There’s nothing like a good, substantial soup to set you right at the end of a long day—it’s homey, comforting, and often makes for a great leftover lunch tomorrow. The soup recipes in this gallery are wonderfully wide-ranging, but every one of them is filling enough that it can stand on its own for dinner (though a side salad or a good loaf of bread is never a bad idea!).
The meaty options include two takes on chicken soup—one classic and one with a Peruvian twist that includes rice, potatoes and loads of zippy cilantro—as well as an Italian Wedding Soup that uses sausage instead of meatballs (a super-smart trick for busy cooks, since sausage is already seasoned). Time-pressed cooks will also love a wonton soup that doesn’t actually involve making any dumplings; rather, you drop broken wonton wrappers into the broth along with meatballs. All the traditional elements of the soup are there, but you’ll skip out on the labor-intensive step of filling wontons. There’s also a Pork-and-Cabbage Soup that’s reminiscent of Polish stuffed cabbage (again, no filling of cabbage leaves involved!) and a bean soup that includes leftover ham or lamb for heft.
Filling soups needn’t be heavy on the meat, though. Take our Escarole and Bean Soup, shown here, which uses canned beans and comes together in just 25 minutes and is an excellent option for a busy weeknight meal. Another good choice is our lentil soup, which includes the game-changing inclusion of shiitake mushrooms—some added to the lentils and simmered, some roasted in the oven for serious umami flavor. We’ve also got a number of vegetable-heavy options, such as a potato, broccoli, and cheddar soup; minestrone; an Asian-inspired coconut-zucchini soup; and a quinoa and lemon soup whose delicate flavor belies its ability to fill up hungry stomachs.