25 Best Soups
Love the convenience of a one-dish meal simmering on the stovetop? Then prepare one of these top-rated soup recipes for some no-fuss hearty comfort food.
In honor of our 25th anniversary, we compiled a collection of our readers' best-loved soup recipes from the past 25 years. Based on research from MyRecipes.com, we pulled the Cooking Light recipes that received the most votes and highest star ratings.
First up: This delicious and comforting soup tastes like it took hours to make, yet is ready to eat in just 20 minutes. Provide a toppings bar of crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and thinly sliced green onions so family members can pick and choose their favorites.
Once you try this classic French Onion Soup recipe, you'll never try another. It culminates in a rich-tasting soup with melt-in-your-mouth onions.
With more than 50 stellar reviews, this traditional American chili recipe hits the spot. We love what meredith had to say: “I love chili – and this is the best chili recipe I have ever tried. I will stop trying new recipes and use this one from now on. This is how chili should taste.” Like most chilis, this version tastes even better the next day.
Few things are more welcome than a hearty bowl of New England Clam Chowder. Bacon crumbled atop each serving is the key to this chowder's deep, satisfying smokiness. We enjoy this hearty, simple soup with crusty bread, a tossed green salad, and a crisp sauvignon blanc.
All stews are wonderfully warm and comforting, but this recipe stands out for its simplicity and versatility. Spend 10 minutes browning the meat and garlic, then toss in the oven or slow cooker and your work is done. Ingredients you likely have in your pantry right now combine for deep flavor that can be a weeknight family dinner as easily as the centerpiece of a fancy party.
Try a new take on tortilla soup by adding chipotle-spiked meatballs to the mix. If you can't find fresh corn on the cob, substitute 2 cups frozen corn kernels, and broil them with peppers. Use a few extra chipotle chiles to spice up a pot of beans, rice, stews, or canola mayonnaise.
This three-step recipe (roast, blend, simmer) is an easy and flavorful way to warm up with a creamy vegetable-based soup on a chilly fall afternoon. And according to cathyr, the soup is not only tasty, but also makes for a bright presentation. “This soup was SPECTACULAR!,” she says. “Gorgeous color, luscious flavor, velvety texture! My mom and my neighbor both raved!”
A unique blend of herbs and spices find their home in this one-dish-wonder. The broth—infused with saffron, thyme leaves, and orange rind—pairs magnificently with a white flakey fish of your choosing. We suggest sustainable options like wild-caught Pacific flounder or wild-caught Alaskan halibut.
View Recipe: Saffron Fish Stew with White Beans
Take your basic beef stew to the next level by making this simple, fragrant beef tagine featuring butternut squash. A "tagine" is a cone-shaped cooking vessel commonly used in North Africa. The unique shape allows the meat to slow cook for a luscious, tender texture. You can buy tagines at most cookware stores, or use a heavy-bottom Dutch oven like we do in this recipe.
Enjoy soup in the summertime by making this satisfying chowder featuring the season's best produce. A topping of cheese and bacon gives the soup extra kid appeal. Serve with this easy bruschetta: Top toasted baguette slices with a mixture of chopped tomato, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt.
Processed cheese melts beautifully, giving this 30-minute broccoli and cheese soup a smooth texture and mild flavor. Broccoli and Cheese Soup is a kid-friendly way to eat more veggies—making it a winner in our book!
Using canned beans and chicken broth make this crowd-pleasing chili convenient. Roasting turkey tenderloins is easy and lower in sodium than buying deli turkey. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are another option.
Fresh tomato and basil are the stars of this classic summertime tomato soup recipe. Low-fat milk and light cream cheese keep it healthy. Serve with a slice of French bread baguette.
This "outstanding" reader-rated recipe could quite possibly be even better the second day—as is common with stews. The extra time will allow the flavors to meld and develop in a way that will bring out that beloved slow-cooked taste.
Fresh, high-impact flavors like those in our Chili-Spiced Soup with Stoplight Peppers and Avocado Relish, will give your soup a made-from-scratch taste that cannot be beat. Reader and recipe developer Jamie Miller created this recipe for her husband who loves Mexican food. "This recipe is everything you'd find in a fajita in a healthy, tasty soup instead."
This reader- and staff-favorite stew, layered with complex flavors from caraway seeds, sweet raisins, and full-bodied Guinness Draught, pays homage to the best of Irish cooking. You may not get a chance to freeze any leftovers; Executive Food Editor, Ann Taylor Pittman, promises “This meaty stew is so good, I sopped up every drop of the gravy-like broth with bread.”
Start with shredded cooked chicken breast and transform your dinner tonight into restaurant-quality Thai cuisine. The coconut milk gives the soup a creamy, smooth texture.
This recipe proves that hearty chili doesn’t necessarily mean meat on the ingredient list. The variety of beans give great texture and flavor.
"According to me, my husband, and my in-laws, this is the BEST chili (not just vegetarian chili) we have ever eaten," raves AlyBoudreau18. "It is so fresh, hearty and whomever said the flavor was 'exceptional' was spot on! I want a second serving everytime I eat it!"
Light cheese and a flour-and-milk mixture keep this soup creamy but surprisingly low in fat. Make a batch and reheat throughout the week for effortless and satisfying meals.
Adding turkey kielbasa lends this hearty soup recipe a rich, slow-simmered flavor even though it takes less than 30 minutes to make.
Make this low-calorie chili in just 20 minutes for a quick, one-pot supper.
Reviewer KelleyHelpler loved it: "This chili is AWESOME! I make a lot of Cooking Light recipes, but this one is over the top. My husband isn't fond of ground turkey, but he can't get enough of this chili."
Hearty, healthy lentils get a spicy and saucy Indian treatment thanks to curry powder, coconut milk, and chopped jalapeño pepper. A dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro leaves tames the heat.
It doesn't get more classic than chicken noodle soup, and this creamy recipe is certainly a favorite. For the sake of convenience, we call for canned low-salt chicken broth. But, if you have a bit of time on your hands, feel free to use our recipe for Roasted Chicken Stock, if you are so inclined.
A simple white sauce of flour and reduced-fat milk is the base for this supercreamy soup. To save time, bake the potatoes, shred the cheese, chop the onions, and cook the bacon in advance.
An adaptation of the classic Italian minestra, this recipe is full of late-summer produce: tomatoes, squash, fresh spinach, corn, and carrots. In cooler months, use peeled acorn squash and Swiss chard in place of squash and spinach. We love this soup for its practicality, since it's convenient for lunch or a simple dinner (just serve it with a tossed green salad and some crusty bread).