Soup Recipes: The Versatile Meal

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It saddens me to say it, but fall is here. The long, hot summer days have faded into cool evenings, and before long it will be crunchy leaves fading into snowflakes.

I always feel like my cooking has more depth in the fall and winter. I can make those warm, cozy dishes because we need all the warmth we can get. Although, sometimes it can be hard to plan out creative or interesting meals that my family hasn’t already eaten a hundred times. This is where soup recipes come in.

Soup’s On!

Soup is an incredibly versatile and forgiving meal. Whereas baking requires a certain level of precision, making soup can be totally fly by the seat of your pants. Now, generally speaking, I follow a recipe, but soup recipes can be easily modified to make it more to your liking. If you happen to “screw up” you can make simple changes to fix it. Too much salt? Add some more liquid to balance it. Too much liquid? Add more veggies or protein. Overcooked veggies? Use that stick blender, stand up blender, food processor, or potato masher to make a chunky (or smooth) veggie base. Your imagination can take you to great heights with soup! And if you aren’t very imaginative in the cooking department, follow the recipe and you’ll almost always have a positive result!

Tips and Tricks

If you need extra veggies, adding canned or frozen vegetables of your choosing is fairly easy. I love stir fry veggies in soup. I’m a fan of bell pepper and onion, and corn is always a nice crisp bite in soup (even if it’s really a starch). If your soup recipe already calls for veggies you like, you can almost always add extra, and your soup base will forgive you. Occasionally you may need to add a little extra liquid or salt, but that is a pretty easy fix.

Do you like a little extra spice? A can of green chiles can go a LONG way, not only in added spice, but also depth of flavor. If you like it spicier, go for the hot peppers. It’s an easy way to add flavor!

Are you a vegetarian? Most soup recipes can be modified to accommodate vegetarian ingredients! No need for chicken broth, since vegetable broth can be just as flavorful. The reverse is also true. If you’re not a vegetarian, you can use chicken broth or bone broth in place of vegetable broth. Changing up your proteins is also pretty easy. Beans or chickpeas in soup are just incredible. No need for beef or chicken!

I also feel like I should note, I almost always double my onion and garlic in recipes, not just soup. I love it! Even a small change like extra garlic can make a huge difference.

We’re busy moms, whether working full-time or part-time outside the home, working from your home office, or staying home full-time. Soup is forgiving. It is easily adjusted. Almost all soup recipes could be modified to a crock pot. They can also be adapted to a pressure cooker for an even quicker meal. Note that pastas and rice times will certainly vary, but a little research can get you the information you need to make these recipes work for you!

Favorite Soup Recipes

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Soup
This is literally my most comforting soup recipe. It is not low calorie, and in my opinion, you need to eat it with a loaf of crusty sourdough bread! If you like spinach artichoke dip, you will like this soup.

Thai Chicken Soup
This is one of my good friend’s favorite soups. It has a couple of ingredients that might not be familiar with, but curry paste and fish sauce are good on so many levels. I encourage you to have them in your kitchen!

Cauliflower Soup
This recipe just speaks comfort, and having so much cauliflower makes it almost feel healthy (we can just ignore the stick of butter!). I like to add a little bit of thyme when I make it, but it’s delicious just the way it is.

Stuffed Pepper Soup
This is one of my hubby’s favorite recipes. It’s also one that takes well to freezing (just don’t freeze it with the rice mixed in). Prepare the meat and veggies ahead, then it’s ready to be thawed and warmed for an easy supper any night!

This last recipe I am sharing (see below) is one I’ve had since my bridal shower. I asked for a personal favorite recipe from guests so that I could fill my cookbook with loved dishes. This one came from my mother-in-law. It’s another one that’s easily modified and it comes together in under a half hour!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

When topped with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheese, and a few crushed corn chips, this slightly spicy soup is the perfect supper on a cool fall day!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Large Onion chopped
  • 2 tsp. Garlic minced
  • 3 T. Oil
  • 2 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 10.5 oz can condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 14.5 oz can Chicken broth
  • 2 c. Cooked Chicken cubed or shredded
  • 1 15.25 oz can Corn, drained
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz can Green Chiles
  • 2 15 oz cans Black Beans
  • 4 c. Half & Half

Instructions
 

  • In large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until onion is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Add chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Saute another 3 minutes.
  • Add rest of ingredients except half & half. Simmer 15 minutes.
  • Add half & half and heat to low simmer. Do not let it boil.
  • Serve!

Notes

--Great mix-ins include: Corn chips (both Fritos style or regular tortilla chips), green onions, sour cream or creme fraiche, sharp cheddar or other favorite cheese.
--Instead of the onion and canned tomatoes, use your favorite fresh salsa.
--For extra zing, choose fire roasted tomatoes.
--For extra heat, sub hot green chiles or add an extra can.

Whether you try these recipes, one you have had for a long time, or a totally different recipe you found online (or made up, because that is a great idea too!), I hope soup helps to fill you up, warm you up, and inspire you to fill up others too! Enjoy!

Looking for fall-inspired breakfast ideas? Check out our post here!

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Dani Tanner
Dani Tanner (not THAT Danny Tanner) is a Twin Cities native who has lived in South Dakota, Iowa, South Dakota again and now Moorhead. She married her husband Greg in 2009. Dani received her bachelor's degree in Consumer Affairs in 2013. She has chosen to stay home while supporting her husband through graduate school (and now as a professor!) and chasing their five kiddos! She has a few hobbies - cooking, baking, sewing, reading, crafting... though they never seem to be fully realized. Not while there are still kids at home anyway! She enjoys all things in the kitchen and loves trying new recipes and techniques. The current new thing? Cake decorating! Various craft endeavors take some other time, as well as reading when she takes the time. Oh, and coffee. All the coffee. If you want to find her, she's likely that mom pushing a double stroller with three kids on it trying to get wherever she's going before someone freaks out. She's so glad to be able to share some of her fun experiences with you!

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