ISO fancy international soup recipes
November 13, 2020 5:20 AM   Subscribe

My friends and I have made up "Soup Club International" where we trade off making fancy soup based meals for each other, getting pleasantly wine drunk with good music playing loud enough to hear each other all while hanging out in low lighting. (Being in your late 30's/early 40's can be kinda cool, lol) I'm outsourcing for more soup recipes, details below....

We've made a Japanese Ramen, French Onion, Borscht and Moules Mariniere (not exactly soup, but it was 100 degrees in TX). Please tell me your favorite soup & soup adjacent meals that are ideally from another country (i.e. not the US; which I realize most US food is from another country so maybe this is a silly point)! I live in a large city where I can get pretty much any ingredient, I enjoy cooking from scratch and am fairly skilled. Thanks y'all!
posted by vividvoltage to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
It's not fancy like, at all, but it's fairly unique - Polish Zurek. It uses a fermented rye (you usually just buy that in a bottle from a polish store), sausage, potato, and marjoram. I grew up with it, it's delicious.

We also do a pickle soup! And a wild mushroom soup.

Bigos is not soup at all, but it's nominally called "Hunter's Stew", if you want an artery attack with sauerkraut. Just make sure to eat it with the most rye-y bread you can find!
posted by aggyface at 5:36 AM on November 13, 2020

Avgolemeno! Bouillabaisse!
posted by nkknkk at 5:45 AM on November 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

A quick search suggests that the key ingredient to bird's nest soup is surprisingly orderable.
posted by glibhamdreck at 5:48 AM on November 13, 2020

This is more comfort food than fancy , but I made this Korean beef and radish soup so many times a few winters ago, when my CSA was overrun by turnips. It's simple, but very good.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:08 AM on November 13, 2020

The National Soups of Various Countries may be of interest.

Pho is actually surprisingly easy to make. Cock-a-Leekie is Scottish. Pozole is the bomb.
posted by theweasel at 6:11 AM on November 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

This Turkish spicy lentil & bulgur soup is great.
posted by terretu at 6:17 AM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’ve recently become obsessed with Darra Goldstein. She has a recipe for Lohikeitto (Nordic salmon roe soup) that I’m going to try next.
posted by minervous at 6:25 AM on November 13, 2020

posted by wellifyouinsist at 6:35 AM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

OBSESSED with this Chinese soup that this recipe calls Chop Your Headoff Next time I will make it I will heavy up on the cabbage and scallions I think
posted by wowenthusiast at 6:39 AM on November 13, 2020

Sancocho is a Colombian soup with a million varieties. My family is from the coast so I have to recommend sancocho de pescado.
posted by justjess at 6:55 AM on November 13, 2020

I would recommend making sundubu. You can alter the recipe to include any protein or veg that you like. I like mine with mushrooms and green vegetables.

Add rice and a nice selection of store-bought kimchi and banchan (which you can buy at an H-Mart or good Korean market near you), and you'll have an amazing meal.

If you're feeling up to it, make the kimchi and banchan (rec 1 and 2) yourself. Give yourself extra time to make the kimchi and let it ferment properly.
posted by cursed at 7:01 AM on November 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

You're in TX and you didn't think of chili? :/
posted by sexyrobot at 7:04 AM on November 13, 2020

Also vichyssoise (chilled potato leek soup) is excellent when it's hot out. Don't forget the drizzle (or fancy design swirl) of heavy cream. The recipe might say it's optional. It's not.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:09 AM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Harira is good. It’s a Moroccan soup used to break the fast during Ramadan, so it’s very hearty and nourishing. I can’t vouch for that particular recipe but it looks OK.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 7:22 AM on November 13, 2020

Minestrone is by far my favorite soup. I could eat it every day. Explore different versions. In our family, we change the ingredients over the seasons, but we always use alphabet pasta.
I am also a big fan of Chinese restaurant hot and sour soup, and The Woks of Life have a recipe that is delicious and I recommend, though I don't make it often enough.
Here in Denmark the most traditional soup is a clear soup with meatballs, dumplings and vegetables. I'm not a big fan, so I rarely make it. But this guy has a legit recipe. My oldest daughter loves this, just so you don't hang too much on my random preferences. We got it a lot when I was a kid, straight from the freezer, and that has shaped my perception.
In the Larousse Gastronomique there is an amazing recipe for borscht as it was served at the Russian imperial court. I have made it some times, and going through the process has taught me a lot about cooking in general. It is an expensive project and it takes 12 hours. But to me, it has been worth it. It's a fun adventure with friends.
I don't have an online recipe, but a fish soup, in the style of the bouillabaisse, is a similarly educational and fun endeavor.
posted by mumimor at 7:25 AM on November 13, 2020

Peanut soup is delicious, although I have no idea which of the many versions online are actually traditional. We eat it white people style with bread, but if I was making it for an international soup party and had time I'd probably try making fufu.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:30 AM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Gazpacho is perfect and delicious when it is hot outside!
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon at 7:41 AM on November 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

(Actually, if you save Chili for after Thanksgiving, you could do turkey chili :D)
posted by sexyrobot at 7:42 AM on November 13, 2020

Budae jjigae, aka army stew, should give you something to talk about, plus it's really hearty and warming.) Lots of other Korean soups and stews, like soon dubu, are also delicious.
posted by wintersweet at 7:42 AM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Gulaschsuppe from Bavaria, with Hungarian roots. This is not the recipe I use but looks similar. (Mine uses tomato paste instead of juice and adds caraway seeds, thyme and marjoram.) Serve with dark rye or pumpernickel bread. Lecker lecker!
posted by evilmomlady at 7:43 AM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you're feeling really adventurous, there's always, uh, Jamaican cow cod soup, a traditional delicacy and aphrodisiac. The hardest part of making it will be, as you probably guessed, sourcing bull penis. Here in Canada, outside of Caribbean grocers I've seen it at some Asian grocery stores, but who knows if selling beef pizzle for human consumption is an issue in Texas, as this article suggests.

If you'd like a less adventurous way to enjoy the islands through soup (or simply can't find cow cod), another option is Jamaican cow foot/heel soup. Cow feet are easier to find at butchers or supermarkets catering to other diaspora; any Caribbean, Chinese, Filipino, or Brazilian-oriented grocers should be a good bet.
posted by blerghamot at 8:30 AM on November 13, 2020

Hachée is a Dutch beef and onion stew that's perfect for cold weather. You can eat it on top of mashed potatoes or hutspot (carrot & onion mash).
posted by neushoorn at 8:55 AM on November 13, 2020

A couple stick to your ribs ones from Canada - Fricot or Ragoût de boulettes.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:20 AM on November 13, 2020

Yemenite soup is fantastic on a cold day or when you're coming down with something.

I'm also a big fan of Lagman soup (Uzbeki / Bucharian), but I don't have a recipe because making it seems too time-consuming and we have a place that delivers
posted by Mchelly at 10:56 AM on November 13, 2020

Sopa da Abóbora (Portuguese Butternut Squash Soup)
posted by bq at 12:00 PM on November 13, 2020

Pozole from Mexico. One of my favorites. Traditionally served during the holidays.
posted by DixieBaby at 12:24 PM on November 13, 2020

Adding to the Korean pile on :)

Daengang Jjigae. I've seen doenjang at my local supermarket in the international isle.
posted by kathrynm at 3:02 PM on November 13, 2020

International soup map!!
posted by exceptinsects at 4:56 PM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

When you revisit Japan, I suggest tantanmen. It's a ramen soup version of Chinese dandan noodles, but quite removed from other ramen stock varieties.

Thai tom yum also fits your needs - hot and sour, and if you're a cultural philistine it also tastes pretty good with coconut milk in instead of just water.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 8:20 PM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

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