Loaded Potato Soup
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.
French Onion Soup
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.
New England Clam Chowder
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.
Beef Daube Provençal
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.
Tortilla Meatball Soup
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.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallot Soup
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!”
Saffron Fish Stew with White Beans
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.
Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash
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.
Summer Squash and Corn Chowder
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.
Broccoli and Cheese Soup
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!
White Bean and Turkey Chili
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.
Chicken Verde Stew with Hominy
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.
Chili-Spiced Chicken Soup with Stoplight Peppers
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."
Beef and Guinness Stew
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.”
Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup
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.
Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
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.
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Adding turkey kielbasa lends this hearty soup recipe a rich, slow-simmered flavor even though it takes less than 30 minutes to make.
Turkey and Bean Chili
When you need a chili fix, and you need it fast, this recipe delivers. Twenty minutes are all you need for a piping hot pot of poultry, beans, and chili. We veer from the traditional beef and red bean formula and instead turn to ground turkey and white beans for a tasty variation. We call for ground turkey, not ultra-lean ground turkey breast, because the former stays more moist (you can also use ground sirloin if you prefer). One poblano pepper offers mild to medium heat, depending on the pepper; to ensure a mild version, sub in green bell pepper.
Indian-Spiced Lentils and Lamb
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.
Roasted-Chicken Noodle Soup
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.
Baked Potato Soup
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).