Some people like sinkers, some people like floaters. Here at Serious Eats, we're equal opportunity matzo-ballers, so we're giving a recipe that lets you choose the matzo balls of your dreams. Best part, it's ridiculously easy.
'Soup' on Serious Eats
There's a version of pasta e fagioli for just about every region, province and household in Italy, from brothy ones packed with vegetables to creamy ones made only with beans and pasta. This one belongs to that latter group, and the secret to its greatness is all in the beans themselves.
Arroz caldo is a hearty Filipino congee made with chicken and rice and seasoned with onion, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce and topped with crunchy fried garlic. The result is a quick, comforting bowl that's a perfect wintertime meal (and rivals chicken soup for its ability to sooth those suffering from a cold).
Shanghai-style Lion's Head meatballs have a name that sounds intimidating, but they couldn't be easier to make. In this recipe, ground pork is mixed with mashed tofu (for tenderness), minced water chestnuts (for crunch), seared until golden, and then simmered in broth with vermicelli noodles, cabbage, and bok choi.
Creamy, rich, and packed with nutty, sharp, tangy, cheesy flavor, this 100% vegan loaded potato soup relies on a few secret ingredients and techniques to satisfy even the hungriest eater. Vegan mushroom bacon bits, broccoli, and scallions load it up.
This easy one-pot polenta and kale soup hails from Italy, but we give it a distinctly Japanese twist: In place of the Parmesan called for in a traditional recipe, we finish ours up with the addition of miso paste, soy sauce, and scallions. It's savory, rich, and 100% vegan.
For such a simple dish, French onion soup should be easy to make great. And yet so many versions taste like a cup of burnt-onion tea with melted cheese trying its best to cover up the flaws. Here's what you need to know to get the best flavor in every steaming bowl.
Colombian-style meatballs are simple to make with the food processor and cook directly in a hot, seasoned broth. They're flavored with a mixture of onion and tomato known as hogao, along with capers. Crisp fried potatoes add texture to the finished soup.
Parsnips are one of my favorite root vegetables. They're intensely sweet and earthy, but on their own they can be a little bland. The key to turning them into a creamy soup with a clean, pure flavor is to reach for some unexpected aromatics that both complement and contrast, like jalapeño, ginger, and coriander seed.
An easy potato-leek soup that takes no shortcuts to deliver the best flavor and texture possible. A touch of buttermilk and potatoes pressed through a ricer are the secret.
There are few things in life more enjoyable than a mound of roasted mushrooms. Whether scarfed down hot or at room temperature, using a fork or a spoon, I can plow through them like nobody's business. The question is, how do you take those same mushrooms, with their intense, savory roasted flavor, and turn them into a rich, comforting soup? The slow cooker sure comes in handy at times like these.
This simple, warming soup is made with sweet roasted sweet potatoes and a splash or orange juice, and topped with a sauce made from crushed pistachios, olive oil, mint, scallions, and orange zest.
Leftover turkey soup incorporates oft-bypassed turkey wings and sautéed carrot, celery, onion and garlic, plus a mix of white and dark meats; aromatics, such as bay leaves, thyme and poultry seasoning; and some surprises, among them a lemon half, leftover white or sparkling wine and invitingly chewy Israeli couscous.
Marcus Samuelsson is downright obliged to love salmon, having grown up on the coast of Sweden. And he has a thing for the flavors of Southeast Asia, choosing the foods of that region to be his desert-island pick, so to speak. In this dish from his new cookbook. Marcus Off Duty, he combines both cuisines into one weird and weirdly wonderful bowl.
On the one hand, this is a cream of broccoli soup—because it's creamy and has broccoli. Yet it has no cream, and the broccoli flavor is deeper, thanks to roasting instead of blanching. A splash of buttermilk adds brightness, while a garnish of spiced roasted pepitas plays off the roasted broccoli flavor.
If you're of the 'judge a chef by his soup' mindset, this vibrant bowlful from Marcus Samuelsson's new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty, should earn him some high points. Bright as the autumn sun and perfect for a cold day, the warm earthiness of the parsnips and vaguely floral sunchokes fills your mouth at first slurp.
This bowl of seafood ramen takes Halloween food to a whole new level, capturing the spirit of the holiday while being legitimately good enough to eat any other day of the year. Darkened with squid ink—not food coloring—and loaded with seared squid, plump mussels, and salmon roe, even Dracula would lay off the blood for a day just to get some of this.
This basic vegetable stock from Sean Brock's cookbook, Heritage, is enticingly aromatic and deeply flavorful. The fennel, in particular, perfumes the broth and gives it distinctive character. The recipe makes slightly less than the 2 quarts indicated.
This easy black eyed pea stew starts with andouille sausage and pork belly cooked until browned and crisped, then gets flavored with the Holy Trinity of Cajun cuisine: onions, celery, and green bell peppers, along with some leeks and garlic for extra flavor. Tender braised kale transform this into a full-on meal, while a shot of apple cider vinegar brightens up all the flavors.
To be frank, I'm not 100% certain where this dish of tender chicken and white beans bound in a creamy, fresh green-chili sauce topped with shredded cheese comes from. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the recipe actually originated on the back of a wrapper from a can chopped green chiles. But our version is better than that. Much, much better. Tender, creamy, spicy, and bright, this is the stuff even a dyed-in-the-wool chile con carne traditionalist will dip their finger into when they think nobody is watching.