Sort of Short Soup Recipes
October 22, 2013 11:42 AM   Subscribe

I've about an hour, maybe 90 minutes worth of patience, above-average kitchen competence, and access to most ingredients. I'd like to eat soup for dinner at the end of this 60-90 minutes, and I don't like shrimp. Share your favorites?
posted by ersatzkat to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 82 users marked this as a favorite
Some good suggestions in this thread from the other day. As I wrote there, the potato-leek soup from the Joy of Cooking and the French Laundry carrot soup are both great, and very simple.

This split pea is really good as well.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:47 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Here is my favorite easy 30-minute soup recipe (with bonus calorie info):

1 med. yellow onion, chopped
1 leek, white part only, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 med zucchini, sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 10-oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed
14-oz can of stewed tomatoes
1.5 cups V-8 vegetable juice
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
5.5 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves, crushed
Cayenne pepper to taste (I think I used 1 tsp)
1 can kidney beans (incl. water)

In a large soup pot, saute garlic, onion, leek, zucchini, pepper,
and mushrooms, stirring frequently, until onion is semi-transparent.
Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and
simmer, loosely covered and stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

966 cals for the whole pot by this recipe
6 servings = 161 cals per serving

We usually eat this with a lot of crusty bread and butter, and sometimes we also top it with cheese.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:49 AM on October 22, 2013

Caldo verde. There are tons of recipes out there if you don't like the looks of that one, but it's basically just sausage, potato, and kale.
posted by CheeseLouise at 11:49 AM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]

My quick and easy tomato soup is cheap, fast, delicious, and my husband's favourite thing that I make (which I find slightly disappointing because I am a great cook and make a lot of wonderful things that are more interesting than tomato soup... anyway...). It is really easy to have the ingredients on hand at all times for a fast last minute meal. We have served it to guests and had requests for the recipe. We are having this for dinner tonight, no joke. It also bares stating that he and I both hate tomato soup (aside from this one) and our six year old that hates tomato soup likes this one. It is sort of magical like that. No one doesn't like it.

PuppetMcSockerson's Tomato Soup of GLORY

One large tin of no salt added tomatoes (I use the whole tomatoes)
Beef broth (I usually cheat and just squirt in a tablespoon or so of Boveril liquid)
A couple of onions, roughly chopped
cumin powder
Worchestershire sauce
whipping cream

In a large pot saute the onions with a bit of oil until a little translucent. You are NOT looking to caramelize. Add in a teaspoon or two of cumin powder and cook with onions until the cumin is really fragrant. My rule is to add more than you think you should.* Dump in the can of tomatoes, add the beef broth (or Boveril liquid), and then blend the shit out of that pot 'o goodness. I use a handblender. makes this way easier. A few dashes of Worchestershire Sauce adds extra yummy depth. Simmer it for a while, just to let things get friendly. If you used actual beef broth liquid you'll want to simmer a little longer to reduce it. It should be fairly thick, not watery at all, for optimum bread dipping during consumption. Before serving add a half to a whole cup of whipping cream and some fresh cracked pepper to taste. If you add too much cream, as I have done in the past, and the soup isn't tomato-y enough a tablespoon or two of tomato paste cures all.

The end. Done in about 30 minutes start to end.

Serve on it's own, or with grilled cheese sandwiches to dip in (om nom nom). If you leave the whipping cream out, just add a dollop of sour cream in the middle of the bowl to turn this soup up to 11.

*Every god damned time I make this soup my husband makes some "That is an awful lot of cumin!" comment. Drives me insane. Its like, dude, I am making your favourite meal, and this is my fifty billionth time making it, I think I know what I'm doing! Sheesh! He usually gets kicked out of the kitchen at that point and isn't allowed to return until supper is ready.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:58 AM on October 22, 2013 [15 favorites]

One of my favorites, Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili, takes about an hour if you're a speedy chopper. I use about 3x the quantity of spices called for, YMMV.

If you ever feel like picking up a pressure cooker, you can make some amazing soups in them in a very short time. I enjoy posole in the pressure cooker. This recipe calls for 20 minutes cooking and 15 minutes for pressure release.
posted by cabingirl at 12:03 PM on October 22, 2013

I've been playing around with two-stage soups.

Egg-lemon, for example, can be streamlined by pre-cooking the rice in broth and freezing (or using leftover rice, even leftover takeout rice). Add to packaged broth; heat; add lemon to taste; vigorously whisk in eggs, taking off the heat as soon as the eggs are blended. I usually use one carton broth to one handful (dried) rice or 1-2 cups cooked rice to one-two lemons to one-two eggs depending on how thick (more eggs = thicker) and how sour I want it.

Another example: Brown sausage (I like spicy chicken sausage); remove from pan, cut into rounds. Add chopped onion to pan, sweat until translucent. Cook onion and sausage in one can crushed tomatoes and one can or half-carton broth until done. Freeze in two parts (or freeze half and finish the first part). To finish soup, take one half of the sausage/onion/tomato base and add additional broth, cut potato or pasta, and veggies (canned kidney beans, carrots, whatever) as desired.
posted by pie ninja at 12:13 PM on October 22, 2013

I made this recipe for Beet, Ginger, and Coconut Milk Soup recently and thought it was great. It needed more ginger than recommended, and maybe a cup less broth to make it thicker, but otherwise it was very, very tasty.
posted by jesourie at 12:13 PM on October 22, 2013


8 c chicken stock
1 c cooked chicken diced
1 c orzo
1 onion diced
2 carrots sliced
2 stalks celery sliced
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
2 lemons, juiced
Handful of dill, chopped

1. Take first 7 ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-12 min or until carrots are cooked.
2. Remove from heat.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until frothy.
4. Whisk lemon juice in to the eggs.
5. While stirring, add soup slowly to temper.
6. Add egg sauce to soup
7. Add dill and serve

Black Bean Soup:
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 t ground cumin
1 t chili powder
2 15.5-oz cans black beans, drained & rinsed
15-oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 c vegetable broth
1 t salt
1 handful chopped, cilantro
1/4 c feta cheese
Handful of chives, chopped

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium. Add onion and garlic, and cook 6-8 minutes, until beginning to brown. Stir in cumin and chili powder. Add black beans, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt and cilantro. Bring to a boil, and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Transfer 1 c to a blender, and process until smooth. Stir back into soup. Remove from heat, and serve topped with feta and chives.

edit: Each soup takes about 30 minutes tops.
posted by Flamingo at 12:17 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Here's one of mine: Summer Squash and Oyster Mushroom Soup.

Here's someone else's excellent Egyptian-style Lentil Soup.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:23 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

egg drop soup is super quick if you start with premade stock. i started with this recipe from the kitchn. my stock is chicken stock boiled with dried mushrooms, peppercorns, whites of the green onions that will later go on top, ginger, garlic, and chilis if i want it spicy - strain after 10 minutes, add soy, stir in a corn starch slurry, cook for 5 minutes, pour in eggs, top with green onions, serve.
posted by nadawi at 12:25 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Mark Bittman's creamy, brothy, earthy set. Done and done.
posted by vivzan at 12:32 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I used to eat Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup from 101cookbooks all the time - don't bother with the saffron yogurt, plain Greek yogurt is just fine. Half the recipe if you are cooking for just yourself. Recipe is for French lentils, not the split mushy kind.
posted by maryr at 12:53 PM on October 22, 2013

In a large pot, heat up 5 cups of chicken or veggie broth and 1 cup of water.

Meanwhile, saute a (literal) bunch of celery and then throw it in the pot.

Saute a leek or onion and then throw it in the pot.

Saute a (literal) bunch of chard and then throw it in the pot.

Saute any other veggies you have on hand and then throw those in the pot.

Blend it all up with an immersion blender or regular blender. If you're so inclined, add a touch of dairy and/or butter.

posted by Room 641-A at 12:58 PM on October 22, 2013

I have a few soup favorites that are super easy and ridiculously yummy!

Zuppa Toscana (just like Olive Garden's!)

Chef John's Ham & Potato Soup (so easy and sooo good with some fresh crusty bread to soak up the goodness!)

Chicken Enchilada soup (YUMM!)
posted by Falwless at 1:04 PM on October 22, 2013

Insanely good and easy Onion Soup

Chop or Slice:
1 giant red onion
1 giant white onion
1 giant yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
2-3 leeks
1-2 shallots

Sautée in olive oil until translucent. I use 2 pans, it goes quicker.

Add 1 beef bouillon cube, 1 heaping tbsp of powdered chicken soup base, a shot of white wine, and 6 cups of water. If you have any leftover beef in the fridge (steak cuts, not ground), throw them in.

Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 15 mins.

posted by Mchelly at 2:06 PM on October 22, 2013

If you like stuffed cabbage at all, you'll love this soup. Easily prepared in under 90 minutes, especially if you add the ingredients to the water while it heats up.

Cabbage Soup

6 cups water
1 pound ground beef
1/2 head (or more) cabbage, coarsely shredded
1 large onion, chopped
3 T sugar
2 T Worcestershire
1-1/2 T salt
pepper (to taste)
dash allspice
1 bay leaf
2 6-oz cans tomato paste

Combine all ingredients except for the tomato paste in a pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for one hour. Add tomato paste and simmer for 15 more minutes.
posted by DrGail at 2:59 PM on October 22, 2013

I occasionally do a tomato soup. I pour some passata/creamed tomatos into a bowl. I then add a pinch of sugar, some Woscestershire sauce, a small knob of butter, some black pepper, a squeeze of crushed garlic and some basil. Or for a a spicy one omit the basil and add ground mixed spice and smoked paprika. Then just put the bowl in the microwave. Heat until warm, stir and serve. Tasty soup in less than five minutes.
posted by Ranting Prophet of DOOM! at 3:59 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Jary is quick and has been tested on both the vegetarians and the meat-eaters in the family and usually results in a request for the recipe. Here's Soup Song's page of 'Soup as a Meal' soups, you might find further inspiration there.

Otherwise, as cabingirl says, a pressure cooker will mean many many soups are achievable within the time you suggest. Pressure cookers mean that store-cupboard soups can be really great because you can get the better texture that comes from cooking dried beans in not much more time than it would take to use canned. I made pasta e ceci soup today within an hour, but did it in a loosey-goosey way so I'm struggling to give instructions. Something like this:

To feed 3-4:

- about a cup and a half of dried chickpeas
- 1.5 l vegetable stock (I use Marigold brand & always make it up half-strength)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- one sprig fresh rosemary
- tin of tomatoes
- 2 handfuls small dried pasta
- extra virgin olive oil & Parmesan to serve

(If you can soak the chickpeas first, even for 30min, it all helps...)

- cook the chickpeas in the pressure cooker with the stock, chopped garlic and rosemary for 40 min

- release the pressure on the cooker, carefully fish out the rosemary sprig, check your chickpeas are cooked

- pour the tomatoes into a food processor & pulse a few times to blend

- add to the chickpeas. Season.

- add the pasta & cook according to time suggested. Serve with olive oil & Parmesan to taste.

There is another tasty Italian soup made with Borlotti beans and spelt grains that you would go about in a very similar way. Use the same directions, substituting borlotti for chickpeas & spelt for pasta, except:

- no tomato in this recipe so omit that step.
- borlotti beans will take less time to cook in the pressure cooker, check after 30 min
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- spelt will take a little longer than pasta, about 12 min
- I don't think I'd want Parmesan with this version. Perhaps this is superstition though.

Otherwise, can I suggest this book, which is full of good ideas? Most soups I make take less than an hour, even without a pressure cooker, and so they should unless you're making a full-on minestrone or clarifying a consommé for a Michelin-starred restaurant. I went through a very heavy soup phase in my late 20s, so I feel like I should have more wisdom to pass on, but I'll leave you with one more thing: the way to make your pumpkin/ squash soups more satisfying is to add plenty of fresh thyme.
posted by calico at 4:10 PM on October 22, 2013

[oh my goodness, so sorry, in the borlotti/spelt soup you also need to add 10 sage leaves]
posted by calico at 4:15 PM on October 22, 2013

This sounds a bit odd, but is very tasty; the toppings make it.

Tostada Soup (this doubles easily)

1-2 Tbl. mild olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 1b. ground beef
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
1 can (15 or 16 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained
1 cup water
1/2 - 1 cup salsa of your choice (I've been using a corn and black bean salsa lately)

Shredded cheddar cheese (use a good quality sharp cheddar)
Shredded lettuce (or tear into coarse chunks)
Tortilla chips (coarsely crushed up) - optional but a nice contrast to the soup
Sour cream
Avocado (cut up) - optional
Diced cilantro - optional

Brown the onion and hamburger in the olive oil; then drain off fat. Add the tomatoes, pinto beans, water, tomato sauce, and salsa. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer about a half hour till it gets to the thickness you prefer.

Ladle soup into individual bowls and add toppings of your choice.
posted by gudrun at 5:05 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

The very first commenter mentioned potato-leek soup. It's dead easy and always tastes great.
posted by colin_l at 5:18 PM on October 22, 2013

If you have some half-decent smoked sausage around, this recipe for Sausage and Kale Soup is seriously easy, and super great. I was hesitant at first due to the lack of any extra herbs and spices, but what's in it seems to carry it well enough of its own.
posted by themadthinker at 10:32 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sopa Tarasca.
posted by judith at 10:33 PM on October 22, 2013

Big Mo Minestrone a minestrone with no pasta and so.much.flavor. Easily made in less than an hour. Has that vegetable-based brightness that many summer meals have but in a totally satisfying winter format.

Vegetable yaki soba I guess some people might not call this soup. Whatever, it is soup to me and it is delicious.

Red lentil soup Dead easy, tastes way more delicious than you would think. I skip all the suggested toppings.

African peanut soup Crowd pleaser! Put in at least 1 tsp of chili powder. I reduce the garlic to 2 cloves; your garlic preference may vary.
posted by purple_bird at 10:30 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure you can cook dried lentils in the time allotted they always seem to take a bit longer, but I still think it's worth mentioning Lebanese Lentil Soup. The mint and yoghurt called for in the recipe won't make, or break it but skipping the lemon juice will. It also tastes good warm.

I also cook up a everything but the kitchen sink miso soup with home made dashi, akamiso and shiromiso combined and a bunch of root veggies (parsnips, carrots, sweet tater) some mushrooms and whatever else I have on hand. Sometimes I add soba, wakame, other veggies, tofu ... which leads to thinking you could probably pull off a quick nabe
posted by redindiaink at 12:05 PM on October 23, 2013

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