When LoveToKnow Best wanted to create a list of the best soup recipes, Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, the authors of 300 Sensational Soups, seemed like the perfect cooks for the job. With more than 50 years of combined experience in the food world, this prolific cookbook-writing duo specializes in fresh, fun recipes. Carla and Meredith offered some of the best soup recipes from the new book, along with helpful tips for creating delicious soups.
1. Best French Onion Soup
A good homemade beef stock is the key to a robust and delicious French Onion Soup. Although we often use store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, there really isn't a store-bought beef stock that can even come close to homemade. Also, taking the time to properly brown and caramelize the onions is critical. It has to be done over medium-low heat. Often the home cook will want to hurry the process and the result will be onions that lack depth of flavor.
2. Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
Toasting and soaking the chiles is important. The soaking water pulls the bitterness out of the dried chiles and consequently, out of your soup. The addition of lime juice to the soup will give balance to the other rich ingredients like cheese, avocado and sour cream, not to mention the crispy tortilla strips.
3. Best Potato Soup
One of our favorites is the basic Potato and Leek Soup, because of its comforting simplicity. One of the great qualities about the potato is its neutrality. It would feel at home in just about any pot of soup. In our book, 300 Sensational Soups, we paired it with lots of other interesting flavors like: Rosemary Roasted Potato and Parsnip Soup, Potato and Celery Root Soup with Blue Cheese Croutons, Zucchini Vichyssoise with Tarragon Pesto and of course, no chowder would be complete without potatoes.
4. Best Chicken Soup Recipe
The best chicken soups start with a rich chicken stock. We like to use chicken thighs instead of breasts because they are so much more flavorful and rich. Everybody loves Old Fashioned Chicken and Noodle Soup, but we also like unexpected combinations, such as Chicken Soup with Roasted Vegetables, Chicken Andouille Soup, or Barley Soup with Chicken and Fennel.
5. Best Tomato Soup
The best tomato soup doesn't come in a can. Tomato soup is best when tomatoes are in season. We like to roast our tomatoes to concentrate the flavor. Additions that we love to tomato soup include basil, cream and, of course, our favorite Grilled Cheese Croutons.
6. Best Bean Soup
The nice thing about bean soups is that canned beans will often work well, and when soup needs to be on the table quickly, there's nothing better. Some of our favorite bean soups are Spicy Black Bean Soup, White Bean Soup with Pancetta and Sage and Lentil Soup with Spring Greens.
7. Best Soup for a Cold Day
Short-rib Soup is one of our favorites because it's so rich and comforting.
8. Best Soup for Summer
We have an entire chapter full of chilled soups for summer, but if we had to choose just one, we would say the Almond Gazpacho because its snowy white color contrasted with the bright green of the green grape and extra virgin olive oil garnish make a stunning presentation, and the subtle flavors of almond, sherry vinegar and a hint of garlic make it delicious to eat as well.
9. Best Soup for a Party
Almost any soup is wonderful for a party. We especially like to take our chilled soups or even our pureed vegetable soups and serve them in shot glasses. The presentation is fun and they are easy for our guests to manage standing up.
10. Best Soup to Make as a Special Treat
Dessert soups make any meal special - that's why we have so many in our book. Peach Melba Soup with Raspberry Swirl and Almond Biscotti is sure to make your guests swoon.