Top 5 Hearty Soups
What’s more comforting than a big pot of soup to share with family or friends? You can even make extra to freeze for quick meals in future months. One of the great things about soup recipes is they needn’t be too precise, they’re a great way to use up what’s on hand, so feel free to add your own touch to these five favourites.
Gerstensuppe (Swiss Barley Soup)
I first tasted this soup at a travellers’ hostel on a high Alpine pass in Switzerland and it’s become a firm favourite. There’s a bit of chopping involved, though Walma’s in Melbourne where I get the meats will pre-dice it for you and mail order. Ideally soak the barley overnight, otherwise simmer for 30 minutes before using.
Chicken Minestrone (Minestrone di Pollo)
Minestra is the Italian word for soup and minestrone means ‘big soup’, as it contains lots of Ingredients. Most recipes include pasta or beans – I like both with the beans partially crushed to help thicken the soup. While it’s often vegetarian, I love this version with chicken, but keep it pure if you prefer.
La Ribollita (Tuscan Bread & Bean Soup)
I love the colours in this hearty Tuscan soup which, like so many, was created to use up leftovers … the name literally means ‘reboiled’. Cavolo nero, beans and bread are essential, the rest is up to you though I really love the Savoy cabbage and potato too – and a very generous drizzle of good olive oil to finish.
French Onion Soup (Soupe à l’Oignon)
Sweet braised onions, crusty bread, melted cheese … this French classic has comfort food written all over it. Traditionally based on beef stock, it can also be made with chicken stock or even vegetarian. A good melting cheese like Swiss Gruyère or French Comté is key.
Pasta & Beans (Pasta e Fagioli)
Also known as pasta fazool this popular Italian dish can be more of a soup or more of a pasta, depending on your preference. Add more or less chilli and garlic (or none) and vary the beans (cannellini, borlotti, chickpeas or a mixture) and pasta shapes depending on what you have on hand. And it keeps for days in the fridge so make a big pot.