The best thing about soup is that you can make a lot of it. It can feed a large family and can even be frozen for many leftovers. The best thing I can say about soup is - make a lot of it, make it flavorable, make it thick, and enjoy it.
A traditional Dutch soup is called snert and is a combination of split peas, vegetables, and should be so thick that a spoon can remain upright when put in the middle of the soup kettle. This delectable soup is often made a day ahead and reheated the following day.
In the Netherlands, snert is mostly prepared in the wintertime and served on New Year's with rookworst sausage and Dutch rye bread on the side. Depending on preference this soup has many variations.
Bramborachka is a creamy potato soup that was considered a poor man's meal but became a classic soup in Czech cuisine. The basic ingredients are root vegetables, dried mushrooms, and different fresh or dried spices.
Today brambroachka is on the menu in many traditional Czech pubs and enjoyed as a satisfying starter often served in traditional bread bowls.
Vichyssoise is a soup made with pureed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream and chicken stock. It is served cold and especially refreshing on a hot summer day. The origins of this soup are not really known but it was supposedly invented by Jules Goulfe, a French chef in 1859 or by another French chef Louis Diat working at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York City. Either way, the soup is delicious and satisfying. It is usually garnished with fresh chopped chives.
Halászlé or Fisherman's soup is made with river fish boiled in a broth heavily spiced with hot paprika. The fish locally caught from the Tisza or Danube Rivers can be carp, catfish, or pike. Traditionally it is a rich soup that is prepared outside in a kettle over an open fire. Every region in the country has its version but the two most popular are Szegod halasxle with four different kinds of fish and Baja halaszle prepared with carp and served with homemade pasta known as gyufatészta.
Ciorbă de pui is a sour version of chicken soup from Romania. The soup is made with chicken meat and lots of vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onions, peppers, parsnip, and tomatoes It is seasoned with borș, lemon, or sauerkraut juice for a fresh, sour taste. The soup can also include lovage, bay leaves, and parsley along with rice, noodles, or dumplings. The soup is usually served with hot peppers, scallions, or leeks.
Pasta e fagioli is a traditional Italian dish that differs from region to region. This soup is usually made with beans and small types of pasta that are cooked with olive oil, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and stewed tomatoes. It can be made thicker and include meat or sausage. Starting out as a soup for poor people who could not afford meat it became a winter soup that could be prepared as a healthy, inexpensive, and filling meal.
Avgolemono is a Greek soup that is prepared with whisked eggs and lemon juice. It is then boiled until the soup has thickened, making sure that the ingredients don't begin to curdle. The recipe dates back to the time of Alexander the Great. It is believed that this soup was once used as a topping for rolled, rice-stuffed vine leaves called dolma. This soup is also popular in Middle Eastern and Jewish cuisines.
Okroshka is a classic Russian cold soup that is made with chopped vegetables, cooked meats, and potatoes in a base of kvass (a fermented wheat drink) or kefir ( a fermented milk drink with a sour taste.) Meat used for this soup can be anything from sausages to tongue or even smoked fish. Most versions of okroshka include cucumbers, scallions, dill, radishes, and hard-boiled eggs. There are versions that use fruit like apples and cherries. The ratio of vegetables and meat should be 1:1. The name of the soup is derived from the Russian verb kroshit which means to chop or crumble.
Kharcho is a hearty and flavorable soup that comes from Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia. This soup is a combination of beef or chicken, walnuts, and rice, It is traditionally seasoned with a Georgian spice blend known as suneli (a combination of dried blue fenugreek, marigold petals, basil, parsley, fennel, coriander, bay leaves, and red pepper) and tkemali plum sauce. Kharcho has become so popular that almost every family has their own variation. It is recommended to serve the soup hot, garnished with freshly chopped coriander.
Ajo blanco is an Andalusian cold almond soup that is a precursor of the well-known gazpacho. The soup originated during the Morrish middle ages before ingredients like tomatoes and peppers were used. Traditionally Ajo blanco is a mix of pureed stale bread moistened with vinegar and water, much fresh garlic and many almonds. Since almonds are the most abundant crop in the region, however, variations include ingredients like milk and green grapes, The creamy soup is a great starter for a summer lunch and is best enjoyed well chilled, drizzled with olive oil and topped with toasted almonds.
Khao sol is the signature dish of northern Thailand. This is a delicious coconut soup with a broth made from a spicy combination of coconut milk and red curry paste. The soup is served with flat egg noodles and includes chicken, beef, and pork. Khao sol is topped with some crispy fried noodles and chopped cilantro. It is usually served alongside fresh lime, pickled cabbage, shallots, and chillis.
Samgyetang is a delectable soup that consists of a whole young chicken that is cooked with ginseng, garlic, and rice. Ginseng is known for its medicinal properties in Korea since it lowers blood sugar and boosts the immune system and stamina making this a great soup for hot summer days when people often sweat a lot and have a loss of appetite.
Shark fin soup is prepared with shark fins and given flavor from chicken or other types of stock. Because shark fins are neutral in flavor they are mainly used to give the soup texture. It is thought that shark fin soup was invented by an emperor during the Sung Dynasty, who wanted to show his guest his power, wealth, and generosity. Since that time preparing this soup is looked upon as a sign of respect and it has become a part of the Big 4 dishes that represent health and prosperity in Chinese culture and mostly served for special occasions the other three dishes consisting of abalone, sea cucumber, and fish maw.
Hot and sour soup originated in either Sichuan or Beijing and had become a classic soup that is suitable for any occasion and most weather conditions. It consists of day lily buds, bamboo shoots, tofu, wood ear fungus and a broth flavored with pork blood. The spiciness of the soup comes from red or white peppers and the sour taste from added vinegar. Hot and sour soup is usually eaten after a big meal or used as a hangover cure. The soup can also be used to boost a person's appetite.
Chazuki originated in the middle Edo era when green tea and bancha rose were popular. This simple dish was made by pouring hot green tea over rice and adding numerous toppings, The toppings usually consist s of different pickled vegetables and seaweed. Other topping variations include salmon, bonito, or grilled eel. Chazuki can be eaten at any time of the day and is considered to be easy to prepare comfort food. Since the 1970s chazuki can be bought at Japanese stores with freeze-dried toppings and different seasonings.
Soto betawi is a hearty and flavorable beef soup that is prepared with chunks of meat and offal, slowly simmered in a coconut milk broth that is flavored with spices like lemongrass, turmeric, galangal, kefir lime leaves, and coriander. Upon serving soto betawi is accompanied by such condiments as tomatoes, scallions, sweet soy sauce, and emping crackers (a bite-sized snack cracker with a slightly bitter taste.).
It is thought this dish originated in Jakarta among the Betawi people and has become one of the most popular dishes in the city. Soto betawi can be purchased at street stalls and restaurants. It is traditionally served with steamed rice and pickled acar (Indonesian pickled cucumbers) alongside.
Sopa de caracol is one of the most notable dishes in Honduran cuisine. The soup is prepared with conch broth, cassava, plantains, and spices like coriander, garlic, and chilli. Vegetables are added for more flavor such as onions, carrots, and finely diced tomatoes. The soup is popular all over the Caribbean particularly on the islands of the Bahamas and Jamaica.
Sancocho is a Columbian chicken stew that is usually served after most parties and makes a great Sunday meal. This stew can also be made with plantain, beef, pork, or fish, It originated in the El Valle region and used to be made only with hens. Sancocho is a hearty stew including other ingredients like corn, potatoes, and plantains.
Traditionally white rice, spicy aji sauce and avocado slices are served on the side. People like to top this thick stew with fresh coriander, onions, and a squeeze of lime juice.
Fanesca is a thick Ecuadorian soup that is made with fresh Andean grains, beans, peas, and lentils, salt cod is added to the ingredients and the soup is cooked in milk. This soup should contain twelve different grains and beans that symbolize the 12 disciples since the soup is prepared during Easter. Fanesca is traditionally served in round bowls with fried plantains, parsley, and hard-boiled eggs.