Fall is the time people start digging up their soup recipes looking for something warm and hearty to eat. I always hated soup... or so I thought. Turns out I just hated bad soup—you know, tiny, gritty chicken bits and soggy noodles dissolving in overly-salted, artificial-tasting broth. As with so many other foods you change your mind about over time, it was just a matter of the dish being prepared right, and more often than not, that means from scratch. Here are the soups that converted me, and some other favorites from around the office.
Vegan and/or Vegetarian Soups
Smokey roasted jalapenos, bright fresh tomatoes, hearty mushrooms in a creamy, savory base. I adore this soup. It's so warm and filling. And while it might look cheese-y, there's actually no cheese at all, and very little dairy—the orange color comes from carrots, which give the soup just a hint of sweetness. Gluten free and vegetarian, it could easily be made vegan with a full-fat non-dairy milk (though I'd stay away from coconut because of the flavor).
I spent a semester in Russia during college and borscht always brings a flood of memories of cold weather and warm hearts. Every babushka has her own spin on this recipe, but as long as you keep the basics—beets, cabbage, dill, and sour cream—you’re good to go.
This is at the far end of the time-commitment spectrum. It might take an hour or two, but it is oh so worth it!! Decadent is the best word for this soup. Caramelized shallots, baked yams and coconut milk make it sweet and creamy, while seemingly unassuming ginger and cayenne pack a real punch of heat.
There's a restaurant in town here that makes an amazing asparagus and artichoke soup. That may not sound terribly appealing, but hear me out. Both spring favorites are wonderfully fresh and green, but when roasted take on an almost sweet earthiness that is perfect for soup. Served with a garlic butter crostini, this just melts in your mouth.
I’d always been wary of lentil soups because, honestly, they’re just not pretty. But in this surprisingly photogenic soup, earthy red lentils and spicy cumin are perfectly paired for a nutritious vegan dish. Freezes well, so make a big batch for grab-and-go lunches!
Thai, sweet potato, Sriracha… some of my favorite food words. Ultra creamy (without any dairy!), the complex flavors of this delicious and filling soup develop even more as it sits, so it’s a perfect make-ahead meal.
With or Without Meat (Easy to Veg-ify)
The author praises this soup for being just what you need when you're under the weather, but don't sit around waiting for a cold to try this—it's delicious any time. This recipe is proof that homemade doesn't have to mean time-consuming. Quick and easy to make, it's spicy, hearty and creamy... but the creaminess comes from MCT-rich coconut milk, so it's amazingly diet-friendly. I make it without the chicken, and it's easy to vegan-ize with a good veggie stock.
Can you tell I like spicy food? The blogger says this soup will warm you from head to toe: this soup is warm—and hot!—but the cilantro and lemongrass give it a wonderful bright and fresh flavor. Customize your protein with chicken, shrimp, tofu, or any combination of those.
I'm a sucker for any recipe with the words 'coconut' and 'curry' in the titles. Add cilantro and lemongrass and I'm sold. We made this with vegetarian chicken-flavored soup base and Beyond Meat Grilled Chicken Strips so you are equally free to adjust for your own dietary preferences. It's citrusy and creamy at the same time, and just delicious.
Stews and Other Meaty Dishes
My husband and I were given a humongous jar of fresh horseradish so we’re constantly on the lookout for ways to use it (feel free to use a prepared horseradish mustard, obviously). This one popped up in a web search and while I can’t personally vouch for it what with the beef and all, it smelled amazing, he loved it, and it was a big hit at our family’s holiday dinner.
This recipe is courtesy of a former coworker who loved New Orleans and vacationed there frequently. Low fat and full of protein, this flavorful gumbo makes good use of our wonderful organic spices!
There are few things that are as perfect for a crisp fall day than a warm and spicy bowl of chili, but there’s nothing that says you have to spend all day over a hot stove for it. If you start with cooked chicken, this 5-ingredient dish can be ready in 15 minutes! (The blogger also includes slow cooker directions for uncooked chicken.) An easy one to make veg-friendly, too: use veggie stock or vegetarian soup base, and omit the chicken or use a faux-chicken substitute such as Beyond Meat or Quorn.
Coworker Rachel brought this for the team one day. She made it healthier by using turkey kielbasa and a low-sodium broth. It’s made slightly thicker than most broth-based soups by pureeing a small portion of it, then returning that to the rest of the soup. Light and flavorful, but plenty filling!
Coworker Amanda raves about this one; she’s made it many times for herself and her husband. She describes it as a hearty, creamy, and flavorful soup that’s the perfect comfort food for fall or winter. Don’t have Emeril’s Creole Seasoning on hand? Try Swanson’s Organic Cajun Seasoning!
My husband is addicted to phơ. There’s a restaurant we go to that serves a billion different types of phơ, pages and pages of variations on what is basically noodles and broth. The process of making it is fascinating to me – you pour piping-hot broth over wafer-thin slices of meat (beef for Phơ Bo or chicken for Phơ Ga) and uncooked rice noodles and let the hot broth do all the work. He likes this shortcut recipe; I haven’t attempted a veg-friendly version yet, but it’s on my to-do list.
One More for Good Measure
This last one makes no claim to be healthy, but what self-respecting North Dakotan puts together a list of soups and doesn’t include Knoephla? No one, that’s who. Pronounced nef-la, (or nipfla, depending on who you ask), it’s sort of a cross between a creamy ham & potato soup and chicken & dumplings.
All of these awesome recipes—and many more!—are pinned to our Pinterest board: Soup’s On! Grab a spoon and enjoy!Follow Swanson Health Products's board Soup's On! on Pinterest.