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.
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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.
Far less popular than creamy New England clam chowder, Rhode Island's dairy-free version deserves a lot more attention. The rich broth is brightened with white wine and loaded with the flavor of clams, chunks of tender potato, and bits of smoky bacon. It may be my new go-to chowder.
Borrowing from the Mexican pantry, this easy, warming soup is made with roasted butternut squash, flavored with ancho chilies, and garnished with Mexican crema, cilantro, and pepitas. If butternut squash soup and chili had a lovechild, this might be it.
Making real-deal ramen is a lengthy project that requires planning in advance. But there are days when you just want a delicious bowl of it, without the fuss. This easy Korean-style kimchi ramen is for those times. It's loaded with flavor, but takes less than an hour to throw together, thanks to several umami-rich ingredients and a cool baking-soda trick that turns angel-hair pasta into ramen-like noodles.
Cauliflower gets a flavor-packed, smoky jolt from bacon in this creamy, comforting soup. It's simple to make and reheats beautifully.
An easy lentil soup is packed with flavor thanks to a dual-use mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest that gets added both before and after cooking.
Rich chicken tortilla soup, made from slow-simmered chicken thighs, joins quintessential toppings—avocado, red onion, sour cream, cilantro, cheese, tortillas, limes and hot sauce—in this simple, sustaining slow-cooker meal. The broth gets both depth and brightness from chili powder, smoky chipotles, fire-roasted tomatoes, cumin, and a couple of secret ingredients: unsweetened cocoa powder and apple cider vinegar.