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Your Best Spicy Soup Recipes Please

I've come down with a nasty head cold and am craving something really spicy and flavourful in the form of a soup. Last night I made a nice jerk chicken soup that hit the spot but I'm looking for something different for tonight. If you have any great recipes or suggestions please share. No need to type out the full recipe, just the basics would be most appreciated.

Oh, and any ethnicity and/or ingredients are just fine.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. here are a few general threads about soup recipes - if you see one you really like you can spice it up:

    one of my personal favorites for comforting + spicy is to add heat to roasted butternut squash soup. chipotles in adobo are a terrific complement to the squash flavor (i also like to season with a healthy dose of toasted ground cumin, garam masala or curry powder/paste). for a cooling contrast to the heat, top it off with some crumbled queso fresco, a dollop of yogurt, or mexican crema. here are some threads about butternut soup recipes:

    feel better!

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I was just going to say, sweet potato soup with chipotle is awesome. Clears my head right out.

    2. I add sambal to my homemade chicken stock, throw in some rice noodles and vegetables. Sambal adds a nice spice and flavor.

      1. One of our favorite soups -- I make this almost every week! This is a recipe I learned from my aunt on my last visit to Malaysia last year.

        In a food processor, chop about 1 medium onion, ginger, and 3-4 cloves garlic. heat some oil in a pot and when it's hot, add 2-3 tbsp. of chili paste -- the pureed kind in the plastic jar with the green lid. Alternatively, you can puree some fresh red chillis in the onion mix. When the chili paste fries for a minute, dump in your pureed onion mix. Toss in a star anise, an inch piece of cinnamon stick and 1 tsp or so of fennel seed. Fry this until the onions start to brown slightly. While it's frying, cut up some chicken pieces into small 2 inch pieces, bone in preferably for the flavor. I use a meat cleaver and cut the pieces into bite size pieces. I take the skin off, but you can leave it on too. When the onions are browned slightly, add 1 medium tomato, chopped and fry for another few minutes, then add about 2 tbsp of coriander powder, some red chilli powder (like cayenne), and about 1/2 tsp of cumin powder. Add salt and about 1 tsp of black pepper too. Then add your chicken pieces and continue to fry until the chicken is sealed and browned. Add water and cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. After 30 min, add some sliced carrots, and cubed potatoes. Cover again and cook another 20-30 minutes.

        We like to eat this over rice, but you can eat as-is too.

        1. Spicy Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

          Sauté minced onion, carrot, celery, garlic in some olive oil. Add some tomato paste and chicken broth, then butter beans and chickpeas (either cooked from dry or canned and rinsed) and a dollop of harissa. Bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, chop the chard stems and slice the leaves separately. Add the stems for a few minutes, then the leaves fairly briefly. Absolutely delicious! I like mine pretty spicy so I use a fair amount of harissa but you can always add a bit more once it’s in your bowl if everyone doesn’t like it really spicy. (You can also use kale but I did it with savoy cabbage once and it wasn’t nearly as good.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: GretchenS

            GretchenS, thanks so much for posting this recipe! I made it last week with Christmas Lima beans and Dinosaur Kale and it was delicious! I did not have prepared harissa, but I vaguely remembered a Deborah Madison recipe and quickly hand pounded some, subbing chili flakes for whatever chile Ms. Madison recommends. I often make spicy bean and greens soups like this, but with chipotle in adobo in place of harissa and oh my what a big difference! It hit the spot. Still have some harissa left and picked up beautiful chard at the farmer's market yesterday, so we are looking forward to an encore this week! Thanks much! :-)

          2. This is one I found on this board years ago but it is SO delicious...it's called spicy yam soup but I've only done it with sweet potatoes...10 cloves of garlic have enough antibacterial power to help you (though if you have a virus, well, I'm sure it will still help!)...I don't know if the author, "rednyellow" is still even on this board but you might try it, sort of a fusion of Asian/Mexican:

            "I made a spicy yam soup. It came out fantastic. I browned a large onion and added 2 minced habaneros, 10 cloves of garlic, a bunch of minced cilantro stems and 2 lime's zest. I deglazed with white wine and addede ginger juice, mushroom soy, fish sauce and chicken stock to cover two large yams diced. I simmered for about 30 min, mashed with a potato masher and stirred in off heat the juice from the limes and a handfull of cilantro leaves."

            3 Replies
            1. re: Val

              rednyellow is still around - i just saw him post on the LA board a few days ago. maybe he'll see this thread and get to read about the love for his recipe :) it sounds delicious...i need to try it one of these days!

              1. re: Val

                Of all the great sounding recipes in this topic this is the one I want to try first. Is it just a totally crazy idea to make it with a can of pumpkin instead of the yams? It could be so wrong, but there's a chance that is would be good - no?

                1. re: waver

                  What the heck...99 cents says you can try it...if it's not great, no big loss (though I HATE throwing food away at any cost) I just love using the sweet potatoes for it.

              2. Bloody Mary Soup

                Saute diced celery, onion and red bell pepper in a little butter. Add minced, seeded hot peppers to taste.

                In a pot make a roux out of flour and butter. Add tomato juice and/or V8, worcestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Do not use horseradish. We add plenty of celery salt. Heat through, adding the sauteed veggies. Garnish with chopped green olive.

                P.S., we add at least an ounce of vodka to each cup of soup...

                2 Replies
                1. re: shaogo

                  Shaogo--that is th emost outrageous and awesome sounding soups I have ever encountered!!! What a great idea!!! Yikes to the no horseradish--maybe a dash of it as garnish in the middle of the bowl of served soup? Hard to image without it.

                  I will have to test this at home, but I see this at many a future tailgates this fall.

                  1. re: mtomto

                    I'm so glad someone likes this soup. It's among my top five favorites.

                    I cannot take responsibility for the recipe. I got it from the Autopub at the General Motors building in New York City in the late '70s. The Autopub's booths were made out of cars. The food in general was not great but we tasted this soup -- fascinated by the name -- and after eating half of it we clamored for a couple of shots of vodka, and another round of soup!

                    Re: the horseradish: a friend of mine insists on putting the horseradish in (I love horseradish but not when it's warmed) and she adds creme fraiche to the horseradish before she drops it into the soup.

                2. My favorite spicy soup is Thai Tom Yum Goong. The most authentic-looking recipe I've found is at
                  and when I can find a source for all of those ingredients, I'm going to see if it compares to the ones I have had at Som Siam East and Siam Orchids restaurants.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DonShirer

                    There are some really good Tom Yum spice pastes out there. I buy a jar occasionally, it keeps really well in the fridge, and I can use it on the spur of the moment (plus, I can't get fresh galangal, lime leaves or lemongrass, so the paste is actually better than what I could make from scratch).

                    For a totally non-authentic but tasty spicy soup, I take half chicken stock half water, add a generous tablespoon of the Tom Yum paste (adjust for taste), and throw in tons of vegetables (celery, green onion, carrots, mushrooms, tomato, green beans, corn, peas, broccoli, cabbage....), cook until tender, add a squeeze of lime juice and a dash of fish sauce for a spicy, fast, healthy soup.

                  2. Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup with Ginger, Chile & Cilantro
                    or sriracha in your favorite soup, according to your heat tolerance.

                    1. For heat, I like scotch bonnet peppers and a lot of Jamaican recipes, including this soup:
                      1 1/2 c red kidney beans, soaked and drained
                      10 c water
                      1 tbsp canola oil
                      1 diced large yellow onion
                      1 large diced sweet bell pepper
                      4 cloves minced garlic
                      4 scallions
                      1 scotch bonnet
                      1 large sweet potato; diced
                      6 thyme sprigs
                      1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
                      1 c canned coconut milk
                      1/2 tsp freshly milled black pepper
                      1/2 tsp ground allspice
                      4 tbsp fresh parsley; chopped
                      1 tsp salt

                      In a large saucepan, combine the beans and water. Bring to a simmer
                      and cook, partially covered, for an hour. Drain the beans, reserving 5
                      1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.

                      In another large saucepan, heat the oil. Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, and saute for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beans, reserved cooking liquid, and all of the rest of the ingredients except the parsley and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for an hour; stir occasionally. Remove the Scotch bonnet after 30 to 40 minutes - you can leave it in longer, but the longer you leave it, the hotter the soup... taste as you go along :) Discard the thyme sprigs, and and stir in the parsley and salt. You can also thicken the soup by pureeing half of it in a blender; pulse for like 10 seconds. Return the puree to the pan with the rest of the soup, and stir to reheat.

                        1. re: hannaone

                          I always do yukgaejang if I'm sick, or if I'm really ill (and can't handle the multitude of beef and veggies) I will do kong namul guk with lots of gochugaru

                          1. re: bitsubeats

                            I was also thinking Yuk gae jang. Another good Korean hot soup would be Mae oon tang.

                            The OP must be Korean at heart...i don't know many people who want spicy soup when sick!

                            1. re: joonjoon

                              Really? Spicy foods open up the sinuses and can help relieve congestion...I love anything spicy and brothy if I have a cold.

                        2. Here is a recipe for a chicken and white bean chili that should do the trick:


                          When I made this chili it was a bit brothy. If you wanted it even more brothy I'm sure you could just add a bit more stock.

                          1. When I'm feeling crappy, the last thing I want to do is go shopping for various soup items, and then go home and follow a complicated recipe.

                            Here's a brainless off-the-shelf solution. Empty a can of refried beans into your pot. Fill the can 3/4 full of liquid and add that. When simmering, add tapatio or cholula salsa picante till you get the level of chile heat you want. Maybe splash in a hint of tequila or brandy if you are so inclined.


                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Sharuf

                              Dude, this does not sound good at all.

                              I'm just sayin'....

                              1. re: Sharuf

                                That really does sound awful...

                                1. re: joonjoon

                                  Actually it's quite good. Especially if you put some cubed avocado or tomato on top. A flour or corn tortilla heated up and semi-toasty with butter on it goes very well with this.

                                  1. re: Sharuf

                                    I think I will pass on this one.

                              2. Sharuf's comment above about not wanting to put forth much effort when sick got me thinking.

                                Most Chinese restaurants offer some sort of wonton soup for a pretty reasonable price. You could add a tablespon of Sriracha and you should be set.

                                1. That sounds delicious, I hope you feel better soon!

                                  Last night I made a spicy soup of sauteed chopped onion, garlic and ground chili powder to which I added the cooked flesh of a whole kabocha squash, chicken stock and spicy andouille sausage, thyme leaves.

                                  1. Ive been making my Ginger Yam soup to fight off colds this winter-and I've been kicking up the spice each time I make it. This link describes a pretty mild format-but just add more Serrano peppers in the saute stage to your liking. This stuff has been doing wonders for me.

                                    1. I make a spicy chicken sausage and lentil soup using lentils, chicken broth, chicken sausage, onions, chili peppers, red pepper flakes, canned diced tomatoes, garlic and a little chili pepper. There are different flavors of chicken sausage and they come pre-cooked, which is why I use them, but I've also used regular spicy Italian sausage as well (obviously cooked before adding to the soup).

                                      1. I love Caldo Tlalpeño, a brothy chicken/vegetable soup seasoned with chipotle chiles. This recipe from epi looks good.

                                        1. Best cure for a hangover I ever knew was a Thai dish called gai ga pao (hot and spicy chicken). Basically a sautee of diced chicken breast, mint, Thai peppers, and sundry oils and spices poured over rice. It's a wonderworking dish.

                                          But you asked about soup. Here's a recipe I confected for Indian Hot and Spicy Soup. It's pretty good, but be forewarned! Extremely hot.

                                          Diced chicken (2 lbs.)
                                          Pepper sauce of your choice (3 1/2 T.)
                                          Corn starch (3 T.)
                                          Soy sauce (2 T.)
                                          Vinegar of your choice (2 T.)
                                          Minced Thai peppers (3)
                                          Chopped scallions (4 T.)
                                          Tomato sauce (4 T.)
                                          Minced carrot (4 T.)
                                          Chopped cabbage (1/2 cup)
                                          Black pepper (2 t.)
                                          Sugar (1 t.)
                                          Salt to taste
                                          Water (4 cups)
                                          Chicken stock (4 cups)
                                          Vegetable oil (2 T.)

                                          1. Heat oil over high heat and sautee chicken until almost cooked through.
                                          2. Mix water, chicken stock, pepper sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper and bring to a low boil.
                                          3. Add all vegatables, tomato sauce and chicken.
                                          4. Reduce heat to medium and cook for one minute.
                                          5. Dissolve corn starch in an additional cup of water and add to soup, stirring constantly until thickened.
                                          6. Cook an additional minute and serve.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                            3 Thai chiles *and* 3 Tbsp hot sauce...now THAT is my kind of heat :)

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              And the last time I made this I used CaJohn's 10 sauce, which contains bhut jolokia, red savinna habanero, scotch bonnet and fatalli peppers. Believe me, when that stuff gets to boiling amidst all the other ingredients you feel like you're in a trench in the Battle of the Somme! Good times in the ol' kitchen... ;)

                                          2. I made this yesterday, it's Michael Symon's and it was delicious!

                                            Spicy Tomato and Blue Cheese Soup
                                            from "Michael Symon's Live To Cook" by Michael Symon

                                            Serves 4 to 6

                                            2 tablespoons olive oil
                                            1 medium red onion, finely chopped
                                            Kosher salt
                                            4 garlic cloves, sliced
                                            1 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
                                            1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
                                            3/4 cups heavy cream
                                            2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
                                            1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
                                            1/2 cup Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue cheese

                                            Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and a three-fingered pinch of salt and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, their juice and the stock and bring to a simmer. (I added a little more salt here too). Add the cream, sriracha sauce, and oregano and simmer for 45 minutes

                                            Pour the soup into a blender, add the blue cheese, and blend until smooth, working in batches if needed.

                                            Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot (I did not strain mine), taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and reheat to serve. The soup will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for a few days.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jeanmarieok

                                              blue cheese, sriracha, garlic and tomatoes. and i'm guessing the fresh oregano really *makes* it.

                                              yes please!

                                            2. Your cold is probably over, but... my Mom used to make a wonderful winter beef vegetable soup. She had an enormous stock pot, would simmer a couple pounds of beef shanks for 3-4 hours with the normal seasonings you'd use to make beef stock (at least a couple bay leaves and some thyme and always a couple cubes of beef boullion.) Put in the frig overnight, take off the fat, shred the meat, add back to the broth, discard the bones. Reheat...

                                              Add every vegetable you like.... usually for us, it was a couple diced potatoes, big can of chopped tomatoes, chopped celery, onions, garlic, carrots, and after those were softened, a package each of frozen peas and corn. And then several dashes each of tabasco and Worcestershire.

                                              After playing in the snow for a couple hours coming back into the house for a bowl of that with a big glass of milk and a hunk of french bread with butter was the bomb.