Our Favorite Homemade Soup Recipes
5 members of the Moffly staff share the soup recipes they love
There is arguably not a more comforting feeling than enjoying a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter's day. Although it may seem slightly daunting, homemade soup is actually a relatively easy feat, and is always more delicious than something that has been sitting in a can for a couple of months on a grocery store shelf. We decided to ask some of the staff members here at Moffly Media for their favorite soup recipes, and they all sounded not only delicious, but also perfect for a variety of palates, tastes and preferences. Do yourself (and your taste buds) a favor by whipping up your own soup this winter with one (or all) of these recipes.
Favorite soup of Laurinda Finelli: Marketing Events Director
Butternut Squash Soup
"This is my favorite recipe because it’s really EASY and makes such a colorful presentation. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving, even family members that say they hate squash enjoy it’s nutty flavor and creamy texture."
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 rib/stalk of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 Tablespoon salted butter
1 butternut squash (or package of butternut squash pre-cut)
3 cups of chicken broth (College Inn or Swanson’s) Vegetable broth if vegetarian
Pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and pepper
Combine butter, onion, celery and carrot in large saucepan. Cook 5 minutes until your onion is transparent. Add squash and broth.
Bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until squash is soft (pierce with fork) Puree with hand mixer/blender in pot, or transfer to blender.
Add spices to taste. A drop of brown sugar or maple syrup adds a wonderful sweeter flavor. Also a small dollop of mascarpone finishes it off.
Favorite soup of Alexa Cortese: Associate Editor, Digital Media
Lobster Bisque – Simple and Easy
"My Dad always made this soup on holidays or important occasions growing up, so it reminds me of the comforts of home!"
Recipe by Anthony Cortese
2 pounds raw lobster meat – cut into pieces
8 Cups water
Lobster base – small jar – you only need 3 tablespoons
6 Leeks – use only white part of leeks – clean and chop into pieces
2 Sweet Vidalia Onions – chopped
8 cloves fresh Garlic – chopped
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
½ cup Cognac (Brandy)
1 cup cooking Sherry
1 stick of salted butter
¼ cup flour
4 cups of ½ and ½
1 small can tomato paste
Bring 8 cups water and lobster base to a boil. When it starts boiling turn off.
Pour olive oil in a large type pot that you would normally cook pasta in. Coat bottom of pan with olive oil. When oil is hot, add leeks, onions and chopped garlic cloves and fry until tender but not browned. Then add 2 lbs. chopped raw lobster meat. Fry for a minute or two or until lobster meat turns red, then add cayenne pepper, cognac and cooking sherry and bring to a boil. Turn off and let cool down before next step.
When cooled down a little, using a food processor, puree ingredients from large pot.
When all ingredients are pureed, return to large pot and then add water / lobster base mix from other pot. Now add butter, flour, ½ and ½, and tomato paste. Use a wisk to break up the flour and allow all ingredients to mix together. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soup thickens. If you like it thicker, you can slowly wisk in more tomato paste a little at a time.
Optional: If you like to have chunks of lobster meat in your soup, then you can chop and add more meat as desired at the end and allow meat to cook in soup.
Note: This recipe can easily become Shrimp bisque simply by substituting shrimp for lobster and keeping all other ingredients the same. I also tried using shrimp and in either event, the soup is outstanding and will be a big hit at your dinner party or holiday celebration.
Favorite Soup of Trish Kirsh: Publisher, Greenwich Magazine / athome in Fairfield County
Chicken Noodle Soup
It is always a hit with my family, especially for the little ones who need protein, and makes a great delivery to neighbors with crusty bread with a Pellegrino and lime. Everyone always asks me why this tastes different than expected. The warm surprise is in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange.
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 bunch thyme
2 rotisserie chickens
Water, if needed for broth
Chicken boullion cubes, 2-4 for taste
2 bay leaves
1 orange, halved
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 spinkles nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups small pasta, our favoriteis orecchiette
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini white beans
Coat a large stock pot with olive oil and add the onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt, to taste, and bring the pot to medium-high heat. Cook the vegetables until they start to soften and are very aromatic, about 10 minutes. Add in the thyme and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken cut off in small pieces from the rotisserie bone and fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Add the bay leaves, bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add a few boullion cubes for richer flavor if wanted.
Squeeze the juice of the 2 orange halves into the soup and drop in the halves. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and taste for seasoning. Adjust the flavors with salt and pepper, if needed. Simmer the soup for an additional hour.
While the soup is simmering, bring another pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until "al dente," firm but not crunchy since it always softens in the broth. Drain the pasta and transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to separate and toss. Reserve.
Discard the orange halves, thyme and bay leaves. Taste the soup for seasoning, which should be spicy and warm. Rinse the beans and add them to the pot. Adjust the seasoning, if needed. Spoon some of the reserved pasta into the bottom of each serving bowl and ladle the hot soup over the pasta.
Favorite soup of Callan Mathis: Assistant Editor, Digital Media
Green Pozole with Chicken
"I love this soup because of its amazing depth of flavor. There is heat from the jalapeños, earthiness from the pumpkin seeds, and warmth from the chicken. Plus, the accompaniments like the lime juice and white onions add a great brightness to the dish."
From Gourmet Magazine 2003 via Epicurious.com
Photo by Erin Scott of Yummy Supper
9 cups water
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 large white onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced 6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
1/2 cup hulled (green) pumpkin seeds (not roasted; 2 1/4 ounce)
1 lb tomatillos, husked
2 fresh jalapeño chiles, quartered (including seeds)
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon dried epazote or oregano (preferably Mexican), crumbled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 (15-oz) cans white hominy, rinsed and drained
Accompaniments: diced radish; cubed avocado tossed with lime juice; shredded romaine; chopped white onion; lime wedges; dried oregano
Special equipment: an electric coffee/spice grinder
Cook chicken: Bring 8 cups water, bay leaf, half of onion, half of garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil, covered, in a 6-quart heavy pot, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add chicken and poach at a bare simmer, uncovered, skimming off any foam, until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board to cool. Pour broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids, and reserve. When chicken is cool enough to handle, coarsely shred with your fingers.
Make sauce while chicken cools: Cook pumpkin seeds in a dry small skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until puffed but not browned (seeds will pop as they puff), 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool completely, then finely grind in coffee/spice grinder.
Simmer tomatillos and remaining onion in remaining cup water in a 3-quart saucepan, covered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain vegetables and purée in a blender with jalapeños, 1/4 cup cilantro, epazote, remaining garlic, and remaining 11/2 teaspoons salt.
Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add purée (use caution as it will splatter and steam). Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in pumpkin seeds and 1 cup reserved broth and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in shredded chicken, hominy, and 3 more cups reserved broth and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes.
Stir in remaining 1/2 cup cilantro and serve pozole in deep bowls with accompaniments.
Cooks' note: Chicken can be cooked and shredded 1 day ahead and chilled in 4 cups reserved broth. Measure out 1 cup broth before proceeding.
Favorite soup of Amy Vischio: Vice President Editorial & Design, Creative/Editorial Director of athome in Fairfield County
Cauliflower, Leek, and Gruyère Soup
"This soup tastes super rich but it is not cream based. Serve with bread (gluten-free in my case) and green salad for a satisfying dinner on a cold night. But don't forget the garnish— presentation is everything!"
From Chef Caroline Fidanza, recipe originally appeared in New York Magazine, October 2012
1 head cauliflower
3 tbs. unsalted butter
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
4 leeks, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced on the bias Kosher salt
1 chunk Gruyère (about 5 ounces)
Chicken stock, as needed (about 4 cups)
1 cup fresh parsley
Prep the cauliflower: (1) Remove outer leaves. (2) Cut into large florets. (3) Break apart into small florets with your hands or a knife. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter in the olive oil. When the butter begins to sizzle, add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Sauté the leeks until they begin to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and another pinch of salt, and cook the cauliflower and leeks until they start to come together, about 3 minutes longer. Add the Gruyère, and give everything a good stir. Add just enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables. Turn the heat down to low, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. At this point, the cheese will have mostly melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning, stir in the parsley, and serve hot.