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How to Have a Souper Douper Week

Published January 30, 2023

Meals in a bowl that will suit all your slurping needs

Tomato Soup with Fennel. Photo: Jim Henkens

When my son, Holden, was just a wee one, he frequented the diner on a pretty regular basis, and would always get some extremely carbohydrate-rich meal (I’m talking pancakes with a side of fries). When my mom was with us, she’d sometimes get souvlaki, sometimes something else, but always a coffee. My go-to was, is, forever and always, matzoh ball soup.

Some time goes by, we start going to the diner less because Covid happens, and I hear Holden talking about our diner trips to someone. “Mama likes soup, grandma likes coffee,” he said. And so it was—ingrained. 

I am, in other words, a super soup person. I like that most soups tend to taste even better as leftovers (how many things can you say that about?); I like how easy they are to double and triple; I like the crazy quantity of soup profiles that exist in the world. Also, I couldn’t care less about “cozy soup weather,” because I personally like soup even when it’s really hot out: It’s an every season meal, for me. 

So I’m gonna share some soup favorites. 

Every time I make the Chicken Tortilla Soup that Mark adapted from the Rose Garden restaurant, my mind is blown. It’s that good, I promise — the extra time it takes is inconsequential once you have a bowl of it in front of you. Plus Curried Red Lentil Soup with Cauliflower—the fastest bean soup from scratch you’ll ever make—because I somehow just realized recently how wonderful red lentils are and so I now want to use them all the time. Got fennel? How to Cook Everything Fast has a super bright Tomato Soup with Fennel that will help you use that up (never fear, it calls for canned tomatoes). Lastly, a vegan onion soup — Mostly Onion Soup with Cannellini Crostini — that’s so hearty you won’t be sad about the no cheese thing. 

Also: Stay tuned for a “Deep Dive on Soup” from Mark and Kerri in just a couple weeks — debunking, really stellar tricks and tips, and, of course, recipes.

So get cozy — or not! Weather, be damned, it’s time for soup.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

This version of tortilla soup arises from a dish served at the Rose Garden restaurant in Anthony, Texas. We’ve streamlined the original recipe, using chicken legs as the base of the stock, pulling off the meat when it’s tender, and adding a couple of beef bones to give the broth extra depth. Laila Santana, whose mother, Dalila Garcia, owns the Rose Garden, told us the recipe lends itself to improvisation. That it does, so feel free to tweak it to your tastes.


Tomato Soup with Fennel

Fennel, olives, rosemary, and orange zest are four Provençal ingredients with punch. They may be used alone or combined, frequently with tomatoes.


Mostly Onion Soup with Cannellini Crostini

A crock of mediocre bouillon topped with too much cheese used to be the gateway to so-called fancy French cooking. Thankfully, times have changed. 


Curried Red Lentil Soup with Cauliflower

Chopping the cauliflower into bits helps it become quite creamy while the lentils cook.