soup). I recreated it once a few years later (even in the early 2000s I was able to find a passable recipe on the internet!) and it was very good, but still nothing compared to eating it out of a styrofoam bowl on a hot, jungle-edged beach overlooking turquoise blue waters.

(PS, I came to love so much Bahamian food on that trip--rice and peas, grilled chicken, their take on mac n cheese which I recall had both sweet and hot peppers, but mostly the conch fritters, oh the conch fritters--I drool just thinking about them.)
posted by CiaoMela at 12:49 PM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'd make Scotch broth, 'cos it's perfect for this Toronto weather. Unfortunately, boiling up lamb bones is stinky and doing just the right prep on the marrowfats so they have a bit of bite to them is complex, so I'll pass.
posted by scruss at 1:11 PM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’m hoping somebody drops in with a fabulous creamy potato soup recipe. I love it at restaurants, but any time I make it at home it tastes like dirt. Not sure what I’m doing wrong.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:30 PM on January 25, 2019

Super awesome creatively lazy one pot vegan tomato bisque:

Ingredient list:

One very large plain soup pot, uncoated and hopefully steel and not aluminum. (If you have a coated pot, add one skillet.)

A variety of canned tomato products somewhere in these ratios:
2-3 cans of tomato soup
1-2 cans of tomato paste or sauce
1 can of tomato chunks or some other chunky canned tomato.

1-2 cans of unsweetened plain coconut cream, the thicker the better.

Garlic, lots.
1-2 Onions, preferably sweet walla walla yellows.

Fresh herbs:
Basil, lots.
Oregano, lots,
Rosemary, a few sprigs.
Sage, a leaf or two, very little.

And/or dry herbs:
Garlic powder
Onion powder

Apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar or other vinegar. Somewhere between a dash or a few tablespoons.

Olive Oil, avocado oil or coconut fat or similar plain cooking oil. Olive oil is preferred.


Mince garlic, not too fine. I tend to just use thin slices/discs of the clove. About a half a head to a whole head of garlic.
Dice/cube onions.

Coarse mince fresh basil and oregano. Quantity to taste, up to about a half cup of each for a large pot.

Finely mince rosemary, about a tablespoon or two of fine mince.


If you have an uncoated steel or whatever soup pot, add your cooking oil and bring to heat. If not, do this part in a suitable pan, then add to your soup pot when done.

Add all the onions and about half the garlic, saute until browning and tender but still firm. Do not fully caramelize them.

Add about a third of the rosemary and let it toast in the garlic and onions.

Add bits of oregano, rosemary and basil and other fresh or dry herbs until it smells really good and makes you ravenously hungry.

Open all the cans of tomato soups and sauce and add them all to the pot while stirring.

From this point forward as you add herbs, don't dump them in all at once but add in pinches and keep a reserve. I also find using a mix of fresh and dry herbs is REALLY good so feel free to use both and kick it up with some garlic and onion powder and even random dried oregano and basil. If you have like three kinds, use a little of each.

Bring this up to temp, just below a boil and bubble if you can.

Simmer and add more fresh garlic and herbs. Taste it and adjust to taste. Try just adding a little sage in the simmering stage - it adds a nice clean minty note.

Now add the coconut cream and mix in thoroughly.

Taste and let yourself whisper something like "holy crap that's good" and add even more herbs and garlic. What we're doing here by adding the herbs and garlic throughout the simmering process is trying to create a really complex flavor profile where you get the caramelized garlic along with sharper notes of less cooked garlic and similar curves between "cooked" and "fresh" on all the other herbs.

Let it simmer, then add a dash of the vinegar, mix thoroughly, and taste. And small dashes of vinegar, stir, and taste until it starts to really pop and develop. At this point it shouldn't need any salt or pepper, but it's ok if you want some in there.

And no, don't get your immersion blender anywhere near this. It's best with some chunks left in it with the coarsely diced onions and canned tomato chunks for some texture. The end result should be pushing the definition of a bisque, almost on the edge of a thin chowder.

Additional add ins I've used that are good I've used are red pepper flakes, a bit of hot sauce, or even a scoop of hot salsa or pico de gallo. You can add all kinds of heat to this recipe thanks to the coconut cream and vinegar combo.

A dash of cooking wine or port is a fine addition, too.

And that's about it. Serve with olive oil and garlic with toasted baguette coins or a grilled cheese sandwich. Sprinkle fresh oregano and basil over a bowl for fancy presentation.

I have been told by multiple level 5 vegans that this is - hands down - the best tomato soup they've ever had, anywhere.

The recipe also freezes well, which is good because it's difficult to make a small batch of it.
posted by loquacious at 1:34 PM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

I’m hoping somebody drops in with a fabulous creamy potato soup recipe.

We use Alton Brown's leek and potato soup recipe as a base, but then add some additional potatoes, plus bacon to finish. The additional potatoes make it thicker and creamier after blending. The bacon adds a little more depth of flavor and texture variation. We usually add a bit more leek and buttermilk, as well, to give it a sharper flavor.
posted by jedicus at 1:47 PM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I mostly just stick to canned soup (Progresso because the store across the street puts it on bulk buy sale every once in a while). And it's usually because I'm trying to use up those last few slices of going stale bread. Add some ground black pepper and tobasco most of the time. There's also a bit of keeping canned soup around for disaster situations or the random sick day.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:13 PM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

Here is a Hong Kong mother's recipe for stuffed winter melon soup.

At the Chinese market, pick a winter melon! Make sure it isn't took big, or too small. How big is too big? How small is too small? You just know. Rap it with your knuckles to make sure it sounds fresh.

Take the melon home.

Get your surly husband to spread some newspapers and cut off the top on the deck in the freezing cold. Make him scoop out the seeds out there, too. It's too messy to do inside.

Make one of your surly teenage daughters take the seeds and pulp and seeds to the trash can. Direct her to use one of the 10,000,000 carefully folded plastic grocery bags from the pantry, and not one of the good flex plastic trash bags.

Relent, and allow your surly husband mince the lean pork loin indoors at the kitchen counter, rather than on the deck.

Send one of the surly teenage daughters to the basement freezer for dried mushrooms and dried conpoy that you hand-carried back from Hong Kong, send them back downstairs because they couldn't find the conpoy and brought you the wrong mushrooms, and when they finally come back with the right stuff, give it a quick soak in hot water. Then, slice those too, and place inside the scooped-out melon. How much ground pork, mushroom, and conpoy should you put in, you ask? Well, how much do you love your family? Add some ginger and a little salt. Put in a few cups of the homemade chicken stock you always have in the refrigerator.

Place the melon into your biggest pot with a steamer rack at the bottom, and some water in the bottom. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat, and steam for at least an hour. Maybe hour and a half if you have a big melon and you stuffed it with a lot of ground pork, mushrooms, and conpoy.

You will know when it is done by the smell, and when it comes to the table, everyone will gasp and crowd around and reach for their spoons. After all, it looks beautiful. It smells delicious. You will beam with pride, looking at the melon, then at the faces of your family. After all, you remember growing up hungry. You remember being ashamed of how poor your family was, seven hungry people with only a single chicken leg to accompany the rice, and your brother got the whole drumstick because he was the only boy.

So this soup is how you show your love, and when your husband eats three bowls and sighs in happiness, when your younger daughter will say this is her favorite dish, when your older daughter will complain and say she does not like soup, but will eat her entire pre-dinner bowl and sneak back for a second, top-up bowl -- that's how they show theirs.

Nobody puts more pork and mushroom and conpoy into their winter melon soup than you, and nobody else's will ever taste right to your family.
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:17 PM on January 25, 2019 [40 favorites]

I was kicked out of my office and sent home sick after suddenly being stricken with a cold in the middle of a meeting this morning, so thank you for the timing of this! It has reminded me that tom kha gai soup is essentially medicine and I should go get some. If anyone has a really good recipe for that - especially a high effort one with homemade stock and so on - I really want to see it.

Does chili count as soup? I make fantastic chili, which can be vegan or not. Secret ingredients include carrots and sometimes also poblano chilies slow roasted with chili powder, a shocking amount of chopped up dino kale, and more cacao powder than seems rational. Sauté onions and garlic with chili powder and some cacao, oregano, cumin, and salt (cooked with ground turkey or beef if it’s not for vegetarians - if it is I just leave out the meat instead of using a meat substitute). Add a big can of some kind of tomatoes (I usually use purée but whatever you’ve got will work) and cans of whatever beans you want - I usually use kidney, pinto, and black. Throw in roasted carrots, raw chopped kale, whatever other vegetables feel like a good idea. Probably add a little water or veg stock. Cook it on medium low heat, uncovered so some of the liquid cooks off and it smells good. Keep tasting and adding more of the flavors and spices as appropriate - by the handful is okay. Cook until it has the consistency you want, the kale is done cooking, and it tastes right. You can garnish it with anything you'd put on chili. Eat it with cornbread or chips or warm tortillas or whatever you like. Rejoice.
posted by centrifugal at 2:36 PM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

I never used to like tomato soup, but then I discovered tomato-carrot soup. Now I make a huge pot at least a few times a winter. I typically make this Stella Parks recipe from the Serious Eats website, but I have added sauteed carrots to other tomato soup recipes with great success.

As far as canned soup, I used to love Campbell's vegetarian vegetable soup. It doesn't seem to be available now - all I can ever find is the savory vegetable, which is fine, but not the perfect canned soup of my childhood.
posted by the primroses were over at 2:42 PM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Found this thread while consuming a bowl of reheated split pea soup. One of those things that is so much better the second day, with lots of onions and garlic and carrots and a small number of diced potatoes. A pinch of cayenne, a bay leaf, a generous amount of thyme. My vegan sister, many states away, had never made it from scratch. So we did it yesterday, simultaneously, via text and facetime. Mine was great. But before she could give me her verdict, I asked, "Does yours need salt?" Yes, it did; she reported it as being very bland. I explained that it's traditionally made with ham, or in my version as a southern woman deeply influenced by my Italian-in-laws, pancetta, which adds a lot of salt, as well as flavor notes. "Add salt, kick up the cayenne, and ... do you have any Liquid Smoke?" Well of course she did. Bam. Delicious and vegan!

So there's a soup tip for my vegan or vegetarian friends, as vouched for by a bunch of Ohio vegans: Liquid Smoke in those adapted recipes where you've dropped the pork and something's just missing. (Also useful for shitake bacon, mmmmmm....)
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 2:59 PM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

I remember going to San Francisco and getting french onion soup at City of Paris/Liberty House. It would come in a little black cauldron, topped with melted cheese that would invariably burn your mouth, and underneath it was french onion soup with chunks of bread (possibly sourdough?).

Ideally, you would get a combined scoop of soup-soaked bread and some of the by now less molten cheese for a winning taste combination. I think we'd also get a hunk of sourdough bread and butter for maximum carbo loading. Then we'd stroll through Liberty House and Macy's; I. Magnin was too swanky for us, but my mom might occasionally get something at Joseph Magnin.

If we weren't too full from the soup, we might stop at Blum's for a slice of coffee crunch cake, but that was a rarer treat.
posted by mogget at 3:11 PM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Mussels Marinara
2 pounds of mussels or three (one can of organic diced tomatoes with basil per pound, or without basil.)
Two or three cloves of elephant garlic
Six or so sprigs of fresh basil, pull the leaves off the stems
1/2 tsp of celery seeds
Six stalks of organic celery
1-1.5 cups chardonnay
Shredded parmesan for individual garnish
3 Tablespoons olive oil for sauteeing
One large pot with lid
One smaller pot to cook tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
1 tsp organic cane sugar
Sourdough bread

Bring the diced tomatoes to a simmer and taste, the vinegar is to brighten the sauce if it is bland, bring it up to slightly tart, use the sugar to soften and balance, or skip it if you like. Simmer nearby.

Chop the garlic and basil, cut the celery on an angle for appearance, put the olive oil in the bottom of the large pot and when hot, add the vegetables. When the celery is cooked and every thing is hot, throw in the washed mussels, and put on the lid. Check the mussels in three or so minutes to see if they are opening, barely stir them, so they don't fall out of the shells. Once they are hot and open, add the wine and lid them to steam. Once hot, (not a lot of time, just enough to get the wine to simmer, stir once barely lifting the mussels). Then pour the tomato sauce over the top, and lid again. In a minute lift the sauce through the mussels and vegetables, and if they are all open, and boiling well, turn off.the heat and serve in deep bowls with parmesan sprinkled on top, sourdough bread on the side.

This is the best soup, you can have put a little tabasco into the tomatoes if you like a bit of heat.
posted by Oyéah at 3:34 PM on January 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm making smitten kitchen's roasted tomato soup topped with broiled asiago subbed for the cheddar, this weekend.

Basically it goes like this: halve and broil some tomatoes until carmelized. Make soup as with other veggies. Pour into ovenproof bowls, add some bread, top with shredded sharp cheese, broil until toasty. The hard part is waiting for it to cool down lest you burn your mouth. Posting a picture on social media is a good pastime.

Smitten also has a good mushroom soup, must add thyme and browned pancetta cubes that pop in your mouth.
posted by Dashy at 4:34 PM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't drink anything hot. No coffee. No tea. No hot soup. My favorite soup is cold cucumber soup (it's like less thick tzatziki) with lots of garlic and dill. I'm afraid that won't keep you warm. BUT, I've got a soup trick.

When I was little and had a cold or a bug, my mother felt strongly that I needed to have soup, and I was just miserable about it. Finally, she hit on putting bouillon onto a glass creamer (so it looked like a pitcher, but scaled down to child size), and served it with a shot glass. Basically, it was like a tea party with bouillon. I never learned to love drinking hot things, but the ritual made the experience slightly more, um, palatable.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 4:34 PM on January 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

I am told I have magic skills making soup from leftovers. It's an easy recipe, in fact:

1.) Take leftovers. Select (does it spark joy?) and discard. Cut into soup-o-phile fragments.
2.) Make some soup.
3.) Try it, and add whatever's missing.
4.) Eat.
posted by Namlit at 4:55 PM on January 25, 2019 [7 favorites]

While listening to a podcast on my commute this morning, one of the hosts mentioned that she doesn't like soup. I didn't realize that was a thing that was possible - like half my meals are soup, I don't know what people eat if they don't eat soup.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 6:02 PM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

Why don't they make microwavable Capri Suns full of soup? Sort of like V8 but better, and a healthy, low-sugar alternative to juice.
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:35 PM on January 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

In the 20 years since I did my dissertation fieldwork in a working class neighborhood in Bolivia, the family I lived with (and the neighborhood as a whole) have made solid economic progress. They've partially built a 2 story house with 6 rooms upstairs and a little restaurant on the ground floor. Maria serves up dinners 7 days a week, offering 4-5 different entrees each night. But from late Saturday night to Sunday mornings she simmers up a huge pot of caldo, a classic hangover food made of borwith cow parts. You just ask for whichever part you want in your bowl of broth and potatoes. One Friday of my visit this January she had come back from the an early morning visit to the open air market with her bags of parts, and she showed me how she cleaned the offal. She scraped the mucus off the paladar--palate--in a couple of rinses of water. She broke up the patas--cow's feet--into single serving portions. And then she started on the pulpo--the only part of her caldo that she herself would not eat. If you do a Google image search for caldo de pulpo, you'll see pictures of octopus stews. Since Bolivia is landlocked, it does not have a significant octopus industry. However, this cow part only bears a passing resemblance to octopus. "It's from the cagadero"--the shitter--she explained as she rinsed out the greenish remains of the cow's Last Meal. "They call it pulpo because it kind of looks like an octopus and people probably don't think it sounds very nice to order a 'shitter soup'".
posted by drlith at 8:57 PM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

I often day dream about my childhood favorite lunch my mom would serve on a cold day, the grilled kraft singles of american "cheese" on Wonder bread with a side of Cambell's tomato soup. Of course, the ice cold glass of water too. Oh, the goldfish crackers to go with the soup.

Those were the days.

Now-a-days, if I have soup, it is mostly what my friend calls "A Bowl of Loudmouth Soup" aka a Martini.
posted by AugustWest at 9:16 PM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

You guys made me think of zurek, the simple but amazing Polish rye soup, and now I think I'm going to have to trek to San Francisco this weekend to check out the Polish delicatessen.
posted by ktkt at 9:17 PM on January 25, 2019 [5 favorites]

I love Nordstrom's tomato soup from their cafe- you can buy jars of it. It was a special treat when mom used to take me out to their cafe as a kid. Sadly, it has a lot of cream in it. And as I have now discovered, I have been elevated to a new level of lactose/dairy intolerance, where cream in things like soups and sauces will not only make me have a bad time on the potty, but will make me literally vomit. I found this out after a birthday dinner with my dad at my old favorite restaurant. That was... not a good night. This makes me sad. It's really good soup.
BUT! at the Dark Horse Inn on Geneva, twice now Sean has put a special on the board of a grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup and a little arugula salad. Now cheese I can eat- if I take my lactose pills- and I knew it was a gamble with the soup... But No cream! Of course it's an occasional special not a regular menu item- but he does it whenever he gets a good cheese in and has the arugula, so I look forward to having the occasional creamy-with-olive-oil-not-cream tomato soup in the future as opposed to never unless I want there to be consequences for my sins.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:42 PM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

Blnkfrnk, they kind of do. There are Campbell’s soup to go things that have a drinking spout.

There was a place I used to go in New Orleans that did this amazing tomato fennel soup. It was roughly the texture of a can of crushed tomatoes, maybe a bit thicker? It was deeply umami and had a beautiful drizzle of fennely oil on top. I would often eat this for dinner alongside their truffle mac and cheese with pancetta. Bites that included both dishes were somehow even more divine.

My husband and I are eerily similar in a lot of our food preferences, but one of the areas we differ the most is soup. He doesn’t think of soup as a meal, and doesn’t really like them unless they’re heavy and creamy. I could eat soup every single day; it’s just so comforting to me.

As far as doctoring up canned soups go, many other commenters have great ideas. Our family most often gets canned potato soup. Before I warm it I will usually give a quick sauté to a little butter, garlic, and bacon or leftover ham. I frequently add more herbs and a lot of black pepper. And a fresh grating of cheese over the top of each bowl makes it feel special.
posted by Night_owl at 9:55 PM on January 25, 2019 [3 favorites]

My mother's laksa (spicy noodle soup with coconut milk curry) is delicious.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:17 AM on January 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

This far into a thread about soups, and no mention of gumbo yet? Easily my favourite soup (aside from maybe my dad's lobster bisque, but I don't live by a fjord that enables free access to lobster, unlike my parents). I adapt Chuck's Gumbo du Monde and it is divine. The Rolls Royce of soups.
posted by Dysk at 2:28 AM on January 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Sorry everyone, but it was 36 degrees here, er.... 96f, and even a gazpacho is too hard. I planned a noodle stir fry for dinner but after 4 hours marshalling a fishing comp in the sun at the lake (good news, it was run to catch invasive species, which were massively less numerous than in past years, but the bad news is the kids fishing caught bugger all) I came home, had a beer and a lay down under a fan.
Eventually I produced some ham sandwiches to keep the hungry kids alive. Will try again tomorrow with a bbq.
posted by bystander at 3:56 AM on January 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

Soup!! I was having like, intrusive thoughts of this delicious tortilla soup I had in Oaxaca about 10 years ago, and finally couldn't take it any more and gave this recipe a go. It is amazing and I love chipotle peppers. The rest of the peppers are in the freezer wrapped in little individual tin foil cocoons waiting for their moment to shine, probably in future pots of tortilla soup.
Have one favorite soup so far from the original Moosewood Cookbook (I know/have this book thanks to recommendations gleaned from AskMefi answers, so thank you!): Hungarian Mushroom Soup, subbing yogurt for sour cream because there is no sour cream here. So good. Dill is the best.
posted by sacchan at 5:38 AM on January 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

I made this slow cooker sausage, spinach, and white bean soup earlier this week and polished it off last night. This is definitely one of those soups that tastes better on the second, third, or fourth day. The first time I made this soup, I followed the instructions to a T, but I found the andouille sausage to be disharmonious with the rest of the ingredients. So this time I used a spinach and gruyere chicken sausage and it was super delicious. I also gently sauteed the onions and garlic in the pan where I browned the sausage before adding it to the pot and this really, really helped because all of the delicious fond ended up in the soup instead of stuck to the pan.

As someone who really, really hasn't liked cooking, trying recipes more than once has been the biggest game changer for me.
posted by Mouse Army at 5:40 AM on January 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

This is one of my favourite soups - Oliver & Bonacini's Mushroom Soup. It tastes buttery and creamy though it has neither! So simple to make with so few ingredients for SO MUCH flavour. (I don't bother with "tea water" or truffle oil either, and I don't really miss either - and I have also made it with the giant jug of dried mushrooms from Costco and it's good enough that way too.)

My family doesn't like mushrooms, so when I make it for myself, they call it "Selfish Soup" and I'm just fine with that.


4 cups of assorted mushrooms (button, white cremini, oyster, shiitake, etc.)
½ cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Good splash of extra virgin olive oil & truffle oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 1.5 litres of water
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms, covered with tea water

Seasoned goat cheese
Lightly toasted ficelle


In a large soup pot, gently sauté the onion, garlic and thyme in a good splash of olive oil for 4 to 5 minutes. Next, add mushrooms that have been picked, trimmed, cleaned and sliced or diced. Season with salt and pepper and gently stir over gentle heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Next add the water, bring to a simmer and gently continue to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Purée using a blender or food processor. Return to the heat, bring to a simmer and adjust the seasoning.

This recipe should serve approximately 6 to 8 servings. Garnish each bowl of soup with toasted ficelle and goat cheese, followed by a splash of truffle oil.

Note: This soup is great for vegetarians and for those who are health conscious or lactose intolerant (without cheese garnish), as it contains no cream or butter. Butter and cream could be added to enrich the flavour and texture.

Thank you all for the soup recipes! I can't wait to make some of them. Soup is my favourite thing to have for lunch at work. If I can take a full lunch, I can linger and enjoy it. If I have a quick lunch, a smooth soup can be chugged quickly so I can keep working.
posted by peagood at 6:28 AM on January 26, 2019 [7 favorites]

"Quick pho" may sound an affront to all that is good and holy, but I'll be damned if this quick pho recipe from The Kitchn isn't almost as good as my favorite Vietnamese restaurant's version.
posted by cooker girl at 6:45 AM on January 26, 2019 [6 favorites]

My favorite restaurant soup is the chicken pho at a place in Blaine. It tastes like someone wrapped my head in warm, fresh basil. I am not generally a soup fan, but lately I have been craving Beer Cheese soup whenever it is cold. I made some for a party on Sunday and it turned out pretty good.
posted by soelo at 6:49 AM on January 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

This morning I put a brick of frozen chicken broth and some black eyed peas in the instant pot and some rice in the rice cooker. When I got back from walking the dog I had beans and rice for breakfast. I love kitchen robots!
posted by moonmilk at 7:55 AM on January 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

Recently I've been eating a lot of two different stewy soupy things from my new Instant Pot:

1. Tin of beans, some chopped fried cooking bacon, a big glop of jarred tomato sauce and a small glop of chipotle ketchup stuff. 20 mins pressure cook on high.

2. Giant pork or lamb shoulder, pile of chopped sweet potatoes, possibly a chopped apple or two, salt, and either water or a jar of cheap curry sauce. 45 mins pressure cook on high. Saute on low for a bit after if it needs reducing.
posted by quacks like a duck at 8:01 AM on January 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Last night I realised that I have a pound and a bit of mushrooms that need using, and in a very happy coincidence, I also just bought some cheap brie at my cheese place, which means that I'm going to be making mushroom brie soup this weekend. It's very easy and very delicious:

Sweat an onion in some butter until it's gone soft, then add cleaned, chopped mushrooms. Stems are fine to include--I usually leave them out of recipes because I don't love the texture, but unless they're real woody, you won't notice them in this. Let it cook until the onion is softly browning and the mushrooms are starting to color. Add a little chopped garlic, let cook for a minute, and then cover generously with vegetable or chicken broth. Add some thyme and sage, and let it simmer for fifteen or twenty minutes. Remove from heat and blitz it with an immersion blender. Stir in cubes of brie, rind-off, until the cheese melts in--you might have to put it back on the heat if your cheese is cold or if the soup has cooled off a lot. Top with herby croutons; eat. This makes a fairly thin but rich soup--if you want it thicker, you can make a roux before you add in the stock; if you want it richer, you can add some cream when you add the cheese. (If you'd like it to go further and be thicker, you can also simmer a potato or two in there.)

Use cheap brie for it--the ripe, delicious soft stuff will separate too much and make the soup oily, in my experience. I have also considered making this with parsnips, but haven't tried it yet. But really, what's not to like about cheese-thickened mushroom broth?
posted by mishafletch at 8:13 AM on January 26, 2019 [7 favorites]

My completely lazy winter vegetable soup;

A selection of root vegetables - usually 3-4 carrots, 1 large parsnip, 1 small swede (rutabaga)
1 small onion and/or 1-2 leeka
1 small (half-pint) carton of creme fraiche
Vegetable stock (I usually use Marigold)

Peel and chop the vegetables add to the stock and boil until soft. Let it cool slightly and blend with a stick blender, adding in the creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper to taste. That's it. Very soothing and filling on a dark cold day.
posted by Fuchsoid at 8:13 AM on January 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've been making this Korean beef and turnip soup quite often this winter, because I'm (still) getting a lot of turnips in my CSA. I just get the packages of stew meat from the store and dump 'em in instead of cutting raw meat because of the hassle and squick factor (I'm having a stint of omnivore eating after being vegetarian for ~15ish years).

Another favorite is this posole with mushrooms and greens. I make it without the chorizo, but beef it up with extra hominy and mushrooms, and throw in a chipotle en adobo to get the spice and smoky depth.

I was at a beer pairing dinner thing over the summer, and one of the people at our table had never had soup before. Ever. He used to be a very picky eater, but had made great strides in the last 5 years, but still had never had soup. He figured that since he had made it 40-some years without, why start now? And now it's his "thing".
posted by Fig at 9:02 AM on January 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

The other week I heard one of those stories about Prince that is probably made up, but the fun thing about Prince stories is that any of them could easily be true. Supposedly he came to the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, ordered some kind of soup off-menu (this is totally plausible, they have a full kitchen that does nice dinners), and also had them give it away to whoever else wanted soup.

Anyway the soup of my youth is avgolemono, egg noodles, no chicken but you can make it with either chicken or vegetable broth, serve with pita bread that you've buttered first and then toasted under the broiler. We called it egg and lemon, I didn't know it was Greek for a long time.

I'd planned to make a cabbage and farro soup

The Smitten Kitchen one? I made that last week and IT IS A BANGER. Put a parmesan rind in it if you have one.

This thread reminds me I've got to replace the copy of Deborah Madison's soup book that I lost in a move years ago. There's a bunch of good stuff in there but right now I'm thinking about the broccoli cheese soup. (I went looking for the recipe and one of the google hits is me talking it up in askme. Apparently I made it with celeriac!)
posted by clavicle at 9:32 AM on January 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Fig, that posole looks really good. I just made my shopping list for the week (and red beans and rice will be the main thing for the week), but I'm going to try that one next week!

This thread inspired me to make Sicilian fisherman's stew for dinner tonight, which I used to make all the time but haven't made in years. It's mostly a recipe from Epicurious, which is from Diane Kochilas's "Against the Grain," but I doctored it a bit, so mine's:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped coarsely
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
28oz can chopped tomatoes
8oz bottle clam juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 pounds mixed fresh fish fillets such as snapper, cod, sea bass, swordfish, tile fish, and halibut, cut into large pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy pot over medium heat, add the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the clam juice and the wine.
2. Cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the fish, cover, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Add the juice and zest of the lemon. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. Top with chopped parsley and serve. (I like it with sourdough bread on the side.)
posted by lazuli at 9:39 AM on January 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

Does anyone have a suggestion for a vegetarian approximation of chicken noodle soup? It sounds so comforting but I don’t know what the key properties to emulate would be, so I’m afraid to google my way to a recipe.

My recent soup victory was to use roast potatoes with leeks, which gave a lovely rich flavour from some potatoes that were getting a little elderly.
posted by carbide at 10:43 AM on January 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Amy's No-Chicken Noodle out of a can is a good first approximation. I would do lots of mirepoix, short egg noodles, and probably add some white miso to the broth.
posted by clavicle at 11:03 AM on January 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

I don't like raw onions, but I will spend hours carmelizing an entire sack of onions for soup. French onion in particular, but really pretty much anything.

Anything involving roasting as well. Oh the noble root veggies! Hello captain cauliflower! Whole heads of garlic, random scraps of fat, sausage . . . it's going in the broth.

Also making a chaunk with herbs to dump on the finished soup, or saving some fresh herbs, sprouts, shredded veg to do the same.

Yum. I like soup.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:27 AM on January 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer: there's a soup tip for my vegan or vegetarian friends, as vouched for by a bunch of Ohio vegans: Liquid Smoke in those adapted recipes where you've dropped the pork and something's just missing.

A different solution for the same problem is applied in my recipe for Dutch split pea soup, vegan version:

A wintery recipe. Serves four.

500 gram dried green split peas
vegan stock (cubes)
bay leaves
two carrots
one leek
1/4 celery root
smoked tofu
frying oil
salt, pepper

Bring 2 litres of water to a boil, add stock cubes, 2 bay leaves, and peas. Boil for at least 30 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to do the following:
Clean and chop up the vegetables.
Cut the smoked tofu in small cubes.
Simmer tofu cubes in a frying pan with a smallish amount of strong, salty broth and a dash of oil. After the broth has evaporated, fry the cubes in the remaining oil until they are a nice golden brown. You now have mock bacon cubes.

Add the vegetables to the soup and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add salt and/or pepper according to taste.
Just before serving, add the fried tofu cubes and sprinkle with some parsley.
Serve with dark (rye) bread or pumpernickel.

It definitely tastes even better the next day.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:46 AM on January 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

I love this thread!

I asked my grocery store's fishmonger about mussels: he said no one buys them around here, but he'd be happy to order some for me. So I'm going to pick them up Tuesday, after 2 doctor's appointments, and that will be my treat afterward. Been wanting mussels for ages, perplexed at why they didn't have them at my store (they had in the past, but they said they ended up throwing them away because no one eats them, I'm like, "dude, we're in Maine," and he's like, "yeah, I know, right?"). So thanks, Oyéah, otherwise I'd be hoping for mussels for a long time and never would have asked!

The mushroom and brie soup sounds heavenly, I usually eat a little bit of brie with a ripe red pear for my afternoon snack, and buy it weekly, and have a container of dried porcini's on the shelf.

The quick pho also looks great, we don't have access to that here, maybe if we drove an hour and paid tolls, we could get some good pho.

I'll be referring back to this thread often, and taking notes when I am looking for meal ideas.

One favorite lately is navy bean and ham, I just soak 1 lb. of small white beans overnight, and rinse and drain. Mirepoix of carrot, celery and onion, maybe some garlic, couple of bay leaves, some fresh or dried thyme, and a small ham steak, cut up, it has to be one with some fat and a round bone in it, the tiny lean ham steaks get hard and dry in soup. Broth or water, then mash up a few beans after they're done. It lasts us for days, and I find it very tasty -- like to cut up the mirepoix pretty small, 1/2" in or less, so they blend in with the beans. Have also made it with ham hocks, removing and cutting the meat off the bones after a while, but love the simplicity of the ham steak version. If I can find them, small white and purple turnips go in, otherwise I've found rutabaga (the big yellow and purple ones) too strong for my taste in this soup.

If I am in a hurry, I will make a fast miso soup, with dashi flakes, red miso, tofu, green onion, and sometimes chopped fresh spinach. I use 1/2 a block of firm tofu for 2 people to 4-5 cups of water, and put the rest on a sheet tray and freeze it, then bag it up for another time.

This past week, I made a butter paneer masala, which is probably too thick to be called a proper soup, but it contains many soup-like elements. I used the recipe from Food With Chetna on YouTube. I think she has one for chicken as well. I used a can of diced tomatoes and some Pomi crushed tomatoes (a box), as I'd used my fresh tomatoes for something else.

I also made my own paneer to go in the masala, here is a short tutorial, also from Chetna. I fried mine in oil, but that's optional.

To go with it, I made homemade naan, and this is my favorite recipe, it is a yeast bread, so requires rising time, and has milk and yogurt. The liquid ratio is a little high for my liking, so I simply warm 1/2 cup of milk in the microwave, and proof the yeast in that with a pinch of sugar. Then I use the 1 cup of yogurt, and if I need more liquid while kneading and mixing by hand, I add a dribble of water (if you follow the recipe as stated, you will have to add a lot more flour than the original 4 cups).

I use a generous amount of oil to coat the naan bread dough before rising, and find that I don't need to use flour to roll it out, just rub some oil on the cutting board, and a little on my rolling pin. I use a pre-heated cast iron pan, set to medium, maybe a tiny bit of oil in the pan, then put the rolled naan in, slap on a lid, and wait 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, before checking and flipping. Then I stack them on an old tea towel and brush the top side with melted butter. This recipe makes 8 naans, so the cooking goes very quickly, you can roll one while cooking the first one, etc. I have to use a timer, and I usually char one or two, but I keep them anyway (my pan gets really hot so then I turn it down a little, electric stove, etc.). The naan can be used to go with any soup, if you keep the seasoning neutral. I re-heat the next day it in a shallow baking tray covered in foil, at 350, for 5-8 minutes, with a flick or two of water from my fingers before covering it with foil.

Thanks again for this thread, and all the recipes!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:24 PM on January 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

So I had a resolution this year that I would delve into this gorgeous Chinese cookbook I own, trying out at least three new recipes from it each month. But then last week I lost my job, and realized I would need to be conservative with my spending - putting a pause on any grocery laity that included specialty ingredients. I will pick that back up in a few months.

But then I remembered ANOTHER cookbook I could also challenge myself with - "Twleve Months of Monestary Soups", a collection of seasonal soups from the brother who is the chef of a Franciscan Monestary somewhere in upstate New York. They're simple, healthy, and I'm sure the fact that they were written by actual monks will make them frugal as well.

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:56 PM on January 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

Oooh, tomorrow I am making matzoh ball soup. I made it for the Passover Seder I hosted last year, and it is MIL approved! (She also once told me that my challah tastes “just like the real thing!” I love that woman so much, sincerely.) My secret, as I told her, is benign neglect.

I make it in a big All-Clad pot with the spaghetti strainer insert because the insert is so damn handy, but previously, I made it in the lobster pot. You need a big pot is what I’m saying. Put one whole chicken in the pot and add enough water to cover it completely and then a little bit more. Add one onion, quartered and halved carrots and celery, around four each. Add salt and pepper to taste, bring to a boil, then cover loosely and bring the heat down to a simmer. Forget about it for at least five hours. If you like the skim the schmaltz off the top, strain now, shred the chicken and put it in a bag, and put the pot and the chicken in the fridge for one or two days. Otherwise, just put the pot in and deal with the straining later.

When ready, take the pot out, skim if desired, and put back on the stove to simmer. The broth should be gelatinous when you take it out. If you haven’t strained and shredded yet, do that whenever you feel like it. 45 minutes before serving, prepare the matzoh meal (I prefer Manischewitz) and chill in fridge for twenty minutes. Bring the soup to a boil, make the matzoh balls and add directly to pot, along with a couple of sliced carrots if desired (I do desire), cover pot tightly. In a separate pot, start boiling water for egg noodles at this time. The egg noodles and matzoh balls should be done at roughly the same time. Drain noodles, add to pot, and serve. We use our big bowls for the soup, the smaller bowls for salad, and some sort of bread.

But seriously, the most important part is the neglect. You can serve it same day if you really wanted to, and I have, but it tastes so much better when it has time to sit. The mister doesn’t even add more salt to it, which is the highest compliment he can give, although YMMV. Benign neglect is where I’m a Viking.
posted by Ruki at 2:34 PM on January 26, 2019 [7 favorites]

I was gonna post something in AskMe looking for vegetarian bean recipes, but now I don't need to any longer. Thanks, Fizz!

My favorite soup is a summer/fall soup, because it works best with roasted tomatoes. Is that still in the spirit of today's game?
posted by eirias at 4:07 PM on January 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks all for the soup inspirations! I have loved everything I’ve made from Love Soup by Anna Thomas. She explains how to get flavors from vegetables only; super helpful for alllowing you to create your own soups later, too.
posted by holyrood at 6:30 PM on January 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

eirias, yes, post it!

I did make the Sicilian fisherman's stew tonight and I remembered why I had stopped making it, which is that prepping fish in my current household of two assertive cats can be rather trying, but it was good! And my cats got some fish! And eventually stopped complaining about not getting all the fish!
posted by lazuli at 7:56 PM on January 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Remember Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup in the can? This isn't it.
Homemade Bean with Bacon Soup. So Good, and very easy.
posted by BoscosMom at 12:10 PM on January 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

I did a soup thing today that worked better than I thought it would. I sort of recreated a tomato soup recipe I originally found on a cooking show with Jacques Pepin called "Cooking With Claudine". This was a fun show; Claudine is or was his daughter and they made a meal together each show, very cozy and pleasant.

Anyway, that soup was quite simple but called for stuff I don't currently have on hand, like fresh Roma tomatoes, Herbs de Provence, and a food mill which I do not own at this time.

So I took a large can of Roma tomatoes and dumped them in a soup pot with maybe a cup of veggie broth, some chopped sweet onion, garlic powder, a bay leaf, dill weed, Italian herb blend with some added tarragon, salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar and a little splash of sherry. Cooked long enough for onions to get soft, cut the tomatoes in half, dumped it all in the blender and pureed. Was not quite the Pepin version but was darn good! and I will do it again (though I will get some Herbs de Provence to have around for next time.)
posted by luaz at 4:28 PM on January 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

briank, we made your butternut squash soup and loved it. You have a roomful of high fives to claim should we ever cross paths in meatspace.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:17 PM on January 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

I love this recipe called Chunky Chicken Chowder. It's got onions, garlic, potatoes, and corn in it. It's really good with cornbread. I use boneless thighs and chop them up though.

PinkSuperhero, Ree Drummond's creamy potato soup recipe is my favorite. I always use two or three times as much bacon as the recipe calls for.

Is beef stew a soup? I like making the french kind. You put your beef and potato chunks in the slow cooker with canned crushed tomatoes, baby carrots, and some dried thyme and salt and put it on low. When you get home from work, turn it up to high for half an hour so the potatoes cook through. Then at the end, you mix in a tablespoon or two of dijon mustard. It is heavenly.
posted by heatvision at 3:42 AM on January 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup — it's so good.

We decided last night that THIS is what we need for tonight's blizzard-ish dinner. The addition of the lemon is what makes it intriguing to me.

This Carrot Soup with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas from Smitten Kitchen is definitely a weekend recipe in our household, but it's so good. The variety of textures makes it for me, and even our picky kid will eat it.
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 8:03 AM on January 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

I make a bunch of soup in the winter to bring to the mountain when my son is in his ski club - I can't eat mountain food every day. Most are pretty conventional but this is a lovely, easy fish soup (from someone who doesn't like to cook fish):

This will not taste like anchovies! I promise you! You just use them to make sort of an instant fish stock.

• 4 large garlic cloves, minced
• 4 anchovy fillets,
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 celery rib, chopped
• 2 carrots, chopped
• Salt
• 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
• 1 quart water
• 1 pound potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite sized pieces. New potatoes are nice.
• A bay leaf and a few sprigs of fresh thyme
• 1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
• Freshly ground pepper
• 1 to 1 ½ pounds firm white-fleshed fish such as halibut, tilapia, Pacific cod or black cod, cut into bite sized cubes

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, add the anchovies and bash them until they dissolve in the hot oil

2. Add the onion, celery and carrot with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, about five minutes.

3. Add the minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is very fragrant, about one minute, and then add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down a about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the water, potatoes, salt (to taste) and herbs. Bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, cover partially and simmer 30 minutes. Taste, adjust salt and add pepper to taste.

4. Season the fish with salt and pepper, and stir into the soup. The soup should not be boiling. Simmer five to 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillets) or just until it flakes easily when poked. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, taste once more, adjust seasonings and serve.
posted by shothotbot at 12:03 PM on January 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

This thread rules so much it has me commenting on MeTa for the first time in years!

Tonight I made the Lemon Chicken Orzo that Static Vagabond recommended, and it was excellent. My only suggestion? More lemon juice. I used almost double what the recipe calls for.

My soup offering is America's Test Kitchen's hearty minestrone. It's pretty standard, except it calls for parmesan rind (it's where I first learned that trick), uses V8 instead of another tomato product, and has you put a hard boil on the beans to thicken the soup. It's the soup I bring when I want to impress someone with my soup-making prowress, and it's worked every time.

Hearty Minestrone

Serves 6 to 8

If you are pressed for time you can “quick-brine” your beans. In step 1, combine the salt, water, and beans in a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans and proceed with the recipe. We prefer cannellini beans, but navy or great Northern beans can be used. We prefer pancetta, but bacon can be used. To make this soup vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth and 2 teaspoons of olive oil for the pancetta. Parmesan rind is added for flavor, but can be replaced with a 2-inch chunk of the cheese. In order for the starch from the beans to thicken the soup, it is important to maintain a vigorous simmer in step 3. The soup can be cooled, covered tightly, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat it gently and add basil just before serving.


Table salt
1/2 pound dried cannellini beans (about 1 cup), rinsed and picked over (see note)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil , plus extra for serving
3 ounces pancetta , cut into 1/4-inch pieces (see note)
2 medium celery ribs , cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
1 medium carrot , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
2 small onions , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium zucchini , trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 small head green cabbage , halved, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups) (see step by step below)
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 cups water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind , about 5 by 2 inches (see note)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups V8 juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese , for serving


1. Dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts cold water in large bowl or container. Add beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.

2. Heat oil and pancetta in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is lightly browned and fat has rendered, 3 to 5 minutes. Add celery, carrot, onions, and zucchini; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 5 to 9 minutes. Stir in garlic, cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes; continue to cook until cabbage starts to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer vegetables to rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

3. Add soaked beans, water, broth, Parmesan rind, and bay leaf to now-empty Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and vigorously simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are fully tender and liquid begins to thicken, 45 to 60 minutes.

4. Add reserved vegetables and V8 juice to pot; cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and Parmesan rind, stir in chopped basil, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with olive oil and grated Parmesan.


For our Hearty Minestrone recipe, we cook the dried beans in chicken broth and water before combining them with the other ingredients. We noticed that by the time the beans became tender, the cooking liquid in some batches of beans had a nice thick consistency, while others were thin and watery. Could this be due to how much heat was under the pot?


To find out, we cooked two pots of beans (both soaked first overnight in a brine, according to our recipe)—one at a bare simmer and the second pot at a vigorous simmer—until the beans in each became tender. We then drained each batch of cooking liquid into a measuring cup, adding water to the vigorously simmered batch until it was level with the gently simmered cooking liquid.


Even with water added to compensate for evaporation, the cooking liquid from the boiled beans was significantly thicker than the more gently simmered liquid.


A higher cooking temperature causes more starch to be released from beans. As they simmer, their coats may look smooth and unbroken, but starches are continually being released into the water through a section of their seed coat called the “hilum.” These starches absorb the hot liquid and eventually burst, releasing the molecule amylose, which acts as a thickener. So the next time you want a thicker bean soup, remember: The more vigorous the simmer, the more starches that burst and the more viscous the broth.
posted by rollbiz at 4:28 PM on January 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

Mushroom miso beef stew:
Basically your standard beef stew (onions, carrots, potatoes, celery) but season with soy sauce, garlic and fresh ginger, and a hefty dollop of miso. Add sliced brown mushrooms and dried shiitake mushrooms if you have them. Adding cooked barley before serving works too.
posted by sexyrobot at 5:47 AM on January 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

Boscosmom, I made that bean with bacon recipe last night.


My husband, who is not a bean lover like I am, also thoroughly enjoyed it.
posted by cooker girl at 9:42 AM on January 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

We've had an Instant Pot FPP and we have a soup thread here - I flipped a coin and decided I'll share this link in this thread, to a soup that I made last night and is also going to be feeding me for the next couple days of lunches. YES.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:08 PM on January 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

This thread is perfect as I'm watching The Color Of Magic with my son and we both giggled at poor Cohen the Barbarian only being able to eat "shoup" on account of his missing teeth.

I've snagged a bunch of recipes here and will add my own current favorite Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup.

It tells you to put the cream in *before* pressurizing but I've also made it by adding it after with the cheese and it tastes way better that way.
posted by Twicketface at 6:55 PM on January 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

Soup!!! Yay! Thank you, everyone, for all the fabulous ideas! I adore soup.

I am this very moment just getting underway on this America's Test Kitchen recipe for "Provencal Vegetable Soup," served with a dollop of pesto/pistou. I just happened upon it yesterday, and it's the wrong season, but look at that pic and tell me it's not going to be a great chilly night soup. I've had to make some adjustments because I can't get orecchiette pasta, and our grocer was out of fresh basil. Also, my husband didn't buy cannellini or navy beans, but some large white beans like the size of lima beans (they are cooking in the Instant Pot-alike as I write, because no canned beans in our local groceries). Also, I'll use a canned whole tomato, because, yeah, wrong season. But eh. Veggies, beans, pasta, pesto ... it will be good. How can it be bad? I'm going to use dried cheese tortellinis in the soup for the pasta, and arugula instead of basil for the pesto. I'll let you know.

Also, it's amazing how overarching "never read the comments" wisdom can be. In the comments on this soup, I think I giggled for a half-hour over "If it's so good, you'd think they'd give it a better name than pistou."

BTW, for another Minestrone recipe rec (from the mention upthread), I love Serious Eats' "The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe." So, so good. In fact, that was what I was thinking of making tonight, but saw the other recipe and decided to give it a go.
posted by taz (staff) at 9:43 AM on January 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

Update on the ^ soup: Seriously super delicious. I'm definitely sticking with the dried cheese tortellini as the pasta sub in this next time, and maybe the arugula for the basil in the pistou, too. Because yum. One addition I made at the last minute was to add a tablespoon of Michelle Tam's Magic Mushroom Powder to the soup, because we have it on hand, and it seemed like a good idea. Taste buds agree!
posted by taz (staff) at 11:29 AM on January 31, 2019

Cooker girl, I'm so glad you loved it too!
posted by BoscosMom at 7:07 PM on January 31, 2019

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