A simple soup is a soup that has only a few ingredients and is usually very light on the pallet. The term ‘simple’ refers to the uncomplicated flavor of the soup, rather than the complexity of its making. Because of that many beginner soup cooks are put off when they find recipe for a simple soup that takes an hour or more to make and has 15-20 steps listed in the directions.
My advice there is to not give up. If the recipe you’ve found is too intimidating keep searching for one that isn’t. Here I’ve listed 3 simple soup recipes that are both simple in flavor and easy to make. All they take are the right ingredients.
A simple soup usually starts with broth, to which fresh ingredients are added. The four basic flavors of broth are: chicken, beef, fish, and vegetable. For these recipes you can use your own home made broth (also called stock), canned broth, or even broth made from bullion. I prefer to use stock, but I’ve been cooking for over 20 years and suffer from food allergies to one of the most common ingredients in canned broth. For me, stock is the best option when choosing a broth. Using bullion is the least expensive option overall, while canned broth is the most convenient. Use the option that’s right for you.
Egg drop soup is a simple soup that can stand alone as a light meal by itself, or be served as the starter course or side dish of a more complex meal. As a stand alone meal it’s perfect for a quiet night at home when you don’t want anything fancy, but you want to enjoy the cozy comfort of soup. As a starter course or side dish, egg drop soup is an easy way to serve more guests when you find yourself feeding more people than you expected. Its flavor compliments many other foods without overpowering them.
Garden Soup is a simple soup that reaps the benefits of the spring harvest, when the ingredients are at their best and time is in short supply as the world begins to warm and people’s lives become busier with outdoor activities. Served as a light lunch on a cool day or as a side dish to a roast at dinner, garden soup is packed full of flavor and vitamins. Like egg drop soup, it makes a great side dish to expand a full meal, enabling you to feed more people.
Beef and green bean soup is a simple soup that is an easy and light alternative to heavier beef soups or stews with lots of calories and fat. It’s packed with flavor and is a easy way to use up leftover cuts of beef roast, especially if the cuts were cooked to rare to begin with. This is one of the few simple soups that appeals to the average man, as it speaks to his essential carnivore. This recipe assumes that you will be working from raw meat, but is easy to adjust if you are working with leftovers.
Egg Drop Soup Recipe
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, thin sliced and quartered
1 large bell pepper, thin sliced and quartered
2 cloves garlic, mined or crushed
2 cups celery, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
In large simmering pot, over medium heat, combine olive oil, onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook until onions are just clear: add garlic, stir well. Add chicken broth and water, cover, let simmer for 20 minutes.
In small mixing bowl, prepare eggs by adding a dash of salt then piercing yolks with fork. Stir gently by lifting whites with fork a few times, but do not whisk. The eggs should still be relatively in tact, but not whole.
After soup has simmered for 20 minutes, strain out and set aside vegetables. Return broth to heat and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly add eggs, one dollop at a time, waiting for each dollop to cook lightly before adding the next (approximately 10 seconds). Repeat until all of the eggs are used. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then return vegetables to soup. Stir well, salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat. Recipe serves 4-5 as main dish.
Freezing tip: This recipe can be made ahead of time and frozen without the egg. To use after freezing, let thaw and pick up directions from the point where you strain the vegetables out to add the eggs.
Alterations: you can use this recipe as a base for other soups as well by simply exchanging the egg for bite-sized pieces of pre-cooked chicken, turkey, or pork.
Garden Soup Recipe
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water (optional)
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped large
2 large carrots, medium medallion cut
1 large parsnip, medium medallion cut
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, chopped medium
3 tablespoons fresh sage, minced
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped very small
1/8 cup basil, chopped very small
Salt to taste
This one is easy. In large simmering pot combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer until carrots and parsnips are tender (approximately 20-30 minutes). Recipe serves 4-6 as main dish.
The idea behind garden soup is to throw in a little of everything from your kitchen garden. Ingredients can be substituted as necessary or according to taste. Can be kept frozen for up to year.
Beef and Green Bean Soup Recipe
2 pounds London Broil, whole ~or~ 2 pounds leftover rare-cooked beef roast
2 pounds whole green beans, fresh or frozen
8 cups beef broth
2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
Salt and pepper
Prepare raw meat by trimming off fat and giving it a good coating of salt and pepper. To braise meat: heat a large simmering pot over medium-high heat, until a drop of water hisses violently when dropped in. Carefully lay meat in pot, cover. Let cook for 3-4 minutes, until meat has caramelized on the bottom and enough juices from the steak have released to allow it to unstick from the pot. Flip steak and repeat on other side. Braise sides by using serving fork to hold steak (tongs may slip and cause you to burn yourself). Remove steak to cutting board once braised, but do no cut yet.
Add 1/2-1 cup of broth to the leavings in the pot, allow to bubble for a moment, then add in bell peppers. Stir well, until peppers are coated and have begun to take on a pan-roasted appearance. Add the remaining broth and green beans. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, let simmer for 10 minutes.
While soup is simmering slice or cut meat to desired bite-sized pieces. Add to soup. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until meat is just cooked. Recipe serves 4-6 as main dish.
Serving tip: Serve with cheesy bread or Italian garlic bread. Meat can also be served on the side.
Does not freeze well. Meat becomes tough and rubbery.