Pumpkin soup in a bowl with croutons

Homemade Soup to Soothe the Soul and Budget—in Minutes!

LOYAL READERS  know by now that I love to cook. And I prefer to make things from scratch. But given my crazy schedule, many days I have zero time to get a meal on the table—not even 30 minutes (sorry, Rachael Ray). I’m always on the lookout for the fastest food.

I need quick and easy meals that are also delicious. If something is fast and tastes good, it’s so much better than eating out. And way cheaper, too.

The four recipes that follow (presented as “recipe cards” so you can easily print them) are my family’s favorites!

 

Pumpkin soup in a bowl with croutons
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5 from 2 votes

Butternut Squash Soup

A friend turned me on to a recipe for this semi-homemade soup that truly is one of the best soups I have ever tasted. Ever.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 89kcal
Author: Mary

Ingredients

  • 1 quart butternut soup (See NOTE 1)
  • 1 10-ounce frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  • Pour the soup into a medium saucepan or soup pot and add the bag of frozen squash.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Allow to cook very gently, uncovered, until the squash is tender (15 minutes or so should do it, but check from time to time as you don’t want this to turn to mush).
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
  • Puree in a typical blender or use an immersion blender right in the pot. Add salt and pepper, if any, to taste.
  • You’re done, Einstein. I call you that because this soup, served with a dollop of sour cream and croutons, will make your friends and family think you’re a genius.

Notes

1. I find Pacific Butternut Squash Soup in a quart-size box at my supermarket, KingSoopers, and also at Trader Joe's. There are other brands.
2. A bag of frozen butternut squash cube is perfect for this soup, so much easier than cubing  fresh squash—however, fresh is certainly an option!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 89kcal
Creamy broccoli and cheddar cheese soup. This hearty soup melts in your mouth.
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4.34 from 3 votes

Broccoli Cheese Soup

If you love Panera Bread's broccoli cheddar soup, you're about to learn how to make it yourself, at home, with real cheese—cheaper, better, faster!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: lunch, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Mary

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, small diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3 cups broccoli, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon each thyme and garlic powder
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups light cream, half and half is good
  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • In a large pan over medium heat, saute butter, carrots, and onion for about 3 minutes or until softened.
  • Add seasonings, broth, and broccoli. Allow simmer until broccoli is soft—about 10 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend vegetables and broth, as desired—from very smooth or semi-chunky, the way that you prefer your broccoli cheese soup! Optional: Before blending remove about 1 cup of broth and vegetable mixture, then blend what remains in the pot.
  • In a small bowl, place the flour and cream. Stir until smooth.
  • Bring the blended mixture back to a boil and quickly whisk in the cream mixture. Continue whisking until soup is thick and bubbly, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in the cheddar and parmesan cheeses and the optionally reserved vegetables. Serve immediately.

Notes

1.You can use frozen, however fresh will give a better result.
2. While sharp cheddar cheese is traditional, Gruyere is a great option for this soup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 325kcal
potato ham soup
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4.41 from 5 votes

Potato Ham Soup

This is without a doubt the best potato soup recipe I have ever discovered. It is quick to make, but more than that, it tastes awesome. Everyone will think you’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day, but the truth is you can have this on the table in fewer than 45 minutes, start to finish, and all for less than $5 if you are a smart (sale) shopper!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 332kcal
Author: Mary

Ingredients

  • 1 pound potatoes peeled and diced
  • cup finely chopped onion
  • cup finely diced celery
  • ¾ cup diced, cooked ham
  • 3 ¼ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon ground hite or black pepper or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk

Instructions

  • Place the potatoes, onion, celery, ham, and water in a big pot over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium.
  • Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the bouillon granules, salt, and pepper.
  • In a separate small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute.
  • Slowly add milk, stirring constantly so that lumps don’t form. Continue stirring until all of the milk has been added and until the mixture is nice and thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and allow to cook for a few more minutes until heated through. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 332kcal

 

chicken noodle soup
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5 from 2 votes

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

So good, so easy—with all the comfort you enjoy and healing power you need to get you and your family through flu season!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Mary

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 4 cans chicken broth, 14.5 ounce size cans
  • 1 can vegetable broth 14.5 ounce size can
  • 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
  • 1 ½ cups dry egg noodles
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt, pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large pot.
  • Add onion and celery and saute until just tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes before serving. And just like that, homemade soup!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 147kcal

 

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6 replies
  1. yvonne d tahja
    yvonne d tahja says:

    Mary – I was intrigued by one of the ingredients – ground hite- I searched the internet but cannot find it. Can you enlighten me.
    Thanks-Yvonne Tahja

    Reply
  2. katie french
    katie french says:

    It’s cold and rainy today and I don’t have to go out into it!!!!! I can’t wait to make the Potato Ham Soup. Thx Mary 😉

    Reply
  3. Robin Owen
    Robin Owen says:

    For the best homemade soups, I use a trick I learned as a cook at a restaurant famous for its soups. Soup base is available at restaurant suppliers and on Amazon, and it adds an incredible amount of flavor without being as salty as bouillon cubes. A little goes a long way, so don’t go crazy with it! It keeps well in the freezer, and I always have beef, chicken and pork base handy.

    Reply

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