Get Out Your Sweaters. It's Soup Season.

A fall chill ushers in brothy dinners

If this time of year finds you like us, a little torn — missing tomatoes but happily roasting our first winter squash — then let's just agree to slurp it up and admit the arrival of soup season. This week's recipe bundle offers a super-fast vegetable-driven miso meal, an equally easy fish soup, and the be-well chicken noodle standard. Yes, that one is a bit of a project so check out the headnote for a couple of possible workarounds. The common thread: all are based on water. Because we're guessing that also like us, you haven't quite wrapped your sweater around making stock yet.


Chop-and-Drop Miso Soup

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

A true clean-out-the fridge soup that makes the case for always keeping at least one tub of miso in the fridge. (Have you tried chickpea miso, yet? Please do if you see it. The difference between corny tasting garbanzos and slightly grassy soybeans is subtle but noticeable.) The idea is to get a pot of water on the stove to boil, then put a cutting board nearby. Working with the food that takes the longest to cook, start chopping and dropping. For lunch the other day, there were some lovely striped summer squash lollygagging in the produce bin with a couple of sort-of-shriveled cayenne peppers and a red onion. More rummaging turned up an almost empty jar of fresh ginger. You get the idea. Instead of the tofu at the end, you could crack in an egg, add a spoonful of cooked beans or grains, or stir in a little simply cooked meat. 

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, leek, or shallot

  • Pickled or fresh ginger to taste

  • 1 1/2 pounds summer squash (or any other vegetables really)

  • Fresh red chiles to taste (or not at all)

  • 1 1/2 pounds silken tofu (or other additions as you like; see the headnote)

  • 1/2 cup miso (any kind)

  • 1 tablespoon sauce, plus more for serving

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

1. Put 6 cups of water in a large pot over high heat. While you wait for the water to boil, chop the onion and put it in the pot. Ditto the ginger (if using fresh, peel it first). Trim and chop the summer squash into bite-size pieces and add it to the pot. If you're using chiles, chop and add them, too.

2. When the water boils, adjust the heat so the soup bubbles steadily and cover. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are as tender as you like them, 5 to 15 minutes. In a small bowl whisk the miso with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1/2 cup water until smooth slurry forms.

3. Scoop big spoonfuls of the tofu into the soup. Cover the pot again until the liquid returns to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the miso slurry. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve, passing more soy sauce at the table.

—Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, 10th Anniversary Edition


Lightning Quick Fish Soup

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes

The bright flavor and sunset color make this a perfect light dinner with a salad and an excellent loaf of bread. You can make it heartier by adding vegetables (like cubes of potatoes or butternut squash) or cooked rice or pasta. If you have homemade fish, chicken, or vegetable stock handy to use instead of water—by all means. But don't waste your money on anything out of cartons or cans.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (or use 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juice)

  • Pinch saffron, optional

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 1/2 pounds any white fish, cut into small chunks (or fish mixed with some seafood like clams, crab, shrimp, or scallops)

  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

GET THE RECIPE


Chicken Soup with Egg Noodles

Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: about 4 hours

The ultimate from-scratch recipe for the ultimate "be well soup." It takes so long to make, you or your loved will probably be feeling better by the time it's ready—or maybe that's because the whole house smells amazing for hours. We encourage you to go all out at least once this season but here are a couple of shortcuts. Following Steps 1 through 4 will get you about 2 quarts of warming, deeply amber chicken stock, and at least 4 servings of perfectly cooked meat for salad, sandwiches, or bowls. Or keep the soup concept, substitute a pound of store-bought pasta for the homemade egg noodles, and pick up the recipe at Step 8.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds)

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 pound chicken wings

  • 2 onions, 1 cut in half and 1 chopped

  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated (don’t bother to peel)

  • 4 large celery stalks, 2 whole and 2 chopped, leaves reserved for garnish

  • 3 large carrots, 1 whole and 2 chopped

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 6 fresh parsley sprigs

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or water

  • 2 cups flour, or more as needed

  • 2 whole eggs, plus 3 egg yolks

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish

GET THE RECIPE


Bulked Up "Boiled Water"

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes

Back when apps were a thing, Mark's classic "Boiled Water" got the most thumbs up by far. The surprisingly satisfying soup remains a perennial favorite with his online community. Here's the recipe and variations again, updated with a list of some ideas for turning it into a meal.

Ingredients

  • 6 to 10 cloves garlic, lightly crushed

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 pound French or Italian bread (slightly stale bread is fine), cut into thick slices

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving

  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

GET THE RECIPE