Soups, Chowders & Chilis

Soups are one of my favorite meals in the world – most can be doubled or tripled, and many freeze beautifully. The majority are chock full of vegetables, beans or other ingredients that are so good for you, and they so often come in at a budget price.

Add a salad, a bit of bread or a muffin and you have a meal. Some of our favorites. Note that some soups are meatless but use meat based broths while others are truly vegetarian or easily made so.


beef-barley-soup xBeef Barley Soup: A go to soup after I make a pot roast, this healthy, hearty soup is a family favorite. A doctored up broth will have you thinking it simmered for hours without all the expense & time.

Connemara Soup3Connemara Soup: Adapted from the Simon Pearce Restaurant in Vermont, this is an amped up Tomato Soup. A little Corned Beef (or a touch of bacon) lends flavor, but it could be Vegetarian.

French Onion Soup1 xFrench Onion Soup: Never passe in my mind, I forget, sometimes, just how good a French Onion soup can be. That first dip of the spoon into the bread and cheese, the hot, melted cheese…

Guinness & Onion Soup Cheddar CroutonGuinness & Onion Soup: Guinness can be a bit tricky to work with but when done right leaves a fantastic flavor in this gorgeous soup. Of course, I had to choose an Irish Cheddar to top it all off.

Greek Meatball Soup xGreek Meatball Soup: Not the more common lemony soup, this is a beef based soup: Tiny meatballs in a broth spiked with Parmesan and a touch of cream. Fantastic and a long time family recipe.


beer cheese soupBeer Cheese Soup with Popcorn Garnish: this is a real cheese soup, no Cheez Whiz or Velveeta Fake out. Hearty with a bit of a tang from the beer, it’s a fall or winter classic.

Chicken or Poultry

Chicken Chowder Chipotle xChicken Chowder with Chipotle: A fantastic chowder based on a Cooking Light recipe, streamlined to get dinner on the table with little fuss or bother. This is a new favorite!

Chicken & Rice Soup3Chicken & Rice Soup: Whether from scratch or a doctored up store broth, make the best soup with this recipe and these hints! Never dull, bloated or starchy, this will make a grey day sunny!

classic-chicken-noodle-soupChicken or Turkey Noodle Soup: It is easy to forget what an experience a good home-made Chicken Noodle soup can be. Hearty, rich, tasty, it’s really a meal in itself. If you have time, make the home-made noodles!

tortilla-soup-3Chicken Tortilla Soup: One fun soup, and the garnishes “make” it. This is very well balanced with familiar flavors of chili and lime, mild but with a little “personality.” Easy and perfect for leftover poultry.

Italian Wedding Soup4 xItalian Wedding Soup: Chock full of healthy ingredients these have a very special Chicken & Ricotta meatball that just makes the soup. So good you’ll never know its good for you.

pho ga xPho Ga: I’m a sucker for almost any Chicken Noodle Soup, and Pho Ga is no exception – this super healthy Vietnamese Chicken Soup will brighten any day. The garnishes “make” it.

turkey-ramen-3Turkey Ramen: We made this with Thanksgiving turkey & broth, but this would be just as good with chicken! It’s marvelous and very quick if you have stock. The flavor is outstanding.

Wild Rice & Smoked Turkey Chowder3xWild Rice and Smoked Turkey Chowder: An amazing chowder, chock full of vegetables, this soup can be made with Chicken, too. Truly a meal in a bowl, it’s easy and freezes well.

bean soup2xWhite Bean and Kale Soup over Toasted Croutons: Based off an actual Italian Grandmother’s soup, this is perfectly simple and extremely healthy – basically beans, greens, veggies and stock.

Ham, Pork or Sausage

Cuban Black Bean xCuban Black Bean Soup with Rice: An absolute favorite, this soup is addictive. A few touches brighten the soup, and the garnishes of rice and vegetables make it a meal.

Hot & Sour SoupHot & Sour Soup: Probably on the menu of every Chinese-American restaurant, this soup has strayed far from it’s roots – here, it strays into absolute sublime deliciousness! Easy to make & healthy!

Lentil Soup xLentil and Ham Soup: A bit different than might be expected, this one is somewhat exotically flavored with cinnamon, bay and thyme. Chock full of vegetables and quite lean.

Ham & Potato SoupMy Sister’s Ham & Potato Soup: Rich, creamy, silky this delicious soup is super hearty and perfect for any winter afternoon. Easy and quick, too so you’ll have dinner in a jiffy.

Navy Bean with Bacon xNavy Bean Soup with Bacon: One of the first soups I learned to make, this is a more flavorful version than plain old Ham and Bean or Senate Navy Bean soup.  It’s a 35 year favorite here!

pork-ramen-3Shortcut Pork Ramen; A silky, delicious and rich broth just makes the soup, and that broth (and the pork) is made from Vaguely Vietnamese Slow Cooker Pork. Talk about a leftover makeover.

Split Pea SoupSplit Pea Soup: A humble soup, Split Pea Soup is under appreciated. It’s like the old jeans you throw on for around the house – until you slip them on, you don’t realize how comforting they are.

minestrone xWinter Minestrone: Lifted from Tyler Florence the pasta is cooked alone, solving the bloated pasta syndrome. We never liked Minestrone before trying this. Now we can’t get enough!


Simple Corn ChowderCorn Chowder: A simple recipe for a simple classic corn chowder. A handful of ingredients, ready in under 30 minutes, it’s a great way to bring summer time to the table.

cream broccoli xCream of Broccoli Soup: Quick, easy & healthy, this soup has it all. Make it with cream or without, make it with or without a roux, with or without cheese, this soup can be adapted to any diet.

Cream of Broccoli3 xCream of Broccoli with Cheddar Crust: From Russell’s Restaurant in Pa., this rich soup with a few French twists is out of this world. Rich, tasty & decadent, serve family or company.

gazpacho xGazpacho, Classic: so perfect for summer, this one’s super addictive; one can hardly stop eating it – and it doesn’t matter because it is so good for you. Its like eating a summer’s bounty.

Elegant Mushroom Lemon Basil SoupMushroom Lemon Basil Soup with Wild Rice, Elegant: Not the ubiquitous gloppy Wild Rice Soup that has become both loved and reviled, this is a bright, fresh , and elegant!

Potage1(1)Potage, Cream of Spring Vegetable: This is green, but ignore that! So tasty and delicious with a delicate flavor. You may never go back to tomato soup! This is easy to make with what you may have on hand.

Potato Chowder1 xPotato Chowder, Hearty: this isn’t just another “loaded” baked potato soup (as good as they are) but an honest, homey creamy chowder – made simply with milk and a good chicken stock.

soup xRed Lentil Soup with Coconut & Curry: a marvelous soup, simple, healthy, easy and so delicious! Best of all, it’s made with pantry/common ingredients and takes just minutes to make.

Tomato Zucchini BisqueTomato & Zucchini Bisque: Seriously fast but that doesn’t mean it’s not seriously delish! And the taste? Like the best cream of tomato soup ever…your family will never know what hit them!

Classic Vegetable Soup, Perfected xVegetable Soup, Perfected Classic: my favorite “healthy” soup, this one is filling and delicious. I “stole” a few ideas from Alton Brown. You won’t even notice that there’s no meat!

Chilis & Related

Chipotle Chicken Chili xChipotle White Bean and Chicken Chili: A healthier version, this one is quick & easy. Three different chiles, jalapeno, Chipotle and chile powder make this a chili that’s not for the feint of heart.

creamy-white-chicken-chili-4Creamy White Chicken Chili: Easy and quick, this chili depends on just a handful of ingredients & will win your heart and a place on your table for family or a buffet for a party.

Denver Green Chili7xGreen Chili: This one is done in the Denver style, popular up and down the Colorado Front Range. A click will take you off site where the recipe is on the Ranting Chef’s blog.

Chili xOld-Fashioned “American” Chili: A childhood favorite, this not too “authentic” Chili is just plain good. Simple to make; ground beef, beans, tomatoes, bell pepper and spices.

Posole5 xPozole: A hearty, slow cooked dish of Chile, Hominy & Pork, not so much hot as it is rich & flavorful. Just like Pho, it’s the garnishes that really make the meal. This soup has all the flavors of a tamale.

pozole-de-pavoPozole – Turkey: A Pozole Verde de Pavo, made with leftover Thanksgiving Turkey & broth from the carcass (or a really good chicken stock) is easy & quick! The fun is in the garnishes!


Best chicken or turkey stockBest Chicken or Turkey Broth, Ever: all you need are few scraps and bones, plus a little time for a wonderful chicken or turkey broth. Make your own and freeze for when you need it.

300px-Campbells_cream_of_mushroomCream of Anything Soup: Directions for making just the right amount of a flavorful white sauce to use in any casserole or recipe calling for a canned cream soup. Free yourself from additives & sodium.

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Recipes so Good no-one will know you're Cheap!

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