Celery Soup with Bacon Croutons
This elegant soup from chef Naomi Pomeroy gets a surprising amount of flavor from sautéed celery. It has great garnishes, too: bacon croutons and a drizzle of lemon oil. Be sure to buy extra-virgin olive oil infused with pure lemon extract.
Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque
This creamy fire-roasted tomato bisque soup calls for store-bought chicken broth and canned tomatoes but the aromatic vegetables give it homemade taste.
Chunky Artichoke And Sunchoke Soup
This creamy soup from chef April Bloomfield is simmered with a layer of prosciutto on top, which adds fantastic flavor.
Shiitake-and-Swiss-Chard Soup with Hand-Cut Noodles
David Chang flavors this fabulous broth with dried shiitakes; fresh shiitakes intensify the flavor. The highlight: simple noodles thrown in at the end. “They’re based on the udon I learned to make in Tokyo,” Chang says.
Classic Split Pea Soup
“I haven't met a bean or pea that I didn’t love,” says Steven Satterfield. Here he soaks split peas for an hour before simmering them in the soup, so they’re more tender and the soup is smoother.
Chunky Tomato Soup
Classic Chicken Noodle Soup
This classic chicken noodle soup gets its deeply flavorful broth from a whole chicken.
Gingered Butternut Squash Soup with Spicy Pecan Cream
Dean Fearing loves the holiday feel of butternut squash, especially when it’s combined with ginger, as it is for his smooth, gently sweet soup. He tops it with whipped cream flecked with chopped pecans: “I think everything should have a little bit of crunch to it. Plus, this is Texas, and pecans are Texas.”
Carrot, Squash, and Jerusalem-Artichoke Soup with White Beans
Colorful vegetables brighten our satisfying brothy soup. If Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes) aren’t available in your area, substitute another flavorful, slightly scratchy vegetable such as parsnips or turnips, or simple increase the quantities of the other vegetables in the soup.
Spiced Beef Pho with Sesame-Chile Oil
The rice vermicelli soup pho is a staple all over Vietnam and this spicy beef version is the specialty of Hanoi. At home in Connecticut, Marcia Kiesel often eats it for breakfast, as the Vietnamese do. “It’s a perfect meal and an invigorating way to start the day,” she says.
When Jonathon Erdeljac opened his restaurant, Jonathon’s Oak Cliff, in Dallas, he knew he wanted to serve this rich soup. It’s a favorite of his, especially with jalapeños and smoky bacon stirred in.
Split-Pea Soup with Portobellos
Meaty portobellos are especially good for adding substance and flavor to this soup, but shiitakes or other mushrooms will work well, too. You can also add a ham hock to the pot while the split peas cook, if you like.
Potato Soup with Spicy Shrimp
Influenced by his Turkish-American wife, Meltem, Scott Conantspices up his silky potato soup with Turkish red-pepper paste (biber salcasi), made from sweet and hot peppers. Look for the paste at Middle Eastern groceries, or use harissa instead.
Winter Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chef Susur Lee is renowned for his creative, complex, Asian-inflected dishes at his restaurants in Toronto, Manhattan and Singapore. But one of his favorite cold-weather comfort recipes is this remarkably simple squash soup, which he sweetens with a little honey and garnishes with roasted pumpkin seeds.
Lentil Soup with Broccoli Rabe
Cook the broccoli rabe in a separate pan, not in the soup pot. That way, any excess bitterness from the vegetable goes down the drain with the cooking water rather than into the soup. You’ll find, though, that a bit of bite enlivens the lentils.
Nordic Winter Vegetable Soup
Trina Hahnemann calls the root vegetables in this simple vegetarian soup the “gold of Nordic soil” because they’re high in nutrients and grow well in cold climates.
French (Canadian) Onion Soup
Hugue Dufour makes a pork broth for his French onion soup using bacon for smokiness and a pig’s foot for richness. Omit the pig’s foot for a lighter broth.
Smoky Escarole and Carrot Soup
White-Bean Soup with Bacon and Herbs
A light broth loaded with chunky Great Northern beans and topped with a sprinkling of bacon, this soup was inspired by the caldo gallego (a Spanish white-bean soup) Jose Garces serves at Amada.
Quick Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Beef
Rocco DiSpirito likes to heat shirataki noodles (a low-calorie noodle made from tofu or a kind of sweet potato) in store-bought chicken broth seasoned with lime juice.
Barley Soup with Scotch
The idea for this hearty, risotto-style soup came to Frédéric Morin while he was sitting on a combine in his uncle’s barley field. He could smell the peat from the neighboring farm, which reminded him of Scotch whisky.
Thai Shrimp-and-Coconut Soup with Lemongrass
Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle’s feel-good Thai coconut soup is flavored with chiles, ginger and lemongrass, and garnished with plenty of shrimp.
Red Lentil Soup
SoupCycle in Portland, Oregon, offers soups with wacky names ranging from Flemish Farm (a vegan take on French onion soup) to Who Framed Ginger Rabbit (carrot soup with ginger). Owners Jed Lazar and Shauna Lambert call this lentil soup Pot of For Goodness Sake! because the ingredients are so healthy.
Shrimp Bisque with Crab and Tapioca
At his restaurant, John Besh simmers the broth for his bisque with the crushed shells of whole blue crabs. Chopped shrimp boiled in their shells flavor the broth for a home version of Besh’s tapioca-studded bisque.
Beet-and-Tomato Soup with Cumin
Benjamin Leroux’s terrific soup is an unexpected mix of beets, tomatoes and tomato paste; it has the flavor of a light borscht.
Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Shortbread Coins
“I adore savory cheese cookies with creamy asparagus soup,” says Carla Hall. “Both are dead simple to make.”
With its all-American ingredients, this New England-style chowder is a comfort-food classic. The soup needs only bread, or traditional oyster crackers, as an accompaniment. You can use any relatively firm, mild fish that won’t disintegrate in the soup, such as pollack, orange roughy, or ocean perch.
Corsican Bean Soup with Greens and Pork
Lentil and Garlic-Sausage Soup
A riff on a classic Italian dish, this garlicky lentil soup skews pan-European, with French lentils, Manchego cheese and any really good garlic sausage.
Spicy Chickpea Soup
Chickpeas are rich in both types of dietary fiber, which are important for maintaining heart health and for stabilizing blood sugar levels. Pam Anderson uses them as the base for this Indian-flavored creamy (though cream-free) soup, which she prepares by first pureeing it, then simmering it, to save time. “Pureed beans give you richness without having to enrich the soup,” she says.
Parsnip and Carrot Soup
Brothy and brimming with beets, parsnips, turnip, celery root, and slices of kielbasa, this earthy beet soup gets a finishing touch of sour cream and fresh dill. Serve it in big bowls with plenty of crusty bread for an appetizing cold-weather dinner.
Matzo Ball Soup with Dill-Horseradish Pistou
Instead of sprinkling his soup with the customary bits of chopped fresh dill, Adam Perry Lang makes a vibrant horseradish and dill pistou (typically a condiment of fresh basil, garlic and olive oil). A swirl of the flavorful pistou brightens up the soup enormously.