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Your Favorite Soup Recipe?

I admit it...the only soup that I'm known for is chicken soup with matzoh balls. It is great, but I'd love to add some more tried and true recipes. It is soup season here in Philadelphia. Please share your favorites.

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  1. I love making soup this time of year too! But I don't follow recipes for almost any of them. I make them as I go. Starting with homemade stock (whenever possible) is best. I saute aromatics (onions, garlic, celery) before adding stock or other ingredients.

    I love to make:
    Beef barley (an oldie but a goodie)
    Kale & sausage (adapted from a Portugese recipe, although I usually use kielbasa)
    Black bean (with ham broth)
    Chicken (with rice or small noodles)
    Clam chowder
    Butternut squash (with sage and parmesean -- I posted this on another thread)

    I've found that most soups are pretty forgiving in terms of adjusting ingredients to what you have on hand or adding or removing ingredients to your taste.

    1. i too like making chicken soup with matza balls, but I do not care for the boiled chicken. My favorites are broccoli soup, beef, mushroom and barley with lima beans, minestrone soup, and hot and sour soup.to name for few.

      9 Replies
      1. re: classylady

        I make what I call my refrigerator soup, where every saturday I will clean out all the
        leftovers out of the refrigerator, and make a soup out of that. you can easyly learn
        to emprivise using different ingredients each week. my favorite soups is I have two
        of them is, albondigas(mexican meatball soup) and my very own chili vegetable beef
        soup. in that one I started making that when I was a kid. you take 2 family size cans
        of campbells vegetable beef soup and a brick of chili with it. I can eat soups everyday
        of the year it does`nt have to the fall season, and i just hope I have some fresh cornbread or crackers to go with it.

        1. re: bigjimbray

          A favorite in my house is called "kitchen soup," short for "What's in the kitchen?"

        2. re: classylady

          How do you make broccoli soup???

          1. re: DaisyM

            have you ever made gordon ramsay's version?

            take broccoli and boil in water (w/ a pinch or two of salt) til very tender. drain and reserve liquid. blend broccoli, adding as much of the cooking liquid to attain your desired consistency. season w/ S & P. [optional: add some parmesan and/or a drizzle of olive oil]

            1. re: Emme

              I do something similarly simple only I sweat lots of leeks and broccoli with a touch of garlic, then add water, simmer 15-20 min, and puree. Season with S&P. Very light, green soup. Lovely.

            2. re: DaisyM

              1 pd broccoli\
              4 oz cheddar cheese crumbled
              4 c water\
              4 oz.butter and 2 TBS olive oil
              1 onion finely chopped
              1 potato peeled and chopped
              l vegetable stock cube
              dash nutmeg
              1/2 c milk or cream

              Heat butter and olive oil in large pan. Soften onions and potato until onion is walnut color.Add water and vegetable cube and bring to boil. Add broccoli which is broken up in small pieces .Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer 15-30 minutes until broccoli is soft. Blend in food processor and return to pan.Add milk and crumbed cheddar cheese stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add nutmeg.

              1. re: DaisyM

                Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheddar Chowder --

                If you are looking for an unusual take on broccoli soup, I really like this broccoli, red pepper, and cheddar chowder from epicurious. I tried it last week and it is really excellent -- read the reviews that accompany the recipe for cool tips. I make lots of pureed soups from pretty much every vegetable, making at least one soup a week all fall and winter. I can say that this is certainly an unusual combination. I like that the broccoli florets are kept whole (yet small) as this adds a lot of texture to the soup. You don't need to cook them separately, just boil some water and pour that over them, leave in there for 2 mins or so, drain. They will be bright green :) a great color complement to the creamy pinkish color of the soup from the red pepper. Keep the broccoli florets separate from the soup and add them in after you have served the soup into bowls -- no soggy factor. We like this with homemade croutons or bread too :) and definitely don't skimp on the **cheese** This soup is decadent!


                1. re: foxy fairy

                  Thanks for sharing this one Foxy. Made it this weekend and LOVED it!

                2. re: DaisyM

                  2 medium onions
                  2 large leeks
                  2 lbs of broccoli
                  48 oz of low sodium chicken broth (beef brooth, veggie brooth, homemade or not, can even use water)

                  Clean the leeks andchop the white/light green parts only
                  slice the onions
                  On medium heat sautee them in a little oil (again your choice as to type)
                  salt and pepper to your taste
                  When slightly brown add as much garlis as you like and cook until no longer raw - 5 mins
                  While the onions and leek are cooking clean and cut up your broccoli into bigger than bite size pieces.
                  Put the broccoli over the onion and leeks - let heat up for 5 mins.
                  Cover with the brooth.
                  Bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer for 20 mins or until broccoli is fork tender.
                  Remove 1 cup of liquid
                  Use hand blender (blend or food mill) to blend
                  add back reserved liquid as needed.

                  Sub in 1 lb of cauliflower - gives a wonderful texture and flavor
                  a potato can be used to thicken

                  I like this soup cold in the Summer and hot in the Fall/Winter


              2. Another butternut squash recipe, this one with roasted garlic. Endlessly adaptable and always outstanding.


                1. Just this past Thursday, I made split-pea soup for the very first time, and I loved loved LOVED it! It's so very simple, and took seemingly little in the way of "watching the pot".

                  Split green peas (I used 1 cup)
                  1 onion
                  1 carrot
                  1 smoked ham bone or hock
                  3 cups of water (more to be added if desired)

                  Chop veggies into medium sized pieces. Add water, and all ingredients to large pot/pan, and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, let cook approx 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally, just to make sure things aren't sticking. Remove ham-hock, cutting away edible meat to return to soup. Pour soup into mixer/blender, or use a stick-blender in pot, and puree to smooth consistancey. Judge thickness of soup, and add more water, placing meat into it, as well. Cook another 20 minutes and serve.

                  1 large bay leaf

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Honeychan

                    Split pea soup is my favorite as well. I use basically what you do, with a meaty ham bone, and some water, some chicken stock, bay leaf, tarragon, and a couple slices of american cheese (optional). It is rich and tasty. I have pureed the soup before I put the ham in, but don't always. I just stir and smush! I also like to see the carrots, but in small pieces, so if they have cooked down too much, I grate one on the top and stir in for presentation, while it is still on the stove.

                    1. re: Honeychan

                      Since you've discovered the charms of split pea soup, honeychan, here's another version for you. Sorry, I'm not very exact with amounts for soup ingredients, since I'm basically one of those whatever's-in-the-refrigerator soup makers.

                      Golden Split Pea Soup

                      --Slice in half-inch disks and saute in soup vessel, until browned and almost cooked through, two or three sausages of choice (I use sweet Italian or chorizo) plus pork cut into inch cubes. Left-over cutlets or chops fine for this, but if you're use them, rather than raw, wait to add them until the sausage is almost ready...just to brown them and mix 'em up with the sausage.

                      --Remove and reserve the meat. (I'm obsessive so I put it back in the fridge until it's time to bring it back down toward room temp...not that it's in there long enough to get really cold, anyway.)

                      --Dice, slice, rough chop or mince one large onion--whatever your size preference for the final product. Saute it in the same pan in which you browned the meat. I pour off the meat drippings and add in maybe one tablespoon of robust olive oil (your oil of choice OK) and a pat of butter. I usually salt and pepper the onions in the pan, plus sprinkle with a little sugar, to caramelize.

                      --When onions soften and are lightly browned, add a half-pound of sorted and rinsed yellow split peas and (optional) minced garlic to taste. Stir briefly to coat the peas in oil/butter.

                      --Add spices/herbs of choice. I always use a couple of bay leaves and then I decide what herb I'd like to "feature"...*one of the following*...a couple of tablespoons of good quality dried oregano...OR sage...OR a couple of tablespoons of minced FRESH rosemary needles. If I'm using rosemary I tend to throw the stripped stick and another stick (with the needles) in. Add some more fresh cracked or ground pepper to your choise plus a teaspoon of allspice. (Note: hubby and I like things heavily seasoned, so adjust to your judgment.)

                      --(Optional) Immediately upon adding the seasonings, turn off the heat to add one cup dry sherry.

                      --Turn burner back on and add three cups water. (Obviously...four cups of water if you skip the sherry.) If I have chicken stock on hand, I'll make that one half water, one half stock.

                      --Bring to a boil, then back down to simmer until the peas are almost al dente.
                      On my cooktop, in my souppot, this usually takes about...ehhh...a half-hour to 45 minutes?

                      --Remove half the mixture and puree using stick or conventional blender or FP, then add it back to the soup pot containing the "whole" split pea (is that an oxymoron?) mixture. You can add some more water here if you think it's getting too thick.

                      --Add the sausage and pork back into the soup pot.

                      --Add diced/chopped veggies of your choice. In this soup, I like some combination of carrots, parsnips, celery, kernel corn.

                      --Continue simmer until meat is fully cooked through and veggies are softened. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

                      --I sometimes top each soup plate with a couple of big croutons I've broiled up and a handful of a dry crumbled cheese (I like pecorino pepato...we're into pepper around here).

                      It's a good hearty soup for winter, with the rustic texture of some of the peas left un-pureed.

                    2. At the moment with a new job where I frequently do not get home until 6:30-7 PM I am in love with a new pressure cooker. This week triple celery soup will be on the menu. It is celery, celery root, celery seed cooked in chicken broth, pureed and finished with heavy cream and topped with freshly made garlic croutons. I think my DH will be preparing onion soup tomorrow night. With the PC it is about a 20 minute cooking job. I am probably going to buy a 2nd. PC this week in a smaller size. Probably a 6 qt. OMG I cannot fathom why I have not bought one sooner.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Candy

                        candy, tell us your pressure cooker brand, please.

                        Please also give us the proportions/instructions for your wonderfully rich-sounding celery extravaganza soup!

                        1. re: alkapal


                          I am going ti wing it in the PC on timing.

                          4 tbs. butter
                          1 chopped onion
                          1 bunch celery, chopped, leaves reserved
                          2 lbs. celery root, peeled and diced
                          1 tsp. celery seed
                          1 bay leaf
                          10 C. chicken stock
                          S&P to taste
                          1 C. heavy cream
                          freshly made buttered croutons

                          I will halve the recipe for 2 people and have some left overs.

                          What i plan to do us to cook the celery root in the pc first with the butter until tender, about 5 mins.High pressure Then add the chopped celery and onion, celery seed, bay leaf and give them about 5 mins under high pressure. Add the stock and simmer about 15 minutes then puree with my stick blender and stir in the cream and heat gently.

                          1. re: Candy

                            candy, thanks, that sounds great!

                            1. re: Candy

                              Candy - I'm thinking about trying this for Thanksgiving as I need a vegetarian soup recipe (will sub in vegetable stock). When you make it w/o the pressure cooker - do you cook the celery root first and then add the stalk celery - or do you add them both after sauteeing the onions?


                              1. re: MMRuth

                                Either way will work. I'd cook the celery root first since it is so dense and fibrous, then add the other veg before and cook thoroughly before pureeing

                          2. I love making soups. One of my favorite from the past was Cooking Light's roasted garlic potato soup. Found it on-line. Hope it's an allowable link:

                            Slightly time consuming but great. I pretty much start all my soup as this one starts w/ sauteeing onions in a few slices of chopped bacon.

                            1. Barefoot Contessas Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
                              Roasted Corn and Tomato Bisque with gorgonzola

                              1. Gosh, I love soup. I eat it year-round! I think it should be a food group, in fact. I make so many, but I'd say my favorite summer soup is cheddar corn chowder, based on Ina Garten's recipe: http://houndstoothgourmet.com/cheddar...
                                And my favorite cool weather soup is french onion: http://houndstoothgourmet.com/french-...
                                Other faves are wedding soup, and minestrone. Oh and pasta fagiole....I could go on and on!

                                1. I love this Broccoli, Red Pepper and Cheddar Chowder. It is especially good with a good shot of hot sauce at the end. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                  I can also vouch for the Barefoot Contessa Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, it hits the spot on cold nights.

                                  This is the vegetable soup I make that I have tweaked over the years. It works with almost any veggie combo you like:

                                  Vegetable Soup

                                  3 tablespoons olive oil
                                  3 large carrots, peeled, chopped
                                  large handful of spinach, chopped
                                  1 onion, chopped
                                  2 celery stalks (including leaves), chopped
                                  2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
                                  6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
                                  1 28-ounce can Italian chopped tomatoes with juices
                                  1 14 ounce can chick peas
                                  2 medium green squash
                                  1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
                                  Additional grated Parmesan cheese

                                  Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, spinach, onion, celery and rosemary and sauté until tender and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add broth, chick peas and tomatoes with their juices and simmer 45 minutes, adding green squash in the last 20 minutes of simmering. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve, passing additional cheese separately.

                                  1. Creme DuBarry (Cream of cauliflower soup)

                                    1 large or 2 small cauliflowers, about 3 pounds untrimmed
                                    3 cups fresh or canned chicken broth
                                    1/2 cup raw rice (I use Basmati)
                                    Salt and freshly ground pepper
                                    3 cups milk
                                    1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, or to taste
                                    1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
                                    1/2 cup heavy cream

                                    1. Trim the cauliflower of leaves and carve out and discard the center core. Cut or break the cauliflower into larges flowerets. Place them in a pot and add cold water to cover. Do NOT add salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Drain immediately. Set aside 3-4 pieces cauliflower for garnish. Break them into smaller pieces. Place remaining cauliflower in a saucepan and add the chicken stock. Add the rice, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes.

                                    2. Pour the cauliflower with broth and rice into the container of a food processor or blender. This will probably have to be done in 2 or 3 steps. Blend until smooth and, as the cauliflower is blended, return it to the saucepan. Add the milk, salt and pepper to taste, nutmeg and cayenne. Bring to boil and add the cream.

                                    3. Spoon the piping hot soup into bowls and sprinkle the top of each with a few pieces of the garnish.
                                    YIELD: 6 to 8 servings.

                                    1. Broccoli Rice soup
                                      We had this all the time growing up, I cook it for my family and they love it. In fact since "fall" is finally here in Southern California I may make it this week.

                                      1 onion chopped
                                      2 crowns of broccoli chopped (or I use one bag of broccoli florets)
                                      2 cups chicken stock
                                      1 cup water
                                      1/2 cup rice
                                      Parmesan cheese freshly grated - for garnish
                                      Saute’ the onion in a pot in some olive oil. Add the broccoli, stock & water. Bring to a simmer, add rice. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender & rice is done. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls, garnish with parmesan cheese.
                                      to be a little exotic sometimes I drizzle on some truffle oil too

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ErikaK

                                        Weird! I made Cream of Broc soup last night. Had never thickened soup with rice before. Came out fine. I was going to put half and half in it but found there wasn't any. Ended up making the "cream" out of low fat yoghurt (just make sure not to boil soup after yog is added) and a couple of tablespoons of mascarpone that was about to expire.

                                        I just sauteed onion and garlic added stock added rice and cooked til rice was soft. Then I added broc (incl peeled stem) and a couple of small Yukon Gold spuds chopped up (skin on - they were organic). Added a couple of pinches of chile flakes
                                        and salt and pepper and pureed the whole thing. I usually just immersion blend soup but this time I fully pureed. Then added the "cream" and heated up. Great.

                                        Served it with some leftover corn bread adapted from a Bert Greene cookbook...spinach and red peppers folded into batter.

                                      2. Butternut or Acorn Squash Soup
                                        1 small squash baked with ginger and curry powder
                                        1 onion caramelized
                                        puree squash and onions in blender or processor with goat cheese and sage
                                        meanwhile, heat stock (I use homemade vegetable broth -- I'm vegetarian, but any stock will do) stir in soy milk or cream and then stir in puree -- heat thoroughly and serve with sage leaves as garnish and chunks of goat cheese.

                                        1. I love soup and make it all the time. I dont' follow recipes though and just make it up as I go along. I most frequently make:

                                          Split Pea(my favorite! usually about once a month)
                                          Mushroom Barley

                                          I made some "make it up as I go along soup" tonight. Had a couple Moroccan Lamb sausage links in the fridge so used those with some mirepoix, ras el-hanout, white beans, swiss chard, chicken stock and a squeeze of lemon to make a hearty and delicious dinner. Leftovers for lunch should be even better.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: ziggylu

                                            I LOVE doing this with soup! I started experimenting with this same idea when I was about 12-13 years old, with the help of my Grandma. Lentil soup was decent, but I remember it was alot of work at the time. Soup experiments can yeild some of the BEST results! Have fun with the concept, and 9 out of 10 times, it turns out great.

                                            1. re: ziggylu

                                              Zig, can you please post your recipe for Avgolemono soup? I'm recently enamored of this soup from a local Greek restaurant .... BUT...it kind of tastes salty and I don't know if it's from the lemon juice that's in it or from salt added to it! And, there's no way for me to tell! Wish I could ask the sodium content which is the curse of most prepared or restaurant soups! Thanks!

                                              1. re: Val

                                                Val, I don't really have a recipe as I've been making this since I was a little kid with my mom. I will say it's not like most restaurant versions(which often have cornstach to keep it stable for service).

                                                I usually make about a quart at a time, using homemade stock preferably. If I don't have homemade I'll use the Pacific organic broth.

                                                I add shredded chicken and I like orzo but you can cook rice in the stock if you prefer to the orzo.

                                                For one quart of stock I put one whole egg and three egg whites with the juice of a lemon( You can play with how much lemon juice depending on how lemony you like it) in the blender and blend. I prefer my soup light and foamy which is why I use a lot of white vs whole eggs. Once the egg are foamy I temper with some stock(again in the blender) then add back to the soup.

                                                I season to taste and then garnish with dill.

                                                I don't find it salty but don't add any salt along they way and the stocks I use(homemade or the Pacific) are both low in sodium. The restaurants, especially if they're diners, may be using base which would account for the saltiness you're finding.

                                                1. re: ziggylu

                                                  Sounds really great, thank you for taking the time to post it.

                                                  1. re: ziggylu

                                                    Some recipes use farina to thicken their avgolemono.

                                                  2. re: Val

                                                    here is my recipe...Avgolemono soup. I have doctored the orginal recipe but I make a double batch every week and have for almost 2 years. here is my version.


                                                    1 roasted chicken (meat shredded)

                                                    1 carrot, finely chopped

                                                    4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped

                                                    1 1/2 stalks celery, finely chopped

                                                    1/2 Spanish or sweet onion, finely chopped

                                                    2 fresh bay leaves or 3 dried leaves

                                                    3 large sprigs thyme

                                                    olive oil

                                                    2 32 oz chicken broth

                                                    white wine to taste

                                                    2 bay leaves (optional)

                                                    extra better than bullion to taste

                                                    1/2 cup orzo

                                                    4 large eggs room temp

                                                    1/3 cup lemon juice (or more)

                                                    fresh dill

                                                    salt and pepper


                                                    In a large, heavy pot, warm the blended oil over medium-high heat. Add all the vegetables and cook until softened but not browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and thyme, then deglaze the pot with the white wine and cook until it completely evaporates. add broth and bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente (10 min).Turn off heat and remove one cup of broth from the pot (without any orzo in it.) Let it cool for 5 minutes. Put eggs and juice in blender and process until smooth and frothy. With blender on, slowly pour the one cup of cooled broth that you removed from the pot into the blender and process until smooth. This is to thin out the eggs a little more so they will blend in to the soup obediently later on.

                                                    Add chicken to the broth.

                                                    Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until orzo is tender. Reduce heat to low.

                                                    Slowly pour in egg mixture, stirring constantly, until soup is heated through, about 1-2 minutes.

                                                2. Here's one I made this weekend. Awesome! - Roasted Red Pepper and Crab Soup

                                                  2 large jars of roasted red peppers
                                                  1 (32 ounce) carton chicken broth
                                                  1 large potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
                                                  1 quart half-and-half cream
                                                  1 teaspoon salt
                                                  1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
                                                  1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
                                                  1/2 teaspoon dried basil
                                                  1 pound cooked crabmeat, flaked

                                                  Coarsely chop the peeled, roasted peppers, and place into a large saucepan along with the chicken broth and chopped potato. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add the half-and-half, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and basil. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes.
                                                  Once the potatoes have softened, puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into another saucepan and stir in the crab. Heat over medium heat to warm through, about 5 minutes.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: egbluesuede

                                                    Thanks egbluesuede - that one sounds fantastic.

                                                    I love my pasta fagioli by Giada - but I add a nice sausage to mine:
                                                    I couldn't get the original but it's in this blog.

                                                  2. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm really looking forward to making this Roasted rosemary potato leek soup.


                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Dave O

                                                      This recipe looks great, but if you didn't check it out....please do. What a great food blog site with photos and recipes.

                                                      1. re: Dave O

                                                        I checked it out and LOVE LOVE LOVE this website.
                                                        the photos are wonderful.

                                                      2. Delish White Bean Soup------REALLY good, make sure you have lots of crusty bread ready.

                                                        I use more veggies (2 carrots, big onion, fennel bulb & 1/2, etc), 2 cans of small white beans and 1 can of cannellini, 2 smoked ham hocks. lots of rosemary. Did the roasted garlic while I was chopping the other stuff. Used spinach. I have an immersion blender, so I used that. Sprinkle of parm, couldn't find my truffle oil!!! Enjoy!
                                                        White Bean Soup*

                                                        * 2 tablespoons olive oil
                                                        * 1 carrot, peeled, if desired, and finely diced
                                                        * 1 Spanish onion, peeled and diced
                                                        * 3 garlic cloves, chopped
                                                        * 2 celery stalks, diced
                                                        * 1 fennel bulb, cut in small dice
                                                        * 1 ham hock (optional)
                                                        * 1 teaspoon dried fennel seed
                                                        * 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
                                                        * ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
                                                        * 1 teaspoon kosher salt
                                                        * ½ teaspoon black pepper
                                                        * 1 head roasted garlic, peeled
                                                        * 2 cups cooked white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
                                                        * 6 cups chicken broth or canned low-sodium chicken broth
                                                        * 1 bunch escarole or bunch spinach, well washed and torn apart

                                                        Add oil to large stockpot over med heat. Add the carrot, onion, garlic, celery, fennel, ham hock(s), fennel seed, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and cook until the vegetables become translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes.

                                                        Add the roasted garlic, beans, and chicken broth and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

                                                        Place half the soup in a blender or food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the mixture is thick, but not completely smooth. Return it to the stockpot.

                                                        Add the escarole or spinach, if desired, and cook until wilted. Serve immediately with sprinkling or parm, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 3 weeks. Makes about 8 cups.

                                                        Enjoy, I'm making this weekend, it's getting cold here in Montreal!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: minisma

                                                          Mushroom Soup with truffle oil - yum.

                                                          1. re: minisma

                                                            made this today & was great, thanks for the recipe! I used more beans though. The spinach was a nice addition.

                                                          2. cockaleekie soup. (seriously, that's its name)
                                                            basically just a bunch of thinly sliced leeks sauteed in butter with salt and white pepper, and then add the leeks and some shredded chicken to chicken stock. Simple, delicious and the name gives you a grin.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: charlesbois

                                                              Why did I think cockaleekie soup had prunes in it?

                                                              1. re: prunefeet

                                                                According to the Oxford Companion to Food, it used to, but the practice fell out of favor (can't remember how long ago). Now, those who use the prunes take them out before serving.

                                                                  1. re: tomaneng

                                                                    cockaleekie still has prunes in it-- it's bad luck not to get one in your bowl so many people add the prunes to each bowl first to make sure!

                                                              2. Daisy-- I'd love to hear which soups you try, and how they turn out! Blended creamy soups are my favorite... mmm, with an imaginative salad and homemade bread, what an excellent winter meal.

                                                                I keep a bookmark folder of chowhound soup discussions b/c I am always looking for new soup tips and techniques. You might want to check out some of these recent chow soup threads, too:

                                                                soup cookbooks: (lots of great ideas here!)

                                                                easy yet filling soups:

                                                                ultimate butternut squash soups:

                                                                soup recipe inspiration for budding teen/tween soup-chefs :

                                                                My favorite soups are creamy carrot dill and creamy roasted (any vegetable with fresh herb to accent). The creamy garlic soup I'm posting below is spectacular (but only for TRUE garlic-lovers), as is the carrot dill, served with a snazzy yet easy dill pesto!

                                                                Roasted garlic soup with Parmesan:

                                                                Carrot dill soup: (I add half-and-half or milk or cream at the end

                                                                1. Ah one of my favorite food items is soup and I love almost any, but I would say my favorite is French Onion. I have been craving it for awhile and got a late start making it last night, so I had to whip out cans of beef broth and make the quick version which is not all that quick.
                                                                  3 huge onions - 2 white, 1 red sliced thin and in half moons
                                                                  2 cloves of garlic sliced
                                                                  Saute all in butter to carmelize season with white pepper and salt well - Put a lid on it turn it on low let them cook, they will need a turning every so often for even color.

                                                                  After about 30-40 minutes the onions should be soft, and golden and broken down, that's the way you want them, I add some sherry to them and let that cook off a bit.

                                                                  Put the broth in a soup pot, bring to a boil along with the onions, then put the lid on taste it, add sherry, salt and pepper/ Let it cook another 20 minutes.
                                                                  Meanwhile grate your cheese - I love mozzarella cheese
                                                                  Cook your own croutons - I save bread tearing it toss it with olive oil and salt and bake it on low or 300 until its good and crunchy.

                                                                  When the soup is reduced, line a cooking sheet with sides with foil, place oven proof bowls, place a slice of toasted bread in the bottom, add the soup with some onions, and top with a good handful of cheese ( your favorite) I use mozzerella and a tad bit of parmesean, place a crouton sticking up in the cheese. Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted and the soup is bubbling hot. Remove the bowls of soup carefully and place on a large plate for to make it safe for carrying. Add about a tablespoon of sherry before serving.
                                                                  When I make it the long way, I will serve it with little tiny pitchers of cognac for eveyone to top the soup or each bite with. SOOO GOOD.

                                                                  Another couple that are so satisying are:
                                                                  Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup
                                                                  Cream of Asparagus with Smoked Oyster
                                                                  Creamy Minestroni

                                                                  1. I like Leek & Cheddar Soup. I started with a recipe from the Goldbecks, but I've made changes to it. Basically it's a thin white sauce that starts with sauteed leeks, and you use whole wheat flour, which gives the soup a nice texture. You add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, and add lots of cheese. It's thick and yummy on a cold, drizzly day.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: revsharkie

                                                                      One of my favorites is mexican albondigas soup. Or mexican meatball soup. I like it
                                                                      because it has meat, vegetables and spices, in a tomato sauce. very good.

                                                                      1. re: bigjimbray

                                                                        Could you post a recipe or a link to a recipe for a good albondigas soup, please?

                                                                    2. Mushroom Barley Soup
                                                                      The trick is to use a lamb shank for the stock and then lots of wild mushrooms. Dried are just fine.

                                                                      I just got hungry. I know what I'm making this weekend!

                                                                      1. I made some nice ones after posting this thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/375052
                                                                        excited to see some new ideas!

                                                                        1. The original Moosewood cookbook has divine vegetarian soups. I love the Minestrone and the Brazilian black bean, but the very best is the lentil. I use French green lentils (hold their shape wonderfully) and the secret is adding a splash of red wine vinegar at the end! Delish!

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: icecreamgal

                                                                            A friend gave me a recipe for Hungarian mushroom soup. It has lot of mushrooms, onions, broth, some half and half (not too much) and paprika. It has a rosy color from the paprika -- it has a fair amount. I have made it with a mix of sweet paprika and some smoked paprika. Divine.

                                                                            1. re: karykat

                                                                              I think the original recipe for that soup (it's in the Moosewood cookbook) also calls for an abundance of dill. I don't think it calls for half-and-half, but does include sour cream and a little bit of lemon juice.

                                                                              1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                Yes, maybe it sprang from the same recipe. It does have a good amount of dill. Also sour cream and lemon juice. Bul also some half and half.

                                                                          2. Being that you're from Philadelphia do you perhaps own the now out-of-print Frog Commisary cookbook? If so, the mushroom barley soup recipe is in my hall of fame. It's converted both those who claim they dont like mushrooms and those who claim they don't like barley. The only change I make is that I add more dill than is called for. Also, the curried butternut squash and apple from the Silver Palate and the following two recipes from epicurious:

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: tomaneng

                                                                              tomaneng --

                                                                              I have three chubby little sugar pumpkins on my windowsill, and I think I will bake one off and try that southwestern pumpkin soup with fresh pumpkin. I read some of the reviews and I'll add a roasted poblano chile too -- looks great, I love the idea of Southwestern spin on pumpkin. Thanks for the links! :)
                                                                              Just reread that pumpkin soup recipe --Interesting that this pumpkin soup doesn't contain onion and garlic -- I always sautee those two together as my soup starter. I wonder why they're omitted here?

                                                                              1. re: foxy fairy

                                                                                Yes, I wondered the same thing but it truly doesn't need it! The flavors are so fabulous and rich! The beauty of it is that it only takes about 20 minutes start to finish. I'd love to hear how it is with fresh pumkpin...

                                                                              2. re: tomaneng

                                                                                thanks for that info on mushroom barley soup- I just checked & my library has a copy of the book. Any others in it worthy of trying?

                                                                                1. re: pamd

                                                                                  I haven't tried the other soups but two other recipes in the book are go-to's. One is the warm lamb salad with raisins, pine buuts, and a sweet onion vinaigrette and the other is the carrot cake. The book is really amazing when you consider that they were using asian and middle eastern ingredients a good 15 years before the fusion craze. It is also a wonderful reading book. Enjoy and please let me know if you make any of the recipes.

                                                                                2. re: tomaneng

                                                                                  The Frog is back! Order from Amazon. Isn't that great? Everyone should own one!

                                                                                3. This is what I made up recently of stuff we had in the fridge, and my husband said it was his favorite of all time.

                                                                                  Asparagus and Tortellini Soup

                                                                                  2 T. butter
                                                                                  1 small onion, finely diced
                                                                                  2 celery stalks, large diced
                                                                                  2 carrots, large diced
                                                                                  1 large garlic clove, minced
                                                                                  Salt and pepper
                                                                                  1 t. chicken bouillon
                                                                                  2 t. flour
                                                                                  1 t. fresh rosemary
                                                                                  1 T. fresh thyme
                                                                                  1 quart chicken stock
                                                                                  1 pckg. cheese tortellini
                                                                                  1 cup asparagus, cut into ¾” pieces

                                                                                  Melt butter over medium low heat. Sauté onions until translucent and add celery, carrots, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until vegetables are softened. Add bouillon and flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add rosemary and thyme. Slowly pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions. Add asparagus the last three minutes of the tortellini cooking time. Serve with grilled cheese for the best combination!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                                    Wow, this sounds amazing. I'm definitely saving this one to make very soon. Thanks for sharing!

                                                                                  2. This one is really easy. Like many soups, it only gets better the next day, so sometimes I make it on Saturday for us to have as Sunday dinner. I give a range for some of the ingredients because of tweaks to the original recipe.

                                                                                    Sausage Soup

                                                                                    1 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing (I like the turkey kind because its so much less greasy)
                                                                                    1 onion, chopped
                                                                                    14 cups broth, beef, chicken or a combination (I use canned, which makes this soup really easy and typically use 8 cups of chicken and 6 of beef, unless that's not what I have in my pantry atm.)
                                                                                    1 or 2 cans chopped tomatoes
                                                                                    1 cup rice or orzo (original recipe called for rice, I tweaked it and subbed the orzo)
                                                                                    1 large bunch of fresh baby spinach (or 1 or 2 bags of it from the produce section)
                                                                                    4-8 oz grated mozzarella cheese

                                                                                    Cook the sausage and onion in the bottom of the pot you're using to make the soup, breaking up the sausage as it cooks. Drain and wipe off bottom of pot, then add them back. Add in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add in the rice or orzo; simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until your grain is cooked. Add in the spinach and let it cook down. Top individual servings with mozzarella cheese.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: mercyteapot

                                                                                      Do you take the sausage meat out of the casing before cooking and do you crumble or slice it?

                                                                                      1. re: tomaneng

                                                                                        So sorry not to have been clear. I went back and edited... you take it out of the casing first and crumble it as it cooks. That method works well.

                                                                                      2. re: mercyteapot

                                                                                        I do a variation on this - adding more vegies....My version sprung from using leftover stuffed bell peppers, and I use larger pasta, too. It's nice that it's so versatile! For a spicier version, I add a can of "El Pato" tomato sauce.

                                                                                        I did another variation on it this past week -using half Andouille and half Italian sausage - fresh from the butcher, so it was raw. I removed the casings and crumbled it, browning it in some olive oil. Celery, onions, canned tomatoes, can of red beans and can of black beans, carrots. I think it came out well, making a hearty dinner with some bread!

                                                                                        1. re: smalt

                                                                                          That sounds good, too. Another of the great things about this soup is how versatile it is... you could even make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth and pulling out the sausage and adding in some mushrooms. Or using chicken and all chicken broth if you don't eat red meat, etc...

                                                                                      3. Definately chicken escarole- I make a huge batch and add different ingredients to make variations all week long...

                                                                                        Plain chicken escarole is great as a starter because it's so light...the next night I add the little meatballs and pastina and it's italian wedding soup...the day after that I whisk in eggs & grated parm for stracciatella...the fourth night I might add canellini beans for a white bean & escarole soup

                                                                                        the list goes on and on - for versitality it' can't be beat - I'm a little funny about leftovers so I usually freeze the starter batch on the 2nd day and work from that

                                                                                        1. I often make a Syrian red lentil soup--easy, healthy, and quick. It's simple enough for me to do after work, when I want a nice hot meal!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                            I work for a doctor from Syria and making this soup would be a nice surprise for him. Would you please share the recipe?
                                                                                            Thanks in advance!

                                                                                          2. Soups are great! So versatile and easy to pull together, I make several soups each week. My favorite soups include French lentil soup, beet and vegetable soup, potato and leek soup etc... I'm also very fond of "clean" soups that focus on one ingredient such as roasted red pepper soup, carrot soup, chickpea soup etc. Here is a collection of all my favorite soups with recipes: http://www.theculinaryreview.com/food...
                                                                                            Once you figure out the method one uses to make soups, it's so easy to expand your repertoire or adjust existing recipes.

                                                                                            1. Soup is My Thing. Most of my favorite soup recipes come from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook (www.rebarmodernfood.com). In particular, the Greek Red Lentil w/ Lemon, Rosemary and Feta can be whipped up in no time, fills you up and is delicious. There is also a great corn chowder recipe in the book for you to keep in mind for next summer. Every week I do a big pot of soup to bring to work for lunch - I've got next week's soup in the freezer already. It's from the Rebar cookbook as well, and it's a creamy broccoli soup (basically just broccoli stalks and florets, garlic, onion, red chili flakes, lots of fresh thyme, veggie stock and cream), then you make a sort of pesto (with Italian parsley, pecorino romano, toasted almonds, garlic and olive oil) to swirl in. I've frozen the pesto in individual cubes and will just pack a cube or two in a mini Tupperware container to swirl into my Thermos of soup.

                                                                                              I think you've always got a lot of leeway with pureed soups - sautee an onion and some garlic, add vegetable of choice (say, carrots) and seasonings of choice (say, ginger), puree, do a taste test, adjust (say, with a bit of coconut milk), do another taste test, puree again if necessary... you can always fix a pureed soup!

                                                                                              1. If you eat pork, I recommend a good white bean and ham soup.

                                                                                                You'll need a ham bone--you can sometimes get one from the meat counter or from a HoneyBaked Ham store. Soak dried Great Northern beans overnight, then rinse. Put them in the pot with ham bone, carrots, celery, onion, a bay leaf and whatever else (I like garlic, husband doesn't). Cover with water. Cook, covered over low heat for about 3 hours, until the beans are done. Season (supposedly you shouldn't salt dried beans while cooking, not sure if that is a myth), smash up some of the beans if you like a creamier soup.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                  have a ham bone in the freezer, you just got me in the mood! However, will use broth instead of water (try it sometime, or white wine) broth or wine really give it something extra.

                                                                                                  1. re: pamd

                                                                                                    Did this too, and used broth, it is delicious no doubt! Best bean soup is with that darn ham bone. I used to throw them away!! And I certainly agree, white wine and a good broth is a serious improvement to the beans and soup!

                                                                                                  2. re: coney with everything

                                                                                                    I made a bean soup one time and could not get the beans to soften. When I told an older and wiser cook, she asked if I salted them. Of course I did! She said that was the problem, so now I just salt at the end. Don't know if this is true for all beans, but just in case I don't salt!

                                                                                                  3. There are umpteen million soup recipes at a brilliant/obsessive food site - www.soupsong.com

                                                                                                    1. I make a lot of miso soup, though it's not really a recipe - just whatever veggies I have, mixed with water and miso paste.

                                                                                                      I love mushroom soup. The version I make is somewhat chunky: it's a bunch of mushrooms (regular and wild, when they're on sale) sautéed with onions, garlic, and herbs, then partially blended with veggie broth.

                                                                                                      I also like tomato-kimchee soup. Really easy - canned tomatoes, onions, a little potato, and kimchee, cooked together and puréed. Even better with roasted tomatoes. Goes really well with grilled cheese.

                                                                                                      1. Here are two of my favorites:
                                                                                                        Wild Mushroom Soup with Sherry
                                                                                                        -- I tend to use whatever mushrooms I can find, and use more than is called for in the recipe. I'll sometimes add porcini to deepend the flavor. I skimp on the cream. This is a big hit in our home.

                                                                                                        The other one I do (actually, just had some for lunch) on a regular basis is a Roasted Butternut Squash and Celery Root with Fennel Seeds. It is from Martha Stewart-- sorry, I can't find a link. Basically, roast butternut squash and celery root, about a 3:2 ratio, along with onion. Sprinkle with fennel seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about an hour, until all mushy. Transfer to soup pot, bring to biol and then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Puree and strain.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: jens

                                                                                                          I made this Wild Mushroom Soup for Thanksgiving based on your post and it was wonderful - so rich - I didn't skimp on the cream but I can see how it would still be rich with less. I used cremini, shitake and oyster mushrooms, and vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and garnished it with sauteed chanterelles and snipped chives.

                                                                                                          Edit - we served it with a Trimbach Gewurtztraminer recommended for this dish by our local wine store.

                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                            Here's a photo from last night's leftovers:

                                                                                                        2. My favorite winter soup is my mother's potato soup. She always made a huge pot of it when it would get cold outside, it'd last all week. It was a bit bland, but will always be my favorite.

                                                                                                          It's basically peeled, boiled potatoes- they chunked and slightly smashed. She makes it with vegetable broth, usually adding in some broccoli, carrots, and whatever vegetable happens to be fresh in the fridge. There is always ground pepper, and it's great with rosemary. She always topped it with cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. MMMM.

                                                                                                          I want soup now.

                                                                                                          1. I love fish soup and make it regularly. Three kinds: A cotriade (French fish soup with potatoes - sort of a chowder); clam chowder (usually made with turkey bacon which ain't bad). and Mediterranean fish soup with various types of fish (ling cod is great), shrimp, calamari and some clams or mussels. It's a tomato-based broth and, if in a hurry, I use bottled clam juice and chicken stock for broth.

                                                                                                            The best part about the Med. fish soup is the aioli or rouille served with it and the toasted garlic/olive oil bread to break up and put into soup. My favorite soup.

                                                                                                            My father used to make the Med. soup and put green olives with pimentos in it. Just regular canned or jarred ones (nothing fancy but I'm sure really good olives would taste fantastic). It was really good with the addition.

                                                                                                            1. I made the most delicious sweet and sour cabbage soup tonight. The approximate recipe (tinker as you see fit) is below. It is ridiculously easy too!

                                                                                                              Melt some butter and EVOO in a large stock pot
                                                                                                              Add 2 medium onions sliced and 1/2-3/4 of a large head of green cabbage sliced
                                                                                                              Cook until cabbage is transluscent (about 7-10 minutes for so)
                                                                                                              Add all at once:
                                                                                                              1/4 cup or more to taste of raisins
                                                                                                              1-2 14.5 ounce cans of whole peeled plum tomatoes
                                                                                                              2 or more cloves of garlic sliced
                                                                                                              juice of 1 lemon
                                                                                                              1/3 cup brown sugar
                                                                                                              a small handful of caraway seeds (if you don't like the flavor of these you could omit)
                                                                                                              salt & pepper
                                                                                                              one package of sliced kielbasa (if you want a veggie option omit this)
                                                                                                              Chicken broth. I sarted with a quart, found that it didn't create as much broth as I would have liked and added about 2 more cups.

                                                                                                              Bring it all to a boil and then simmer for an hour. It really does need that much time for all of the flavors to marry.

                                                                                                              1. Ina Garten's Cream of Wild Mushroom...FANTASTIC

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: crosby_p

                                                                                                                  This is Very simple but so yummy! I made it for the first time last night and will be creating the recipe card when I get home tonight- I basically brought chicken stock to a boil and added angel hair (gasp) broken in half- I added some chopped scallions a few dashes of hot sauce and a few dashes of soy. some grindings of black pepper finshed the seasoning. At the very end (simmered for like 7min) I added 2 eggs and used my fork to stir it up and let the whites and yellows set in little ribbons. I served it with lots of noodles and broth surrounding to be eating with a spoon and fork. If I had tofu at home I would have thrown that in but none was in my fridge- :)

                                                                                                                  1. re: gastronomy

                                                                                                                    just curious....for your recipe card, what would you call this creation? I'm not sure if I've heard of anything similar to this before or not.

                                                                                                                    1. re: egbluesuede

                                                                                                                      i need to think of a more creative name but so far I have noodle soup :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: gastronomy

                                                                                                                        I've got a chicken stock bubbling in my crock pot at home right now and am trying to remember if I have any angel hair pasta or not....it sounds so easy I just have to try this.

                                                                                                                2. I never met a soup I didn't like. But my most very favourite is sauerkraut soup, wonderful on a cold winter day. My kids used to beg me to make it!. But I had to make whole wheat rolls to go with it. I always make it a day before I intend to serve it, and let it reheat in the slow cooker, while I bake the rolls.


                                                                                                                  1. Corn & salmon chowder. No outside recipe; made it up.

                                                                                                                    Saute very small dice oniony something -- onions, shallots, leeks -- for a few minutes, add corn and saute until golden brown (and delicious). Throw in some chopped garlic just before removing from heat. Set aside.

                                                                                                                    I get salmon bones from my fishmonger (Bob's Seafood here in STL) which usually includes the head and collar. Oil (EVOO), salt, and bake. Scrape the meat -- very messy; have a wet towel handy.
                                                                                                                    When I boil corn I save the water, reduce, freeze and reuse. I use this water and simmer the bones. Voila -- corn and salmon stock. You can also use generic vegetable and seafood stocks. (I also use the save the water trick with lobster. It's delicious wiith this soup.)

                                                                                                                    Use the salmon or just cut some up and saute.

                                                                                                                    Make the base:
                                                                                                                    Make a light roux with the stock, add more stock. Add some butter and cream, and adjust thickness. S&P, maybe a little fresh taragon or other herbage. Throw in the corn and salmon; it will thicken the chowder so you may need to adjust thicknness. Taste and add more S&P if necessary.

                                                                                                                    Eat with crusty bread and butter.

                                                                                                                    1. Easy Hot & Sour Soup

                                                                                                                      4 cups of chicken broth
                                                                                                                      4 Tbs soy sauce
                                                                                                                      1/4 cup cooked shredded chicken or pork
                                                                                                                      1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced or diced
                                                                                                                      1/2 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
                                                                                                                      1/4 tsp ground white pepper
                                                                                                                      1/4 cup canned bamboo shoots,drained & julienned
                                                                                                                      3 Tbs cornstarch and 3 tablespoons cold water
                                                                                                                      1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
                                                                                                                      1/4 of a (12 oz) block of firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch dice
                                                                                                                      1 egg, beaten
                                                                                                                      2 green onion stalks, diced (including tops)
                                                                                                                      1/2 Tbs toasted sesame oil

                                                                                                                      -Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a 2-quart saucepan.
                                                                                                                      -Add soy sauce, shredded meat, mushrooms and chili garlic sauce.
                                                                                                                      -Simmer for five minutes.
                                                                                                                      -Add white pepper, bamboo shoots.
                                                                                                                      -Simmer for five minutes.
                                                                                                                      -Combine two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold
                                                                                                                      water in a cup. Stir until mixture is smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to
                                                                                                                      soup and stir a few minutes until soup is thickened.
                                                                                                                      -Add distilled white vinegar and tofu.
                                                                                                                      -Beat egg in a cup until yolk and white are combined. Pour beaten egg
                                                                                                                      slowly, in a fine stream into soup. Stir soup several times.
                                                                                                                      -Wait 30 seconds.
                                                                                                                      -Add green onions and sesame oil to soup. Stir well.
                                                                                                                      -Remove from heat.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                        Tortilla Soup

                                                                                                                        1 Tb olive oil
                                                                                                                        1/3 cup red onion, diced
                                                                                                                        3 garlic cloves, crushed (about 1 Tb)
                                                                                                                        4 Tb canned mild green chilies, diced
                                                                                                                        4 cups chicken broth
                                                                                                                        1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced (about 1/4 lb)
                                                                                                                        1/2 cup canned whole kernel corn, drained
                                                                                                                        1/3 cup canned diced tomatoes, with juice
                                                                                                                        1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
                                                                                                                        1 cup tortilla chips, slightly crushed
                                                                                                                        1/4 cup sour cream
                                                                                                                        1/2 cup avocado, diced

                                                                                                                        -In a 3-qt saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
                                                                                                                        -Add onions, garlic and chilies and saute until onions are soft and translucent,
                                                                                                                        about 6-8 minutes.
                                                                                                                        -Add chicken broth and diced chicken and simmer 10-minutes.
                                                                                                                        -Remove from heat and stir in corn, tomatoes and cilantro.
                                                                                                                        -Ladle into 4-bowls and stir 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips into each bowl.
                                                                                                                        -Top each bowl with 1 Tb sour cream and 2 Tb diced avocado.
                                                                                                                        -Serve immediately.

                                                                                                                      2. I think my favorites are autumn minestrone (got the starter recipe from GretchenS on chowhound a few years back, thanks Gretchen), Matzoh ball and I have a fantastic recipe for borscht...labor intensive, but SO FREAKING GOOD. Loaded with shreddy beef and lots of vegetables...I will paraphrase this one:
                                                                                                                        4T veg oil
                                                                                                                        1 1/2 lbs lean beef in 1" cubes
                                                                                                                        2 med onions, chopped
                                                                                                                        2 qts water
                                                                                                                        1 bay leaf
                                                                                                                        3 med potatoes in 1" cubes
                                                                                                                        2 1/2 cups grated beets (6-7 med beets)
                                                                                                                        3/4 cup grated carrot
                                                                                                                        1/2 med cabbage, shredded (maybe a little less than 1/2)
                                                                                                                        1/4 tsp pepper
                                                                                                                        3T tomato paste
                                                                                                                        1 garlic clove, mashed to a puree
                                                                                                                        4 T cider vinegar
                                                                                                                        1/4 tsp celery seed
                                                                                                                        1/4 tsp salt

                                                                                                                        Brown beef in batches. Add onion during last few minutes, cooking til translucent. Remove pot from heat, add water and reserved beef & bay leaf. Simmer over low heat until meat is tender, maybe an hour. Remove bay leaf and skim broth. Add potatoes, beets, carrots, cabbage, pepper, tomato paste, garlic, vinegar, celery seed & salt. Keep at a low simmer for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. DO NOT ALLOW IT TO BOIL or it will turn brown instead of red. You can serve it at this point, with sour cream and dill, but it's best the next day.

                                                                                                                        My notes on this recipe: Depending on how flavorful the beef is, I have from time to time added a beef bouillon cube. Also, I find that it's best to parboil the potatoes, for some reason they don't want to cook through...as if something in the broth prevents it. Maybe it's the vinegar...I think I'll try putting that in last next time...

                                                                                                                        1. I have a number of favorite soups: Jean George Vongterian "curried butternut squash soup" with sauteed shrimp. (instead of stock, use coconut milk, add ginger and curry to soup) Also, something I call "liquid autumn" from the Inn at Little Washington - it's winter veggies and apples, no one can guess what it is. Squash, carrot, apple, celery root with stock.

                                                                                                                          But this is what I made the other night - served with salad and crusty bread for an easy dinner:

                                                                                                                          Seafood Chile:
                                                                                                                          1 pound bay scallops
                                                                                                                          1 pound calimari
                                                                                                                          1 pound chopped fresh tuna
                                                                                                                          1 pound shrimp
                                                                                                                          2 red peppers, diced
                                                                                                                          2 yellow peppers, diced
                                                                                                                          2 green peppers, diced
                                                                                                                          6 diced jalapeno peppers
                                                                                                                          1 large onion
                                                                                                                          1 can diced tomatoes
                                                                                                                          1 large bottle of ketcup
                                                                                                                          1 T each of cumin, chile pepper, salt, pepper

                                                                                                                          saute peppers in oil until soft, add seafood, can of tomatoes, bottle of ketchup, spices, cook for 25 /30 minutes until cooked through.

                                                                                                                          1. I dont know that it is my favorite, but it was tasty

                                                                                                                            Butternut Squash Soup with Saffron and Port

                                                                                                                            2T Bacon Drippings
                                                                                                                            2 medium Butternut Squash
                                                                                                                            2 Carrots, medium dice
                                                                                                                            1c Sweet Onions, medium dice
                                                                                                                            3 ribs Celery, medium dice
                                                                                                                            1 clove Garlic, minced
                                                                                                                            1 Jalapeno, minced (but you would be better off with a ¼ Habanero)
                                                                                                                            ¼ t Saffron Threads
                                                                                                                            ¼ c Port
                                                                                                                            1 Thyme, tied bunch
                                                                                                                            ½ c Whole Milk
                                                                                                                            2T Butter
                                                                                                                            1½ q Vegetable or Chicken Stock

                                                                                                                            Preheat your oven to 450F. Cut the Squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Oil the Squash with Bacon Drippings and put them face down on a baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes. After the Squash have cooled, scoop the meat out of them. Soak the Saffron in the Port for about 30 minutes. Heat the remaining Bacon Drippings in a large pot, it does not have to be your favorite pot, but it can’t hurt. Sauté the Onion, Celery, Carrots, Jalapeno and Garlic in the hot fat. Add the Thyme bunch and Butter. Add Salt and Pepper. Add the Butternut Squash meat and the Stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the Saffron and Port. Cook for another 10 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender, it just makes things easier. Add the Milk and simmer for a little longer.

                                                                                                                            1. here's one i love at this time of year, w optional garnish to make it all fancy! one tip is to add most but not all of the maple syrup at once-- depending on the size and sweetness of your squash, it may be enough to use a little less

                                                                                                                              Maple-Squash Soup with Toasted Pecan Gremolata serves 8-10 as a first course

                                                                                                                              4 tbsp unsalted butter
                                                                                                                              1 large onion, diced
                                                                                                                              1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
                                                                                                                              3 large carrots, peeled and diced
                                                                                                                              6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
                                                                                                                              1/2-3/4 cup pure maple syrup
                                                                                                                              Sea salt
                                                                                                                              1 teaspoon ground ginger

                                                                                                                              Melt butter in heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add carrots and cubed squash and sauté for 5 minutes, until vegetables are hot and glistening.

                                                                                                                              Add stock or water, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Raise heat to high and bring soup to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 20 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft.

                                                                                                                              While soup is cooking, make gremolata (recipe follows).

                                                                                                                              Using an immersion blender, puree soup in the pot, or alternately, carefully puree in small batches in a blender or food processor, returning soup to pan.

                                                                                                                              Add maple syrup and cook for a few minutes until hot. Season with sea salt to taste. Serve in small bowls, topping each bowl with Toasted Pecan Gremolata and more maple sugar, if desired.

                                                                                                                              Toasted Pecan Gremolata

                                                                                                                              1 cup pecans
                                                                                                                              ¼ cup fresh-ground Parmesan cheese (1 oz)
                                                                                                                              1 tablespoon lemon juice
                                                                                                                              1 tablespoon lemon peel
                                                                                                                              1 tablespoon maple sugar
                                                                                                                              1 tsp sea salt
                                                                                                                              ½ tsp ground ginger
                                                                                                                              1 tbsp walnut oil

                                                                                                                              Toast Pecans on the stovetop over medium heat in a dry saucepan, shaking the pan occasionally, 7-10 minutes, or until fragrant and browned. Alternately, toast on a cookie sheet in the oven, stirring every 3-4 minutes, until fragrant and browned.

                                                                                                                              Pulse the toasted pecans in a food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a bowl; stir in grated cheese, maple sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, sea salt, ginger, and walnut oil.

                                                                                                                              1. The Mushroom Cactus soup, followed by the Fava Bean soup in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. Also any tortilla soup. You really haven't lived until you've made Mexican soups with home made chicken broth. Well crafted Thai soups are good as well. p.s. The Mushroom Cactus soup is great with the cactus omitted. Guaranteed fabulous taste sensation.

                                                                                                                                1. Parsnip and Apple soup

                                                                                                                                  This was fantastic. Be sure to use the heay cream and good cider for best taste.


                                                                                                                                  1. I do a super-easy different every time microwave soup. I have a large (5 quart?) Pyrex bowl with lid I use for it. Toss in one (or two) chicken thighs, chopped onions, some frozen corn, a chopped fresh tomato, a stick of celery, a handful of frozen spinach, some left over green beans, chopped cabbage, baby bok choy, or whatever else is lurking in the refrigerator saying, "What do you think you're going to do with me?" Soup, darling, soup! For liquid I use a mixture of chicken broth or stock and a cup of V-8 vegetable juice. If I want to, I'll toss in a little rice or some orzo. Then nuke it on medium until you can take the chicken out and it won't run pink when you slice into it. The only thing you do have to watch is the possibility of a boil-over due to the tomatoes, but other than that, it's sit back and read a magazine time! Then adjust the salt and pepper and enjoy. If you want borscht, add a can of beets and top with sour cream. It's a really easy dish limited only by your imagination and what you have in the house.

                                                                                                                                    1. I usually stick to some variation of minestrone but my FAVORITE soup recipe, bar none, is the Asparagus, Pancetta with Rice and Black Pepper soup from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. Best soup recipe ever.

                                                                                                                                      1. Our faves Soups in the Mediterranean and a couple of faves in the USA :
                                                                                                                                        1) Manhattan Clam Chowder
                                                                                                                                        2) Pasta Fagioli ( pasta fa-zool ) - Italia
                                                                                                                                        3) Nonna´s Pastoral Bread Soup prepared from a rind of Reggiano Parmesano
                                                                                                                                        4) Cream of Fennel - Italia
                                                                                                                                        5) Cream of Leek - Francia
                                                                                                                                        6) Home Made Minestra di Campagna ( minnestrone ) of Napoli, Italia
                                                                                                                                        7) Marmitako - Basque Fishermens´ Tuna & vegetable Soup served in Marmita - Spain
                                                                                                                                        8) French Onion Soup with Gruyère topping in oven
                                                                                                                                        9) Caldo Gallego from northwestern Spain ( Galicia ) prepared with smoked ham, soaked overnight white beans, grelos an indigenious beetroot green and unto, a pork intestine.
                                                                                                                                        10) Homemade ham consommé with a drizzle of Jerez de La Frontera Brandy - Andalusia and Madrid Capital sipped in a Mug ( great for flus and colds ! )

                                                                                                                                        These are our faves. Margaux.

                                                                                                                                        1. I love making a roasted red pepper and tomato soup served with grilled bread to float in the soup... I tend to put an enormous amount of bread in the soup, or well, keep adding more as the soup goes down in the bowl. I need to make this soup, I've missed it! It started out as someone else's recipe, but has pretty much become my own now with all the change I've made, lol. I've never tried making this with fresh tomatoes as I typically make this in the winter when nice tomatoes are scarce. I've also added an entire jar of red pepper, without liquid. This soup is easily played with!

                                                                                                                                          Here's the SUPER easy recipe:

                                                                                                                                          2 (14oz or so) Can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (reg. is fine too!)
                                                                                                                                          2-3 large (more if smaller) roasted red peppers chopped (roast it yourself or I use Melissa brand in a jar, I’m sure any jar brand will work. )
                                                                                                                                          2 veggie bouillon cube dissolved in 2 cup of water
                                                                                                                                          1/2 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
                                                                                                                                          A good squeeze of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce – I use at least a tablespoon, but ½ tablespoon would be find for a less spice)
                                                                                                                                          2 -3 clove of garlic, chopped
                                                                                                                                          Salt & Pepper
                                                                                                                                          Olive Oil
                                                                                                                                          Basil.. to taste and for garnish

                                                                                                                                          NOTE: I tried to make this w/ Trader Joe brand Roasted Red Peppers, they simply were not flavorful enough, so I can't recommend them.

                                                                                                                                          DIRECTIONS sauté the roasted pepper and some Sriracha and a bit of salt for a good 5min. Lower the heat a bit and add the garlic and let that cook for a few more minutes. Then add the jars of fire roasted tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and let that all simmer for 10 minutes or so. Add a touch more salt. Then dump in veggie broth and puree that with a stick blender and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes or so with a lid.

                                                                                                                                          I grill up some sourdough or french bread and then coarsely chop 'em up or tear in pieces and sprinkle them into the soup. I tend to add a little garlic to the bread w/ the oil. :)