Don’t you just love soup? I realize some people may say they don’t like soup but how can they really know? There are thousands of ways to make soup, have they tried them all? These are the questions I ask my non-soup loving family members. Homemade soup is so very versatile and while many people follow a recipe, I’m going to show you how to make soup without a recipe.
Soup connects us with previous generations. Almost every culture has some form of soup – some are thin, some are thick, some have beans, some have meat, some are hot, and some are cold. In years past soup was a way of stretching what you had so you could feed your entire family.
My husband has a friend who is from Netherlands. He once told me that growing up, every dinner was started with soup. The soup was basically a broth, not chunky like American soups are, and was used to fill up some before the meat was served. I’ve often wondered how that would go over in my family. It would certainly make for longer time spent around the table together, which is always a good thing.
Ingredients for making soup from scratch
The first thing to realize is that truly there are no “rules” for making soup. We live in an amazing culture of abundance but I think that our abundance actually limits us sometimes. There are so many amazing recipes available but don’t let that limit your creativity of using what you have.
The same goes for kitchen equipment. Use what you already have. For the vast majority of history soup has been made in a pot over a fire. If your kitchen supplies are limited to a pot and a stovetop, that will work just fine. I usually make my soups in a pot on the stove. Sometimes I use the crock pot. I know Instapots are all the rage and if you have one that’s great but if you don’t have one, don’t think you can’t make good soup.
The stock for homemade soup
By stock, I really just mean liquid. The liquid can be chicken or beef broth but it could also be lamb, fish, or pork broth. Vegetable broth is another great option, as is what I call tomato water.
If you want a creamy soup, milk or cream can be used as the liquid. I personally believe that most soups taste better when there’s a combination of stocks used.
Meat for homemade soup
One of the great things about soup is that is stretches the meat in a meal. So while I may need two pounds of meat to feed my family meatloaf muffins, I can get away with only putting one pound in a pot of soup.
Beef, venison, chicken, ham, and sausage are commonly used in soups. But fish, lamb, and goat can also be used. This is where using what you have and what’s available comes in handy. If I have venison we’ll be eating mostly venison and vegetable stew. If we don’t have any venison and I need to buy meat, we’ll use chicken or sausage for soup and save our beef things like hamburgers.
Vegetables for homemade soup
Whatever you have in your garden can go into soups. I love putting onions and garlic in pretty much every pot of soup. Carrots also make a regular appearance in our soups – even soups like chicken and dumplings that don’t normally have carrots.
Potatoes and corn add a starch component. For greens you can use green beans, kale, spinach, moringa, or cabbage. You can also use zucchini and yellow squash. I dehydrate these each summer to use in soups during the winter.
I like to dehydrate vegetables like summer squash, moringa, and kale when our garden is overflowing with it and use it in winter soups. It’s super convenient, just add the dehydrated veggies to the broth and simmer until they’re soft.
There are several ways of making a creamy homemade soup and I use them all depending on what I have on hand and what I feel like doing.
One way is to just add milk and a block of cream cheese to the soup. I do this with potato soup.
Another way to make creamy homemade soup is to make a rue and white sauce and use that as the base for the soup.
To thicken homemade soup
You can use flour, cornstarch or arrowroot to thicken homemade soup. I like to mix a couple of tablespoons of the flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot with some water, milk, or broth (that’s not hot) first and then add that to the hot soup. This helps keep the soup from getting lumps. You’ll probably need to heat the soup up a little more for it to start to thicken.
Since I usually grind our flour it’s a little course to use as a thickener and it’s hard to find non-gmo cornstarch, so I usually use arrowroot to thicken our soup.
Spices for homemade soup
What spices you choose for your soup will depend somewhat is in your soup. Here are some of my favorite spices to use in homemade soup.
What to Serve with Homemade Soup
While you can serve a bowl of soup all by itself, it’s also nice to have something to go with it. Depending on the soup, you might want biscuits, cornbread, or sourdough bread. We also like something crunchy with our soup sometimes, that means corn chips, saltines, or oyster crackers. I also like to serve a salad or fruit with our soup.
Homemade Soup Recipes
The process of making homemade soup isn’t complicated but if you’ve never made it before all the possibilities can be overwhelming. So, I’ve asked a few friends for their favorite soup recipes to share with you. There’s a lot so I’ve categorized them for you.
Homemade Poultry Soup Recipes
Homemade Chicken Soup
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Noodle Soup with Turmeric
Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
How to Make Chicken Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken Corn Chowder
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Mom’s Chicken Gumbo
Chicken Soup Avgolemono
Turkey Chili with Sweet Potatos
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Homemade Beef Soup Recipes
Canned Beef (or venison) Stew
Oxtail Soup with Parmesan Herbed Dumplings
Pumpkin Chili – three ways
Paleo Whole30 Chili
Whole30 Creamy Taco Soup
Old Fashioned Goulash Soup
Miso Chashu Ramen
Beef and Brussels Sprouts Soup
Homemade Sausage Soup Recipes
Homemade Creamy Soup Recipes
Homemade Vegan Soup Recipes
Hardy Lentil Soup
Dairy Free Vegan Corn Chowder
Mushroom Barely Soup
Butternut Sweet Potato Soup
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
Red Lentil Soup
Healing Carrot Tumeric Soup
Creamy Vegan Artichoke Soup
Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup
Quinoa Vegetable Soup
Black Bean Soup
Red Curry Soup with Lentils
Butternut Squash Pumpkin Soup
Homemade Vegetable Soup Recipes
Pea Pod Soup
Spicy Carrot Sunflower Soup
Potato Cabbage Soup
Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup with Bacon
Kale and Sweet Potato Soup
Tomato Soup and Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Vegetarian Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
Get Well Soup (with garlic and onion)
Sweet Potato Chestnut Soup
Roasted Butternut Squash Ginger Pear Soup
White Kidney Bean and Spinach Soup
Detox Broccoli Soup
Leftover Vegetable Soup
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
How to make Congee in an Instapot
Thai Green Curry Rice Soup
Scottish Red Lentil and Barley Soup
Crockpot Pumpkin Soup
Traditional Trinidad Corn Soup
Italian Chickpea Soup
Potato Corn Chowder
Cheese Cauliflower Potato Soup
Potato Leek Soup
Ultimate Borscht Recipe
Homemade Fish and Pork Soup Recipes
Do you make homemade soup? Feel free to share the recipe or process in the comments.