How To Make Soup Easily From Scratch

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If you are looking to learn how to make soup from scratch, either with a soup maker or without. This guide will teach you just that, simple step by step instructions ideal for beginners and those comfortable within the kitchen as well.

Ah, soup – that age-old culinary tradition that warms the heart and soothes the soul! Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or a seasoned home cook, there’s always something new to learn about making soup.

In this guide, im going to show you how to make soup quick and as a beginner.

From the brothy to the creamy, the light to the hearty, we’ll explore the many ways you can craft this comforting dish at home.

First, let’s take a brief stroll down memory lane and understand the rich history of soup.

A Brief History of Soup

Soup, believe it or not, is as old as the history of cooking.

When our ancestors discovered fire, one of the first things they probably did was heat water and toss in whatever ingredients they had—kind of like the original one-pot meal.

This simple, hearty dish has been a staple across cultures, evolving with time and tastes.

Types of Soups

making soup - types of soup

Now, let’s stir into the different types of soups. Imagine a spectrum of soups, each with its unique personality.

  • Broth-Based Soups: Light and clear, these are made with a clear broth or stock.
  • Cream-Based Soups: Rich and smooth, often thickened with dairy or a roux.
  • Cold Soups: Served chilled, like gazpacho, perfect for hot days.
  • Hearty Soups: Robust and filling, often containing a mix of meat, vegetables, and legumes.
  • Regional and Cultural Specialties: Unique flavors from around the globe, like French onion soup or Japanese miso soup.

Health Benefits of Soup

Last but not least, let’s ladle out the health benefits of a hearty soup itself.

Not only are soups a great way to get your veggies and proteins, but they’re also hydrating and comforting.

A good bowl of soup can be low-calorie yet nutrient-rich, making it a fantastic choice for those looking to eat healthily.

Plus, the warm broth is excellent for soothing sore throats and keeping colds at bay.

Essential Tools and Equipment

Here’s a rundown of the essential equipment you’ll need to create that perfect bowl of soup.

Pots and Pans – Your Soup’s Best Friends

First up, the heart of soup-making: pots and pans.

You’ve got options here, but let’s focus on the MVPs.

A good, sturdy stockpot is your go-to for those big batches of family-style soups.

It’s like the reliable friend who never lets you down.

You could also use a slow cooker.

These appliances will help you to make a tasty soup over a longer period of time. Perfect if you’ve got meat in, as this will make it very tender.


Let’s talk about blending.

Want that creamy texture without the cream? Enter the immersion blender, a magical wand that lets you blend right in the same instant pot itself. It’s a game-changer, trust me.

For those who prefer the traditional route, a standard blender works just fine – just be careful with the hot soup. And if you’re into chunkier soups, a food processor can be your best pal.


Ladles are essential – how else are you going to serve that liquid gold?

Strainers are crucial for achieving that smooth, velvety texture. And where would we be without chopping boards and knives? After all, those veggies aren’t going to prep themselves.

Basic Ingredients In Soups

Let’s talk about the building blocks of a great soup.

Every ingredient has a role to play, like characters in a delicious story.

Foundation Flavors: Stocks, Broths, and More

stocks and broths

Imagine your soup’s base as the canvas you’re going to paint flavors on. Stocks and broths are like the background colors, setting the stage.

They can range from;

  • Beef Stock
  • Chicken Stock
  • Vegetable Stock
  • Fish Stock

Each adding its unique depth and flavor.

Water can be used for a lighter soup, letting other ingredients shine.

If you’re after a cream soup, your going to need to get double cream added to the recipe.

Thickeners – Helping Get The Texture

Want to know how chefs get that perfect consistency?


A roux (butter and flour cooked together) is classic, creating a rich, velvety base.

Cornstarch mixed with a bit of cold water is another hero, especially for those gluten-free needs.

Then there’s cream, doubling as a thickener and flavor enhancer, making everything it touches richer and smoother.

Veggie and Protein Picks

Vegetables, meats, and legumes are the stars of your favorite soup recipes.

You’ve got carrots, celery, and onions (the holy trinity in soup-making), potatoes for heartiness, and greens for a pop of color.

Meats like chicken, beef, or even fish add substance, while legumes like lentils or beans bring texture and protein.

This is where you can get creative and let your personal taste guide you.

Common vegetables include;

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Sweetcorn
  • Butternut Squash
  • Mushroom
  • Onion
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Courgette
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Bell Pepper
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato

Herbs and Spices – The Flavor Magic

This is where you can really play around.

Bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary bring in that earthy touch.

Spices like cumin, paprika, or turmeric can add warmth and complexity. And don’t forget salt and black pepper, the old faithfuls that balance and enhance all the flavors.

Remember, the beauty of soup-making is in the harmony of these ingredients, each bringing something special to the pot.

Soup Making Techniques

Sautéing and Sweating Vegetables

saute soup

Starting with a sauté can make all the difference.

This involves cooking your veggies (like onions, carrots, and celery) in a bit of oil or butter until they’re just tender.

It’s not just about cooking; it’s about unlocking flavors.

Then there’s sweating – similar to sautéing, but gentler. You’re coaxing out the moisture and flavors, creating a subtle, aromatic base for your soup.

Think of it as the veggies whispering their secrets into the pot.

Simmering vs. Boiling

Now, let’s turn up the heat – but not too much.

Simmering is soup’s best friend

It’s a gentle, slow bubble that melds flavors together without the roughness of boiling.

Boiling is more aggressive; use it for initially cooking tough ingredients or for making stocks.

Once your soup’s ingredients are in, it’s all about that low and slow simmer.

Blending and Puréeing

Blending Soup

For creamy soups, blending is key.

An immersion blender is your ally here, allowing you to purée directly in the pot. It’s all about texture – silky, smooth, or a chunky soup is, it’s your call.

If using a standard blender, remember to do it in batches and be cautious with hot liquids. They can expand and splash out, so let’s keep the soup in the bowl, not on the wall.

Adjusting Consistency and Seasoning

This is where you fine-tune.

If your soup’s too thick, a splash of broth or water can lighten it.

Too thin? Let it simmer a bit longer, or add a thickener like a roux or cornstarch slurry.

And then, the final act: seasoning.

Salt and pepper are a must, but feel free to experiment. Herbs, spices, a squeeze of lemon juice, or a dash of cream can all add that final touch of magic.

Types of Soups

Broth-based Soups

Broth Soup

Starting with the classics, broth-based soups are all about clarity and depth of flavor.

Chicken noodle soup is a staple, with its comforting clear chicken broth, tender chicken pieces, noodles, and a mix of vegetables like carrots and celery.

Or, for a veggie option, a vegetable broth soup loaded with your favorite greens, herbs, and a dash of salt is simplicity at its best.

Cream-based Soups

Creamy Soup

If you’re in the mood for something rich and indulgent, cream-based soups are where it’s at.

Mushroom cream soup, for instance, combines earthy mushrooms with a creamy, buttery base, often finished with a swirl of cream or milk.

Tomato bisque is another favorite, offering a smoother and creamier take on classic tomato soup, often with a touch of basil.

Hearty Soups and Stews

For those days when you need a satisfying meal, in a bowl, hearty soups and stews are your go-to.

Beef stew is a robust option, featuring tender chunks of beef, potatoes, carrots, and herbs, simmered until everything is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Minestrone, on the other hand, brings a medley of vegetables, beans, pasta, and a rich tomato base, making it a filling yet healthy choice.

Cold Soups

When the temperatures rise, cold soups like gazpacho and vichyssoise offer a refreshing reprieve. Gazpacho, a chilled Spanish soup, blends ripe tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and onions for a zesty, cold treat.

Vichyssoise, a French classic, is a smooth, creamy soup made with potatoes, leeks, and cream, served chilled for a surprisingly refreshing taste.

Regional and Cultural Specialties

Exploring regional soups is like taking a culinary world tour.

French onion soup, with its caramelized onions, beef broth, and a toasted cheese-topped crouton, is a bistro favorite.

Miso soup, a Japanese staple, combines miso paste with dashi broth and often includes tofu and seaweed, offering a warm, umami-packed experience.

Each type of soup offers a unique flavor journey, so why not try them all?

Whether it’s a light and almost brothy soup or a thick and creamy soup, there’s a world of taste just waiting to be explored.

Advanced Soup-Making Techniques

Roasting Ingredients for Depth of Flavor

Taking your soup game to the next level starts with roasting.

This isn’t just about tossing veggies in the oven; it’s an art form. By roasting ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, or even bones for meat-based broths,

you’re coaxing out rich, caramelized flavors that can’t be achieved any other way.

This technique adds a layer of depth and complexity to your soups that’ll have your taste buds dancing.

Incorporating Global Flavors and Spices

Soup is a global language, and mastering its dialects means playing with international flavors and spices.

Ever tried adding a dash of garam masala or sumac for an Indian or Middle Eastern twist? Or what about a spoonful of harissa for a North African kick?

Exploring global spices isn’t just about heat; it’s about introducing a whole new spectrum of flavors to your palate.

The key is balance – letting each spice contribute to the symphony of flavors without overpowering the others.

Making Soups in Bulk and Storing for Future Use

Let’s face it, soup is comfort food, and having it readily available is a joy.

Making soup in bulk and storing it properly means you’re just a reheat away from a delicious meal.

The trick is in the cooling and storing process. Cool your soup quickly in an ice bath, then portion it into storage containers – but leave a little headspace for expansion.

Freeze or refrigerate as needed.

Remember, labeling is your friend here. Note the type of soup and the date, so you’re not playing a culinary guessing game later.

With these advanced techniques, you’re not just making delicious soup here; you’re crafting a culinary experience that transcends the ordinary.

So, get your roasting pans ready, your spices lined up, and your storage containers out

How To Make Soup In A Saucepan – Step by step guide

How to make soup in a saucepan

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Prep

Before you start, gather all your ingredients.

You’ll need your choice of vegetables, protein (if using), broth or stock, and any herbs or spices you want to include.

Chop your vegetables into even pieces so they cook uniformly.

Step 2: Heat Your Saucepan

Place your saucepan on the stove and turn the heat to medium heat.

Give it a minute to warm up.

A good-sized saucepan is essential here; you want enough space for all your ingredients without overcrowding.

Step 3: Sauté Your Base Vegetables

Add a bit of oil or butter to the pan.

Once it’s hot, add your base vegetables (like onions, carrots, and celery).

Sauté them until they start to soften and become fragrant. This is where those flavors start building.

Step 4: Add Protein (If Using)

If you’re adding meat, now’s the time.

Put it in the pan and cook it until it’s browned or, if it’s cooked already (like leftover chicken), just warm it through.

Step 5: Pour in Broth or Stock

Add your broth or stock to the saucepan. The liquid should cover the ingredients by a couple of inches.

If you’re using water, this is also the time to add extra seasonings for flavor.

Step 6: Bring to a Boil, Then Simmer

Increase the heat to bring your soup to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. This gentler heat cooks everything evenly and melds the flavors together.

Step 7: Add Remaining Vegetables and Simmer

Add the rest of your vegetables.

The timing here depends on how long they take to cook – add heartier veggies like potatoes earlier and delicate ones like spinach later.

Step 8: Season Your Soup

As your soup simmers, taste it and season with salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you like. This is where you adjust the flavors to your liking.

Step 9: Check for Doneness

Give your soup enough time to let the flavors meld and the ingredients cook through. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes, but it can vary.

Step 10: Serve and Enjoy

Once everything is cooked to your satisfaction, your soup is ready to serve. Ladle it into bowls, garnish if desired, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Making chicken soup in a saucepan is a simple, satisfying process. It’s all about layering flavors and letting them come together over the heat.

How To Make Soup In A Soup Maker – Step by step guide

How to make soup in a soup maker

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients

First things first, get your ingredients ready.

This includes chopping vegetables into smaller, even pieces, measuring out your broth or stock, and preparing any herbs or spices.

If you’re using protein like chicken or beef, ensure it’s cut into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2: Assemble Your Soup Maker

Make sure your soup maker is clean and ready to go.

Place it on a stable surface near an electrical outlet.

Some models have different settings for smooth or chunky soups, so familiarize yourself with these options.

Step 3: Add Ingredients to the Soup Maker

Start by adding your base ingredients – usually onions, carrots, celery, or other aromatics.

Then, layer in the rest of your chopped vegetables, proteins, and any dry herbs or spices.

Follow your soup maker’s instructions on maximum fill levels to avoid overfilling.

Step 4: Pour in Liquid

Add your broth or stock.

The liquid should cover the other ingredients but stay within the maximum fill line indicated in your soup maker.

If you’re aiming for a creamier soup, you might add cream or milk at a later stage, as per your recipe or the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Step 5: Set Your Soup Maker

Secure the lid of your soup maker and set it to the desired program.

If you want a smooth soup, choose the blending option. For a chunkier soup, select the appropriate setting that doesn’t blend or does so minimally.

Step 6: Start the Cooking Process

Turn on the soup maker.

Most soup makers will heat and blend (if necessary) automatically.

The cooking time will depend on your specific model and the type of vegetable soup recipe you’re making. This is usually anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 7: Add Cream or Delicate Ingredients

If your soup recipe also calls for cream, milk, or delicate herbs, add them towards the end of the cooking cycle.

This might be the last 5-10 minutes of cooking, depending on your recipe and soup maker model.

Step 8: Final Blending (If Required)

Once the cooking cycle is complete, if you desire a smoother consistency, you can use the blend function for a few more seconds until you reach your preferred texture.

Step 9: Serve Your Soup

Carefully open the lid (watch out for steam) and ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish as desired, and your soup is ready to serve.

Step 10: Clean Your Soup Maker

After enjoying your homemade soup again, don’t forget to clean your soup maker.

Most models are easy to clean, with some having a self-cleaning function. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to keep your soup maker in good shape.

Using a soup maker simplifies the soup-making process, making it an easy and convenient way to enjoy homemade vegetable soup, without much fuss.

Health and Dietary Considerations

If your dieting or looking for a healthy dish to eat, soup might be a perfect option for you.

Not only do you get the additional vegetables into your diet, it can make for a great quick and low fat lunch.

Making soups healthier with low-sodium and low-fat options:

  • Low-Sodium Choices: To reduce sodium, start with a low-sodium broth or use water as your soup base. Enhance flavors with herbs, spices, and aromatics like garlic and onions instead of salt.
  • Low-Fat Methods: Opt for lean proteins like chicken breast, turkey, or tofu. Use skim milk or plant-based milks for cream-based soups. Thickening soups with pureed vegetables instead of cream can also reduce fat content.

Vegetarian and Vegan Soup Options:

  • Vegetarian Soups: Use vegetable broth as a base. Incorporate a variety of vegetables, legumes, and grains to make the soup filling and nutritious.
  • Vegan Soups: Avoid all animal products. Use plant-based oils instead of butter, and choose dairy alternatives like coconut milk for creamy soups. Nutritional yeast can add a cheesy flavor without dairy.

Soups for Special Diets (Gluten-Free, Keto, Paleo):

  • Gluten-Free: Avoid ingredients with gluten such as certain broths, barley, and some thickeners. Use gluten-free grains like quinoa or rice.
  • Keto-Friendly: Focus on high-fat, low-carb ingredients. Use bone broth for extra nutrients and consider adding healthy fats like avocado oil.
  • Paleo: Stick to whole, unprocessed foods. Avoid dairy, grains, and legumes. Use homemade broths and load up on vegetables and lean meats.

Adapting Soups to Various Dietary Restrictions:

  • Allergies: Identify common allergens like nuts, dairy, and shellfish. Always check labels of store-bought ingredients for hidden allergens.
  • Diabetic-Friendly: Focus on low-glycemic vegetables and lean proteins. Monitor carbohydrate content, especially from starchy vegetables and grains.
  • Heart-Healthy: Use low-sodium broths, lean proteins, and plenty of vegetables. Limit the use of cream and butter. Incorporate heart-healthy fats like olive oil.

Nutritional Breakdowns for Common Soup Ingredients:

  • Broths/Stocks: Usually low in calories, but can be high in sodium. Vegetable broths are typically lower in calories compared to meat-based broths.
  • Vegetables: Generally low in calories and high in vitamins and fiber. Root vegetables tend to be higher in carbohydrates.
  • Meats: Lean meats like chicken or turkey breast are lower in fat and calories. Beef and pork are higher in fat, particularly saturated fat.
  • Legumes: High in protein and fiber. Great for adding heartiness to vegetarian and vegan soups.
  • Cream/Milk: Higher in fat and calories. Plant-based milks can be a lower-calorie alternative.
  • Grains: Add carbohydrates and can vary in calorie content. Whole grains offer more fiber and nutrients.

By understanding and adjusting ingredients, you can make soups that cater to a wide range of dietary needs and preferences.

Troubleshooting Common Soup Issues

Fixing Soups That Are Too Salty, Bland, or Have Curdled:

  1. Too Salty: If your soup tastes more like seawater than savory goodness, don’t worry. Add more liquid (water or unsalted broth) to dilute the saltiness. You can also add in more vegetables or uncooked rice to absorb the excess salt. Another trick is to peel a potato, cut it into large chunks, and simmer it in the soup for a while; it can help absorb some of the salt.
  2. Too Bland: A bland soup can be a blank canvas. Enhance the flavor with herbs and spices. Salt is the obvious go-to, but consider garlic, pepper, thyme, rosemary, or bay leaves for extra depth. A splash of acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, can also brighten up the flavors.
  3. Curdled Soup: This often happens with dairy-based soups when the milk or cream is added too quickly or heated too high. To prevent it, always warm dairy before adding it to the soup and add it slowly. If it’s already curdled, you can try blending the soup to smooth out the texture or strain it to remove the curdled bits.

Adjusting Thickness and Consistency:

  1. Too Thick: If your soup has turned into a stew, simply thin it out by adding more broth, water, or milk. Add a little at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  2. Too Thin: For soups that are too watery, try simmering to reduce and concentrate the flavors. Alternatively, you can thicken it with a roux (a mix of butter and flour), cornstarch slurry, or by blending some of the soup and adding it back in.

Tips for Reviving Leftover or Overcooked Soups:

  1. Reviving Leftovers: Leftover soup can sometimes lose its luster. Reheat it slowly on the stove, adding fresh herbs or a splash of broth to bring back its flavors. Adjust seasoning as needed, since flavors can change after storing.
  2. Overcooked Soups: If vegetables or meats in your soup are overcooked and mushy, consider pureeing it for a creamy soup. Alternatively, you can add some fresh, lightly cooked veggies or cooked meat to the soup for better texture.

Remember, soup-making is as much an art as it is a science. Don’t be afraid to taste and adjust as you go. With these tips, you can rescue almost any soup mishap and turn it into a deliciously salvaged meal.

Garnishing and Serving

Broth-Based Soups

These soups are typically light, so garnishes should enhance without overpowering.

Fresh herbs like dill or parsley add a burst of color and freshness.

A squeeze of lemon can bring a bright, acidic note. For an Asian twist, a drizzle of sesame oil or a sprinkle of sesame seeds can be delightful.

Cream-Based Soups

Since these soups are rich, garnishes that add a contrasting texture or flavor work well.

A swirl of cream or a spoonful of Greek yogurt can add visual appeal.

For a touch of color and spice, try a sprinkle of smoked paprika or chives. Crumbled bacon or toasted nuts can add a satisfying crunch.

Hearty Soups and Stews

These robust dishes benefit from garnishes that complement their heartiness.

Shredded cheese (like Parmesan or cheddar), croutons, or a sprinkle of fresh herbs (like thyme or rosemary) add depth.

For a hint of freshness, consider a light sprinkle of microgreens or a small dollop of sour cream.

Cold Soups

With cold soups, garnishes should add to the refreshing nature of the dish.

For creamy cold soups like vichyssoise, chives or edible flowers can be a beautiful addition.

For something like gazpacho, diced cucumber, peppers, or a sprig of mint can enhance both the appearance and the flavor.

Regional and Cultural Specialties

Tailor your garnishes to the soup’s cultural background.

For example, a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of dill for a Russian borscht, or some crispy fried onions for an Indian lentil soup.

These garnishes not only add flavor but also authenticity.

Bread Pairings and Side Dishes

For Broth-Based Soups

A crusty baguette is ideal for dipping. For an Italian twist, serve with a slice of focaccia drizzled with olive oil.

Cream-Based Soup

Lighter, airy bread like ciabatta or brioche can complement the richness of the soup. For added flavor, consider serving garlic bread or cheese-topped crostini.

Hearty Soups and Stews

Dense bread like pumpernickel or a whole grain loaf pairs well with these substantial soups. A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing can add a fresh, crisp contrast to comforting meal.

Cold Soups

Opt for delicate, crisp breads like melba toast or flatbreads. A side dish of marinated olives chopped tomatoes or a light cheese platter can complement the soup without overwhelming it.

By focusing on these details, you can elevate a simple bowl of soup into a culinary delight, both visually and in taste.

Final Thoughts on How To Make Soup

As we simmer down to the end of our soup-making journey, it’s clear that the humble soup is more than just a dish; it’s a canvas for culinary creativity and a heartwarming comfort to many.

From the rich historical broths that connect us to our past to the innovative creations that blend global flavors, soup embodies both tradition and adventure.

We’ve stirred through the essentials, from choosing the right pots and blending tools to understanding the foundational role of stocks, broths, and cream.

We’ve chopped and sautéed, simmered and seasoned, all the while learning that each ingredient, whether a humble onion or an exotic spice, plays a pivotal role in crafting the perfect bowl.

Techniques like roasting and incorporating global flavors remind us that soup-making is an ever-evolving art, open to experimentation and personalization.

We’ve seen how soups can be adapted to various health and dietary considerations, ensuring that this comforting dish can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their dietary needs.

Our adventure also taught us the importance of presentation and garnishing – because we eat with our eyes first.

The right garnish, a complementary side dish, and even the choice of serving bowl can transform a simple soup into an extraordinary dining experience.

Finally, the practical advice on troubleshooting common soup issues proves that mistakes are just part of the learning process, offering opportunities to fine-tune our skills.

Soup-making is not just about following recipes; it’s about weaving together flavors, textures, and aromas to create something that nourishes both the body and soul.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, the world of soups offers endless possibilities to explore and enjoy.

So, grab your ladle and let your soup-making adventure continue!


Martyn is the founder and chief editor at He originally started the site because of his love for cooking and addiction to buying new kitchen equipment. 

He wanted to be able to help others like him to find the best kitchen equipment, as well as helping you to learn how to use it. With a passion in cooking, you will also find a range of recipes to make with your new kitchen tools and gadgets.

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