Oh how I love soup.
My kids wish I didn’t love soup so much. Because I could serve it for supper for days on end.
I have some favorite soups in my quiver already. I highly recommend almost all of Pioneer Woman’s soups, but most particularly I love her Veggie Chili (to which I add more veggies, you’ll see this as a theme), Hamburger Soup (which I sub out ground turkey, another theme), and also Half Baked Harvest soups (search for flavors or ingredients you love, and she’ll have a soup recipe, but avoid the tortellini ones).
I’ve also made a bunch of different butternut squash soups but I’d have to give you a bunch of recipes, as well as slow cooker tortilla soup and white bean chicken chili. I’m always open to try something new.
Thanks to social media, when I put out a call for soup recipes, I received A LOT. I have tried six. I’ll provide those for you below, along with the ones still on my radar to make this month.
Sadly, none of them blew me away. I don’t have one five star recipe to share. As a result, I need more! If you’ve got an award winning soup for me, bring it on!!!
The order of soup recipes below is the order in which I tried making it over the course of a two day weekend. I did freeze some in these cool souper cubes that my friend recommended and my stepmom promptly shipped me (mine are one cup). So we still have some chicken chili and carrot ginger soup for future chilly evenings.
With regard to some of my substitutions, I haven’t had beef or pork in over 25 years. So I always sub out beef with chicken or turkey. I will sometimes include a little bacon for flavor but that’s about it. No pork sausage or ground beef unless I’m cooking something for my family that I don’t intend to eat myself. I also always add more spice, including garlic, and veggies than the recipe calls for because it just makes it better!
Soup #1 – Cheeseburger Soup from the Recipe Critic, Three Stars
A couple friends recommended this as a big hit soup with the kids. I was hesitant because I tend not to like creamy based soup, unless it’s potato. Also, I love to be able to throw a bunch of veggies in mine and this wasn’t high on veggies. But I decided I’d give it a whirl. Pluses were the kids did love it, and ate seconds (rare for soup), and I love the idea of shredded carrots in soup. I hadn’t done that before. Otherwise, it was too heavy for me.
Soup #2 – Ina Garten’s Italian Wedding Soup, Three Stars
Ina! I’m so disappointed. This came highly recommended and I love Ina. Here were the problems. The soup didn’t have nearly enough flavor even though I added more spices than it called for. I did not care for the meatballs. The pasta soaked up all the broth.
I would make this again but I would do this differently. First, I would make Half Baked Harvest zucchini parmesan chicken meatballs, which if you follow me on the socials you know I’m totally obsessed with this recipe of hers. I would only pour the soup over the pasta instead of including the pasta in the soup itself to keep more juice. I would add even more spices to give it some depth of flavor. Maybe those better meatballs would fix that problem.
Soup #3 – Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili from The Real Food DRDs, Three and a Half Stars
This recipe was fine. I liked it fine (you can tell just fine because I basically forgot to take pictures until I was freezing it!). It’s just I’ve had a lot of chicken chili and I need more kick than this had. The coconut milk, which I hadn’t used before, didn’t bother us at all. It’s just that it was just okay. You would think with all of those spices it would have been great – I think it just needed more of all the spices and jalapeños. I like a little spice, especially in chili!
Soup #4 – Carrot Ginger Soup from Saveur, Four Stars
Okay, I loved the flavor in this soup. I love carrot, squash, sweet potato soups. But here’s the problem. It’s just not very filling. This makes an insane amount and it really needs to be served as a starter for a meal. It doesn’t make a meal. It was also a little thinner than I had hoped it would be. I followed the recipe very nearly exactly, which is rare for me. It is quite spicy because I did find Thai peppers and they have a heck of a kick. I do not understand the smoked sausage, it didn’t really add anything…
If you don’t like carrots or spice, this one isn’t for you. If you do, then you really need to serve it with a substantive salad or sandwich to make a meal. (And I love a soup that serves as the main course.)
Soup #5 – Sweet Potato Chicken Noodle from Damn Delicious, Four Stars plus a smidge
This was my favorite of all the soups I tried. The flavors were rich. We’ve been on a bit of a sweet potato kick (I just made another batch of Half Baked Harvest’s chipotle chicken sweet potatoes last night, YUM!). I added a little less spinach, because my kids. Other than that, the only edits I made were more of all the fresh spices, plus I subbed out chicken breasts, used two medium sweet potatoes, and added a bit more lemon juice and stock. This was super yummy and all five of us loved it and had seconds. The only reason I didn’t give it five stars is because it’s just not a Pioneer Woman veggie chili yet…
Soup #6 – Taco Soup from Pinterest, Four Stars
This soup is good. The only reason I’m not going nuts over it is because it is basically my Pioneer Woman veggie chili without the veggies. And I do love veggies in a pot. The revisions I made to the soup were using ground turkey instead of beef, using two cans of Rotel and one can of tomatoes instead of vice versa, and sautéing the turkey with onions and peppers. I need some veggies!
Also, I don’t use powdered spice mixes anymore because of the sodium. Since taco spices are just cumin, chili powder, paprika, and oregano with some salt, I added that in – I probably use cumin and chili powder more than any other spice. I do have some ranch seasoning in a shaker that I used a bit off because I like that buttermilk kick the powder gives. And I needed way more broth, mine was chicken, so it was probably close to three cups instead. I topped it with fresh cheddar and sour cream and everyone loved it. But next time, use veggies!
What’s On The Menu?
Here are the soups that are in the hopper for the month. I actually started my social media post because I was craving a GREAT potato soup. This is my ultimate comfort soup. I received this recommendation for a potato soup from The Whole Cook and I want to try it out. Also recommended was Healthy Zuppa Toscano, which I’m willing to try by subbing out the pork sausage for turkey, but I’m somewhat skeptical it is “bursting with flavor” unless I add a lot of my own spices which I don’t see appearing in their recipe.
Another option for potato is Damn Delicious’ chicken and potato chowder which looks promising but I think I’d need to add corn too. And then there was a recipe for pumpkin black bean soup which sounds so crazy but looks really good. There wasn’t a website link but the recipe calls for canned pumpkin, black beans, diced tomatoes, garlic, balsamic, red onion, garlic, and chicken broth. I know it sounds a little nutty but it’s really appealing to me. I’ll post on the socials if it works out.
Okay, that’s it from my little corner. Sound off on what soup you have to have and what I should add to this month’s list! And let me know if you make one of these and find a way to make it a part of the permanent soup rotation!