When I get home after work I’m hungry. But even though my husband and I are ready to eat, the baby wants to play, the dog needs to go for a walk and someone still needs to cook dinner! In our house, dinner must be super-quick, easy and healthy. Our solution? Pull out a big pot and make one of these 6 speedy soups, ready in 30 minutes or less. These recipes are loaded with healthy vegetables, whole grains and just enough lean protein to fill us up. And at $3 or less per serving, they’re all budget-friendly. Plus, there’s enough for leftovers so we don’t have to make lunch the next day. Genius!
Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto—This fragrant, Italian-flavored soup takes advantage of quick-cooking ingredients—boneless, skinless chicken breast, bagged baby spinach and canned beans. It features a simple homemade basil pesto swirled in at the end to add a fresh herb flavor. If you are very pressed for time, you can substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons of a store-bought basil pesto.
Minestrone with Endive & Pepperoni—Considering that this minestrone soup incorporates mostly frozen vegetables, it is remarkably savory and aromatic. Look for frozen soup or stew vegetables with potatoes, carrots, celery and onion in the mix to give the soup the best flavor. Although pepperoni isn’t traditionally part of minestrone soup, you’ll find it’s a great shortcut to add spicy, complex flavor.
Salmon Chowder—The flavor of this salmon chowder is greatly enhanced by adding either fresh dill or dried tarragon: each herb lends its own distinctively different and appealing character to the soup. Even if you don’t keep instant mashed potatoes in your pantry, it’s worth picking some up for this soup. They give the soup a thick, chowder texture without any heavy cream or butter. Leftover mashed potatoes work too, but give a slightly less-velvety texture.
Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque—This satisfying vegetarian sweet potato soup is inspired by the flavors of West African peanut soup. We like the added zip of hot green chiles, but they can sometimes be very spicy. It’s best to take a small bite first and add them to taste. Try chopped peanuts and scallions for a different garnish. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
Ravioli & Vegetable Soup—Fresh or frozen ravioli cook in minutes and turn this light vegetable soup into a main course. Look for whole-wheat or whole-grain ravioli in the refrigerated or frozen section of the supermarket. Tortellini can be used instead of ravioli as well. To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Thin with broth before reheating, if desired.
What are your super-easy soup tricks? Tell us what you think below.