35 favorite soups & chowders
Warm up with a comforting bowlful of our tastiest recipes, from veggie minestrone to tortilla soup
A favorite at Cowgirl Creamery’s Sidekick Cafe in San Francisco, this soup is a grilled cheese sandwich’s best friend. Its success depends on really good canned tomatoes and long, slow simmering, so that all the flavors meld.
Recipe: Sidekick Tomato Soup
We left the soup chunky with a clear broth, but you could easily purée it to create a smooth soup. Just don't skip the avocado mixture, as it makes a refreshing contrast to the beans and spice.
We made our matzo balls small, for easier eating, but if you prefer 1 large ball per serving, divide the dough into 4 to 6 balls and boil them 10 minutes longer.
Recipe: Matzo Ball Soup
A popular Japanese winter dish, warm soba with toppings is just the thing for lunch on an overcast day. The broth is made with dashi, a staple soup base whose delicate flavor comes from dried bonito tuna flakes and seaweed.
Recipe: Warm Soba Noodle Bowl
This lightly spicy soup shows off the heirloom kale’s tender texture and mild flavor.
A far cry from the storebought packages, real ramen starts with amazing broth. Chef Kolin Vazzoler of the late, lamented Shimo Modern Steak, in Healdsburg, California, simmers his for 12 hours. Then he ladles it over noodles and adds toppings like brined pork belly. Our simplified version (but still over the top, taste-wise) can be made in a long afternoon--or started the day before.
This soup has two layers of kumquats—cooked in the soup to become mellow and tender, and finely chopped with parsley for a bright topping.
Recipe: Lentil and Kumquat Soup
Classic. Simple. Comforting. Nothing beats a good bowl of miso soup, and this recipe is sure to become one of your go-tos on rainy days. We used edamame and tofu, but you could substitute cooked meat and most any vegetable you have on hand.
Recipe: Miso Soup with Tofu and Nori
Get the most out of great fresh carrots by making pesto out of their tops.
We like the fennel flavor of Italian sausage, but any chicken sausage will work.
Some of corn’s best partners—medium-hot chiles, chorizo, and basil—join up in this simple dish. It’s substantial enough to call a chowder, but light enough for summer.
Recipe: Spicy Chorizo Corn Chowder
This lovely soup is practically spring in a bowl. To make it heartier, scatter quartered cherry tomatoes and croutons on top. Snap peas often have a fibrous string that runs down the pod's straight side; to remove it, snap off the stem end and pull down sharply.
One large dumpling per diner tastes just as good as many smaller ones, but it's faster to make and looks more dramatic.
Make this simple soup when tomatoes are at their peak. Chilling melds the flavors.
Recipe: Easiest Garden Gazpacho
This spicy Malaysian soup may have a long list of ingredients, but it’s super easy to make.
Recipe: Chicken Laksa
"When I serve this soup to my 7-year-old," saysSunset reader Cristina Gonzalez, now of Fredericksburg, VA, "we talk about how his Mexican abuelito [grandfather] and I ate it growing up in L.A., and how he's eating it now." She changed out the original beef for turkey. The flavors are very gentle, making this a great family dish.
Recipe: Meatball Vegetable Soup
While the pot simmers, brush some slices of country bread or levain with olive oil and toast them, to serve with the hot soup.
With its lively dance of flavors, this soup is a tonic.
Recipe: Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup
Minty oil and toasted almonds highlight the sweet taste of peas in this soup. It’s especially good with fresh peas from your garden, but still delicious with pre-shelled ones from the store.
Recipe: Fresh Pea Soup with Mint