More Soup for You

December  4, 2013

Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

Today: Soup is so hot right now. Here's how to make it on the cheap, all week long.

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I'm obsessed with soup.  

This is, admittedly, not a cool thing to admit. Soup has never been particularly hip. Nobody's clamoring to open fusion soup food trucks. It's consistently difficult to get a photo of soup to look great, even with the most flattering Instagram filter applied. And the most common reaction to my affinity for soup is along the lines of "girl, get your fill of crunchy foods while you're still young and spry and have all your teeth."  

No thanks. I'll be spending the winter sitting over here in my warmest sweater sipping on something delicious, filling, and cheap while watching The West Wing yet again on Netflix.  

To take a page out of my book, look over a quick tutorial on how to make either a puréed vegetable soup or vegetarian or vegan chili without a recipe. On the next blustery Sunday afternoon, make a big pot. Chances are, you already have everything in your pantry and crisper that you need to cook an affordable, nearly effortless meal. While you're at it, make a loaf of bread to last you throughout the week (while it's baking, power through West Wing Season 2 Episode 8 -- arguably the best of the series). 

Still need inspiration? Here are some easy soup recipes that, rounded out with bread, make a perfect dinner any night of the week.

Winter-Warming, Freezer-Friendly, Pantry-Cleaning Soup


Barbara Lynch's Spicy Tomato Soup


Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup



Minestrone Soup

Broccoli, Lemon and Parmesan Soup

Tell us: What are you favorite cheap fall and winter soups? 

Join the Conversation

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • tota
  • ibakeheshoots
  • DrTeresa
  • katie dwyer
    katie dwyer
  • dymnyno
Yes, my name rhymes.


tota February 24, 2014
I never get tired of Deborah Madison's red lentil soup with lime juice and is my go-to healthy recipe all winter.
ibakeheshoots December 4, 2013
I love soup. Does anyone have a great recipe for Hot and Sour Soup?
Author Comment
Gabriella P. December 5, 2013
Hey there -- I haven't tried this one, but it comes from the incredible Joanne Chang so I'm sure it's great!
ibakeheshoots December 5, 2013
Thanks for the suggestion. I'm putting it on my list of soups to make in the new year.
DrTeresa December 4, 2013
When this is presented as a headliner in the regular emails, it would be more inclusive to provide more balanced coverage, e.g. some recipes with meat, for those of us of the paleo or ketogenic persuasion. My family has been liking a Brazilian chicken and shrimp soup lately, aka Xim-Xim
Marian B. December 4, 2013
Here are 10 chicken soup recipes:
....and beef stew:

Hope that helps!
DrTeresa December 4, 2013
Thank you
katie D. December 4, 2013
My favorite soup right now is this Wild Mushroom Soup. So easy to prepare and delicious!!
Author Comment
Gabriella P. December 5, 2013
Yum, thanks Katie!
dymnyno December 4, 2013
"Soup is not cool..." Is the first paragraph supposed to be humorous? Considering the number of soup recipes on food52 including contest winners, wildcard winners and genius recipes, soup is cool and sometimes hot!