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 was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.