It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

At last, soup season is upon us! 

Unfortunately, making soups from scratch has a reputation for being time-intensive, and more ambitious recipes may be difficult to replicate with the limited ingredients and technologies available to college students such as ourselves. But have no fear: the following recipes require few ingredients, limited appliances, and not much effort. What are you waiting for? Go forth and make soup!

  1. Butternut squash soup

One of the things I’m missing most about home at the moment is my mom’s butternut squash soup. Although her recipe can’t be beaten, here’s an easy dupe that calls for fewer ingredients and far less time. 

Adapted Recipe

  • ½ Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 butternut squash peeled and diced into cubes
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tsp. salt
  • optional: sage, ginger, black pepper, rosemary, and/or parsley 

In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add diced squash and broth, bringing to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once softened, pour the contents into a blender and add salt. Blend until smooth. 

  1. Tomato soup

Could you just buy a can of tomato soup for, like, 1.29 at some grocery store? Yes. Does it taste about the same as homemade tomato soup? Probably. Is it much easier? Definitely. Cheaper? Yuh. But does it give you the same satisfaction as making soup from scratch? Probably not. And soup, my friend, is all about satisfaction. The soupisfaction.

Adapted Recipe

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 diced yellow onions
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 56 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Add butter to a heavy pot over medium heat and add chopped onions, sautéing for 10 to 12 minutes until softened and golden. Add minced garlic and sauté for one minute. Add crushed tomatoes, stock, basil, sugar, and black pepper. Stir together and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, partially cover with lid, and simmer for 10 minutes. If you prefer a smoother soup, blend the contents in batches until smooth, then return to the pot over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and return to a simmer. Season to taste.

  1. Simple Tom Kha Gai 

Best. Soup. Ever. The thought of hot Tom Kha entering my body is the only thing giving me the motivation to finish this article right now. Liquid gold. I would do anything for some Tom. 

Authentic Tom Kha is definitely better than this abridged version, so I’d definitely try some if you get the chance, but what can I say—I’m a simple gal and this is a simple recipe. (I’m also a first-year college student so my options are very limited.)

Adapted Recipe

  • 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk 
  • 1 can (14 oz.) chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 6 quarter-size slices fresh ginger 
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped 
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms 
  • 1 tbsp lime juice  
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 1 tsp thai chili paste 
  • Optional: ¼ cup basil; ¼ cup cilantro

In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lemongrass and bring to boil over high heat. Add mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili paste. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Discard lemongrass. Garnish with basil and cilantro. 

  1. West African Peanut Soup 

So yum! So warm! So peanut! So soup! Not only is this dish delicious, but it’s also souper versatile—either serve as a soup or add to rice or another grain as a side dish or entree. 

Adapted Recipe

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or kale), ribs removed and leaves chopped
  • ¾ cup unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • Hot sauce, like sriracha, to taste
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped peanuts
  • Optional: cooked brown rice to serve

Combine the broth and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. In a heat-safe mixing bowl, combine peanut butter and tomato paste, then transfer 1 to 2 cups of the hot stock to the bowl. Whisk the mixture together until smooth, then pour the peanut mixture back into the soup and mix well. Stir in the collard greens and add hot sauce and salt to taste. Simmer for 15 more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often. Optional: serve overcooked brown rice if you’d like, and top with peanuts.

  1. Easy French Onion Soup

Ooh la la! C’est one of my favorite soups! It makes me feel like a lil’ french lady sitting in a lil’ cafe in autumn with her lil’ french dog, Jaques. Relatively simple to make and delicious, french onion soup is un triomphe! 

  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  •   32 oz beef broth (can sub vegetable broth but beef is preferred)
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • salt to taste 
  •   4 slices thick crusty bread, toasted 
  • 4 slices provolone or gruyere cheese 

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onions, pepper, and garlic powder, and sauté for seven to eight minutes. Add beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and salt to taste; bring to a simmer and cover for at least 10 minutes. Just before serving, ladle soup into individual bowls. Top each with a slice of toasted bread and a slice of cheese. Place under broiler until cheese melts and is slightly golden. Invite me over and give me some.

  1. Classic Gazpacho

A cold soup?! In fall!?? Okay, yes, I understand this is a bit unorthodox, but, man oh man, gazpacho is deeply underrated. It’s fresh, fun, versatile, and soup, for that matter! What more could you ask for? Because it’s a cool soup, all you need in terms of appliances is a blender. (I have a mini-nutribullet so hmu for all your soup-blending needs.)

Adapted Recipe

  • 1 small cucumber
  • 2½ lbs tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • optional: cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs, for garnish

Peel and chop the cucumber cut into chunks, and transfer to a blender with the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Season to taste and chill for at least two hours.

  1. Easy Hot and Sour Soup

I like my soup like I like my romantic interests: hot and sour. That was a lie. Ignore that. This is a great soup! So yum!

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups water
  • 8 oz. soft tofu, chopped
  • 6 oz. white button mushroom, stems trimmed 
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider or red wine vinegar
  • white or black pepper
  • optional: 1 egg, beaten; 1 tsp chili oil; chopped scallions

Stir the cornstarch and water together and set aside. Add the broth and water to a pot on medium heat, bringing to a boil. Add the tofu and mushrooms, cooking for two minutes, then stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, and black pepper. Add in the cornstarch mixture, stirring continuously. Optional: turn off the heat and swirl the beaten eggs into the soup. Add the chili oil and chopped scallions. 

  1. Miso Soup

Miso soup is ridiculously easy for how good it is. This recipe only has six ingredients and takes about 15 minutes to make. Be sure to invite me over for a taste test (a crucial step). 

Adapted Recipe

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 sheet nori, cut into small rectangle 
  • 3-4 tbsp white or yellow miso paste 
  • 1/2 cup chopped green chard 
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup firm or silken tofu, cubed

Place vegetable broth in a pot and simmer. While simmering, place miso into a small bowl and whisk with some hot water until smooth. Set aside. To the broth add chard, green onion, and tofu and cook for five minutes. Then add nori and stir. Remove from heat and stir in the miso mixture.

  1. Simple Pumpkin Soup

What’s the only thing more autumnal than soup? Pumpkins! This recipe will have you saying, “Wow! Fall!” Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself!

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 15 oz cans pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until caramelized (about 15 minutes). Add the garlic, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and stir, then mix in ¼ of the stock. Add the remaining chicken broth, water, and pumpkin puree and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and simmer the soup for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a blender (or use an immersion blender). Stir in the heavy cream and serve.

  1. Cream of Mushroom

You know those cans of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup? Yeah. I don’t have much else to add on that note but I just wanted to segway into the fun fact that qualifies me for writing extensively about soup: my middle name is Campbell! Campbell, as in the very famous soup brand! Yeah, I can’t believe it either. Life is so crazy.

Adapted Recipe

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 24-32 oz. chicken or vegetable broth

In a saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat; sauté mushrooms and onion until tender. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, pepper, and half of the broth until smooth. Combine into mushroom mixture, and stir in remaining broth. Bring to a boil and stir for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat and mix in the cream. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

soup!!! via Flickr