Our executive editor Joanna Sciarrino likes to call me “Soup Queen” because I eat soup for lunch every day. Better than Soup Sovereign or Soup Goblin or Soup, well, you know.
I make a big batch on the weekend, then freeze it in quart and pint containers, which I bring in to the office, and eat throughout the week. Most of the time, it’s a pureed vegetable number. Other times, it’s brothy and chunky—like chicken with vegetables or, best of all, Joanne Chang’s Hot & Sour.
But if we’re being honest, there are plenty of weeks when I don’t want to spend my Sunday making soup. (Recipe developers are humans, too!) Which means I end up at the nearby Whole Foods, where I hack the soup bar.
Is it against the rules? No. Does it make me feel rebellious? Yes. Does this say a lot about me? Yes.
Here’s the hack: At the soup bar, you can get different-size containers, each of which is a different price. But the soups themselves are not a different price. So, a pint of beef chili and a pint of cream of mushroom and a pint of minestrone all cost the same. That’s why I combine them.
Maybe it’s a thick soup with something brothier to thin it out. Or a meaty soup with something vegetable-dense for harmony. Or maybe it’s more than two! That’s too rebellious for me, but you? You could do anything. Whatever the combination, I love the way this trick makes takeout soup interactive and creative and pretty much impossible to become repetitive.
Here are some of the combinations on my must-try list, but mix and match however you want. The hack is yours now.
Chicken Tortilla + Ten Vegetable
Lentil + Ten Vegetable
Lentil + Chicken Vegetable
Beef Chili + Butternut Squash
Lobster Bisque + Butternut Squash
White Bean Kale + Minestrone
Gumbo + Minestrone
New England Clam Chowder + Creamy Mushroom
What soup flavors would you team up to form a super soup? Tell us in the comments!
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.