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a bowl of soup with veggies

Soup season may be my favorite time of year. A one-pot meal full of fresh veggies, simmering away on the stovetop, plus the promise of leftovers? It’s just about the coziest thing I can imagine. And if you live in a place with chilly November evenings, cozy is a dinnertime priority.

That’s why we’ve reached back into the Experience Life archives to offer you a selection of our favorite soups from our more than 20 years of publishing. If you’re looking for a meal that’ll warm you up (and not stress you out), look no further: One of these simple, wholesome recipes is sure to fit the bill.

Italian Wedding Soup With Chicken Meatballs and Parsley

Italian Wedding Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings | Prep time 45 to 70 minutes

For the soup base:

  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 11/2 cups chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish

For the meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup whole-grain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat, then add the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, and sauté until al dente.
  3. Add the chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  4. While the stock is simmering, make the meatballs by mixing the ground chicken with the egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Shape into small balls with a teaspoon or a small scoop and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Add to the simmering soup.
  6. Add the broccoli rabe, parsley, and cannellini beans, and simmer five minutes to heat through.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with a fresh grating of Parmesan cheese.

Recipe by: Betsy Nelson

Egg Drop Soup

a bowl of egg drop soup

Makes 4 servings | Prep time 30 to 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbs. mirin (rice wine)
  • 1 tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 carrot, sliced thinly
  • 8 snow peas, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup shredded napa cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast or 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbs. potato starch or cornstarch (optional)
  • 1 tbs. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 3 large eggs, well beaten
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped, or 1/2 cup chopped watercress

Directions:

  1. Bring the broth to a simmer with the mirin and ginger.
  2. Add the carrot, snow peas, cabbage, and chicken or mushrooms, and simmer until vegetables are just cooked.
  3. If using the potato starch or cornstarch, mix it with 1/4 cup cold water and stir into the simmering soup. Simmer until slightly thickened.
  4. Add the tamari and sesame oil and then stir in the eggs. The egg will cook into thin “ribbons.”
  5. Cook for one to two minutes more and then serve topped with chopped scallions or watercress.

Recipe by: Betsy Nelson

Cozy Lentil Soup With Delicata Squash

a bowl of lentil soup

 Makes 6 servings | Prep time 50 to 70 minutes

 Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium delicata or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-in. cubes
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch red-pepper flakes
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed well
  • 8 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 cup stemmed and thinly sliced kale, tightly packed

Directions:

  1. Heat a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until the onion is translucent, about four minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, squash, and another pinch of salt, and sauté until all of the vegetables are just tender, about five minutes.
  3. Add the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and red-pepper flakes, and stir.
  4. Add the lentils and stir to coat.
  5. Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Add the rest of the broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  7. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. You may want to add a pinch more salt to taste.
  8. Stir in the kale and cook until it’s tender, about three minutes, and serve.

Recipe by: Rebecca Katz

Pear Parsnip Soup

a bowl of pear parsnip soup

Makes 8 servings | Prep time 50 to 75 minutes

Ingredients

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for the pot
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (about 2 large onions)
  • 9 cups chopped, peeled parsnips (about 4 1/2 lb.)
  • 4 cups chopped, peeled pears (about 6 medium pears)
  • 2 cups chopped, peeled Yukon gold potatoes (about 1/2 lb.)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 8 to 9 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper, plus more to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add the onions, parsnips, pears, potatoes, and sea salt. Cook until the onions have softened, about two minutes.
  3. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until parsnips and potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the nutmeg and thyme.
  5. Carefully ladle the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth to remove any pulp. Return the strained soup to the pot and heat until hot.
  6. Season with the white pepper and add salt to taste.

Recipe by: Cary Neff

Laurie David’s Sunday Soup

a bowl of hearty soup

Makes 10 servings | Prep time 45 to 70 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil, for the pot
  • 3 cooked Italian sausages, your favorite kind, sliced
  • 3 leeks (white and light-green parts), chopped and rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 small carrots, chopped (unpeeled if organic)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 big handfuls sturdy greens (kale, cabbage, or chard), chopped or torn
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 4 (or more) garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green (French) or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth (organic, if possible)
  • Salt
  • Vinegar, any type (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Get out your big Sunday soup pot and heat it over medium-high heat, then drizzle in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot. Throw in the sausage (if using) and cook until nice and browned. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the leeks to the pot and cook, stirring, until they have softened a bit, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, greens, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir for a few minutes until all the vegetables have gotten acquainted and are starting to soften.
  4. Add the lentils, broth, and sausages (if using).
  5. Let your soup simmer for 30 minutes while you read the Sunday paper.
  6. Taste and adjust the seasonings–does it need salt? A splash of vinegar? A few hot pepper flakes? Make it taste perfect for you.

This article originally appeared as “Soup’s On” in the November 2022 issue of Experience Life.

Photography by: Terry Brennan; Food Styling: Betsy Nelson
Kaelyn
Kaelyn Riley

Kaelyn Riley is an Experience Life senior editor.

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