No soup is quicker to prepare than miso; just whisk miso paste into water. By adding shrimp, tofu and greens, it can double as a complete and light meal. Feel free to use leftover chicken or roast pork (or whatever else is at hand) in place of the shrimp. More Fast Soups
"Chili means Halloween to me," Grant Achatz says. When he was growing up, his mother would always serve it to him and his cousins before they went trick or treating as a way to counteract the sugar buzz to come. The smoky, spicy version here is a slightly modified version of his mother's chili, made with ancho, pasilla and chipotle powders, plus a homemade blend of seasonings and fresh herbs. More Comfort Food Recipes
Long ago I worked as the lunch cook at a lively little café in Montpelier, Vermont, and every day meant coming up with a new soup du jour. I was relatively green and had no formal training, and I struggled to continually invent new combinations. At night, I would scour my meager cookbook collection for recipes I could master (this was long before Google), and the next morning I'd do my best to interpret these into something our customers might enjoy. Looking back, I can't say that every soup was a winner—not by a long shot—but my soups did improve over time, especially once I learned that the best way to create anything truly tasty was to start with a single good idea and build from there. The starting point might be an ingredient or flavoring, and then it's a matter of selecting complementary ingredients to generate complexity of flavor without it becoming a muddle. Through trial and error, my early soup experiments taught me that carefully handling a few well-chosen ingredients always produces a better result than assembling a thoughtless jumble. I also learned to taste my raw ingredients before adding them, and then to taste at every step along the way in order to best steer my cooking toward deliciousness. This process of thoughtfully tasting and tinkering is how this very recipe came to be—and it's the approach I still use to get it right.The starting point here are the chickpeas (either canned or home-cooked), and whenever I make this soup, I start by tasting a few to remind me of their nutty, slightly sweet taste and almost creamy texture. I also sample the liquid from the can (or the bean cooking liquid, if I had time to cook them from scratch). The liquid (the stuff in the can is called aquafaba and is sometimes used as a vegan egg white substitute) should be slightly viscous with a mild bean taste. I add it to the soup to provide light body and to underscore the bean flavor. For the balance of liquid, I use plain water, because it gives the soup a certain lightness and I like the way it lets the ingredients shine bright. If you want to make a deeper, heartier soup, you could certainly swap in broth (vegetable or chicken would be my first choice).Once I have the taste of chickpeas fresh in my mind, I envision the round-up of flavorings that will highlight this humble legume without overpowering. Gently sautéed onions add sweetness and a silky texture. Carrots provide heft, more sweetness, and their cheerful orange color complements the buff tones of the beans. For seasoning, a heady mixture of garlic, cumin, ginger, turmeric, and cayenne pays homage to the cuisines of North Africa where chickpeas prevail. And finally, tender spinach leaves bring a welcome jolt of green and their earthy minerality balances the sweet.Every time I make this soup, I'm amazed at how the simple lineup of ingredients can come together to produce such a satisfying and gorgeous soup. I also marvel at the transformation that happens in the 30 minutes it takes for the chickpeas to become silky and tender. When you make this at home—and I hope you do—I urge you to keep a tasting spoon nearby to sample the soup every step along the way. It's a great lesson in building and layering flavor, and a reminder of how a good pot of soup becomes much more than the sum of its parts.
26 Soul-Warming Vegetarian Soups
These veggie-packed soups will impress even the most devout meat lover. From creamy chowders to noodle soups, these are our best vegetarian recipes.
A rich and earthy vegetable soup, filled with fresh springtime produce gets a hit of creaminess and fresh flavor from hand-pounded pesto from a mortar and pestle. Chef Ludo Lefebvre layers in squash, fresh and dried beans, potatoes, and elbow macaroni for a satisfying vegetarian soup.
Carrots, white potatoes, and spinach are our vegetables of choice here, but you could try green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes. Another option: Pass some plain yogurt at the table to stir into each serving for a touch of tang. Slideshow: Best Vegetable Soups
The Good News Nicki Reiss set out to develop this hearty, healthful, tomato-packed clam chowder based on flavors she enjoyed on a trip to Spain. As an alternative to smoky (and fatty) chorizo, Reiss turned to soyrizo (available at melissas.com), her favorite soy-based vegetarian sausage. More Seafood Recipes
The grated plantain in this coastal Ecuadoran soup gives the dish a wonderfully light and creamy body.In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: We took a deep editorial dive into the islands, rain forests, and mountains of Ecuador in a 2001 article, and we asked chef and author Maricel Presilla of Zafra in New Jersey to give our readers the best examples of classic Ecuadoran food. Presilla shared her fantastic recipe for a coastal Ecuadoran shrimp soup made with grated plantain, which gives the soup a wonderfully light and creamy body.
The Good News Not only is yellow corn a good source of vitamin B, magnesium and thiamin, it also contains carotenoids (organic pigments with health benefits) not found in white corn. Ani Phyo likes to add a handful of vitamin A–rich spinach or soft lettuce to the chowder. "Then it becomes part-soup, part-salad," she says. More Cold Soup Recipes
Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple puts his own spin on chowder here, using beans instead of potatoes, and smoky whitefish in place of bacon. It’s hearty and delicious but lighter and fresher than most chowders. Slideshow: More Chowder Recipes
There are several tricks to this terrific chowder from Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch Public House in Atlanta. He adds potato chunks to the broth for thickness, then pours in a little naturally low-fat buttermilk for creamy tanginess. And instead of fatty bacon, he uses smoked oysters to give the chowder a slightly woodsy flavor. Chef Coverage from F&W Editors More Chowder Recipes
White beans substitute for the usual potatoes in this chowder, made with sweet butternut squash, briny littleneck clams and smoky bacon. Rancho Gordo cellini beans give the soup a buttery richness, but Great Northern beans are terrific as well. Warming Soup Recipes
This light but intensely oystery soup was inspired by a recipe from Joanne Hendricks, the proprietor of the eponymous vintage-cookbook store in New York City. Salsify is a root vegetable shaped like a skinny parsnip; it has blackish skin with white flesh and tastes a little like artichoke hearts. If you have trouble finding it (in fact, Mary Ellen Carroll and Donna Wingate had to ask architect Charles Renfro to bring some to Boston from New York), you can substitute Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) or, as a last resort, the pedestrian potato. More Chowder Recipes
This simple tomato clam chowder will satisfy any type of foodie.
This velvety chowder from chef Dylan Fultineer is thickened with a classic flour-and-butter roux. He packs it with plump oysters and tender fingerling potatoes, and adds a kick of heat from dried red chiles. For extra flavor, he uses bacon from Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams in Tennessee, which is famous for its intense smokiness. Slideshow: Great Chowder Recipes