When it comes to cozy comfort food, soup is the star of the show. Whether you’re searching for a soul-warming meal to sip on in chilly weather, looking to make a meal out of leftovers, or experimenting with low-carb high-protein diets, soup can provide a nourishing and tasty dish for any occasion. No matter your flavor preferences, soup can be easy, convenient, and cost-effective to make. Let’s explore some delicious soups that can fit your needs and satisfy your cravings.

Fast and Flavorful Broth-based Soup

The base of almost any soup lies with the broth, and the right mix of aromatics can make it shine. When you’re looking to create a warm and flavorful soup in a flash, you don’t have to look any further than the stock aisle of your local grocery store.

If you’re looking to save shoes while maintaining flavor, here are some simple and easy-to-find stocks to use:

• Vegetable stock: For most vegetarian soups, vegetable stock provides richness and umami to the dish.

• Chicken stock: Humdrum chicken soup might be a go-to comfort food for many, but the application of chicken stock to other soups makes for a clean yet hearty base.

• Pork stock: Pork stock adds an extra anise flavor to seafood soups that adds complexity to the broth. Ham hocks are an excellent addition to most white bean soups.

• Beef stock: Beef stock is heavier than it’s poultry or pork counterparts, sturdy enough to stand up to thicker and heavier ingredients like barley or stewed meats.

• Seafood stock: For seafood lovers looking to boost the flavor of their chowders and creamy soups, shrimp, crab, and clam stocks can bring an edge of flavor.

Create a Hearty Soup with Protein-rich Ingredients

Protein-rich soups offer a great meal on their own. All you need to do is to choose a protein source, some veggies, and an interesting starch that is filling and nutritious. Here are some delicious options that can stand on their own.

• Lentil Soup: Lentils are an amazing source of protein that provide a robust flavor and an earthy texture. With a bit of olive oil, onions, and garlic, a simple and delicious lentil soup can be made in no time.

• Split Pea Soup: Split peas add a creamy and thick texture to soup. Use stock, onions, and other veggies like celery and carrot, and finish it off with some smoked bacon for added umami.

• White Bean Soup: White beans are a great source of protein for vegetarians, and add a creaminess to flavored stocks. Use bouquets for extra flavor and mix in a green vegetable like kale for a nutritional boost.

• Curry Soups: Whether you’re going with a coconut, Indian, or Thai base, curries can make for a spicy and flavorful soup. Loaded with vegetables and protein, they make for a delicious and filling meal.

• Chili: Chili has been the classic comfort soup for ages. Use beef, chicken, pork, beef, or lentils as a high-protein base, tomatoes, beans, and vegetables for added volume, and various spices to maximize flavor.

Indulge Yourself with Creamy Soups

If creamy soups are your thing, here are some recipes you can try out. Many of these recipes use cream, while others use potatoes as thickening agents.

• Cream of Mushroom Soup: This classic recipe uses a base of mushrooms, onions, celery, and carrots cooked down with a combination of vegetarian-friendly and regular broths. Cream is added at the end to achieve its signature thickness.

• Potato and Leek Soup: Potato and leek soup is a classic soup for both vegetarians and meat-eaters. After sautéing the leeks in butter, potatoes and vegetable or chicken stock are added, finished off with cream and then blended in a food processor.

• Cream of Asparagus Soup: Asparagus adds a unique yet mild flavor to soup, and pairs great with a butter-chicken or veggie stock base.

Boring Sides No More with Soup-based Salads and Chili Nachos

Soup isn’t only an accompaniment, but can also be the star of the show to reinvigorate what would have been a predictable side dish. Here are some creative and delicious soup-based recipes that you can try.

• Salad with Tomato Soup Vinaigrette: This creative recipe uses a blender to create a silky smooth soup-based vinaigrette. Starting with a traditional balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette, liquidize canned tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, garlic, and oregano for extra flavor.

• Chili Nachos: This gimmicky and delectable appetizer or meal brings together two of the most beloved snacks -chili and nachos. Start with a can of beans and tomatoes, add chilli powder, and spice it up with jalapenos. Place your tortillas onto a baking sheet and sprinkle on cheese, bake it until golden and serve with your warm chili. Yum!

• Egg Drop Soup: This classic Chinese soup uses a combination of beaten eggs, chicken broth, and scallions. Once the eggs are cooked, top with sesame oil and chill a bit for some extra kick.

Soup is a classic and comforting dish that can always remain healthy and full of flavor with the right ingredients. From protein-rich heartiness to creamy indulgence, soup can always be a great meal or a side to add some excitement to your plate. Whether you’re looking for a quick meal or a fancy appetizer, the recipes from this article could help you satisfy your cravings with delicious and nutritious soup.