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ISO delicious, easy-to-make, high calorie soups for a person who's ill

A friend, who's not really much of a cook, is caring for a relative who's very ill. He's looking for delicious, high calorie, and easy to make soups.

I got some great ideas over at the CI board, but I'd love to hear more. Thanks in advance.

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  1. This is easy as can be, fattening and so delicious. Put 6-8 marrow bones in a large soup pot. Add a bag of lentils, 2 carrots, coarsely chopped, 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped and 1 whole onion, coarsely chopped. Cover with water. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 3 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste. I's even better the next day. The marrow just "melts" into the soup. Hope your friend's relative is feeling better.

    1. I love butternut squash bisque (or bisque of any kind actually) because of the richness of the roasted squash & cream. Easy to make and this freezes well. Another suggestion is chicken & dumplings. I like to bake the entire thing starting with the chicken. Cool, remove bones & skin then add back to dutch oven with aromatics & stock for about 30 minutes. Mix up the dumpling dough, drop by spoonfuls into hot liquid. Cover and back in oven unitl dumplings are dry on top & floating. You basically don't have to stand over the pot.

      1. One of my favorites to make at home is the copycat version of the Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. I use chicken sausage and not quite so much cream, but if you want all the calories, this page has the nutritional info listed as 890 calories per serving without the bacon bits.


        1 Reply
        1. re: gmm

          Potato Leek soup with cream is fairly high calorie. Also remember you can add calories to foods as well, such as a bit of extra butter or cream in mashed potatoes, or more olive oil on pasta (if they are eating solids). Remember to not just add fat, but good fats and nutritious calories.
          I hope they feel better soon-

        2. You are a wonderful person to assist your friend like this. I've been there, and I know the person who's ailing greatly appreciates the help from both of you.

          The Gourmet cookbook has a wonderful, impossible-to-mess-up chicken and rice soup that is probably the easiest and most nourishing you can make. You chop onion, carrots and celery, then place them in a 6-quart pot. Add one chicken, separated into pieces or quartered. Dump in a cup of brown rice and add about three quarts of water. Bring to a boil (I actually stop mine just before that point), take down to a simmer and cook for about an hour. Pull the chicken out and place in a strainer (which I place over the soup pot) till it's cooled enough to handle. Remove the skin and bones, shred the meat, and add it back into the soup. Season to taste and either cool to refrigerate, or serve as is. It's much better after sitting in the fridge at least overnight.

          What makes this soup so caloric is that a lot of the fat renders out of the chicken skin, and it's impractical to skim it once it cools because all the rice and vegetables are intermingled. So have your friend warm it up, stir it well to incorporate the fat, and serve.

          I think this is the recipe, but I don't think I'd go for the parsley myself.


          1. some of my favorites:
            French Onion with great croutons and lots of Gruyere, Emmantaler, and/or Jarlsberg
            Clam Chowder
            Cream of Tomato with Cheesy Croutons
            Navy Bean with Ham (made with a flour roux)
            Mushroom Beef Barley
            Avocado Soup (and add some chorizo or sausage, top with some sour cream) http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe?id=9...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Emme

              Avgolemono is a GREAT idea! I make a large batch and frezze it for later, always so delicious. I make a Tortellini soup with sausage, peppers, onions, & zuchinni. Very easy and so good served with some bread (foccacia) and cheese.

            2. A friend of mine makes a delicious soup that's sorta like gumbo, but more brothy. Start by cooking up some sliced andouille sausage until it renders some oil. Then add chopped celery, onion, green peppers and garlic. Shake on a bunch of cajun seasoning (I like Tony Chachere's), a bay leaf and oregano. Add a can of diced tomatoes and black beans (rinsed) along with a box of beef broth. Bring to a boil and add more cajun seasoning if necessary and salt.

              I like to serve mine with a little bit of steamed rice - which you can usually pick up at the chinese deli counter at your local grocery store.

              1. - grate some cheddar as a subsitute for salt.
                - drop in an egg or two.
                - use double cream as a thickener.
                - olive oil or melted butter will add several hundred calories as well.

                2 Replies
                1. re: epabella

                  FANTASTIC ideas---thank you very much.

                  1. re: epabella

                    using Roux is a good way to thicken and add calories as well!

                    definitely use bacon or butter or oil to saute veggies initially.

                  2. one of my favs is Giada's pasta fagioli, I add sausage to mine to meat it up:

                    I also love a great 13 or 15 bean soup (all the beans come in one package in the bean or soup section), again, I add sausage to mine. It's sooo easy in a crockpot - throw everything in, done in 6 hrs.

                    1. You've gotten some great suggestions. It would be good to check and make sure the patient isn't lactose intolerant, however. All that cream could make someone with LI feel even worse! Pureed beans or rice can add a lot of heft and calories to a soup without the milk/cream.

                      1. Also, I know when I'm even slightly ill, my tastebuds change drastically. And the only thing that is at all tempting are sweet foods. Whatabout a pureed chocolate soup or a very creamy rice pudding?

                        1. How about Dill Pickle Soup? I have had this many times and it is really great. It is also a little different for a change. And with the whipping cream, it certainly adds some calories.


                          1. http://keepingitrealfood.wordpress.com/

                            The above blog has a bunch of great recipies to help ill patients get much needed calories. Not just soups, but lots of strange stuff. There's an avacado milkshake that also helps meet protein needs that the ill sometimes don't get.

                            1. Broccoli cheese soup is a great one for this, and very comforting. Another good choice is a variation of Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce with onion and butter: for the sauce, just take a can of good tomatoes chop them up with the juice, and put them in a pot with a half an onion and a stick of butter and some salt, and then let simmer for about 45 minutes. To make it into a soup, just add some milk or cream at the end, and then puree the whole thing.

                              1. You could try a Senegalese peanut soup, which would have lots of fats and sugars from the peanuts and also from the customary coconut milk. This would be good in case the patient's vegan or lactose-intolerant, too.

                                Same goes for pappa al pomodoro, or tomato-bread soup. This is a favorite of mine that's really great for using up stale bread (seriously, I use even rock-hard old baguettes that turn beautifully chewy in the soup). Cook some garlic in butter, add chunks of the stale bread to brown them, add a can of good diced tomatoes, cover with chicken stock, bring to a boil while breaking up large bread chunks, and simmer for a while before adding whatever herbs you want to add. Top with lots of cheese and some fresh basil before serving. Alternately, try Florence Fabricant's chorizo-laden Spanish variant: http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_w...

                                Pozole verde packs a lot of flavor and calories, what with all those tomatillos (you can use jarred salsa verde to simplify matters), that hominy and whatever meat you choose. And it too lends itself to lots of garnishes, some of them calorie-laden (avocado, cilantro, radishes, lettuce, cheese...).

                                There's always Brunswick stew, which I always crave when sick. And pho, whose fabulous broth almost beats the many cuts of meat, heap of noodles, and thicket of herbs that always fill it. Pho more than any other soup feels rejuvenating for me when I'm not well.

                                This soup is also really good, and the recipe (which isn't as complicated as it looks) lends itself to alterations: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                Alternately, you could just make any ordinary soup and add grated potato, small pasta shapes, cream, or cheese to it to make it heartier. I often use the old parmesan rind trick (if you have any grated-to-death rinds around, throw them in and fish them out eventually) to thicken soups and make them more pungent and creamy.

                                And just about any soup is better with sausage added to it.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: everybodyever

                                  I was about to suggest tomato bread soup myself, I think that would be a great choice. Also she might make a good old fashioned Italian Wedding Soup with stracciatella. While cream and sausage are a good way to add calories to soup, I would worry that they could be too much for a sick person's system.

                                  1. re: Kater

                                    FABULOUS ideas. Thank you so very much.

                                  2. re: everybodyever

                                    I think this is a little different than Senegalese peanut soup, but the first thing that came to mind for me was this recipe for curried peanut soup: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                  3. This is a tomato soup I make that turns out great:

                                    1 medium onion, chopped
                                    2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
                                    2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
                                    2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
                                    1-1/2 cup milk
                                    1 teaspoon sugar
                                    1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried basil
                                    1/2 to 1 teaspoon paprika
                                    1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
                                    1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed

                                    In a saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in tomatoes, soup, milk, sugar, basil, paprika and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Serve Immediately. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts).

                                    Hint: I usually put some of the warm soup in the blender with the cream cheese to mix – then re-add to the soup mixture to make it smooth and really creamy.