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Our Most Delicious Soups
Get the recipes for our tastiest soups ever
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- Matthew Benson
It’s been said that soup is a lot like family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor. When temperatures fall, there is nothing like a fragrant soup simmering on the stove. Here are some of our favorites.
Cream of Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
The tomato soup base can be made up to 3 days in advance, keep covered and chilled in refrigerator.
- 2 (28-ounce) cans whole pear tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes in juice
- 1 medium onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 (7-ounce) container purchased crème fraîche
Drain tomatoes, reserving juice. In 4-quart Dutch oven cook onion in hot oil over medium heat 5 minutes or until just tender. Stir in garlic. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Stir in thyme. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in reserved tomato juice. Bring mixture to just boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper. Cool slightly. With an immersion blender blend until smooth, or transfer mixture, in half batches, to food processor. Cover; process until smooth. Transfer mixture to storage container. Cover; chill up to 3 days.
To serve, in large saucepan combine tomato base and whipping cream. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally. In small bowl combine crème fraîche with enough milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to drizzling consistency. Drizzle over soup. Makes 8 (1 cup) servings.
Cook these sandwiches "long and slow" for equal parts crisp and gooey.
- 8 slices white bread
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 6 ounces sliced cheddar cheese
Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter; place, buttered side down, on waxed paper. Top four slices with cheese. Top with remaining bread slices, buttered side up.
Cook sandwiches in very large skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until bread is golden brown, turning once. Cut sandwiches into quarters. Makes 8 (2 quarters per person) servings.
Recipe: chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier
Tomato & Avocado Swirl Soup
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled, quartered, and seeded
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup chopped onion (1 small)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Few dashes bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)
- Avocado Soup (recipe below)
In a medium saucepan combine tomatoes, broth, onion, tomato paste, basil, sugar, and hot pepper sauce, if desired. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until onion is very tender. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Place half of the tomato mixture in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Repeat with the remaining mixture.* Return all to the saucepan; heat through.
Serve in demitasse cups with Avocado Soup. To swirl the soups together, hold cup tilted at an angle when spooning in first soup. Continue holding it at the same angle while spooning the other soup into the cups. Return the cup to a level position and swirl soups together with a spoon. Makes 8 servings.
Avocado Soup: In a blender or food processor combine 2 ripe medium avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and cut up, 1/3 cup chopped onion, 1 clove garlic, minced, and 1-1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until almost smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Whisk in 1/2 cup light dairy sour cream and, if desired, a few dashes bottled hot pepper sauce. Heat through over medium heat; do not boil.
At this point soup can be chilled up to 24 hours.
- John Bessler
Sweet Potato and Green Apple Soup
Slicing the sweet potatoes into “planks” allows more surface for caramelization when roasting. Try this technique when serving sweet potatoes as a side dish.
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick “planks”
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground white pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup peeled, diced rutabaga
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, diced
- 1 quart chicken stock or reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1-1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 recipe Maple Cream (below)
- 1/4 cup croutons
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; place sweet potatoes on prepared sheet. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and pepper. Roast 30 minutes or until tender.
In large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, cook and stir 3 minutes. Add rutabaga and apple; cook 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock and sweet potatoes. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
Remove from heat; cool slightly. Process until smooth with an immersion blender (or blend or process mixture 1/2 at a time in blender container or food processor). Return mixture to saucepan. Add whipping cream and maple syrup. Season to taste with kosher salt and ground white pepper. Cook and stir until heated through.
Top each serving with Maple Cream, croutons, and green onions. Makes 6 servings.
In chilled mi bowl beat 1/3 cup whipping cream on high speed of electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and dash each of kosher salt and ground white pepper. Beat just until stiff peaks form.
Recipe: chef Michael Salmon
- Scott Little
Shopping tip: When purchasing asparagus, look for bright green stalks and tightly closed tips with a hint of purple. To trim asparagus, simply bend the stalk-the woody end will snap right off.
- 6 cups water
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium-size onion, diced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 medium-size potato, peeled and diced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/8 teaspoon white or black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Cut tips from asparagus. Set aside. Chop remaining stalks into 12-inch pieces. Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Add asparagus stalks and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add broth, potatoes, salt, dill, and pepper. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium-high and cook 10 to 12 minutes uncovered, until potatoes are very tender. Meanwhile, place asparagus tips in small amount boiling water; cook 3 to 4 minutes until crisp tender.
Remove soup from heat and purée until smooth. Stir in heavy cream. Serve warm or chilled, garnished with asparagus tips. Makes 8 appetizer servings.
Crema de Calabaza (Butternut Squash Soup) with Chocolate-Chipotle Croutons
- 1/2 of a poblano chili, stemmed, seeded, and membranes removed
- 1 orange
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut in 1-inch cubes
- 1 pound white onions, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1-1/2 inches Mexican stick cinnamon or other stick cinnamon, broken
- 2 tablespoons grated piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar) or packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 whole allspice
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1/8 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- Kosher salt (optional)
- 1 Recipe Chocolate-Chipotle Croutons
- Grated Oaxacan or other Mexican chocolate
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place pepper half, cut side down, on foil-lined baking sheet. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until skin is blistered. Bring foil up around pepper. Let stand 15 minutes. Loosen edges of the skin with a sharp knife; gently pull off skin and discard. Set pepper aside. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
With vegetable peeler, remove orange peel from half of orange in large strips; squeeze 1/4 cup juice from orange and reserve. In mi bowl combine orange peel, orange juice, squash, onion, garlic, cinnamon, piloncillo, olive oil, allspice, 1 tablespoon salt, peppercorns and thyme. Place in small roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, 50 to 60 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring twice. Cool slightly; discard orange peel, thyme stem, and cinnamon, if desired.
In blender combine squash mixture, vegetable stock, and roasted poblano; cover; blend until almost smooth. Transfer to large saucepan; add milk. Cook and stir until heated through. Add nutmeg and additional kosher salt, if needed.
To serve, top with croutons and grated chocolate.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut 4 ounces purchased brioche bread into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes. Place in parchment paper-lined 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, 12 minutes, stirring twice. In saucepan melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper and bread cubes; stir to coat. Return to baking pan. Bake 6 minutes more, stirring once. Transfer to large mi bowl. Gradually sprinkle 2 tablespoons grated Mexican chocolate over croutons, tossing to coat. Makes 2-1/2 cups croutons.
Recipe: chef Susana Trilling
- Colleen Duffley
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Spiced Pecans
- 5 to 6 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 large white onion, quartered
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (3- to 4-pound) pie pumpkin or butternut squash, seeded and quartered
- 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 recipe Spiced Pecans (recipe follows)
- 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line roasting pan with foil. Place carrots, onion, and garlic in prepared roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add pumpkin quarters to pan. Spread one tablespoon brown sugar on each pumpkin quarter; top with 2 sage leaves. Drizzle with olive oil.
Roast vegetables 45 to 60 minutes or until pumpkin flesh is soft. Meanwhile, in 4-quart Dutch oven bring broth to just boiling; remove from heat. Set aside to cool slightly. Remove vegetables from oven. Discard sage leaves. Scoop pumpkin flesh into medium bowl (you should have about 5 cups). In batches, add vegetables and pumpkin to blender or food processor and blend or process until smooth, adding enough cooled broth to reach desired consistency. To serve, divide soup evenly among bowls. Top with Spiced Pecans and flat-leaf Italian parsley sprigs. Makes 6 (1 1/3 cup) servings.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In small bowl combine 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted; 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt; and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add 1/2 cup pecans. Toss to combine. Spread evenly on baking sheet lined with foil. Bake 5 minutes or until toasted, watching closely to ensure pecans do not burn. Cool completely.
- John Bessler
Yellow Pepper Soup with Yogurt and Cucumber
- 2 cups plain or low-fat yogurt (do not use nonfat)
- 2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
- 8 medium yellow sweet peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
- 4 medium shallots, chopped (1/4 cup)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cucumber
- Freshly ground black pepper
In small bowl stir together yogurt and fennel seed. Cover; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large saucepan cook sweet peppers, shallots, and cardamom in hot oil 15 to 18 minutes or until peppers just begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Add broth, water, and vinegar. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; cool slightly. In blender, blend mixture in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat.
To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top with yogurt and cucumber. Sprinkle with pepper. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 8 servings.
- 21 medium sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped in large pieces
- 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Fresh chervil, chives, or parsley
In large saucepan, cook onion in hot oil over medium to medium-low heat 10 to 12 minutes or until tender but not brown. Add cauliflower, broth, and water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft and tender. Cool slightly.
Using immersion blender, puree vegetables until very smooth. (Or place cauliflower mixture, one third at a time, in food processor or blender. Cover and process until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan.)
Stir in whipping cream. Cook and stir until heated through. Season soup to taste with kosher salt. Top each serving with fresh chervil. Makes 8 (about 3/4 cup) servings.
Cover and chill soup up to 3 days. Reheat in large saucepan over medium-low heat 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.
- Kathryn Gamble
Cream of Pumpkin Soup
Shaking flour and half-and-half together prevents the flour mixture from lumping when stirred into the soup.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 (14-ounce) cans chicken broth
- 1/2 cup uncooked orzo or wild rice
- 1-1/2 cups half-and-half, light cream, or milk
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
- Cracked black pepper (optional)
- Red pepper strips (optional)
In large saucepan melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in crushed red pepper; cook 1 minute. Add broth; bring to boil. Stir in orzo or rice. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes for orzo or 40 minutes for wild rice or until orzo or rice is tender.
In screw-top jar combine half-and-half and flour. Cover; shake well to combine. Stir into orzo mixture; cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in pumpkin; heat through. To serve, sprinkle each serving with cracked black pepper; top with red pepper strips. Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings.
Harvest Corn Soup
- 12 large ears of fresh sweet corn
- 1-1/2 cups chopped sweet onion
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 green onion, bias-sliced
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 large fresh tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- Sauteed scallops or shrimp (optional)*
Scrub corn with stiff vegetable brush to remove silks. Rinse under cold running water. Place one ear of corn at a time in shallow pan. Holding corn at an angle, use sharp knife to remove kernels. You should have about 8 cups of corn.
In 4-quart Dutch oven cook onion in hot butter 5 minutes or until tender. Add corn; cook just until heated through. Add 3 cups chicken stock. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Cool slightly.
In blender or food processor process corn mixture, half at a time, until smooth. Strain corn mixture through wire mesh sieve, pressing with back of spoon. Discard solids.
Return corn puree to Dutch oven. Add remaining chicken stock. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in whipping cream, salt, and pepper.
In large skillet, cook green onion in hot oil over medium heat 1 minute or until onion turns bright green. Stir in tomato. Cook and stir until just heated through. Serve soup topped with tomato mixture, sage, and scallops or shrimp, if desired. Makes 6 servings.
* Cook 12 small scallops or 12 medium peeled and deveined shrimp in hot olive oil 2 to 4 minutes or until scallops or shrimp are opaque.
Recipe: Suzie Blanchard, Inn at Meander Plantation
Wild Mushroom Soup with Beggar's Purses
Simple additions: Top goat cheese with chopped toasted pecans or add herbs to the cheese before assembling purses.
- 2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup minced shallots
- 6 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
- 6 ounces fresh oyster mushrooms, sliced
- 6 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 8 cups chicken broth
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3 sheets frozen phyllo dough (14x9-inch rectangles), thawed
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ounces goat cheese (chevre)
Place dried porcinis in small bowl. Add boiling water to cover; set aside 10 minutes or until softened. Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer, reserving liquid.
In 4-quart Dutch oven or pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Add shiitake, oyster, and cremini mushrooms. Cook and stir about 8 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
Coarsely chop porcinis. Add porcinis to pot. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in flour.
Stir in reserved porcini liquid and chicken broth to pot. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. With slotted spoon remove half of the mushrooms. Place in food processor; cover and process until nearly smooth. Return mushrooms to pot; stir thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Lay one sheet of phyllo dough on clean work surface. Lightly brush with some of the melted butter. Place another sheet of phyllo on top; brush with butter. Place remaining sheet of phyllo on top; brush with butter. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap until needed.) Cut layered sheets into eight 4-1/2 by 3-1/2 inch rectangles. Divide goat cheese between each phyllo rectangle. Pull up corners of each rectangle, pinching just below the top to form beggar's purses. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Ladle soup into bowls; top with beggar's purse. Makes 8 servings.
Recipe: Rainbeau Ridge cooking school, New York.