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
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
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- 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.
- Add the chicken stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the broccoli rabe, parsley, and cannellini beans, and simmer five minutes to heat through.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a fresh grating of Parmesan cheese.
Recipe by: Betsy Nelson
Egg Drop Soup
Makes 4 servings | Prep time 30 to 45 minutes
- 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
- Bring the broth to a simmer with the mirin and ginger.
- Add the carrot, snow peas, cabbage, and chicken or mushrooms, and simmer until vegetables are just cooked.
- 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.
- Add the tamari and sesame oil and then stir in the eggs. The egg will cook into thin “ribbons.”
- 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
Makes 6 servings | Prep time 50 to 70 minutes
- 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
- 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.
- Add the carrots, celery, squash, and another pinch of salt, and sauté until all of the vegetables are just tender, about five minutes.
- Add the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and red-pepper flakes, and stir.
- Add the lentils and stir to coat.
- 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.
- Add the rest of the broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- 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.
- Stir in the kale and cook until it’s tender, about three minutes, and serve.
Recipe by: Rebecca Katz
Pear Parsnip Soup
Makes 8 servings | Prep time 50 to 75 minutes
- 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
- Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat, then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot.
- Add the onions, parsnips, pears, potatoes, and sea salt. Cook until the onions have softened, about two minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until parsnips and potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in the nutmeg and thyme.
- 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.
- Season with the white pepper and add salt to taste.
Recipe by: Cary Neff
Laurie David’s Sunday Soup
Makes 10 servings | Prep time 45 to 70 minutes
- 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)
- Vinegar, any type (optional)
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- 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.
- Add the leeks to the pot and cook, stirring, until they have softened a bit, 5 to 6 minutes.
- 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.
- Add the lentils, broth, and sausages (if using).
- Let your soup simmer for 30 minutes while you read the Sunday paper.
- 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.