As the January chill takes over, the first month of the year celebrates National Soup Month. Which soups awaken the taste buds best?
With the deep freeze hitting so many people, it makes sense that January is National Soup Month. From the bone chilling wind chills to the inches of snow, cold weather and soup go hand in hand. It makes sense that more people eat soup during National Soup Month.
From matza ball soup to Grandma’s chicken and noodle, everyone has a favorite soup. Sometimes, a particular soup brings back a favorite family memory or make it just makes a chilly day feel a little more comforting.
According to history, the first references to soup can be dated back to 6000 BC. Apparently, hippopotamus soup was made from lentils, spices and hippo meat. While this soup seems highly unlikely in today’s diet, the general idea of the type of soup is still common. Combining protein, vegetables and liquid into an easy to eat meal is the basis of many soups.
Beyond the comforting nature of soup, some people find soup as a way to improve their health choices. Soup can be a great way to increase vegetables in a meal. From a chunky vegetable soup to a pureed butternut squash soup, the bowl can be filled with vitamins, antioxidants and other goodness.
In honor of National Soup Month, FoodSided has compiled seven soups that can awaken the taste buds. From a hearty, hangover soup to a classic French Onion, these soups might make you want to enjoy a bowl every night of the week.
National Soup Month: 7 Soups that everyone loves to eat, Hangover Soup from River Roast, Chicago, photo provided by Page One Public Relations
Many of us have been there. A big celebration the night before, one too many glasses of wine at dinner, or one more celebratory winning game beer can all cause a little difficulty the next day. Whether it is a hangover or just a bad day, hangover soup can be a great way to make the day a little better.
River Roast in Chicago makes a delicious hangover soup. The hearty, rich soup is the cure-all to an over-indulgent night or just a bone-chilling day. River Roast’s Hangover Soup features “pork shoulder, dried chili and hominy.” The spicy chili is robust but not overwhelming. With richness from the pork shoulder, the soup is quite filling.
If you’re not in Chicago to enjoy the River Roast Hangover Soup, you can try to make a version of at home. While there are many Hangover Soup recipes, a great one is from Guy Fieri and Food Network. The recipe is full of pork. From pork shoulder to sausage, it is very hearty. Also, the recipe has a large amount of acid and brightness to balance the heavy pork flavors.
With this type of hearty soup, don’t forget a good piece of crusty bread. The bread can soak up all the soup that your spoon can’t reach at the bottom of the bowl.
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
French Onion soup
It could be the gooey, melted cheese or the buttery croutons. French Onion soup is extremely satisfying. This classic French cuisine starter is a favorite during cold, winter months, like January’s National Soup Month.
French Onion soup is a combination of caramelized onions and beef broth. The rich, luscious soup is topped with croutons and cheese. The cheese is melted over the top. Each bite is a combination of cheese, bread and onion filled soup.
The idea of onion soup is present in many cultures. Onions are considered a very plentiful, and flavorful, vegetable. Creating a soup made of the plentiful food was easy and cost effective for many people.
While the soup has been around for ages, French Onion soup became more popular in America during the 1960s. As Americans discovered French cuisine, the popular starter quickly became a favorite. While the decadent restaurant versions are visually stunning, home versions are relatively easy to make.
One recipe by Chef Tyler Florence from the Food Network, takes about an hour to prepare and is quite easy. Basically, the home cook caramelizes the onion in a stock pot. Adding wine, beef broth and spices to the onions creates the depth of flavor. As the soup simmers, the flavor develops and richens.
When that winter chill hits, a bowl of French Onion soup is satisfying and comforting. Don’t let National Soup Month pass without at least one bowl of it.
Favorite soups, Butternut squash soup, photo by Cristine Struble
Butternut Squash soup
Butternut squash is a favorite fall/winter vegetable. While some people may not like the texture of roasted butternut squash, the sweet and savory butternut squash soup is a popular National Soup Month soup.
Considered a pureed soup, this creamy, heavier soup can be quite hearty. The bright, orange-yellow color can be a punch of color on a cold, dreary day. Whether served with a crusty bread, crispy croutons or even some pepitas, this soup can be a quite filling meal.
Layering flavors in this soup is key to its success. From roasting butternut squash to fresh herbs, the combination of flavors can make a huge difference in taste. Even finishing the soup with a spoonful of crème fraiche can enhance the flavor balance.
To make butternut squash soup, a few kitchen gadgets can be helpful. A professional grade blender, like Blendtec or Vitamix, has a soup setting. After roasting the butternut squash or cooking it with stock, simply blend everything together in the blender.
If you don’t have one of these blenders, an immersion blender, like Cuisinart’s immersion blender, can puree the ingredients in the stock pot itself. Using an immersion blender is easy and clean-up is limited to just a single pan.
Or, if you don’t want to make soup from scratch, many brands have delicious ready-made options. Winter should come and go without at least one bowl of butternut squash soup.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
From Andy Warhol’s iconic silk screen prints to the kid-friendly soup served with grilled cheese, tomato soup is a favorite with almost everyone. The classic soup is basic, yet can be flavorful. With a steaming, bright red bowl of soup waiting at the table, who could resist it?
Since tomato soup and grilled cheese are a classic combination, on big question is to dip or not to dip. Growing up, dipping a grilled cheese sandwich in that bowl of tomato soup was a favorite meal time experience. Often parents would prefer that a child not play with her food. But, dipping the gooey, melted grilled cheese into the soup bowl was allowed.
The flavor combination of cheese and tomato seems to work well. The acidity of the tomatoes cuts through the fattiness of the cheese. Also, the toasted bread soaks up all the tomato soup. Who needs a spoon when the sandwich does all the work?
As people’s flavor preferences change, the mild tomato soup transforms into a heartier tomato basil or even tomato bisque. Chunks of tomato, bright herbs and other ingredients can make this particular soup more grown up.
Still, an old fashion bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich can make anyone feel like a kid again.
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Chicken Noodle Soup
Who hasn’t had a bowl of chicken noodle soup when she is sick? So many people believe in the healing powers of the old-fashioned chicken noodle soup. There is always something comforting in that ageless bowl of soup.
Chicken noodle soup comes in many varieties. Many people grew up with a basic canned version. Whether a condensed soup or ready to serve variety, chicken noodle soup was the go-to meal when you had a cold. Maybe it was slurping the noodles or the tiny pieces of chicken, but something makes chicken soup the ultimate elixir.
Over the years, chicken noodle soup has tried to evolve. From bigger chunks of chicken to organic vegetables, some changes are welcome. Everything has to change at some point. But, the key to any good chicken noodle soup is the broth.
Making a good homemade broth takes time. The process isn’t overly difficult, but it can’t be rushed. The depth of flavor needs to be developed and nurtured. Everyone can taste the difference in a delicious, homemade broth.
Still, if you don’t have time or patience to make your own broth, store bought varieties have come a long way. Even adding a few fresh herbs or bold spices to the store bought broth can boost the flavor. A little experimentation can help to determine the flavors and combinations that you like best.
At the first sign of a cold, don’t run to the cold and flu aisle for relief. Warm up a bowl of classic chicken noodle soup. The grandma elixir always seems to make a difference.
Favorite soups, Minestrone soup, photo by Cristine Struble
Mom always said to eat your vegetables. What better way to enjoy seasonal vegetables than with a bowl of minestrone soup. The hearty Italian soup is full of all types of vegetables.
Going back centuries, minestrone soup can be found throughout Italy. While there isn’t an exact original recipe for minestrone soup, the basic recipe includes a variety of vegetables. Usually, the soup includes whatever vegetables are in season.
Actually, the word minestrone means thick vegetable soup. Over the years, the soup has changed. Many versions include pasta or rice. Some versions include beans, usually Italian borlitti beans.
Minestrone soup is a great way to explore season vegetables. Since the original versions used whatever was available, the same approach can be applied today. From winter root vegetables to summer squash, even a few different ingredients could elevate the traditional soup. Plus, the changes could be a great way to explore new tastes, flavors and ingredients.
(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the New York Culinary Experience)
For the past couple of years, ramen soup has seen a rise in popularity. The Japanese soup has become a trendy way to get slurping. From the quick and easy Cup Noodle or Top Ramen to elevated restaurant versions, ramen has totally taken over.
Two ingredients ramen soup ingredients are key to its success. The biggest one is the broth. Various broths like, chicken, beef or vegetable broth can be used. The broth is paramount to a delish ramen soup. Flavors of soy and miso are predominate in the soup. While broth itself is clear, the flavor is quite robust.
The second most important part of ramen soup is the noodle. While every noodle is different, the best noodles don’t break apart in the rich ramen broth. The long, noodles are best slurped. Ramen is definitely a soup where slurping is allowed.
Ramen has many different varieties depending on regions. Each area has particular ingredients, spice and flavors. Truthfully, no two ramens are the same. Even the traditional varieties can have differences.
While many restaurants have elevated ramen into a food trend, Top Ramen and Cup Noodles are still widely popular. The quick and easy versions are popular with all ages. Who would have guessed that the original Top Ramen recipe would still be a favorite after all these years?
These seven soups are some that FoodSided loves to eat during National Soup Month. Do you have a favorite soup? Share your thoughts with us below or tag us on social media with #FoodSided.