What’s Cooking — Soups from Around the World


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When you’re looking for a bit of comfort, have some soup. 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. 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

Photo: Sbs.com.

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

Photo: Southpawgroup.com

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

Photo: Stephsbitebybite.com

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

Photo: Theharvestkitchen.com

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

Photo: Fromargentinawithlove.typepad.com

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.


Photo: Thefigtreeblog.com

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!

  • Yum, excited to try! My wife and I do soup a few times a week but mostly simple puree of veggies. Discovered that zucchini is a great base to any puree soup. One of my favs is zucchini and laughing cow (vache qui rit). It might sound crazy (using processed cheese) but you put only one in (just for texture) and it turns into a frothy soup that tastes heavenly.

    Super easy to make. Add your zucchini to a pot (cut in chunks with skin on), add half an onion (chopped) and barely cover with water (not too much). Let it boil then reduce to simmer until cooked. Then add one piece of laughing cow cheese and blend. Done!

  • Chrissy

    I’m always craving soup! Are you going to try one of the recipes from the article? If you do, let us know how it turns out!

  • Jars

    Yum… Soup is what I’m craving tonight… These are beautiful bowls of soup and thanks for the easy to read recipes with accompanying pictures.

  • Nma Jewel

    Thank you very much from the Nigerian lazy chef family. We really appreciate this positive recognition