300-Calorie Soups, Stews, and Chilis
Tahini-Carrot Soup With Pistachios
A hint of toasted sesame oil lends depth to this velvety soup. Use real baby carrots, not the whittled-down packaged ones, which are lacking in flavor. Garnish with sautéed carrot strips.
Wheat Berry "Ribollita"
Traditional ribollita is a Tuscan specialty made of leftover minestrone warmed up with chunks of bread tossed into it. In this version, wheat berries stand in for bread, bulking up the soup with nutty flavor and pleasant texture. The Parmesan cheese rind that simmers in the broth enriches the whole pot with umami depth. It’s a great technique that’ll convince you to always save your Parmesan rinds, stashing them in the freezer for uses like this. If you don’t have any, check the cheese counter at your local gourmet grocer; you’ll often find rinds for sale there.
A generous splash of light coconut milk enriches this dairy-free chowder, making it creamy while offering a faint sweet flavor that enhances the sweetness of the corn. A spoonful of flour also helps to thicken the broth; for a gluten-free version, you can try substituting 11/2 teaspoons cornstarch (you might need to simmer longer to get it to thicken). If you have leftover chicken or a rotisserie bird on hand, you can always use that instead of starting with raw chicken; you’ll want to use about 2 cups shredded or chopped chicken.
Vegetable Soup au Pistou
A traditional French pistou is a nut-free pesto, but the spinach pesto (or any refrigerated brand) is delicious here. Don't rinse the canned beans after draining; any remaining starches will help bring the soup together.
Hearty Tortellini Soup
This satisfying main is a great way to reset after a few weeks of meat-centered holiday eating. If freezing, be sure to cool the soup completely before adding the tortellini or they will absorb too much liquid and lose their shape.
Lemon and Dill Quinoa Chicken Soup
Slow Cooker Chicken Posole
Think of posole as chili’s brothier, lighter cousin, a Mexican version of chicken soup. Posole is also another name for the hominy, or rehydrated dried corn, that goes in the dish. Starchy, slightly chewy hominy will hold up during the long simmer while the onion and poblano pepper release their flavor into the stock and become tender. Rather than add the tomatillo at the beginning, we stir it in just before serving for a bright, bracing contrast to the stew. Tomatillos have a firm texture similar to unripe or green tomatoes that is also welcome here. If you can’t find tortilla strips, you can use lightly crushed corn tortilla chips.
This recipe yields a big pot of brothy soup that you can make ahead and enjoy for a couple of days; the flavor just gets better over time. You may be wary of the large amount of garlic, but keep in mind that it mellows considerably after being cooked.
Pumpkin Soup With Almonds and Sage
This fast recipe delivers slow-cooked flavor. Pumpkin is one of the few vegetables whose canned version is quite good, saving you lots of time and effort. Just be sure you don't accidentally grab pumpkin pie filling, which contains added sugar and spices.
Chicken Wonton Soup
Fresh Corn and Potato Soup With Sautéed Shrimp
Sweet fresh corn and butter-sautéed shrimp pair up deliciously in this seasonal soup. After tasting the delicious results of "milking" a fresh corn cob, you'll never shuck and chuck again. We fully tap the flavor of in-season corn with this kernel-to-cob cooking method, infusing our summer soup with a wealth of rich, sweet flavor.
Tomato-Basil Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
A bit of 1/3-less-fat cream cheese adds rich body to our Tomato-Basil Soup, a fast weeknight meal that boasts three times the protein compared to common store-bought varieties.
Springy Chicken Soup
The torn romaine lettuce wilts just slightly in the soup and has a lighter, fresher, less earthy flavor than heartier greens like spinach or kale. Slice the carrot the same shape and thickness as the leek so you get a balance of both vegetables in every spoonful.
Salmon Soup With Tomato, Dill, and Garlic
Author Andrea Nguyen and husband Rory O'Brien use fish sauce nearly every day, in traditional Vietnamese and Thai dishes, and as a stealth ingredient in BBQ sauce. "When a Western dish such as chili or boeuf bourguignon needs extra gravitas," Nguyen says, nuoc mam is part of the remedy. Carp is the fish typically used in this traditional Vietnamese soups (known as rieu), but since it is not commonly available at regular markets, Nguyen switched to salmon.
Roasted Red Pepper and Ricotta Soup
To make your satisfying supper hit the table even faster, go ahead and prep this creamy soup through step 1 in the morning. Then, all that's left to do is heat the soup and throw together a salad.
Chicken-Watercress Wonton Soup
Flecked with peppery watercress, these soft chicken dumplings make for a slurpy-good appetizer soup. Be sure to use regular ground chicken (not chicken breast) for the best flavor and texture. For this recipe, you'll be making the nurse's cap dumpling shape. The sauce, all the fillings, and the broth for this soup can be made a day or two ahead of the party. If making dumplings just for you and your family, you can double up and freeze a batch of uncooked dumplings. No need to thaw before cooking—just add an extra minute or two to the cook time.
Green Pea and Asparagus Soup with Poached Eggs and Toast
Light, lovely, and lush, this egg-topped soup is all you need for a well-rounded spring supper.
Smoky Two-Bean Vegetarian Chili
Chili is always a crowd-pleaser that can be loaded with your family's favorite nutritional ingredients. A wee bit of canned chipotle chiles goes a long way in infusing this hearty chili with rich, smoky flavor and a hint of heat.
Onion, Kale, Chickpea, and Chicken Soup
Few things beat a steaming bowl of veggie-packed chicken soup on a crisp autumn evening, and this one happens to be a perfect potion for the seasonal chills. You can leave the thyme sprigs in the broth (just ladle around them) so they'll keep releasing herbaceous goodness into any leftovers.
Smoky Ham and Split Pea Soup
Potatoes contribute starchiness and silky thickness, while sweet carrots and salty ham balance out the peas' light, earthy flavor. Leftovers fare well in the freezer, so say hello to your new favorite make-ahead soup. Garnish with parsley and additional pepper, if desired.
Let's Cook Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Once you've made your own veggie-packed pot of chicken noodle soup, you won't go back to the canned, supersalty stuff again.
Beef Marsala Stew
Swiss Chard and White Bean Soup with Poached Eggs
This hearty vegetable soup will warm you up from the inside out. Save time by prepping the eggs a day ahead: poach for 2 minutes instead of 3, strain, and refrigerate in cold water. Simmer gently for 1 minute just before serving.
Summer Minestrone Soup
Have a bowl tonight, and preserve the season's freshest product by freezing a batch for later. A gentle simmer keeps the vegetables in the soup slightly firm, so they maintain their texture during freezing and reheating.
To Freeze: Cool soup completely. Freeze flat in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag for up to 2 months.
To Thaw: Microwave soup in bag at MEDIUM (50% power) 5 minutes or until pliable
To Reheat: Pour soup into a large Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, partially covered, 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with pesto and Parmesan cheese.
Pork, Bean, and Escarole Soup
Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup
The hands-free wonder of a slow cooker is unmatched. Just toss in a few fresh ingredients in the morning and return to a rich soup with luscious beans and meltingly tender meat at night.
Green Curry Stew with Potatoes and Cauliflower
Layer the vegetables in the pan rather than stirring them in so they steam to the right doneness. Add red pepper for extra kick.
To Freeze: Cool potato mixture to room temperature; seal in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag and lay flat in freezer. Freeze up to 2 months.
To Thaw: Microwave in bag at MEDIUM (50% power) for 4 minutes or until pliable.
To Reheat: Pour stew into a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated (about 15 minutes). Stir in basil. Top with yogurt, and serve with lime wedges.
Curried Lentil Soup with Yogurt and Cilantro
Look for packaged precooked lentils without salt or fat added. We like Target's Archer Farms brand beluga lentils.
Here is a make-ahead chili that both meat lovers and vegetarians will love: It packs in all the classic flavors you want and is loaded with beans that give the dish a rich, almost meaty character. Serving this chili the next day lets flavors meld--if the beans soak up a lot of liquid overnight, you can add more vegetable broth or even water to thin out the stew.
Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Let this simple soup warm you up during the chillier months. You can also use this recipe as a template for other chicken and veggie soups.
Thai Chicken Soup
For a quick dinner that's full of distinctive Thai flavor, offer this delicious, comforting soup. You can use kale or spinach in place of bok choy.
Into the pot go broth, chicken, vegetables, and other fresh ingredients. Out comes pure comfort.
Poblano-Turkey Sausage Chili
If you have pint-sized fans to please, use milder green bell peppers in place of poblanos to make it more kid-friendly.
Rich Chicken Soup with Fresh Noodles
This soup tastes like it was on Grandma’s stove for hours. Test Kitchen staffer Adam Hickman’s secret weapon: “Salty miso enriches the broth.”
Loaded Potato Soup
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.
Fast Chicken Chili
Ready in under 30 minutes, this chicken chili really is fast, but will smell and taste like you spent hours working away in the kitchen.
Tex-Mex Chicken Soup
This is a true fiesta in a bowl. This soup is chock-full of the southwestern flavors we all love. Serve this showstopper with a garnish of lime.
This hearty peasant stew from Béarn traditionally contained whatever seasonal vegetables were growing in the region. In would go cabbage, beans, potatoes, and turnips—all of which happen to be dirt-cheap in our country. If, like a French rural household might, you can get your hands on a bit of preserved goose, use that instead of pork.