January is National Soup Month, which merits a bit of history. Traced back as far as 6000 B.C., soup was sold in Greek marketplaces and is thought to be the first ‘fast food.’ At this time, soup was little more than broth. People would dip bread into the broth, and the bread, or the “sop,” as it was called, was the substantive ingredient of the meal. Over time, the word “sop” evolved into the word “soup,” our name for the hearty meal of broth packed with leafy vegetables, meat or potatoes.
From thick, creamy soups and gazpachos to water-based broth and chilis, every country around the world has a traditional recipe to call its own. Since January becomes colder by the day, we’ve rounded up the world’s favorite soup recipes to enjoy in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Asia: Burmese Coconut-Chicken Noodle Soup
It’s said that even on the steamiest day in tropical Myanmar, the locals will tell you that “Ohn no khao swe” is what’s for dinner. This Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup is a curry topped with chicken, noodles, chili peppers, green onion, cilantro, eggs, lime juice and fish sauce. Learn how to make this hearty national dish at Tara’s Multicultural Table.
Africa: Nigerian Okro Soup
Nigerians aren’t the only ones who love okro, or “oh-kra” in the Queen’s English, but they have mastered a soup that makes it taste best. Depending on how you like the texture of your soup, the Nigerian Okro Soup can be made differently. Either you pan-fry the green okra pods whole with a little citrus, chili oil and honey, or you finely chop them and allow the silky white seeds to soften the mix. Keep this is mind when following this delicious recipe of Nigerian Lazy Chef.
North America: American Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
Gumbo is Louisiana’s most beloved food, and Jennifer Cooks has just the recipe to make the state proud. With the vegetable trinity of chopped bell pepper, onion and celery well-acknowledged here, your guests will suspect you grew up in gumbo country.
Central America: Guatemalan Caldo de Pollo
Caldo De Pollo, also known as Guatemalan Chicken Stew, is the perfect meal for cold, winter months. Boasting more vegetables than chicken, this soup supports your immune system with our favorite root vegetables like carrots and leafy greens. Karla of Foodologie shares her family recipe as a homage to this national staple, assuring us that it’s her favorite food of all time.
South America: Argentina’s Sopa de Sorrel
Sorrel is one of the more forgotten herbs in the United States, but locals take advantage of whatever grows wild and in abundance in Argentina. The herb has powerful antioxidant properties and adds a nice, distinct flavor to soups, stews and creams. The Sorrel Soup that Rebecca of From Argentina with Love makes is like many soups from Argentina: made from whatever she has on hand. Coming from a country that embraces the use of simple ingredients, this recipe includes sorrel, cream, carrot, fennel, vegetable stock and potatoes.
Roasted Beet Borscht
A classic Eastern European soup, the Roasted Beet Borscht is a Ukrainian delicacy cooked with beets and tomato or cabbage as the main ingredients. It’s said that every Ukrainian family has its own recipe, but a recipe by The Restless Palate is the best Roasted Beet Soup I’ve ever had.
What’s your favorite soup recipe? Paste your links in the comments section below!