Image of three soups

A piping hot bowl of flavorful soup can fill your body and soul with happiness, if it’s made well that is. Now, we know what you’re probably thinking: ‘I have cans of Campbell’s in my cupboard, isn’t that good enough?!’ Well, no, it’s not, and good news for you, we’ve rounded up some easy and delicious recipes from foodlife that will take your soup skills up five notches.

We chatted with Chef John Chiakulas who gave some tips and tricks on crafting the perfect soup.

closeup of soups and grilled cheese

What are some key ingredients that go into making a good soup?
The three basic ingredients are carrots, celery and onions. They are universal staples in most soups. Sauté the onions first to a light, golden color.

Are there any important tricks that readers will want to know to ensure their soup is flawless?
Don’t cook the soup too much as it will eventually boil away the flavor. Be sure to keep it covered the whole time, otherwise the steam will release and that’s where all the love and flavor is!

If the soup is cream based, be sure to add the cream at the end. This way, it will hold better.

Image of soup, grilled cheese and tomatoes

For the full recipe of the Tomato Bisque Soup, click here.

When making a barley, lentil or pasta soup, undercook it, because as you boil the soup, the grain will keep getting softer.Image of bean soup with bread

For the full recipe of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, click here.

Make homemade stock a day before or hours in advance, since it’s important to let the stock ‘rest’ and be strained before the actual soup is being made.

What about a more classic chicken soup?
If you are making chicken soup, you can leave a tiny bit of chicken fat for extra flavor. Make sure to triple clean the meat to ensure that there are no bones, skin or large amounts of fat.

soup with kale and chicken

For the full recipe for the Chicken and Kale Soup, click here.

Sounds easy enough. Anything else?
Always use a pot that is oversized vs. undersized. And remember, soup should be comforting and filled with flavors that you know and love.

So there you have it! A steaming pot of soup is just what everyone needs on a winter day, so whip one up and enjoy!