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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I am slightly addicted to your rustic cabbage soup. Years ago I added chili powder, cayenne, and lots of lemon to it and I love it so much it has become the meal I most frequently cook! It's my go to for comfort, colds, and for an easy-to-prepare dish when cooking for friends. Thanks for the recipe that has given me so much joy for years!


This post was a blessing. Totally in the soup-mood. Your new years soup was fabulous!

I love your recipe for the soup with french lentils, fennel, and kabocha squash! I've blogged about it and made it at work several times and it ha always been well received! The coconut red lentil soup will always be a staple in my house...

I made the Pasole in Broth this evening. So easy since I had homemade veg bouillon in the freezer a la a previous post. Delicious, whole family loved.

Dahvi Fradkin Neelis

Heidi, I love your soups and can't wait for winter to settle in here in Canberra! I recently made Alice Hart's Smoky Black Bean and Roast Tomato Soup which was truly wonderful. I served it with homemade charred yogurt flatbreads and it made the perfect light dinner. Definitely one worth making!


Soup, beautiful soup! Your Simple Tomato Soup is one of my all-time favorites. It strikes that perfect balance (as do most of your recipes, now that I think of it) between lightness and heartiness. Other favorite soups of mine are borscht (the color, the sweet and sour tang with the fresh dill and a dollop of sour cream...swoon...), potato leek (utter simplicity), tortilla soup made with toasted chiles, and Chinese hot and sour soup, with lots of scallions, fresh cracked pepper and vinegar. Really looking forward to hearing about your Japanese journey.


I agree with Heather, I love you Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup. It's so great. Easy, healthy, and delicious. We make it alot!

Angela M-E

Your green lentil curried soup is the best thing I make. I'm obsessed with it!!! And oh I have Japan envy... We went last year and loved it so much!! we actually miss it!

Hi! Do you plan to do a travel posting on your Japan trip? I would love some (updated) recommendations if you have them? Thanks!!


I hope you enjoyed Naoshima as much as I did when I visited. I have lived in Japan for 35 years and my Naoshima trip was one of the best ever in Japan!


I just made the simple tomatoe soup for a group of friends on Sunday. Everyone loved it! it was perfect, a warm bowl of soup with friends on a cold day. Thank you Heidi!

Julie k

I make your New Year's soup all of the time and love it. Can't wait to see the pics from Japan - that is on my list of places to visit.

One soup that has recently entered my repertoire is a variation on this white bean and fennel soup with tarragon: I use a homemade mushroom stock and plenty of fennel, leave off the ham and let it cook for about 4 hours. The first time I made it, I was a little nervous that it wasn't that flavorful, but then when I added the tarragon at the last minute, it really came together into something extremely hearty and delicious.


Soups are my weekly mainstay. I make a different one each week. Besides all of your recipes, I often make the Green Soups in Anna Thomas' "Love Soup" cookbook. Can't wait to hear about Japan. Planning on going there myself next year.


Soups are my weekly mainstay. I make a different one each week. Besides all of your recipes, I often make the Green Soups in Anna Thomas' "Love Soup" cookbook. Can't wait to hear about Japan. Planning on going there myself next year.


One of my go-tos is your Chickpea Noodle Soup. It is so simple and comforting. Who knew so few ingredients could be so warming and delicious! I've made numerous pots this winter to fend off the bitter NY cold. Eataly carries whole wheat pappardelle and, with a dollop of hot sauce, it's perfect.


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