Knowing how to make a quick, tasty soups, virtually from pantry staples, can set you up for plenty of last minute dinners. You can also have dinner on the table in 30 minutes if you cut your vegetables ahead of time. There are lots of soups that can take longer to make, or more ingredients but today I wanted to share some simple ones that can be a complete meal.
There is just a few tips to make your quick soup taste the best.
- Always use aromatics! Carrots, onions or leeks, celery, and sometimes garlic. Sweat them in olive oil or butter until soft and translucent. Salt them during this first cooking process to bring out more flavor. Pepper is your friend as well!
- If you can, use homemade broth when possible. It is super simple and keeps very well in the freezer. If you are buying broth, take a look at the label and note the ingredients for hidden sodium and preservatives.
- Add what ever meat you want or have on hand. Who says you can’t switch out some ground beef for the chicken in the Mexican Tortilla Soup, or even make it completely vegetarian.
- Keep in mind the cooking time for different vegetables. You would not want to add zucchini or even cabbage to early because they would turn mushy. Add them at the last 5-10 minutes of cooking so you don’t have mush. Know what types of vegetables hold up better. Potatoes for example. Waxy potatoes like red bliss hold up better but mealy potatoes like Idaho break down a bit more and help thicken the sou. If using canned beans, don’t add them to early since they can also break down. Also keep in mind how firm your beans are. If they are mushy coming out of the can, they will not hold up well in the soup
- Frozen kale and spinach are great additions strait into your soup. You can add kale earlier in the cooking process and fresh or frozen spinach right at the end.
- Adding a small amount of cream, creme fresh, or coconut milk, or even and acid like lime, lemon, or balsamic, in at the end can completely transform a soup.
- Ratios can stay the same for all of these soup: 2 Quarts Water or Broth, 1 onion, 3-4 carrots, 3 stalks celery, all small dice. About 1/4 – 1/2 inch.
1) Mexican Tortilla Bean Soup
Ingredients: Chicken Broth, Cooked Diced Chicken, Black Beans, Lime Juice, Chilli Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Frozen Corn, Can of Ro-Tel. Serve with crushed tortilla chips and cheese if desired.
2) Farmer’s Vegetable Soup
If you sweat and salt your vegetables along the way this soup makes a fantastic vegetable broth on it’s own. It does not even need broth, just start with water!
Ingredients: Water or broth, Sliced Leeks or Onions, Carrots, Celery, Green Beans(cut about the size of a pea), Peas, Green Cabbage sliced. You can also add a little bacon or ham to this and it is very tasty! Serve with crusty bread topped with cheese!
3) Italian Sausage and Beans
Ingredients: 1 pound italian sausage, cooked, crumbled, fat drained, 1 Quart Broth, 1-28 ounce can tomato sauce, 1- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, diced onions, carrots, celery, garlic, sliced green cabbage, 2 cans pinto beans (drained, rinsed). Sometimes I will add green beans or kale as well. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar is really nice as well.
4) Tuscan Kale and White bean
Ingredients: Diced carrots, onions, celery, minced garlic, vegetable or chicken broth, frozen or fresh kale, 2 cans cannelli beans, 1 pound smoked sausage – kielbasa, optional, sliced. Serve with parmesan cheese
5) Lentil Soup
Ingredients: Vegetable Broth, Onions, Carrots, Celery, Garlic, 1 can Diced Tomatoes, 1.5 cup red or orange lentils, 1.5 – 2 tablespoons curry powder, pinch cayenne powder (optional), 1/2 can coconut milk(add in at the end). Serve with cilantro, lime, or sour cream if desired.
I would love to hear from you. What is your favorite simple soup!?!