May 11, 2016 11:24 AM   Subscribe

I love soup, but only SOME soups. I am very much a fan of a chunky soup in a broth where I can see each individual ingredient rather than blended soups (Except for butternut squash/ pumpkin or tomato soup which I do enjoy on occasion). Now I'm getting bored of the soups I have on rotation so I'm looking for more ideas of healthy soups that are chunky rather than blended.

Soups I currently love include:

A delicious Chicken Salsa soup (No real recipe but think Chicken Stock, black beans, onions, salsa, sweetcorn, lime juice, chili, taco spices, cumin, cayenne pepper etc.)

Giada's Minestrone

Ina's Tomato and Basil soup

Butternut Squash soup and sometimes Watercress Soup (if I fancy a diet!)
I'm not a HUGE fan of just any old vegetable soup (i.e. made with a bunch of vegetables and chicken stock or whatever....for some reason that just doesn't do it for me).

I don't want any fattening soups such as Loaded Potato Soups or anything that has any cream or fat added. Honestly, I'm eating soup at lunch because it's healthy and delicious... if I wanted something that tasted like a loaded potato, I'd probably just eat that!

No dietary restrictions, it just has to be chunky, healthy and delicious! (I get bored of the texture of a blended soup, and I like to make a big batch at the weekend that I can have for lunch at work all throughout the week... there must be more options out there, what are your favourites?)
posted by JenThePro to Food & Drink (37 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
Tuscan Wedding Soup (google for a recipe; I am the precise opposite of you in soup tastes so I never make it) is pretty popular.

You might also be really into miso soups! (Those are my main exceptions to gimme pureed/creamy soups rule). So, so easy to make. Make dashi, add miso. Last minute, add tofu, mushrooms, green onions... anything you like really.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:30 AM on May 11, 2016

How about Rhode Island Clam chowder? It's not creamy: it's broth-y and delish.
posted by ReluctantViking at 11:34 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Deborah Madison's Thai butternut squash & tofu stew is great and I think you'd like it. You can skip the coconut milk or use the low-fat kind if it's too much added fat (I skip it sometimes when I don't have a can on hand and it still works!).
posted by snaw at 11:40 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

You might also like Caldo Verde! I've only ever had the vegetarian version, which isn't traditional, but whether vegetarian or with meat, it's definitely chunky and full of healthy veggies.
posted by snaw at 11:46 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Two soups I make and like from the same broth:

Chicken broth (from a big tetra-pac)
Water (equal to chicken broth amount)
A piece of seaweed, the kind that's for making broth. Just a small piece. It's crazy how big it gets in the pot.
A packet of mushroom broth powder from the japanese store.
A hunk of ginger.
If I'm making the bok choy/mushrooms version, I throw in the mushroom and bok choy stems.
Let the broth simmer until simmering gets old and boring (a few hours), then drain all the solid stuff out and leave the broth.
Salt if you think it needs it.
A dash of fish sauce if you're so inclined.

Mushroom Bok Choy Version:
Now add shitake mushrooms cut into thin slices.
Enoki mushrooms pulled apart so they basically become noodle-like things.
Bok Choy leaves, sliced.
I find that if you leave the bok choy stems in and try to eat them, they are bitter, so I don't use the stems in the soup for eating.
Lots and lots of all the above.
Soup freezes well.

Daikon and Meatball Version:
Pork meatballs -- mix ground pork with equal by volume amount of finely chopped up bok choy stems.
Throw in some chopped ginger and maybe a splash of fish sauce.
Mush the meat and bok choy together and then make meat balls.
Bake meatballs.
Meatballs freeze well and can be pulled out of the freezer a few at a time for single soup servings.
Spiralize daikon. If you don't have some sort of spiralizing tool, use a julienne-ing peeler.
Put daikon in boiling water for a few minutes. The more finely cut the less time it takes to make it a noodle-y texture. I find 3 minutes if fine if I spriralized, but closer to 7-10 if I julienned.
You may be tempted to just throw the daikon noodles in the soup. I find this makes the soup bitter, but maybe I am more bitter-sensitive than most.
Drain water from Daikon noodles and put the noodles in your soup.
Eat with spoon and fork.

The meatballs also work fine in the first soup, but the first soup doesn't need the meatballs while the second really does.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:46 AM on May 11, 2016 [5 favorites]

Oh, when I say finely chopped bok choy stems, I mean chop them with a knife. Don't put them in the food processer or they get mushy/watery and then you'll have to spend the next half hour squeezing them in your hands or within cutting boards to wring all the water out.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:48 AM on May 11, 2016

Lentil soup. I saute chopped celery/onions/fennel/carrots until they are cooked, but not mushy. Then I add uncooked rinsed lentils and water to the pot and cook until tender (you should still be able to distinguish separate lentils). I season the lentils and wilt some spinach in at the end, along with fresh tomatoes and parsley.
posted by girasoli at 11:53 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh hi another chance to recommend this book. A lot of their soups are "individual chunky ingredients" rather than "pureed". Also - working with this cookbook for a year gave me the epiphany that "wait...these are all basically the same recipe, just with different vegetables from one to the next," and that gave me the confidence to improvise my soups a little as well. (Meaning: you don't need to make Giada's minestrone and getting those specific vegetables, you can just open your fridge and use the vegetables you have, then throw in a can of beans and a handful of short pasta and make it your minestrone.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

I make a version of this Moosewood Indonesian Sweet Potato and Cabbage Soup that I really love. (I generally leave out the tomato and the soy sauce due to dietary restrictions, and up the garlic and ginger.) It definitely satisfies my need for multiple textures in soup (we have that in common) and there is just enough added peanut butter to make it substantial and filling without feeling like a "creamy" soup.

A more simple soup that is also a staple around my house is Mark Bittman's Potato Leek Soup from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. We often add a light sprinkle of parmesan on top, but the soup is still good without it. (You can also serve this soup blended and cold, with or without cream, but we always dive in when it is still chunky and hot.)

Also, if you are interested in buying a cookbook, Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking has many soup recipes that are as unbelievably delicious as everything else in that cookbook. My favorites are a chickpea bourdetto, a saffron cauliflower soup, and a lentil mulligatawny topped with a fresh onion & cilantro salad. (The last one might be too monotonously textured for your taste, but I find that adding a lot of the salad garnish keeps things interesting enough for me.)
posted by CtrlAltDelete at 12:01 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Cheeseburger soup.
posted by mkb at 12:02 PM on May 11, 2016

Best answer: I like this chicken enchilada soup. I don't have a slow cooker, so I make it by simmering on the stovetop until the chicken is done, then shred the chicken. Maybe the slow cooked one is mind-blowingly tasty, but my version is perfectly fine, and I can make it start to finish in an hour. You can add the recommended cheese and sour cream toppings, or not. The enchilada sauce is delish on its own.
posted by Liesl at 12:09 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've been obsessed with this Thai-inspired salmon, kale and coconut milk soup for about 6 months now.
posted by Brittanie at 12:11 PM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've been experimenting a lot with Korean cooking lately, which includes a lot of tasty soups of varying levels of complexity. One of the things that's close to becoming a staple is tofu soup (soondubu jjigae), which comes together surprisingly quickly and keeps/reheats well. There are lots of variations, but this recipe is pretty close to what I do, and the only ingredients out of the ordinary is kimchi and the ubiquitous Korean red pepper paste, gochujang.
posted by drlith at 12:14 PM on May 11, 2016

The great thing about soup is that you can put almost anything you want in it. You don't even really need a recipe as long as you have a sense of what flavors you think go together.

So go crazy! Put in whatever. Dig through the fridge and see what needs to be cooked soon. Go to the farmer's market and see what vegetables are in season where you live. Got leftover meat scraps? Design a soup around them! If you eat a dish in a restaurant that you thought had a nice combination of flavors, adapt that into a soup (for example translating the classic Italian combo of bitter greens and sweet sausage into a kale and sausage soup). Go through cookbooks or even just cuisines you like and scope out interesting flavors; turn it into a soup!
posted by Sara C. at 12:17 PM on May 11, 2016

Oxtail soup. I like the recipe in the 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:23 PM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by monologish at 12:30 PM on May 11, 2016

I grew up eating Julia Child’s pistou (like a French minestrone) & still love it dearly. I try to make big pots of it whenever basil is abundant & cheap.

Another more recent find is Deobrah Madison’s quinoa chowder with spinach, feta, & scallions. I was surprised by how much I like it.

Both of these recipes do have potatoes but I bet you can leave them out.

Also: There is a world of pozole/posole to explore. I don’t have one recipe I love better than others. There have been a bunch in the NY Times recently...
posted by miles per flower at 12:34 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Pistou! So good
and now I am sad that this is not what's for supper tonight
posted by mimi at 12:35 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: pozole!!

omg it's so good

You'll seriously just try to crawl right into the bowl and never come out. Use a wide soup plate if you have one because at least you can lick it clean more easily.

So what I do is gleaned from all of these. I also split it into two pots halfway through, one for red and one for green. (I like the green best, my husband likes the red, this way our freezer is full of both.)

Little Ferraro Kitchen
Mexico in My Kitchen

Anya von Bremzen
Mama Latina Tips
At Home in Mexico
Good at Lunch

miles per flower, we should have a soup party
posted by mimi at 12:48 PM on May 11, 2016 [4 favorites]

This is one of my very favorite soups, and it seems to tick all your marks. Plus it's very filling.

Cabbage Soup

1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1 pound ground beef (the leaner the better)
6 cups water
1 onion, chopped
3 T sugar
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 T salt
bay leaf
2 6-oz cans of tomato paste

Combine all ingredients (except tomato paste) in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer one hour. Add the tomato paste and simmer 15 minutes longer.
posted by DrGail at 12:49 PM on May 11, 2016

Chicken and sausage gumbo. Simple, flavorful, hearty.
posted by peakcomm at 1:24 PM on May 11, 2016

White bean soups are really good. They're not too thick or heavy; they're light enough to eat throughout the year. You can add in whichever veggies you like. The chicken broth base makes everything in it delicious. Here's one that's similar to the one I make. Bonus healthy points: The soup is so much better with kale or chard, so don't skip the greens at the end. Just chop them up, put them in your bowl, and ladle the soup on top. That will 'cook' them enough.
posted by hydra77 at 2:03 PM on May 11, 2016

You might also enjoy lentil dals with added green veg.

I adore this English soup recipe book but I avoid the sweet soups because that's weird. A good proportion are blended, but there are 365 so you're pretty safe. I've made four of them this week!
posted by kadia_a at 2:59 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

drlith is right. Korean is a great cuisine to start exploring if you're fond of soup. Most basic meals are just some kind of soup, rice, and some banchan. And they're almost categorically adverse to blending. All Korean soups follow the basic, put some shit in a pot and wait method.
I've used this blogs recipes before and wowed some pretty discerning critics (Koreans living in Korea, so if they don't know what's up. I don't know who does.).
posted by FakePalindrome at 5:03 PM on May 11, 2016

Garbanzo bean soup! You can buy a packet of the dried beans with the spice mix included on Amazon. I can't even speak coherently about how great this soup is.
posted by hollygoheavy at 5:28 PM on May 11, 2016

Shav aka green borscht
Or borscht
posted by pyro979 at 5:39 PM on May 11, 2016

Best answer: Beef, Leek, and Barley soup. SO GOOD. Also it's one of those 'chuck everything into a pot and cook it' type of soups (ok, you do have to pull the shortribs out and chop the meat up at the end, but it's a trifling bit of prep for a soup this great)
posted by ananci at 5:42 PM on May 11, 2016

posted by Bruce H. at 6:28 PM on May 11, 2016

I love, and you might like, the many chunky soups in the Soup and Bread Cookbook, which developed out of a weekly community soup event in Chicago.
posted by trotzdem_kunst at 6:50 PM on May 11, 2016

Best answer: This amazing lentil soup. The french lentils don't get mushy and it's just delicious.
posted by gryphonlover at 7:05 PM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

This winter vegetable soup is amazing. It has coconut milk it it, but it's vegan and fabulous.
posted by kjs4 at 9:01 PM on May 11, 2016

Miso, french onion, bean soup, vegetable soup. Just experiment with stuff. Quinoa, ginger and lemon. Feta, potatoes, carrots and lemon. Dill, just grab a bunch of stuff you like and boil it.
posted by lunastellasol at 9:49 PM on May 11, 2016

Best answer: You and I have nearly the same preferences in soups: chunky = yum; blended = bland! :)

One soup you should try is an African peanut butter soup. There are many variations if you search online, but here is a vegetarian one that looks good (and just throw in any other veggies you fancy; we usually do red peppers and sweet potato too).

Oh, and another chunky soup I recently discovered is called Fanesca. It is an Ecuadorian soup (traditionally served during Easter week) that also contains peanut butter.*

*Really, peanut butter should be put in EVERYTHING.
posted by Halo in reverse at 1:31 AM on May 12, 2016

I really like this Middle Eastern spiced squash and bean stew. I used Anaheim chiles for a little bit of spice.
posted by mollywas at 1:44 PM on May 12, 2016

I <3 spinach lentil soups.

Boil lentils in chicken broth for 45 minutes. Add salt to taste. Add water if it runs low.

Add some vegetables, like chopped up carrots/celery/potatoes/mushrooms and/or whatever's in the fridge, and boil for another 15 minutes.

Add spinach, boil for maybe a minute, and you're good.
posted by talldean at 8:48 PM on May 13, 2016

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