View Full Version : Family-approved soups as a meal

01-26-2016, 07:29 PM
Does anyone have favorite soup recipes theyd like to share? Ones that a finicky and somewhat arbitrary DS10 would be willing to try, and would appeal to a DH who believes all meals require meat (Im getting him to come around to accepting beans as an occassional substitute)?
Something a little less processed than a Taste of Home recipe, and not as pretentious or fussy as Bon Appetit would be best as well (No pink himalayan sea salt or escarole on hand). ;)


01-26-2016, 09:10 PM
My go-to soups are beef stew and chicken soup, because they are super easy. I use Better Than Bouillon for broth, toss in carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, sometimes garlic, and cubed up meat. (I brown the beef first, and usually saute the veggies except potatoes a bit first, too.) Maybe some crushed or diced tomatoes in the beef stew, maybe not. Some parsley, pepper, salt, and any other spices that appeal, simmer for an hour or so, and it's done.

For me, since I don't eat birds and mammals, I do potato leek soup or fish chowder. Both are also very easy. You could probably brown up some bits of sausage or bacon to add to them for the carnivores.

I hate canned soup. I wish I liked it, because it would make my life simpler, but I think they are all flavorless and mushy.

01-26-2016, 09:35 PM
We make lots of different soups. DS doesn't eat soup, so there is no kid approval here. All of these soups can be make in the crock-pot, except for the pea soup. I don't have the recipes in front of me, but these are our goto soups for winter.

Kielbasa and white bean soup (like bean & ham, except the kielbasa) we like it better.I like to add carrot to it too.
Gumbo with chicken and sausage onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper
Italian sausage soup, Italian sausage, tomatoes, celery, onions, garlic,zucchini, bell pepper,
Split-pea soup with bacon
Chicken soup - We boil down a Costco roasted chicken and then turn it into a variety of soups. chicken noodle or rice. Chicken tortilla.
War won ton soup, I buy frozen pot stickers to use as wontons. Chicken and shrimp, mushrooms, bok choy, soy sauce, sesame oil. Other vegetables as desired.
Chili with black, kidney, red beans, lentils, beef and/or pork (this can go veg easily), onions, garlic, tomatoes (add tomatoes during the end of cooking. The beans will continue to soften until the tomatoes are added. Lentils add flavor and thickness to the chili without using cornstarch.

01-26-2016, 11:17 PM
We eat soup regularly. Too regularly, sometimes.
Nothing of it comes from a can, and I spend practically no time making it. And it saves us on groceries and waste.

And I owe a friend a life debt for teaching me, with her method of Freezer Soup, that I now modify to do without the freezer just because we don't need to freeze our leftovers, because we go through them so fast we never get to that point.

Here is how it works: reserve any juices from cooking meat. Never toss it out. Drain it into a glass container, let cool, then freeze or refrigerate. Preferably a wide-mouthed freezer-safe container. But you can reserve the broth in one container and the leftovers in another.

Then whenever you have leftover veggies, plop them into that freezer container. They will freeze over whatever was in there, until it's full, layered like lasagna. That's when you pull it out, and thaw it, and throw it into a soup pot along with broth (if you saved the broth in the same container) or with reserved broth which you can pick the solid fat off of, and there will be a gelatinous mass of aspic underneath to go in the soup pot as the best broth ever.

If you brown meat or veggies and deglaze the pan? So long as it wasn't burned black, that deglazing liquid is gold in your freezer soup pile! Don't toss it!

A few bites of leftover veggies on each plate? into the freezer soup pot it goes, unless that bothers you...in a family of 6, we find waste more of a problem, than squeamishness. It's not chewed food, just whatever was left on plates, untouched.

Anyway, we hardly ever waste anything anymore. And if my kids don't like something at dinner, I tell them, "That's all right. We'll just have it as soup tomorrow!" and that will either motivate them to finish it, or else have them looking forward to tomorrow, depending on what it is.

01-26-2016, 11:44 PM
I'm from PA, so chicken corn soup is a regular in our house. We buy our chickens directly from the farm, and make our own broth as we gather leftover bones and veggies. I usually cook a whole chicken for dinner once or twice a week so have the leftover meat in the fridge, ready to go. At that point it's just chopping a few veggies and making the rivels (little bits of dough - a PA Dutch tradition.)

I also make a 7 bean soup a few times a month, the meat varies by whatever we get in our CSA allotment - ham, ground sausage, beef cubes, etc. Whatever veggies are available fresh to round it out.

DH and I like a white bean, turkey (ground or leftover from a turkey or chop up a breast or whatever you have), green chile, and butternut squash chunky stew, but DS isn't big on the squash.

DS loves soups and stews and will eat almost any I prepare - especially if I grate some parm cheese on top or top with a small dollop of sour cream.

01-27-2016, 12:44 AM
Our go-to's are:
Roasted tomato
Halibut chowder
Zesty Lentil
Potato Leek
of course Chicken Noodle and Beef Veggie

But honestly, when my kids were 10 and under, they really only liked homemade chicken noodle. Youngest, especially, had a thing where he really only trusted a soup with broth that he could see through. But homemade roasted tomato with grilled cheese was where they started branching out first. Or maybe start adding variety to the chicken noodle, like different veggies or rice instead of noodles. Or try Udon style soup and each person can add what they like....kinda like taco night....build your own :)

Let me know if you want any of the above recipes. All homemade, and pretty easy.

01-27-2016, 10:29 AM
My two easy soups are leek and potato:
- sweat leek and onion in butter for about 15 minutes
- add potato cut into small chunks and some liquid - water or milk, stock gives too strong a flavor, I also add a bay leaf
- cook until soft and then blend

And a curried squash soup:
- cut squash and an onion in half
- brush with melted butter or olive oil and curry powder on the cut side
- put face down in a baking tray and bake until soft at about 400 degrees
- scoop out, blend with some stock, season to taste.

I'd read an idea in Real Simple recently to make soup once a week so I'm going to try that with my CSA veggies. I need to add some more ideas to my repertoire, though!


01-27-2016, 12:39 PM
My two easy soups are leek and potato:
- sweat leek and onion in butter for about 15 minutes
- add potato cut into small chunks and some liquid - water or milk, stock gives too strong a flavor, I also add a bay leaf
- cook until soft and then blend

And a curried squash soup:
- cut squash and an onion in half
- brush with melted butter or olive oil and curry powder on the cut side
- put face down in a baking tray and bake until soft at about 400 degrees
- scoop out, blend with some stock, season to taste.

I'd read an idea in Real Simple recently to make soup once a week so I'm going to try that with my CSA veggies. I need to add some more ideas to my repertoire, though!


These are two of my favourite soups, although my leek soup is always "cream of leek."

For my squash soup, I usually use butternut squash, but I also usually add some sweet potato/yam (the pink ones) and carrot, and a can of coconut milk - YUM!

Another favourite around here is Cauliflower Soup by Pioneer Woman. It's excellent.

If your husband wants meat in every meal, how about a hamburger soup? You can use a little bit of ground beef, a can of diced tomatoes, beef broth, plus veggies and rice or noodles to make a hearty soup. Sprinkle a little cheese on top and it's very filling.

01-27-2016, 03:47 PM
This is a great list. I have been wanting to try squash soup and leek and potato. Mmm. Now I am hungry. :)

01-27-2016, 04:39 PM
Sooo...anything that is particular to soup as opposed to stew? I would say that, by family preference, my soups are more stew-y than liquid-y. Is it a kid texture thing?

French people love their moulis (puree'd soups) and everyone else loves their chunkies (free-floating beans, veggies, meat chunks, noodles) and we hardly ever do a clear broth unless it's like a pho or another Asian-inspired thing. We do a ton of miso soup though (seaweed/chopped firm tofu) because the 11 year old can make it without fuss and it's loads better for you than ramen.

But yeah, our moulis are potato/leek and squash-based soups, the rest are chunky things (beef/barley, veg, chicken noodle, chili, chowders, bouillabaise). Maybe you can do some kind of base that people add their own mixies into? That little bit of control helps the kids come around to liking it.

01-27-2016, 05:34 PM
Kids might like cheeseburger soup. My son had some from a health food store several years ago, and he loved it. It even had pickles. I don't remember exactly what was in it, but certainly hamburger, cheese, mustard, some kind of tomato (don't know if it was ketchup or tomato soup, or what), onions, and pickles. Probably other stuff too.

01-27-2016, 06:58 PM
LOL I dont know if I could eat hamburger or cheeseburger soup.
Thanks everyone for the soup suggestions. Ive been busy compiling recipes!

And I thought the difference between a soup and a stew was that you use a spoon for soups, and a fork and bread for stews?

Im totally intrigued and wanting to try the recycled chicken approach. So I buy and cook (or serve) a whole chicken for dinner, then save the carcass and leftovers, and use it for soup later that week (or freeze it)? And then I dont have to use dubious box o broths or yeast extracty pastes for making my chicken soup variations?
I like the idea of the fussy eaters getting to customize what they want in their (chicken broth) soup too!

And Rivels!? OMFSM, its like gnocchi but without potatoes!

There are so many chili variations - they could fill their own thread I think!
Mariam do you have a link to your no-cornstarch version? (And we buy those frozen potstickers from
Costco too! New application now!)
And thanks for the Gumbo recipe, just in time for Mardi Gras.

MuddyLilly how do you make your chili? And your zesty lentil soup?

Here is my list of compiled recipes which I hope are similar to what was suggested (Other than the Elly & Avalon combo which is self-explanatory even to my culinary impaired mind):
Beef Stew
Kielbasa & White Bean Soup
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Italian Sausage Soup
War Won Ton Soup with frozen potstickers
7-bean soup
Roasted Tomato Soup

Pioneer Woman Cauliflower Soup

01-27-2016, 07:28 PM
Mariam do you have a link to your no-cornstarch version? (And we buy those frozen potstickers from
Costco too! New application now!)
And thanks for the Gumbo recipe, just in time for Mardi Gras.

We don't have a recipe. We just throw it together in the 6qt crock-pot. :)

We use ground beef and ground pork. I buy the loose hot Italian sausage, but pick according to your heat level. Anywhere from l lb total to l lb each, depending on the carnivores in the family.
We use kidney, red, black and pinto beans. Pre-soaked. I thinking soaking overnight is better than the quick soak.
1 brown onion
1 bulb of garlic (Yes a whole bulb. We love garlic. But adjust for taste.)
Lentils, the brownish ones. They fall apart the easiest. I'll have to check with DH on how much we use. I can't remember.
1 green pepper
Beef stock/bullion
Seasonings - pick your favorite chili seasonings. I'll have to look at what we use.

If in the crock-pot, cook it all day on high. In the afternoon, a couple of hours before it is done, check the beans and make sure they are soft. Add two cans of tomatoes. I usually get the seasoned ones. Pick the ones based on the heat level you want. Or no heat.

01-27-2016, 09:43 PM
Zesty Lentil Soup

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
5 or 6 cups chicken broth (how thin do you want it?)
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan coated with cooking spray, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrot; cook and stir until crisp-tender.
Stir in lentils, tomato paste, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in vinegar, brown sugar, hot sauce, and salt; heat through. Serve with cheese.

I usually add that nasty (guilty pleasure) Hillshire Farms sausage, or you could cook up some ground sausage and put that in, and a bunch of kale or spinach chopped up (to make me feel better about the sausage ;) ) But do it how you like.....with extra hot sauce at the table!

My chili is a bastardized version of my Tejano and Midwest roots. No recipe, but here's a rough guestimate...
Brown 1 1/2 lbs ground beef.....add one medium sweet onion diced and cook a little longer....4 TBSP Chili Powder, 2 TBSP Ground Cumin, 2 tsp salt, 2 TBSP cocoa powder (yes, like hershey's), 2 TBSP brown sugar; mix it into meat/onion and cook a few minutes.....then add a small (6oz) can of tomato paste, 2/3 bottle of your favorite beer (drink the rest), 3 cans diced tomato (with liquid!), 2 or 3 cans of your bean of choice (drained and rinsed); bring to simmer......as it simmers, slowly sprinkle in about 1 cup yellow corn meal (this will thicken it) as you stir. Let it go :) The earlier you start it in the day, the better it will be, but taste it about 45 minutes in to see if you need more of something. Serve with shredded cheddar, chopped onion, sour cream, hot sauce, jalapenos and corn bread.

Mrs. Patmore
01-27-2016, 11:29 PM
Ancho lentil soup with grilled pineapple:


01-27-2016, 11:41 PM
alexsmom, yes, making broth is so easy, you will be amazed. I save the chicken bones, and the pan juices from roasting a whole chicken and throw it in the crock pot with water, a dash of worcestershire sauce, a cup or so of white wine and left over trimmings (like celery leaves, carrot ends) or veggies (or fresh if I have no leftovers) - onions, carrots, celery, and usually a little garlic, salt, and pepper. For chicken, I like to add parsley, and sometimes a bit of thyme and tarragon. I let it simmer down in the crock pot for the day (or overnight) on low. Then strain the bones out and any solids that are left. I personally like when some of the veggies break down and thicken it up. I freeze mine in ice cube trays and then store them in plastic freezer bags. Mine is pretty strong so I can usually dilute the broth cubes in water and don't need a cup of broth as it would call for in a recipe. But maybe 3 or 4 cubes and fill the rest of the cup with water. I usually roast a chicken stuffed with lemon quarters (after squeezing some of the juice on the chicken's outside) and a lot of fresh crushed garlic. Then I sprinkle smoked salt, pepper, dried lemon rind powder, parsley, and powdered garlic on the outside of the chicken and roast it. I chop potatoes, onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery into big chunks, toss in a good coating of olive oil, season with rosemary, salt, and pepper and roast them along with the chicken as side. I can prep the chicken and/or veggies at any point during the morning or afternoon and have it all in the fridge ready to pop in the oven an hour or so before dinner.

I'm sure others have interesting suggestions for broth and roasting a chicken, and I think it will be fun to see all the variety.

Even if we don't make soup, we go through all the leftover chicken meat in a day or two - in an omelet with spinach and feta for breakfast or lunch, or I top a salad for lunch (toss the chicken in wing sauce and sprinkle with blue cheese), or chicken salad (with almonds and granny smith apples and celery) for sandwiches if we are going out with our homeschool group. Not to mention casseroles with brown rice, quinoa, etc.

And the leftover roasted veggies are heavenly browned in a tad of butter and topped with a fried egg - that's my favorite breakfast in the fall and winter. Or warmed as a pizza topping or on rye bread with cheese melted on top.

Roasting a chicken once or twice a week, provides a ton of options for many more meals and saves time and money. It amazes me when I hear 20 somethings just starting out say they don't know how to cook a whole chicken. I can't imagine how to get by without that skill. As a single you could eat for a week on one chicken. It's healthier than take out and saves a fortune.

01-28-2016, 02:10 AM
I think Ive made whole chicken maybe twice in my life! Hubby and I just liked the breastmeat, it never seemed worthwhile to buy a whole bird. The first time we brought home a rotisserie chicken from the store (probably to shred for chicken salad), DS proclaimed it was LEGO chicken, since that was the only context he had for chicken shaped like that. He still asks for LEGO chicken. Maybe I will start providing it.
Last weeks soup (failure) was chicken lemon orzo soup - I used thighs with bone and skins, it really seemed to add chickeny flavor to the broth. :) I will try a few attempts at roasting chicken.

Oooh Mrs Patmore I love me some pineapple too! Thanks for the recipe!

And I can totally follow those chili recipes! And yay for cocoa in chili! I love me some mole too, with cocoa and dates and stuff.

01-28-2016, 02:39 AM
I know the exact LEGO piece you are talking about! That is hilarious!!! LEGO chicken :)

Mrs. Patmore
01-28-2016, 10:09 AM
The good thing is that the pineapple can go on at the end, for those who like it (I do!), and the seasonings make the usually-boring green lentils really delicious.

01-28-2016, 11:19 AM
I made leek and potato soup last night ;)


01-28-2016, 11:21 AM
Does leek and potato soup freeze well? Generally with potatoes I don't freeze, but I wondered if this would work?

01-28-2016, 08:30 PM
Does leek and potato soup freeze well? Generally with potatoes I don't freeze, but I wondered if this would work?

I've never tried freezing that soup. It's so fast & easy to make that I don't really use it as a "make-ahead" meal.

I have often frozen beef stew with potatoes, and shepherd's pie with mashed potatoes. In my experience, potatoes freeze & thaw very well, so I would expect it to work just fine.

01-28-2016, 10:30 PM
We eat soup usually once a week.

This is the easiest soup I make and my kids love it. You have to love lemon though.

I could live off off this soup http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mushroom-barley-soup. I modify this one to have less meat, more mushrooms as that is just my preference.

West African Peanut soups/stews are yummy too