HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Month of soups - what's your favorite?

My husband and I are planning a month of soups for dinner, to save money, time and we hope a bit around the waistline. Clearly, we'll need variety to not give up a week into this... what's your 'go to' soup recipe - even better if it's economical!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. white bean, split pea, or tortilla soup are all filling and economical- They are all easy and I'm sure there are recipes on the web; for the tortilla soup I like this one:


    1. My favorite soup is probably cream of roasted garlic. That, unfortunately, doesn't do much for the waistline. If you're looking for something healthy, try making sinigang (meat and mixed vegetables in a sour tamarind stock) or tinola (chicken in a ginger broth with leafy greens). Both have been in my regular repertoire for healthy winter foods.

        1. re: maplesugar

          Do you follow the recipe as is or do you modify it?

          1. re: viperlush

            More or less...I like mine thick so I might add a bit more beans and pasta than it calls for, and I don't bother measuring out exactly 1/3 cup of beans to mash.

        2. Tomato Florentine - Cooking Light recipe
          Smooth Black Bean Soup with Chorizo - adapted from a Junior League recipe
          Potato Leek - adapted from a Mr. Food's recipe
          Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Soup - self created
          Wedding Soup - self created
          Tortilla Soup - Junior League recipe
          Mushroom Barley
          Sausage Lentil - a clone of Carrabba's Restaurant
          Cappelletti soup - simple with store bought pasta
          Stuffed pepper soup

          2 Replies
          1. re: folprivate

            Hey, will you post the Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Soup? We'd love to try it!

            1. re: berkleybabe

              Buffalo Chicken Soup

              1 med. onion - chopped
              4 ribs celery - chopped
              ½ cup butter OR margarine
              1/3 cup all-purpose flour
              1–1/2 cups milk
              2 cups chicken broth
              4 cups shredded or diced, cooked chicken (poach breasts in some broth and then use the broth in the recipe)
              ½ - 1 cup buffalo wing sauce - to taste - RECIPE BELOW
              8 oz. process cheese food (Velveeta®) - cubed, low-fat okay
              1 tsp. garlic powder
              If it still isn’t spicy enough add a dash of cayenne
              In a dutch oven over low-medium heat, sauté onions and celery in butter until tender. Stir flour into pan; slowly whisk in milk and broth. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cheese has melted.
              Note: We serve this with a dollop of bleu cheese dressing in the soup bowl

              Buffalo Sauce

              6 oz Frank’s Louisiana Hot Sauce
              1 Stick Margarine (not butter)
              2 Tbl white vinegar
              ¼ tsp celery seed
              ¼ - ½ tsp cayenne pepper
              ¼ tsp garlic powder
              ¼ tsp onion powder
              2 dashes black pepper
              ½ tsp worcestershire sauce
              2 tsp Tabasco
              6 oz ketchup

              if you want it even hotter add
              ¼ - ½ tsp crushed red pepper

              Mix all ingredients in pan over low heat stirring occasionally.

          2. I am definitely a soup person...and I doubt I could come up with one single favorite (or even five). But the list would certainly include Hungarian Cabbage Soup...tomato-ey and full of shredded cabbage, and redolent with noble rose paprika. Comfort food at its best.

            1. Escarole soup - yummy with or without turkey meatballs.


              1. Potato and Leek - Yummy, Cheap and healthy!!
                I use the JofC recipe and I love it!
                If you want to snazz it up sprinkle some grated cheese and bits of bacon on top!

                1. so far this month I have made chicken stock each weekend and kicked out the following soups with the freshly made stock.

                  1) Chicken noodle
                  2) Cream of broccoli
                  3) Sausage, chicken, and shrimp gumbo

                  all from scratch, and all from my own recipes.

                  1. Made lentil soup on Sunday, but I also made broccoli rabe and sausage on Sunday. Last night we combined them! Wow.

                    1. Lentil dal and mushroom barley are two of my favorites. I also love the slow cooker black bean soup from the Best Make-Ahead Recipies (America's Test Kitchen).

                      Check out the cookbook section of your local public library for ideas too.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DeeCee

                        Hungarian Cabbage Soup sounds delicious - please share your recipe!

                      2. thanks for the ideas... i'm inspired!

                        1. Does chili count? I got a great recipe for turkey and white bean chili from Epicurious.com - the secret ingredients are beer and cocoa powder. Freezes very well, too.

                          My absolute favorite is avgolemono, or greek lemon chicken soup, thickened with egg whites. Search this board, I got my recipe here a couple of years ago. Simple and sooooo delicious - and nearly fat-free!

                          I also love the white bean soup recipe from A Fig's Table (Todd English), made with fennel. You can find it if you search within that cookbook on Amazon.

                          You might want to check out some cookbooks at the library to find this many new recipes!

                          1. My all time favorite soup is marrow dumpling soup, followed by beef barley!

                            1. I made this "southern Italian chicken-chickpea soup with olives" a couple of weekends ago and it was magnificent:

                              You can use up some of your leftover turkey in this Italian Turkey Soup:

                              If you have any love for Asian food, you should also try out Alton Brown's Ramen Radiator recipe. It's so flavorful and filling. I believe it's under copyright protection so I'm neither copying nor linking to it here; it is up on the Cooking Light boards, you can find it via Google, or by buying his marvelous book I'm Just Here for the Food.

                              1. cockaleekie soup

                                economical and a hilarious name to boot

                                simply stir fry washed and trimmed leeks, cut into half-moons, in butter. Add cooked chicken and chicken broth, with a bit of salt and some white pepper. Delish! I've even made it with *gasp* rotisserie chicken or *double gasp* canned chicken AND canned broth.

                                1. I recently had a curried butternut squash soup that was amazing. Not a creamy soup, simply pureed squash with chicken broth and a kick from the curry. That would have to be my fave.

                                  1. Home-made or even "doctored up canned" NE Clam Chowder (I add some bacon ,minced onion, garlic and extra chopped clams). Since waistlines are the issue, omit the pat of butter in the bowl!
                                    Homemade Chicken soup with veggies and maybe some rice. Again, i add a TBS of Peanut butter for a smoothness and a hint of a "what is that" taste. and a slight hit of Tumeric

                                    Leftover steak with Leftover Diced Breakfast Potaoes, onions and maybe something green (peas, broccoli, etc) Lots of onion and garlic and maybe celery

                                    Oh..........and for a "side" if you want it, compliments of the South Beach Diet, Pureed Cauliflower with a little garlic and cheese and some milk and margarine makes a nice fake mashed potato (but I guess who has mashed potatoes with soup?)

                                    1. Not sure this is waistline healthy, but I also make a quicky soup with a can of lobster bisque, some sauteed mushrooms and onions, some diced garlic, and if I"m feeling really ritzy, a lobster tail diced and sauteed. Usually the can of bisque gets a little extra sherry, some minced garlic, a hint of tarragon, and maybe a little milk to thin it out

                                      1. I love soup! My most favorite soup - it's a tie - between Cream of Asparagus and Mulligatawny Soup.

                                        I first had mulligatawny when I was working as a server in a private dinner club while I was in college. I loved it from the very first taste. On a dady we were serving it, I went to a table and told the gentlemen the special entree and soup for the day. I gave them a few minutes and then returned to take their order. We were told to address the members by their names and so I asked "Mr. Smith" what he would like. He responded, "Suhoki". I said, " No, the soup is mulligatawny", and he said, "no, my name is Suhoki". I was so embarassed!

                                        1. Wow now this is such a terrific idea!
                                          I don't know if I could talk the dh to go a whole month,but I'm certain I could if I made sure it was a hearty soup, flavorful and he had BREAD to with it!

                                          So here would be my first week if it were me.
                                          French Onion
                                          Ginger Pork Won Ton soup with shrimp, bok choy etc. ( make the won tons ahead, freeze and drop into the simmering chicken broth - yum!
                                          Clam Chowder- make with milk not cream with crackers
                                          CreamyTomato soup with drizzle of basil oil
                                          Matzo ball soup
                                          Spicy garbanzo bean soup with a hearty olive bread
                                          Baked potato soup with all the toppings
                                          That would be week one. I certainly could live on soup and the savings would be terrific!

                                          I was wondering about time though, I don't seem to be able to make soup quickly.
                                          The one that is really fast is the garbanzo bean because that uses canned gb.

                                          1. Tonight I made a White Bean/Tortellini/Pancetta/Swiss Chard, chicken broth based soup. It was a Giada DiLaurentis recipe and I have to say it was pretty tasty! A few days ago I had a leftover veal shank from osso bucco with a lot of leftover sauce. I took the meat off the bone, chopped up the marrow and threw in some extra chicken broth and the leftover risotto. It was a decadent soup!!!!

                                            1. I'm not one to have favorites. If it's a good soup then it ranks up there as a favorite. After joining a CSA and getting lots of Asian greens I been making a lot of soup. It the only way I really enjoy all the choy greens. Made a killer wonton soup last week, an Asian meatball soup and most recently a soup with lots of greens and small black eye peas I bought at the Asian market listed as white beans.

                                              1. It is the perfect time of year for the Portuguese soup, caldo verde. Kale, chourico and potatoes. While in Portugal a couple of months ago I also had a garlic bread soup topped off with a poached egg. It was a bit too much garlic for me, but...

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: lynnlato

                                                  Just made this with Italian sausage, kale, potato, beans + 1 carrot. Look up recipe for Portuguese bean soup and add kale, or look up Portuguese sausage and kale soup and add beans. I use a 1 to 3 mix of chicken broth to water instead of all water.

                                                2. My go to soup is a cabbage soup with carrots, onions, celery, potatoes and sausage. I stole this from Jaques Pepin's TV show years ago.

                                                  He used sweet fennel sausage, I have used all kinds of sausage, keilbasa, etc and it is good every time

                                                  Easy recipe
                                                  in a large pot brown either loose bulk sausage or coins of sausage, add onions to mix and sweat for a few minutes, add celery and continue to sweat for a few more minutes, continue adding carrots, then potatoes. then a couple garlic cloves cliced or minced.

                                                  cover this all with chicken stock, and simmer until the veg are tender and the sausage is cooked.

                                                  I also add some fennel seed, salt, pepper, thyme, sage, and fresh parsley.

                                                  You can play with the proportions based on your preferences, it is cheap, filling, and if you skim the soup, pretty low fat and filled with good stuff.

                                                  1. For a filling soup that is friendly to your waistline, try black bean soup. Just don't load it with sour cream and cheese. All my other favorites are not too light in calories.
                                                    Here's a list anyway:
                                                    Sweet and sour cabbage
                                                    Chicken soup with kreplach
                                                    Cream of: Pumpkin; Zucchini; Celery; Carrot; Tomato Basil
                                                    French onion
                                                    Please let us know what soups you chose.

                                                    1. Oxtail & Barley


                                                      Ham & White Bean



                                                      1. Making gumbo is an easy way to make a hearty/cheap soup that's more healthy than a stew. Adding Ocra makes your stock thicken without adding any starch, and its loaded with vitamins.

                                                        1. I make a soup a week in the winter - here are some I love:

                                                          parsnip and arugula
                                                          broccoli, cheddar and red pepper chowder
                                                          lamb and lentil stew with tomatoes and vegetables
                                                          curried sweet potato
                                                          gingered carrot
                                                          chicken and eggplant tagine
                                                          Tony Bourdain's mushroom soup
                                                          salmon chowder
                                                          squash and nutmeg

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: gini

                                                            Curried Red Lentil with Swiss Chard, don't know where I found it but it takes maybe 15 minutes and is spectacular. Also, Corn Chowder with Shrimp and Coconut Milk. Equally easy, almost as quick. I use Swanson natural Chicken Broth as base for my soups; am planning to try their new Chicken Stock.

                                                            1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                              Could you share the recipe for the corn chowder with shrimp and coconut milk? That sounds delicous.

                                                            2. re: gini

                                                              Gini, is your salmon chowder just like a basic fish chowder (potatoes, onions, stock, cream) but with salmon?

                                                                1. re: gini

                                                                  Oh yum, thanks, I'll be making this soon!

                                                            3. one more for day 30 - Peanut Soup

                                                              Yep, take about a cup or two of peanuts and grind them in a blender or food processor, being careful not to make them into peanut butter (but in a pinch, you can use peanut butter - crunchy is best - in this recipe.

                                                              Saute in 2 TBS of butter, 10 mini carrots, diced, 2 sliced scallions, 1/4 tsp garlic. until soft. Add the peanuts and cook 2 mins more. Add a can or so of chicken broth (20 0z. is called for, but I suppose it's personal taste) a 1/4 tsp Turmeric, a 1/2 tsp sage or poutlry seasoning; a little salt and pepper as desired. Simmer for about a 1/2 hour. If you want it richer, you can add a 1/2 cup of warmed heavy cream at the end

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                we like peanut soup as well and loosely follow this recipe


                                                                it's cheap and good!

                                                              2. Couple more to add:

                                                                Wild rice soup (saute lots of leeks, carrots, and celery, add wild rice and chicken broth, simmer for 45 minutes or so, and then a splash of cream and a splash of sherry at the end).

                                                                Spicy chickpea, butter bean and chard soup (saute onion and celery, add chicken broth, can of chickpeas, can of butter beans (both rinsed), a good spoonful of tomato paste and a slightly smaller spoonful of harissa, simmer a bit, then add sliced chard and simmer another 10 mins).

                                                                Also this lentil soup is amazingly good, cheap and easy -- the lemon at the end is key though, without it the soup is nothing. I usually add a large handful of baby spinach right at the end and that solves the boring color problem. I also often omit the cumin. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Lentil-S...

                                                                1. Prepare traditional French Onion Soup - cheap and easy. I put it in a shallow wide bowl. Instead of the usual crouton and cheese topping, make a grilled ham and (any) cheese sandwich (with dijon mustard) on thinly sliced french bread. Plop that right on the 'bed' of onion soup and top with a little more onion soup. Sounds crazy, but so good!

                                                                  1. I usually make a pot of some kind of soup on the weekend, to have for lunches during the week. Last week was turkey vegetable, this week will be a chicken noodle soup. Often make Laurie Colwin's At Last Black Bean Soup. Minestrone. Pasta Fagioli. Weight Watcher's vegetable soup Weight Watcher's tortilla soup. Please post the soups you are making.....I could use the inspiration:)

                                                                    1. Don't forget Hot and Sour, and Manhattan Clam Chowder. Both pretty light.

                                                                      1. My mother used to make a soup she got from a cookbook by Adele Davis, circa 1950 or so. This does require some work, but it is worthwhile. Start a couple of days in advance. Make the stock: Gather up as many bones, vegetable parings,,etc. as you can. Ms. Davis suggested you keep a plastic container in the refrigerator and added to them as the week progressed. Mom just went out and purchased some beef bones at the butcher. Put the bones in a pot and cover with water. Add some white vinegar and salt and let simmer overnight. These additional chemicals will leach the minerals from the bones. Skim the resulting scum that might form and strain off the liquid. Save this. Take some dried beans such a navy or great northern beans or whatever you prefer and soak overnight. The next day, rinse and cover with fresh water and cook until tender. Chop fresh vegetables such as carrots, celery, leeks, potatoes, or what pleases you. Saute in some oil and add to the bean liquid along with the stock. Bring to a simmer, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Take some ground beef and pinch off small amounts and drop into the boiling soup. Serve steaming bowls of this with a nice green salad and some crusty French Bread. We always used to add some grated cheese and W. Sauce to the soup. There you have it. The soup just becomes more flavorful on day two and day three....add more beef as necessary.

                                                                        1. Today I made vegetable beef soup with some things I had in the fridge--leftover steak, thinly shredded cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, shallot, garlic, a handful of red lentils, a small handful of macaroni, a big can of tomatoes mushed up with the juice, some chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, pepper, a little Worcestershire sauce, a few drops of green pepper Tabasco sauce and some dried chili pepper flakes, black pepper and voila, lunch for the week.

                                                                          I also like creamy pumpkin apple soup; fish or clam chowder; Caldo Verde, chicken noodle. I also made Mulligatawny soup once and think I'll make that soon if I can find that recipe. I think it was a Jeff Smith recipe. If you always have soup in the fridge, you can put a quick dinner together.

                                                                          1. Split Pea with Ham - made with a ham bone or French Onion