With the temperatures dropping and indoor dining restrictions becoming stricter, eating at home is hopefully becoming more appealing. But if you’re like me, you’re stuck in a rut and opening and closing your refrigerator, frustrated with your options. Before you call your favorite food delivery, look in your fridge and pantry again, and consider crafting a soup or stew. Soup is such a perfect seasonal meal that can be filling, flavorful, and a feast with simple pantry staples.
Before you can jump into any recipe, it is vital that you have the ingredients on hand. This is where building foundation items comes in handy. For some families, this centers around recipes or meals they enjoy or are likely to repeat. We broaden our shopping list to include the meals we love in our rotation and include ingredients that you can always count on to be “multi-taskers” in any recipe so we can quickly make a variety of meals on the spot.
Some of these items include:
- Tomato sauce or paste
- Heavy whipping cream (A MUST)
- Chicken broth or stock
- Pasta noodles: lasagna, rotini, or farfalle
- White or brown rice (orzo works, too)
- Potatoes, any kind
- A french baguette
- Chicken (tenderloins are our fave go-to)
- Italian sausage
- Fresh Basil
- Leafy greens like kale or spinach
- Onions (variety of red or white)
- Red and Green Peppers
Once you get your base ingredients on your shopping list, dive into some of our family’s favorite soup recipes via linked recipes. Some have been passed down while some are new additions, but either way, they are sure to be crowd-pleasers from the bigs to littles in your family. Even better, they can be made ahead in your crockpot for added convenience.
No matter how refined my palate gets, this soup from a chain Italian restaurant will always have my heart (and stomach). It’s both the memory of lunches there with my grandmother, but also the creamy goodness that awaits you. Paired with an easy homemade rendition of their salad, no one will turn it away.
If you’re looking for a slice of nostalgia, look no further. This soup is reminiscent of our childhood tomato and grilled cheese combo. We often add a grown-up grilled cheeses which includes tomato, fresh basil and bacon to turn up the flavor dial.
This soup is perfect for cold days and for those sniffles that are sure to occur with the weather changing. If you love chicken noodle soup, this is so easy to adapt or change based upon preference; we’ve subbed out the rice for noodles or orzo, added cream to thicken, or even lemon to bring a notable tartness to the dish.
This is a fresh addition to our rotation. I saw this heavily shared during the early days of the pandemic, and knowing how much we love red sauce pastas, especially lasagna, I thought it was worth a try. It was a hit! It has the deep flavors of a traditional lasagna topped with a dollop of ricotta and is perfect!