lola rugula how to make easy pasta carbonara

ten easy homemade soup recipes

Soup is a wonderful, versatile thing. It’s warm and steamy when we’re cold, it’s comforting and nourishing when we don’t feel well, and it can be cool and crisp on a hot summer afternoon. It can be chunky and rustic or it can be smooth and rich. Soup is also often a great way to use leftovers and that’s one of the reasons I’m a huge fan. If you’ve been a follower of mine for a while, you know how much I love soup, so I decided to put together a collection of some of my favorite soup recipes to date. Here’s a list of my most popular soup recipes, links to each included. Enjoy!

Ten Easy Homemade Soup Recipes

  1. Easy Lamb Stew Recipe (okay, while technically a stew, this is so simple, easy and popular on my site that I had to include it.)
  2. Roasted Garlic and Leek Soup with Potatoes (my most recently-posted soup recipe and a staple in my house for a long, long time)
  3. Rattlesnake Bean and Vegetable Soup (great with any dried bean, so feel free to use your favorite)
  4. Navy Bean and Ham Soup Recipe (a great way to use that leftover ham and ham bone after your holiday get-together)
  5. Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup (so versatile and delicious as a hot soup or a chilled soup)
  6. Miso Soup with Shitake Mushrooms and Tofu (if you’re looking for a restorative soup recipe, this is the one)
  7. Tuscan Soup (another classic that is easy to make and packed full of flavor)
  8. Lobster Bisque (creamy, decadent and oh, so worth a little extra effort)
  9. Cream of Mushroom Soup (pictured below – made with a variety of mushrooms, you will never go back to canned soup)
  10. Classic Summer Garden Gazpacho (lets the flavors of your beautiful homegrown tomatoes shine through!)

wild mushroom soup recipe

There you go! A compilation of some of my best soup recipes. And most of my soup recipes are easily-customizable to fit your taste and use what you have on-hand.

Never, ever be afraid to play with your soup….or food. 🙂

Enjoy!

lola rugula how to make easy pasta carbonara

roasted garlic and leek soup with potatoes

I’ve been trying to photograph and post some of my super easy soup recipes lately, such as my Roasted Garlic and Veggie Soup and my Summer Garden Gazpacho. We love soup in my house and I love them because they can be easy to throw together while still being incredibly nutritious.

If you scan through my soup recipes, you might notice the word “roasted” used quite often. That’s because roasting your soup ingredients adds a nice boost of flavor and depth, and this recipe is another perfect example of this. This is a soup I’ve made for many moons and beyond, mostly because I’m seriously obsessed with garlic. Roasting garlic, as many of you know, smooths out its harsh edges and brings out a sweeter, smokier flavor. This is the case with roasting most things as long as you bring it to the “roasted” point and not the “burnt” point. When roasting, you just want to get everything to golden, with a hint of browning. Burning garlic, or any other ingredient, is only going to get you sharp, harsh, bitterness and that’s not what you’re looking for.

Okay, enough of my rant. Let’s make some soup. And stay tuned, because I’m going to give you a number of variations on how to make this creamier, smokier and more.

lola rugula roasted garlic and leek soup with new potatoes

roasted garlic and leek soup with potatoes recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 medium to large cloves of garlic, peeled and gently smashed, but left mostly whole
  • 2 medium leeks, white and tender greens only, cut into 1-inch pieces and rinsed well
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (optional – if you don’t want to use wine, use vegetable stock instead)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (again, optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 medium potatoes – preferably red or gold – peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
  • turmeric and freshly-chopped parsley for serving (optional)

In a large stockpot, add olive oil and heat over medium heat for about a minute.

Add garlic and leeks and toss well with olive oil.

Cover, turn burner to lowest setting and let roast on the stovetop for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, being careful to not let anything burn.

You’re looking to have the garlic and leeks soften completely and turn golden, with a few pieces start to gently brown. You’ll also start to notice some browning on the bottom of the pan.

lola rugula how to make roasted garlic and leek soup with potatoes

When you’ve reached this point, add the wine and, using a large spoon, scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and stir well.

Add stock, black pepper, pepper flakes and thyme. Stir well.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, or until the garlic and leeks are all fully soft and cooked through.

Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and then return to pan.

Add diced potatoes and simmer about 17-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat, spoon into bowls, sprinkle with a pinch of turmeric and parsley and serve.

lola rugula garlic leek and potato soup

This soup is a huge antioxidant boost to help protect you from all the nasty winter bugs that circulate this time of year. Adding a bit of turmeric just ups the antioxidant factor, but it’s totally optional.

Garlic is good for your heart, your blood and your gut, so it’s good to add it to your diet whenever you can. Roasting it removes the sharpness while still keeping its health benefits.

I promised you some variations on this and believe me, there are many.  Here are some of them:

  • If you want a creamier soup, add 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy cream
  • If you want a creamier soup without adding dairy, when the potatoes are done cooking , scoop out a cup or so and puree it and then add it back to the pan. Viola! Creamy soup without the dairy.
  • Want a smokier flavor? Crisp up some diced bacon when you’re browning the garlic and leeks and cook it with the soup.
  • If you prefer to keep the bacon crispy, cook it separately and sprinkle on top of soup before serving.

Never, ever be afraid to play with your food.

Enjoy!

lola rugula how to make easy pasta carbonara

roasted garlic and vegetable soup

This is one of my clean-out-the-fridge soups. I hate to see veggies go to waste and honestly, sometimes I just buy too many and end up with more than I know I’m going to use before they reach their death-by-lack-of-use phase.

This is super simple and can be used with a myriad of veggies, so use what you have and love. Roasting the vegetables first just gives this a nice, deep flavor…much more so than just tossing veggies in a pot and simmering them. (Not that I’m opposed to that, because it’s also a delicious way to make soup). And yes, this is loaded with roasted garlic so feel free to take it down a notch if you want.

roasted garlic and veggie soup recipe

  • 6 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (Yukon Gold’s are great in this)
  • 1 medium leek, white and tender green, cleaned well and sliced
  • 2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 400º

Place garlic and veggies on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss everything around to coat well.

Roast for 30 minutes, tossing everything around about halfway through the cooking time.

Remove from oven and transfer veggies to a stockpot.

Squeeze roasted garlic from their skins and add to pot.

Add stock and thyme and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend about 5 minutes until soup is smooth. Seriously, I do this for about 5 minutes, tilting the pan and really blending it. I like this smooth and creamy.

lola rugula roasted veggie soup

Easy, right?

This is so good with all kinds of veggies. Think squash, asparagus, zucchini, onions, cabbage, Brussels sprouts…don’t be afraid to just use what you have and love here. Make this soup yours and don’t be afraid to add different herbs. Rosemary, chives, tarragon…go with what you like.

Soups on…who’s ready?

lola rugula how to make easy pasta carbonara

roasted tomato and garlic soup

I’m continuing my celebration series of summer garden tomato recipes my with roasted tomato and garlic soup. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s very flexible. Looking for an easy roasted gazpacho recipe? This is it. Want a comforting bowl of steamy roasted tomato soup? This is also it. Craving a bowl of steamy AND creamy roasted tomato soup, maybe with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side? Add a little cream to your hot soup and you’re good to go! Versatility is this recipe’s middle name.

If you’ve not been following my recent series of recipes, then check out my classic garden gazpacho recipe, which you can also make gazpacho shooters with. I also shared my golden heirloom gazpacho, made with yellow tomatoes, shallots and turmeric. Remember that both of these also make great gazpacho smoothies, which is a great way to enjoy gazpacho.

lola rugula roasted tomato and garlic soup

roasted tomato and garlic soup recipe (also a roasted gazpacho recipe)

  • 6 lbs. tomatoes, preferably a mix of Roma and heirloom
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, peeled and gently smashed, just enough to break each clove open
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into eighths from the root end
  • 1 large poblano pepper, cut in half with stem and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (divided between 2 baking sheets)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (divided between 2 baking sheets)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fresh basil, thinly sliced, for serving

Preheat broiler.

Lightly brush 2 large baking sheets with a little of your olive oil.

Remove cores from tomatoes and discard. Cut each tomato in half and lay face up on baking sheets, dividing the tomatoes onto both baking sheets.  Add garlic, onion, and pepper, keeping them towards the same end of one of the baking sheets. These will likely roast faster than the tomatoes and you’ll want to be able to easily remove them.

Drizzle each tray of veggies with the remaining olive oil, dividing it between the 2 baking sheets. Sprinkle each sheet of veggies with kosher salt. Every veggie doesn’t need olive oil or salt on them, just evenly distribute as best as you can. Have a large stockpot ready to place your charred veggies in once they’re done.

Broil the veggies one baking sheet at a time, about 30 minutes or until the veggies are nicely charred. Again, you will probably need to remove the garlic, onion, and pepper before the tomatoes are all charred. Move the tomatoes around and remove them as they char and place them in a large stockpot.

Be sure to add any remaining liquid on your baking sheets to your stockpot.

Repeat with the second baking sheet. Here’s a photo of some of my charred veggies, so you can see how much I char them…

lola rugula roasted tomato soup

Once all of your veggies are nicely charred and added to your stockpot, add the vegetable stock and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until your liquid is reduced by 1/2, about 45 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, carefully puree your mixture until it’s smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a ladle and carefully scoop portions of the soup into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve with slivers of fresh basil on top and some fresh or toasted bread on the side.

For roasted tomato gazpacho, let cool and then refrigerate until well-chilled.

This is a great rustic soup and simple to make. The roasting really brings out the flavor in the tomatoes and other veggies, adding a depth of flavor that you can taste in every spoonful.

lola rugula roasted tomao and veggie gazpacho

How to make cream of roasted tomato soup

If you want a creamy soup, just stir in a little of your choice of heavy cream, half and half, buttermilk, creme fraiche, or plain yogurt – all of these will work here, it just depends on your personal taste. Simple, right?

And, if you want to add a little bit of smokey heat to your soup (or really want a soup that clears up congestion from a cold or the flu), roast a jalapeno or hot pepper with your veggies and add it in.

Another variation on this soup is to add a little turmeric or curry powder to it – this amps up the health benefits and flavor both.

Also, feel free to add a little zucchini and/or fennel to this – both add amazing flavor!

Summer here in Northern Illinois is (sadly) winding down but that doesn’t mean you can’t preserve your summer tomato and veggie harvest.  This soup freezes beautifully and when you pull some out in the dead of winter, you’ll be thankful for that fresh garden tomato flavor.

My other favorite way to preserve my summer tomato harvest is making big batches of homemade marinara sauce and freezing it in batches.

Enjoy!

lola rugula how to make easy pasta carbonara

Golden Heirloom Gazpacho

My summer celebration of garden tomatoes continues with this gorgeous golden gazpacho recipe. If you’re a home gardener or have just been overly ambitious at your local farmer’s market and wonder what to do with a lot of tomatoes, gazpacho is an easy and delicious solution.  I just recently posted my classic garden gazpacho recipe and this is a twist on that recipe using small golden heirloom cherry tomatoes.

The tomatoes I used here are Blue Gold Berry Tomatoes that I ordered from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds. They’re a very prolific plant, bearing beautiful fruit early and often throughout the growing season.

lola rugula golden gazpacho

These are not a super-sweet cherry tomato, which to me is perfect for a well-balanced gazpacho. And, unlike my classic garden gazpacho, here I keep everything a little bit lighter and brighter here with white wine vinegar, lemon juice and shallots.

lola rugula garden gazpacho

golden gazpacho recipe with heirloom cherry tomatoes

  • 2 lbs. yellow or gold cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium clove of garlic
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, stems and seeds removed and cut into quarters
  • 1 medium cucumber (again, I use pickling cucumbers because it’s what I grow and have on hand), ends removed, peeled and seeds scooped out and discarded
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1/2 medium jalapeno (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Diced cherry tomatoes, minced chives and/or minced parsley for garnish

In a blender or food processor place everything EXCEPT half of the tomatoes and blend extremely well.  Using a ladle, scoop out 3/4 of the contents and pour through a mesh sieve into a large bowl. Add remaining tomatoes and puree again until well blended. Strain all but a cup of the remaining gazpacho into your bowl. Add the final cup of the pureed, unstrained tomato mixture to your bowl and stir well.  Chill well.

Garnish with diced tomatoes, minced chives, and minced parsley before serving.

I prefer to leave a cup of it unstrained, as it adds texture (and good fiber!) to your final gazpacho. It’s completely personal taste as to whether you strain all, a portion of, or none of the final mixture.

Also, you can do this in either a blender or a food processor or even with an immersion blender but, in the end, you just want it to be as finely blended as you can without completely liquefying the entire batch. A little texture is a good thing where gazpacho is involved.

lola rugula golden gazpacho with cherry tomatoes

As with my classic gazpacho recipe, I like adding some jalapeno for a little kick. If adding, be sure to taste your jalapeno first so you can anticipate the heat level in the finished gazpacho. You can always add a little more to the second puree but you can’t remove it once it’s there, if you know what I mean. 🙂 The jalapenos I grow are much, much hotter than the mass-produced variety I buy at the store, so you always have to be careful in how much you use.

The lemon juice and ground turmeric is key to giving this brightness and depth. A little bit of black pepper works too, but again, you have to play a bit with it and see what you like.

Also, as I mentioned in my classic gazpacho recipe, I occasionally enjoy mine as a gazpacho smoothie and just drink it from a glass. It’s seriously like a glass of goodness because of all the antioxidants packed into it.

lola rugula easy gazpacho with heirloom cherry tomatoes

If you’re overloaded with summer tomatoes and are wondering what else to make with them, my fried green tomatoes recipe is another delicious solution.

Craving a good, easy pasta recipe? Try my fresh no-cook tomato sauce! It’s not only quick and easy but it’s also incredibly delicious and satisfying.

Are you overloaded with summer tomatoes? I’d love to hear what you do to enjoy them. And, as I always say, don’t be afraid to play with your food!

Wishing you all a wonderful, healthy and well-nourished weekend. Enjoy!

lola rugula how to make easy pasta carbonara

summer garden gazpacho

Gazpacho is such a delicious way to take advantage of your summer garden harvest and (bonus) it’s easy to throw together. Look up gazpacho recipes and you’ll find a ton of them, each unique in their own way, but there are basically two gazpacho camps: chunky and smooth. Personally, I like them both if they’re done well. In my opinion, you can’t really go wrong with fresh tomatoes blended with cucumbers, onion, garlic and olive oil, with a little acid and salt thrown in.

My version of gazpacho is a little bit of both worlds; the base blended smooth and then some small diced tomatoes added at serving time. The most important thing in making a great gazpacho is to use really, really ripe tomatoes. You really want the tomatoes to shine here.

lola rugula garden gazpacho

Garden Gazpacho Recipe

  • 2 lbs. very ripe tomatoes, cored. Remove the seeds and juice from half of them. In the recipe photos shown, I used a mix of large and small heirlooms with a couple of Romas.
  • 1 medium cucumber, completely peeled, ends removed and seeds scraped out
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1/3 of a medium-sized red onion
  • 1 medium sweet pepper, either red, yellow or orange, stem and seeds removed (I used orange in the recipe photos shown)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium jalapeno, seeds and stems removed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Additional diced tomato and slivered basil for garnish

Add everything except half of the tomatoes to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour 3/4 of the pureed mixture into a large bowl, add the second half of tomatoes and puree until smooth. Pour into your bowl and stir everything together well.

You can also use an immersion blender when making gazpacho, but I find a food processor or blender makes quicker work of this.

The reason I remove the juice and seeds from half of my tomatoes is so that the gazpacho doesn’t end up too runny. If you’re using soley Roma tomatoes, you’ll probably be fine without this step but heirlooms and larger slicing tomatoes tend to have a lot more juice to them.

Chill well and serve in small bowls or ramekins, topped with diced tomatoes and slivers of fresh basil.

Another fun way to enjoy gazpacho is by making gazpacho shooters.

lola rugula gazpacho shooters

These tasty little shooters are always a hit at summer get-togethers and holiday parties.

lola rugula garden gazpacho shooters

Gazpacho Shooters Recipe

  • 1 oz. vodka, per serving
  • 1/2 cup gazpacho, per serving
  • Cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves for garnish, per serving

Blend vodka and gazpacho well and pour into glasses – I use a ladle and a funnel to keep them neat – it may seem like a little extra work (and dishes to wash) but it’s worth the effort.

Garnish each glass with a toothpick speared with a fresh basil leaf and cherry tomato.

Okay, to be fair, these aren’t really gazpacho shooters as much as they’re gazpacho cocktails. I serve them, as pictured, in whiskey glasses and they are definitely more than a shot.

Gazpacho is very easy to customize and garnish to your personal taste. Think fresh chives, parsley, lemon slices, diced or shaved cucumber, etc. I’m always telling you “don’t be afraid to play with your food” and this is a perfect example of a recipe that you can play with.

Some people add bread to their gazpacho for texture, some people don’t. Some people add a little jalapeno or hot pepper, some people don’t. Some people like green peppers some people like sweeter red (or orange or yellow) peppers.

Also, I used pickling cucumbers here, because it’s what I grow and had on hand. Always make sure you peel any type of cucumber you use, to get rid of any bitterness. I scrape out the seeds from mine for the same reason.

lola rugula gazpacho

Beautiful, isn’t it? Gazpacho made with garden ingredients doesn’t get any fresher or more delicious. And seriously, don’t be afraid to play with this recipe to find what you like best.

As a footnote, aside from using very ripe tomatoes, you also want to be sure to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. It really does make a difference. In the shooters, of course, use the best vodka you can.

I also like to enjoy mine as a gazpacho smoothie and just drink it from a glass. It’s seriously like a glass of goodness because of all the antioxidants packed into it.

Enjoy what’s left of summer and thanks for stopping by!