Soups Worth Making

A round-up of a my favorite soups from the archives - the ones that really stood out, the ones I love to revisit.

Soups Worth Making

I'm just home from Japan - thanks to an efficient series of buses, trains, planes, and one fabulously upholstered ferry. The trip started in Tokyo, then on to Kyoto, eventually making our way to the incredibly special island of Naoshima. While I get unpacked and settled back in to my regular routine, I thought I'd do a quick round-up of a few of my favorite soups from the archives, the ones that really stood out, the ones I love to revisit. I love a good pot of soup, and (particularly) this time of year, make them a couple times a week. And while the following have become some of my stand-bys, let me know if you have a soup recipe you think I'm missing out on. I'm always on the look-out for new ideas to try. In the meantime, I'll try to pull together some pics and a write up of my plane lunch for later in the week! xo-h

Great Soup Recipes

- A Simple Tomato Soup: Pictured here - A simple tomato soup recipe inspired by a Melissa Clark recipe - pureed, warmly spiced, and perfect topped with everything from toasted almonds and herbs, to coconut cream or a poached egg.

- Pumpkin and Rice Soup: This was the pumpkin soup I made first-thing after arriving home from India last October - it has an herby butter drizzle and lemon ginger pulp. I serve it over a good amount of brown rice with a dollop plain yogurt.

- Coconut Red Lentil Soup: If emails are any indication, this is certainly one of the more popular soup recipes with all of you. Inspired by an Ayurvedic dal recipe in the Esalen Cookbook, it is a light-bodied, curry-spiced coconut broth thickened with cooked red lentils and structured with yellow split peas. It has back notes of ginger, slivered green onions sauteed in butter, and curry-plumped raisins. It also relies on an interested cooking method to bring it all together.

- Posole in Broth: My style of posole. This version has a vegetable broth base, lots of blossoming corn kernels, avocado and mung beans. It's topped with plenty of chopped olives and toasted almonds.

Great Soup Recipes

- Red Lentil Soup with Lemon: Pictured above here - An earthy, turmeric and mustard-spiked lentil soup served over brown rice with spinach and thick yogurt.

- New Year Noodle Soup Recipe: One of my very favorite soups, a bit of an effort, but well worth it if you have a lazy day at home. This is an amazing New Year Noodle Soup from Greg & Lucy Malouf's beautiful book, Saraban. A bean and noodle soup at its core, it features thin egg noodles swimming in a fragrant broth spiced with turmeric, cumin, chiles, and black pepper. You use a medley of lentils, chickpeas, and borlotti beans which makes the soup heart and filling without being heavy. You then add spinach, dill, and cilantro, and lime juice kicks in with a bit of sour at the end. Even beyond that, you also prep a number of toppings to serve with the soup - chopped walnuts, caramelized onions, and sour cream. Amazing.

- Dried Fava Soup with Mint and Guajillo Chiles: Easily one of the best and most interesting soups I've cooked in years. Adapted from a recipe in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen - a dried fava bean and roasted tomato base is topped with a fascinating cider-kissed tangy/sweet quick-pickled chile topping. Don't skimp out on the topping!

- Green Curry Broth: A beautiful, thin green curry broth, fragrant with garlic, lemongrass, and ginger. It gets heat from serrano chiles, and a zing of tanginess from fresh lime juice. Cumin and coriander seeds keep things grounded, and a flurry of freshly chopped herbs make the sky open up.

- Richard Olney's Garlic Soup : In the realm of garlic soup recipes, this is a favorite of mine. From Richard Olney's The French Menu Cookbook, it is made by simmering a dozen or so cloves of garlic in water with a few herbs, then thickening it with a mixture of egg and shredded cheese. It's hard to beat a ladle poured over crusty day-old chunks of walnut baguette.

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Wow. If these are your favorites, I can't wait to try them. Your celery soup with rice and green pea with ginger appear regularly on my table and I think both are ah-maz-ing. (Especially that pea soup. Served it at a brunch recently - huge hit!)

One of my all-time favorites is your Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup. After making it countless times I still can't believe how simple and easy it is! Last week I made a very large batch (5x) and people are still talking about it.


I have made each and every one of these. New Year's Noodle is by far my favorite. I'm a vegan and your recipes are always so easy to transition to vegan. Thanks for the reminder to revisit some of these favorites.


Thanks for all the soup recipes. Any chance we will hear more about Japan?

HS: Working on it!


Ooo, thanks for this! Always on the lookout for great soup recipes. Perhaps the theme of your next cookbook?

Hi Heidi, This is a great round-up...I've made almost every one of these soups! However one of my staple week-night soups is missing from this list--your "Lively Up Yourself" Lentil Soup! It is so simple to throw together and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. The soup is so hearty and warming-- I love it. I've also enjoyed experimenting with adding different spices and herbs to mix it up a little each time I make it.


This is so great! You have completely opened my eyes to creativity in soup. I can't wait to try...well....all of them! Thanks for this collection.

I haven't made soup since my beloved Dutch oven cracked in half as I was in the middle of using it on the stove! These soup recipes look to good to pass up, so I will have to find another Dutch oven or stock pot to cook some of these! Great ideas as always!

Nothing like soup to soothe the exhaustion of travel. And I've always wanted to try Richard Olney's garlic soup. Thanks and welcome home!

The New Years Noodle Soup is, I'm convinced, the cure for the common cold. Nothing is better when I'm feeling under the weather or on a -40° night. Winters are long and dark here in Interior Alaska and it's hard to get warm. This soup does the trick! Thank you!


Visited Costa Rica recently and had a gazpacho type cold soup with avocado,tomato, mango, yellow onion, red and yellow peppers and vegetable broth. It was an amazing soup. Have you ever made something similar?

Susan scully

This little corner of Winter/Spring blend weather makes a perfect case for cozy comforting soups. The red lentil soup catches my eye. Especially since I have the lentils in the kitchen. I've been experimenting with pumpkin empanadas, which will go quite nicely with any of these good soups. Era3-my thoughts are with you and your Dad. I'm a health researcher, so I might be able to help with some suggestions or questions if you'd like.

Oh you were in Japan .. Next time when you come here, please schedule the trip two weeks later. It is the best season of Japan, cherry blossom time.


Soups are an ultimate comfort food for me. I'm looking forward to trying the garlic soup! As I opened your blog, all the ingredients are readied on my counter to make a delicious cauliflower soup. It's chunky goodness is irresistible even to the little ones.


Woohoo! I use every excuse to make the New Year Noodle Soup and/or promote it. It was the recipe I shared with a bride-to-be at her bridal shower. I estimate my husband and I make it two-three times a month in the wintertime. Thanks, and welcome home.


Oh, Japan! I am planning a trip to Japan next year with my hubby and would love to hear more about your trip, places you visited and where you ate, recommendations, etc.


I'm currently living in the Netherlands, the country is just a messy mix of gray skies, frost, rain and snow. In the couple of next days I will surely cook my way through some of your soups, the colours and falvours and warmth they bring will be a nice change. I love your crockery by the way.

I just passed the link along to a neighbor. I figure, if I make one and she another, we'll get two of them this week. (Maybe I need to send it to a couple of other neighbors.) Thanks; these grouped postings are quite helpful.


Heidi, thanks for this little round-up. I just made the red lentil soup with lemon last week and adored it! I was sick with a cold and was stuck cooking for myself, and even though I really, really, didn't feel like being in the kitchen, the soup was a snap to put together and was a real comfort.

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