24 Quick Soup Recipes for Fast Fall Meals

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[Photographs: Vicky Wasik, Daniel Gritzer]

A hearty, warming bowl of soup is one of the most comforting things you can eat on a chilly day. Some of my favorite wintery soups need to simmer for hours, though, and I'm just too busy for that. Fortunately, we have plenty of recipes that come together in an hour or less for times when you need a satisfying soup and can't wait all day. French onion soup sped up in a pressure cooker, potato and sauerkraut soup two ways, rich cream of mushroom soup that just happens to be vegan, and more—keep reading for 24 quick soup recipes to warm you up in a hurry.

Nonvegetarian Soups

Pressure Cooker Beef Barley Soup

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[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Pressure cookers are your best friend when it comes to making quick soups—here we use one to take our beef and barley soup, which normally takes several hours, and turn into into a recipe that can be finished in 60 minutes. Like the oven version, this soup is packed with tender chuck roast, plump barley, and aromatic vegetables.

Get the recipe for Pressure Cooker Beef Barley Soup »

Pressure Cooker Black Bean Soup With Sausage and Cumin-Lime Sour Cream

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[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This black bean soup also only takes an hour, even though you start with dried beans. We pair the beans with earthy mushrooms and smokey andouille and season with thyme and bay leaf. The deep, mellow soup needs something to balance it out, so we top it with tangy cumin- and lime-spiked sour cream.

Get the recipe for Pressure Cooker Black Bean Soup With Sausage and Cumin-Lime Sour Cream »

30-Minute Pressure Cooker Split Pea and Ham Soup

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

A pressure cooker makes short work of the split peas in this soup flavored with garlic, onion, celery, bay leaves, and ham. Rapidly releasing the pressure brings the soup to a violent boil, which pulverizes the ingredients without the need for a blender (just make sure to clean out the gasket ASAP).

Get the recipe for 30-Minute Pressure Cooker Split Pea and Ham Soup »

Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Using traditional technique, caramelizing onions is a slow, painstaking process. Thirty minutes in the pressure cooker, though, and they taste just as good as if they had been on the stove for hours. Once they're done, it just takes a few more minutes to make them into soup. Our recipe calls for a ton of Gruyère—French onion soup just isn't right without a thick blanket of cheese.

Get the recipe for Pressure Cooker French Onion Soup »

Creamy Cauliflower and Bacon Soup

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Don't worry if you don't have a pressure cooker—the stovetop is all you need for this comforting soup made with cauliflower, bacon, and cream. You shouldn't be alarmed by the dairy breaking as the soup cooks, because blending it all up before serving will bring it back together.

Get the recipe for Creamy Cauliflower and Bacon Soup »

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup With Sausage)

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

If you're looking for a soup with minimal effort, you can't do much better than caldo verde. The Portuguese kale, potato, and sausage soup comes together with just about 10 minutes of prep work, depending on how fast you are with a knife. We make the dish with two kinds of potatoes—Russets fall apart and thicken the soup while Yukon Golds stay chunky.

Get the recipe for Caldo Verde (Portuguese Potato and Kale Soup With Sausage) »

Polish Potato, Kielbasa, and Cabbage Soup (Kapusniak)

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This version of kapusniak, the Polish potato and sauerkraut soup, uses a mix of fresh and fermented cabbage so that the funkiness doesn't get too intense. We pair the two main ingredients with slab bacon, kielbasa, and dill and thicken with a cornstarch slurry.

Get the recipe for Polish Potato, Kielbasa, and Cabbage Soup (Kapusniak) »

Easy Creamy Potato, Leek, and Sauerkraut Soup

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This variation on kapusniak is inspired by a dish Kenji's mom made when he was a kid. The ingredients are basically the same, but we make it creamy by blending everything up. The potatoes, cabbage, and leeks are a bit much for an immersion blender to handle, so I'd break out the countertop model.

Get the recipe for Easy Creamy Potato, Leek, and Sauerkraut Soup »

Easy, Creamy One-Pot Salmon Chowder

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Salmon chowder definitely wasn't a menu fixture when I was growing up in the Midwest, but the New Englanders in the office tell me it's a classic. We make it with salt pork, potatoes, aromatics, and whole milk, plus clam juice for extra seafood flavor. Despite the name, you can make this with whatever boneless, skinless fish you'd like.

Get the recipe for Easy, Creamy One-Pot Salmon Chowder »

Classic Oyster Stew With Fennel

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[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

It's hard for me to do anything with a good oyster but eat it raw, but if I can muster up a little self control I'll make a batch of this briny oyster stew. We make it by cooking the oysters and their liquor with aromatics, milk, and fennel, which adds a lovely anise aroma to the soup.

Get the recipe for Classic Oyster Stew With Fennel »

Sopa de Lima (Yucatán-Style Lime Soup)

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Similar to Tex-Mex tortilla soup, sopa de lima is made with broth, sofrito, poultry (turkey is more traditional than chicken) and lime. It's not made with regular limes, though; it's made with bittersweet limas ágrias. There's virtually no chance you'll find them in the US, so go with a mix of lime and grapefruit juices instead.

Get the recipe for Sopa de Lima (Yucatán-Style Lime Soup) »

Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup)

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Forget chicken noodle soup—when I'm sick what I want is a big bowl of this Filipino chicken congee. The quick soup is flavored with onion, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce, but the star ingredient is the crispy fried garlic—make more than you need, because I promise you're going to want to put it on everything.

Get the recipe for Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken and Rice Soup) »

Vegetarian Soups

Quick and Easy Creamy Mushroom Soup

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Infinitely better than the cream of mushroom soup you get out of a can, this recipe is also a great way to use mushrooms that have been in your fridge just a couple days too long. We brown them deeply in a pan, mix in a little flour, then add a mixture of milk and stock (or water). The flour helps thicken the soup without the need for heavy cream.

Get the recipe for Quick and Easy Creamy Mushroom Soup »

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup With Crispy Shiitake Chips

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Not only can you make a creamy mushroom soup without cream, but you can even do it without any dairy at all. Our vegan cream of mushroom soup takes a page from gazpacho, getting its thick texture from white sandwich bread. Without the overwhelming dairy fat the mushrooms can really shine.

Get the recipe for Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup With Crispy Shiitake Chips »

Quick and Easy Stovetop Butternut Squash Soup

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

To make the absolute best butternut squash soup you need to roast the squash to bring out its intense sweetness. Fortunately, if you're pressed for time, you can still make a delicious version on the stovetop. Start with browned butter for some nutty complexity, cook the squash until tender, and sweeten to taste with sugar to make up for the fact that you didn't caramelize the squash before putting it into the soup.

Get the recipe for Quick and Easy Stovetop Butternut Squash Soup »

Miso-Squash Soup With Sesame-Ginger Apples

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[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Rather than try to bring out the sweetness of squash by roasting it or adding sugar, in this Japanese-inspired recipe we simmer the squash in dashi broth to play up its nutty, earthy side. Mixing in a couple tablespoons of miso reinforces the squash's savoriness, while a topping made with diced apples gives the soup just enough sweetness.

Get the recipe for Miso-Squash Soup With Sesame-Ginger Apples »

Mexican Butternut Squash Soup With Ancho Chili, Crema, and Pepitas

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[Photograph: Daniel Gritzer]

This quick butternut squash soup gets a Mexican twist from dried ancho chilies. We toast the chiles in a dry skillet, then sauté them in a pot with onion, carrot, and garlic before adding the stock. To keep the Mexican theme going, garnish the soup with pepitas and crema.

Get the recipe for Mexican Butternut Squash Soup With Ancho Chili, Crema, and Pepitas »

Creamy Spiced Parsnip Soup

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[Photograph: Daniel Gritzer]

We're fans of sweet, earthy of parsnips, but we also recognize that they can be a little bland. To keep this soup from being boring we add some unexpected aromatics: jalapeño, ginger, and coriander seed. If you don't care about the dish being vegan, serve it with a dollop of allspice-scented whipped cream.

Get the recipe for Creamy Spiced Parsnip Soup »

Spicy Carrot and Ginger Soup With Harissa

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

This creamy carrot and ginger soup gets its heat from harissa, the North African pepper paste. We emphasize the North African flavor profile with cumin and coriander seed and use a variety of aromatics to give the soup depth. Garnishing with a mixture of toasted pine nuts, parsley, and lemon zest adds textural contrast.

Get the recipe for Spicy Carrot and Ginger Soup With Harissa »

Broccoli Cheese Soup

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Broccoli cheese soup is basically just an excuse to eat nacho cheese with a spoon, but that doesn't mean that the broccoli should be a total afterthought. Our recipe showcases the vegetable—we char the florets and simmer the stems to build up layers of flavor. We still add tons of cheese, of course, plus potatoes to make the soup even gooier.

Get the recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup »

Creamy Roasted-Broccoli Soup With Buttermilk and Spiced Pepitas

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[Photograph: Daniel Gritzer]

Want a creamy broccoli soup that isn't quite so heavy? This recipe uses buttermilk rather than cream, which is lighter and adds a pleasant tang. We roast the broccoli, which gives the soup more depth than if you just blanched it. Spiced pepitas make for a delightfully crunchy garnish—if you want a shortcut you can season them with store-bought curry powder rather than a homemade spice blend.

Get the recipe for Creamy Roasted-Broccoli Soup With Buttermilk and Spiced Pepitas »

Rustic Miso Soup With Tofu and Seaweed

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[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

It takes less than half an hour to make a homemade version of the miso soup you'll often find at sushi bars. For the best flavor ditch the powdered dashi and make the broth from scratch with kombu and bonito shavings. The recipe calls for both light and dark miso—use the hearty hatcho variety in place of dark miso to make an unusually intense soup.

Get the recipe for Rustic Miso Soup With Tofu and Seaweed »

Vegan Peanut, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup With Coconut

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Our take on the West African groundnut soup maafe is made with peanuts, kale, and sweet potatoes. Coconut milk is a traditional ingredient in maafe, but since we associate it more with Thai cooking, we were inspired to add ginger and cilantro into the mix. Serve the soup with rice for a filling vegan dinner.

Get the recipe for Vegan Peanut, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup With Coconut »

Hearty Vegan Polenta and Kale Soup With Miso and Toasted Sesame Oil

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Keeping with the cultural fusion, we make this Italian soup vegan by replacing the traditional Parmesan with white miso and soy sauce. It might sound weird, but miso adds a savory quality to the soup in much the same way the cheese would. Since we've already thrown tradition out the window, finish the soup with a drizzle of sesame oil and a sprinkling of scallions.

Get the recipe for Hearty Vegan Polenta and Kale Soup With Miso and Toasted Sesame Oil »