That warm-you-right-up goodness of a bowl of soup is just the thing to cap a day of being out in the chilled air, whether you’ve been tromping through the snowy streets or curled up with a book. And when you’re chilled, you want soup time to happen STAT. That’s why we found 30 simple recipes for all kinds of soups—from cheesy and creamy to hearty and thick—all using less than 10 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper).
Stews, Chilies, and Hearty Chowders
Rule No. 1 of meaty stews: A slow cooker is the way to go since the longer it simmers, the richer the taste will be. This recipe uses only the basics—meat, beans, carrots, and broth—plus one not-quite-as-basic ingredient to give it a little extra oomph: southwest salsa. Hey, why settle for just tomatoes when this sub will both make your taste buds happy and give you some giddyap?[AD]
Quickie chili isn’t just the domain of the red pigtailed. This mild, chunky version with both beans and ground beef can be ramped up with more spices—or even a little jalapeño for an extra-big kick—but it should be flavorful enough alone, especially when gently cooked for several hours.
This meat-lover’s bowl takes creamy corn chowder and adds hearty hunks of sausage and potatoes. You may run back for seconds—or thirds, hey, no judgment!—so it’s a good thing the recipe makes six servings.
Vegetarians and vegans can get in on the hearty soups action, too. Here’s one easy approach: Sub in cauliflower for meat. The core recipe only has eight ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and this blogger notes several tweaks you can make to alter the taste and texture. Think of this main dish as the base, and riff on it in countless directions.
A rich creamy soup that’s a snap to make? Believe it. This warm meal has only five ingredients, and it provides a robust helping of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and antioxidants. (Bonus: You can use up any baby carrots that never made it into your lunchtime rotation.)
Gluten-free and vegan, this six-ingredient soup looks oh-so-fancy. The blogger notes that sunflower seeds can be used in place of the cashews if you wanna mix it up or you have an allergy.
Get ready for your Goldilocks potato soup: not too lumpy, not too runny, but juuuuust right. It starts with this recipe featuring eight core ingredients—russet potatoes, celery, onion, milk, cream, flour, bacon, and Cajun spice—and a handful of optional ones. Grab your blender, a pot, and a cutting board, and you’re 30 minutes away from soup time.
Who needs to drink a warm glass of milk before bed when you can tuck into a mug of creamy comfort food? Chicken base bumps up the flavor in this classic soup, and milk makes it creamy. Use canned tomatoes—they have more available lycopene, a mega cancer-fighting antioxidant.
Vegans, listen up: This low-fat, gluten-free, plant-based soup is about to become your lazy-Sunday-supper go-to. But really everyone should get behind this bisque: Besides being easy-peasy to make, it uses kombu, an iron-rich member of the kelp family that may reduce cholesterol levels and hypertension. And yams bring potassium, vitamin C, iron, and fiber to the bowl.
10. Pumpkin Soup
Think of this as a piece of liquid pumpkin pie. With a touch of nutmeg and a dollop of heavy cream (the savory swap for whipped cream) on top, it hits all the same pleasure points as that fresh-from-the-oven favorite. The maple syrup, however, gives this soup some distinction from its baked cousin. And feel free to swap in Greek yogurt in place of cream for a low-cal protein boost.
This good-for-you soup has just three ingredients: Mix squash, broth, and curry powder, and, ta-dah! Dinner is done! Butternut is everywhere in the fall and winter months, so take advantage and make big batches for quickie weekday lunches.
The blogger of this recipe calls it a “steaming bowl of sunshine.” Hello! How can we not love that? Instead of a cream base, this soup uses a touch of savory soy sauce to balance the sweetness of the carotenoid-rich carrots.
Did you just go apple picking and now you’re staring down piles of Gala or Macintosh, wondering what else you can make, aside from pie, pie, and more pie? Squash and apple soup to the rescue! This recipe blends the slight sweetness of a popular winter squash with the oh-so-good flavors of apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It’s a toasty-warm meal you can make in 30 minutes.
14. Chicken Soup
We’ve gone on the record as being pro-chicken soup when it comes to fighting a cold, and this one has the healing properties of the broth along with the chunky goodness of tender chicken, celery, carrots, and onions, sprinkled with plenty of ground black pepper to help clear out any stuffiness.
Broccoli-cheddar soup is a classic, but sometimes you wanna take this cruciferous cancer-fighting veggie for a curry detour. All you need aside from some florets is nut butter, coconut milk, and green curry paste.
17. Green Soup
The day-glo green color here tips you off to all the nutrients jammed into this soup. Leeks, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, and parsley look so lovely, creamy, and healthy, it could outdo smoothies for making veggies sip-able.
The Japanese often have miso soup as breakfast to kick-start their digestive tracts. But this broth-and-dumpling combo has probiotic benefits whatever time you eat it. And this soup also gives you a chance to use immune-boosting mushrooms, vitamin K-packed green onions and kale, and low-calorie zucchini.
Soups with Kick (or Chocolate!)
Corn chips, you’ve met your match! This soup is composed almost entirely of corn, which means you get a hearty helping of B vitamins and a high ratio of insoluble-to-soluble fiber with each bowl. And with only three ingredients in the recipe, clean-up is a breeze.
Stop the marshmallow madness! Sweet potatoes were meant for better things than sticky-sweet casseroles. Consider this Indian-influenced, low-fat, low-sugar soup steeped in curry. It can quickly warm you from head to toe, and the garlic and onion may help detoxify you in the process.
21. Inca Corn Soup
Clearly, the Incas were on to something. This recipe uses supergrain quinoa, chilies, and black beans, turning a creamy corn soup into a Peruvian treat. A drop of maple syrup gives it a hit of sweet. Or add hot sauce for even more cha-cha-cha.
Chocolate. Yes, we went there. Heavy cream and cocoa aren’t usually considered healthy, but it’s all about small portions of indulgent ingredients. And it’s an excuse to enjoy more antioxidant-laden dark chocolate. This soup with energy-packed chestnuts is a great bowl to sip near a fireplace with logs aflame. (You have our permission to hum a few bars of “The Christmas Song.”)
Bean and Legume Soups
The next best thing to wishing your dinner into existence. With just three ingredients and three minutes in a microwave, this soup makes for a quick meal at work or home. And beans and tomatoes bring a double-whammy of antioxidants to the party.
24. Black Bean Soup
This soup is as Southwest as it gets, especially if you add the optional garnish items of sour cream, diced avocado, cilantro, lime wedges, and strips of corn tortillas. But the star of this Southwest lineup is the black bean, a powerful legume that helps digestive tracts and packs essential daily vitamins, fiber, magnesium, iron, and more.
Zucchini bread isn’t the only way to use up the green summer squash. Pair with a hearty base of cannellini (or other white beans), olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and pesto, and you have a six-ingredient soup ready in less than 10 minutes.
26. Lentil Soup
For such a little legume, lentils pack a mega-wallop of nutritional benefits: They can help stabilize blood sugar, boost energy levels, and, because they’re high in magnesium, improve blood flow and reduce risk of heart disease. This hearty dish is also stuffed with healthy and delicious tomatoes, garlic, and onions. If you’re making this, I’m coming over.
Don’t wait till you’re dining out at Chez This-or-That to enjoy heaps of Gruyere in a flavorful broth of onions. Whip up this simple recipe and treat yourself to a bon appétit moment. Despite the decadent, rich cheese, this soup is actually full of important nutrients thanks to the amazing properties of the onion. High in flavonoids, this allium vegetable, according to some health studies, may lower your risk of some forms of cancer if consumed regularly.
Broccoli sometimes gets a bad rap when it’s buried so deep in cheese dip that it can’t even be tasted. But this soup offers cheese-broccoli redemption. There’s no hiding the cruciferous veggie’s green greatness, but there’s plenty of cheese-is-divine spoonfuls to savor, too.
Coming in right at nine ingredients, this recipe leads you to a buttery, milky, cheesy, veggie-loaded chowder Wonderland. (Tip: This dish works with either chicken or vegetable broth as the base.) It’s a quick-to-make soup to fill you up a cold night.
Chicken noodle doesn’t have the corner on the best pasta soup. Many people swear allegiance to the wonderful, comforting taste of tortellini in a tomato-based broth. This recipe offers you a dish that’s like coming home to a bear hug from an Italian mama.