Humans have eaten soup for millennia for good reason: It’s arguably the most satisfying of all comfort foods, and the most nutritious, with myriad restorative properties. It’s also one of the few dishes that invariably tastes even better the next day, so make a double batch and pack extra for tomorrow’s lunch—or freeze the leftovers for a quick dinner. Try one or more of these easy, flavorful, and healthy combinations, accompanied by your favorite artisan bread to sop up every drop.
Tuscan Kale Soup with Buckwheat
Serves 8 / Ingredient tips: Buckwheat, a whole protein, adds an unusual background flavor and unique texture. Look for roasted buckwheat groats, which provide a full-bodied, almost smoky flavor, in bulk bins at your natural market (you can also use plain buckwheat groats). Dark-green Tuscan kale, also called lacinato or dinosaur kale, is more tender and less bitter than curly kale. View recipe.
Turkey, Mushroom, and Wild Rice Soup
Serves 8 / Sautéed vegetables and a hint of smoky paprika make this light broth extra flavorful. Prep tip: This tastes best with a homemade stock (see “How to Make Turkey Stock"). It’s even better after sitting in the fridge for a day or two, and it freezes well. View recipe.
Red Pepper Soup with Shrimp and Cod
Serves 6 / Just a pinch of saffron opens the earthy flavor of roasted red peppers to embrace the sea tastes. Ingredient tips: Look for organic diced tomatoes or purée sold in BPA-free glass jars and boxes. Ask for fish stock at your natural market; it’s often sold frozen next to the fish counter. View recipe.
Gratinéed Pumpkin Soup
Serves 6 / Anything gratinéed (topped with broiled cheese) is headed for success. As creamy and delightful as this soup is, it’s also nutritious, with healthy doses of fiber, beta-carotene, and numerous vitamins. Prep tip: If pumpkin is not in season, try other squashes, such as banana, butternut, or table queen. View recipe.
Curried Corn Soup with Spicy Chile-Ginger Sauce
Serves 4 / Prep tips: If you prefer milder food, you can leave out the green chile in the sauce, or tame it by removing the seeds. The potato adds bulk, but isn’t strictly necessary. View recipe.
Classic Miso Soup with Seaweed and Tofu
Serves 8 / Ingredient tips: Miso introduces enzymes and probiotics into the digestive tract—and it’s delicious, making this soup an ideal start to a meal. Seaweed provides iodine and trace minerals, and tofu adds easily digested protein. Prep tips: This calls for mild white miso, but use whatever kind you prefer. Look for bonito fish flakes in your store’s ethnic-foods section. View recipe.