15-minute chicken soup for the soul: 3 quick and easy soup recipes to serve this week

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen
Quick and easy Chili

In mid-winter, few things are as satisfying as a hot bowl of soup on a cold day. Here are three relatively easy soup recipes you can throw together without having to slave over the stove for long.

Quick and easy chili

Ground beef and premade chicken stock help this chili come together fast. Another tip for quick cooking: crushed corn chips help thicken the broth without the need for slow simmering. Will it taste like you spent all day cooking it? Close enough. 

Serves: 8

Hands on Time: 45 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound ground beef

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 yellow onion, diced

1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 chipotles in adobo, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

4 teaspoons cumin

1 cup dark beer

1/2 cup crushed corn chips

2 cups crushed tomatoes

2 cups chicken broth

Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving

Sour cream, for serving

Cilantro leaves, for serving

Instructions

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring frequently to break up large chunks, until browned, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Add the onion and poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotle, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the beer, bring to a simmer, and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the crushed corn chips and continue to cook, stirring, until the chips soften, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and return to a simmer. Cook until the chili thickens, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with cheddar cheese, sour cream and cilantro.

15-minute chicken soup

This recipe comes courtesy of Zoup chicken bone broth, but any chicken broth will do. Bone broth is generally concentrated and richer than standard canned broth, however. 

This nourishing soup comes together quickly for a fast and nourishing dinner. Serve it with some crusty bread and salad, and you have a meal.

Serves: 4

Total time:14 mins

Ingredients

4 cups of Zoup chicken bone broth or other broth

3 handfuls of spinach

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

2 cans of cannellini beans, drained

⅓ cup store-bought pesto

Instructions

Bring broth to a boil. Stir in spinach, chicken, cannellini beans and ⅓ cup pesto. Simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is hot throughout and spinach is wilted.

Red Lentil and Green Collard Soup

This spiced, nourishing soup spends a little bit of time in the pot, but requires very little active time. An Instant Pot could make this come together even quicker. The recipe calls for vegetable broth, but any sort of broth will do. If you're not a fan of garlic, you might want to scale back the amount called for in this recipe. 

Serves: 8

Hands on Time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed and picked over

1 quart vegetable broth

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 bunch collard greens, rinsed, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Salt 

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

In a stockpot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the lentils and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 2 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth plus 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils begin to break apart.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and the collards, stir well, then cover and cook until the greens are wilted, about 8 minutes.

When the lentils are cooked, stir in the prepared collards, cumin and cinnamon. Season to taste with salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Before serving, stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com