Featuring the favorite flavors of Southwestern cooking, this recipe for Southwest Chicken Soup comes together quickly and easily in a slow cooker. If you take fifteen or twenty minutes to toss the ingredients for this soup in the slow cooker first thing in the morning, you can walk in the door hours later to the smell …
Even though the occupation of the cowboy was created in Central America, the cowboy has become an icon of the American West. In the 1700s cattle ranching came to Texas, and cowboys were needed to tend the cattle. Additionally, the cowboys were needed to take the cattle from the distant cattle ranges to the railroad …
When you’re not feeling great or if the weather outside is a little wet, raw, and unpleasant, there’s not much that sounds better than a delicious bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup. Long recommended as a treatment for colds and flu, Chicken Noodle Soup is one recipe that everyone should know how to cook. There are …
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Last Winter, Wifey declared she was going on a Daniel Fast. Although totally oblivious at the time of what a Daniel Fast is, but somewhat jealous at the mention of a Daniel in my wife’s life, I decided to join her and fast as well.
Now, in case you are clueless (like I was) about what fasting involves, let alone what a Daniel Fast is, let me give you a brief tut.
Fasting is denying yourself “food, drink or entertainment for some time to create some type of benefit in body, mind or spirit.” There are many types of fasts, including a standard fast (water only); an absolute Fast (no water or food); a partial fast (restrict certain food and drink categories); or an intermittent fast ( eating only during a small daily window, for example, 1 p.m.–6 p.m.).
Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time of our fast, in Christianity, the Daniel Fast is “a partial fast in which meat, lacticini, wine, and other rich foods are withdrawn for a specific time in favor of vegetables and water to be more sensitive to God.” It is based on the biblical Jewish hero Daniel’s diet during the Jews’ exile in Babylon. In the biblical story of Daniel, he fasted for three weeks. During this time, he did not eat any meat or wine.
And so, what did Wifey and I live on for the entire three weeks we were on our Daniel Fast, you ask? Believe it or not, but on soup!
SOUP??!!! Yes, lots and lots of types of soups. So much so that, by the end of our fast, not only had I lost almost all my flab and love handles, but I had also become a kind of fundi, if you will, of types of soups – some of which I will share with you below.
Types of Soups
During my “Daniel Fast”, I learned that types of soups are categorized according to their main or base ingredient and sometimes country of origin. This has consequently, given rise to such soup types as:
1. Chicken Soups
Chicken is the main or base ingredient of soups in this category. Generally, such chicken is boiled in water and simmered in a Crock-Pot or Instant Pot to create different kinds of chicken soups. For example:
Complex Delicious Chicken Dumpling Soup
Made with either “drop-style” dumplings that resemble biscuits boiled in the soup for a cobbler-like appearance, or dough worked into a tight roll and sliced into noodle-like strips then cooked in the simmering soup, Chicken Dumpling Soup is delicious.
Classic American Chicken Noodle Soup
Considered among the foremost American classic soups, chicken noodle soup comes full of homemade chicken stock, flavored with celery, carrots, noodles, and chicken. Although optional, add on a poached egg for good measure.
Tantalizing Traditional Spanish Chicken Tortilla Soup
Judging by its name, this tantalizing soup has its roots in either Spain or Mexico. With chicken stock, sweet roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, and assorted chilies as its base. Sometimes, it is garnished with sour cream, sliced chilies, and avocado.
This spicy brew then adds on its regional flavors of chicken meat, beans, corn, and crunchy fried tortilla pieces to result in what the Spanish call “sopa de tortilla“-between slurps.
Comforting Chicken and Rice Soup
In this otherwise chicken and noodle soup, brown or wild rice replaces pasta for a more savory, healthier, and uniquely textured outcome. Typical of most chicken soups, Chicken and Rice soup is a mix of chicken, celery, carrots, and onion, blending in a light but appetizing chicken broth or cream.
However, this is not to be confused with Cream of Chicken Soup.
Beam, Scream Cream of Chicken Soup
Made with chicken, carrots, and potatoes, cream of chicken soup is for the omnivorous. Add some cream cheese to thicken your soup and make it creamy.
Nod Your Head Chicken Noodle Soup
Made from the base ingredients of roasted chicken celery, carrots, onions, and egg noodles in chicken potage, add basil, oregano, thyme, or rosemary and garlic for extra taste.
Craving Carb-free Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Coming with a classic chicken base, this soup comes with extra nutritious vegetables in the form of squash, green beans, kale, and tomatoes added to celery, carrots, and onions. All this veggie leads me to the next type of soup…
2. Vegetable Soups
Mine with a Soup Spoon Minestrone Soup
Italian in origin and hundreds of years old, Minestrone is another classic vegetable soup. Largely considered a vegetable medley, it can be made using whatever vegetables are at hand-though celery, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and carrots often make up its base.
Thereafter, add-on seasonal vegetables such as squash, zucchini, potatoes, green beans, cannellini beans, and small pasta noodles can be thrown in for a gratifying and wholesome meal.
Butternut Squash Soup
A seasonal staple in the fall, this butternut squash is a pureed soup made by roasting the butternut squash with other root vegetables, like potatoes and carrots, butternut squash soup recipes often contain apples, bacon, or heavy cream for added flavor and richness.
Split Pea Soup
Served as far back as ancient Greek and Roman times, this bright green soup’s base is made boiling dried, split peas (similar to lentils) until tender and then pureeing until smooth.
Fresh peas are often added. So too is ham. Talk of Split Peas soup naturally leads me to Lentil soup.
It can be simmered before blending or pureed raw with other ingredients. Thereafter, chill the soup overnight to enable flavors to meld together. Include yogurt, lemon, and herbs like dill or mint as add-ons. Ideal for hot summer days.
Long Live Likeable Lentil Soup
Since lentils are mentioned in the Bible, they arguably were the first legume ever cultivated – no wonder that today lentil soups and stews abound throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America.
Recipes for lentil soup often reflect the culture in which it is being cooked. Ingredients include, but are not limited to bacon to tomatoes, while seasonings range from curry powder to cumin to thym
3. Cream-based Soups.
No brainer Cream of Mushroom Soup
It’s a no-brainer that Cream of Mushroom Soup gets its well-appointed smooth quality from cream and roux-an equal ratio of flour and butter that thickens things up. However, its deep tang comes from roasted mushrooms, onion, garlic, and thyme.
The best recipes will use a blend of roasted or sauteed wild mushrooms like cremini, porcini, and shitake to create layers of earthy flavor. The mushrooms are then cooked with garlic, herbs, and onions before being simmered in a mixture of chicken or vegetable broth, heavy cream, and sometimes wine.
Power to the People Potato Soup
Although made with boiled potatoes as its primary ingredient, Potato Soup is largely considered a cream-based soup. Add-ons usually include leeks, bacon, cheese, sour cream, and chives.
People Power Potato Beer Cheese Soup
Akin to roux-based Cream of Mushroom Soup, this creamy soup of German origin is made with beer and lots of melted cheese. Unlike traditional beer soup that’s often served over stale bread, you can serve this modern version with pretzels, toasted croutons, or even seasoned popcorn on top.
Not-so-new New England Clam Chowder
First introduced to the region in the 18th century, New England clam chowder is a cream-based soup it comes together with plenty of milk or cream, bacon, celery, potatoes, onion, and, tender clams or clam broth or cooked clams.
Rich, thick, and creamy, it is traditionally served with oyster crackers for dipping or as a garnish. It is a close cousin to Manhattan clam chowder, which is made with a tomato-based broth.
Crowd-pulling Creamy Corn Chowder Soup
Beloved by many throughout the U.S., this thick, cream-based soup consists of corn as the main ingredient and base, along with celery, cream, and butter. It substitutes sweet, tender corn kernels for clams and sometimes is made with fresh corn stock made by boiling the corn cobs in water to add extra flavor to the broth.
Tongue Tasty Tortellini Soup
Regarded as a tomato- or cream-based, vegetarian versions of this soup usually contain seasonal vegetables like green beans, tomatoes, or squash.
Those containing meat often contain Italian sausage or chicken.
4. Tomato-based soup
Made in Manhattan Clam Chowder
First cooked by Portuguese immigrants who favored tomatoes over milk or cream in their soups and stews, Manhattan clam chowder is a tomato-based soup. It is made with peppers, celery, carrots, and cooked clams.
Totally Delish Tomato Soup
Undoubtedly, one of the oldest classic tomato soups begins by blanching tomatoes until soft. Next, peel the skins and then blend them until smooth. Add-ons include cream, chunks of cooked tomatoes, and other herbs and spices.
The shells are often ground into a fine paste to enhance and thicken. Add cream and other seasonings to taste.
6. Cold Soups
As strange as it may sound, not all soups need to be served hot. There are cold soups out there, of which among the most famous is Gazpacho soup.
Greetings-to-you Gazpacho Soup
Best described as a blended vegetable soup, this soup’s common ingredients include tomato, cucumber, bell peppers, garlic, stale bread, olive oil, and wine vinegar. It is popular throughout Spain and Portugal.
Best Served Cold Borscht Soup
Hailing from eastern or central Europe, like Gazpacho, this soup can be served hot or cold. It consists mostly of beets and is usually served with sour cream.
7. Barley Soup
This traditional Scottish soup (also known as Scotch broth) is a combination of barley, root vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions, slow-cooking stew meat like beef or lamb chuck (or beef short rib, for a fancy twist). It is advised to cook it low and slow for a flavorful outcome.
8. National Soups
Because soup has been around since time immemorial, cultures across the world have either brought their own or have their versions of this classic comfort food. Take for instance the Germans.
Know-you Herr Knoephla Soup
While this soup might not ring a bell, it is a German old-world variant recipe of chicken and dumpling soup. The soup gets its name from the special dumplings in it known as knoephla (“neh-fla”). The dumplings are shaped like little knobs or buttons and help thicken the soup into a thick, stew-like consistency.
Zero Known Zuppa Toscana
Again, although this soup might not sound familiar, once translated it suddenly does. Zuppa Toscana is an Italian potato soup. However, this is not to say it does not have its own Italian identity.
While it has a creamy base and contains potatoes, it also includes Italian sausage and some sort of leafy greens like kale, spinach, or escarole. Zuppa Toscana also comes garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Fancy Fresh French Onion Soup
Since the 18th century, French Onion soup is made by simmering caramelized onions in red wine and beef broth.
Today, it is renowned for being topped with large croutons, its sticky, bubbling layer of Gruyère cheese, amber broth of beef stock, and caramelized onions perfectly melted.
Easy Eggcellent Drop Soup
This unique soup is popular on Chinese takeout menus in the United States. Made by whisking raw, beaten egg into simmering vegetable or chicken broth, this soup thickens slightly as it’s mixed into the broth, creating wispy ribbons of cooked egg throughout this mild soup.
Katch me if you can Kimchi Soup (Kimchi Jjigae)
Heavily seasoned, this spicy Korean dish is made by creating a rich broth using aged kimchi and other Korean flavors like gochugaru and gochujang. Pork belly and tofu are often simmered in the broth along with bok choy, green onions, and shiitake mushrooms. Kimchi soup’s uniqueness comes from the fact that it is traditionally served communally from a single pot and not in individual bowls.
Mighty Mulligatawny Soup
Originally from southern Indian cuisine Mulligatawny, the soup is popular in the U.K. Made with lentils, tomatoes, apples, coconut, and Indian spices like garam masala and ginger, it is a creamy, curry-based soup.
Vegetarian versions are common in India while other recipes add chicken, lamb, or mutton. In case you are wondering, it’s pronounced muh-luh-guh-taa-nee.
Missing you Miso Soup
Made from dried bonito flakes, kelp, and anchovy. Miso is a fermented paste created from a mixture of soybeans, sea salt, and rice koji. This Japanese dish begins with dashi—a stock made from kelp, anchovies, mushrooms, and dried, fermented skipjack tuna (katsuoboshi) that plays a major role in Japanese cuisine.
Tofu and seaweed are commonly added to this savory soup. You can always beef it up with soba noodles and mushrooms.
Popular Pour Pho Soup
Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a Vietnamese soup that has risen in popularity in the United States. Traditionally made with rice noodles cooked in beef broth with thinly sliced beef or other protein variants. It is commonly served with bean sprouts, green onions, and fresh herbs.
Navy Bean and Ham Soup
Not to be outdone, America sort of also has a soup dish that’s uniquely American-although many seem to forget this American classic soup. Made from ham bones and leftover meat, this soup’s name is derived from its popularity on U.S. Navy ships in the early 20th century.
Long regarded as a solution for colds and flu symptoms, some of these soup types have, over many years and even centuries helped break up congestion. Their anti-inflammatory properties have and continue to soothe sore, aching throats.