The Best Soups to Make When You Don't Have Time to Cook

There comes a time every winter when you peer into your pantry and declare enough is enough… No. More. Pasta. Sure, it's the staple dish in a busy woman's midweek menu, but there are a ton of other quick and easy one-pot meals that are just as flavorful and hearty. 

If your grocery-shopping routine consists of going into autopilot and finding yourself in the pasta aisle, it's time to switch it up. Here, we went in search of the best soup recipes that tick all the boxes: They're easy to prepare (most take under 15 minutes), can be made ahead of time (because sometimes the thought of cooking after work is just too much), and they introduce a multitude of rich flavors to reinvigorate your taste buds (they're anything but boring). 

Heat the stove, and whip up a pot of warm and hearty soup—it's just what you need to power through the cold months. 

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup

Half Baked Harvest

The Hero Ingredient: Fresh ginger gives this butternut squash soup an unexpected twist. 

The Recipe: This is the perfect recipe to batch-cook on Sunday ahead of a busy week. It involves roasting the garlic heads for a burst of smoky flavor and then combining with ingredients like butternut squash, thyme, and red pepper. It takes 15 minutes to prep and 45 minutes to cook. 

The Clincher: Like curry? The smoked paprika and spiced curry powder make this soup a great alternative to your usual takeout order. 

Cream of Mushroom Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Half Baked Harvest

The Hero Ingredient: Wild rice makes this cream of mushroom chicken soup extra filling. 

The Recipe: You'll need a food processor and a soup pot to make this creamy recipe. It calls for softened garlic, onions, and two types of mushrooms in butter and olive oil, and then simmering and blending in the processor. 

The Clincher: Got 15 minutes? That's all the time it takes to prepare.

Garlic and Greens Soup

The First Mess

The Hero Ingredient: Sturdy greens like kale and cabbage give this garlic and greens soup a unique texture. 

The Recipe: It doesn't get much easier than this. Simply sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant, and slowly add the other ingredients. Done. 

The Clincher: Toss in leftover vegetables from your fridge to customize this healthy recipe. 

Fish and Orzo Coconut Soup

Playful Cooking

The Hero Ingredient: Molagapodi, a South Indian spice mix, makes this fish and orzo coconut soup rich in flavor. 

The Recipe: This quick recipe has only three steps. In short, it calls for sautéing the vegetables and garlic, and then adding fish or vegetable broth until tender. Later, add spice, orzo, and the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. It's hard to mess up this simple soup. 

The Clincher: The addition of orzo makes this meal a pasta-soup hybrid. 

Asparagus and Ramp Soup

The First Mess

The Hero Ingredient: Asparagus gives this smooth soup a bright tinge. 

The Recipe: Visuals play an important role in making a meal appealing, and this asparagus and ramp soup is picture-perfect, thanks to its vibrant green color and garnishes like kale chips and chive blossoms. The recipe includes waxy potatoes, asparagus, lime, and dry white wine. 

The Clincher: If you like smoothie bowls, you'll love this soup. Layer toppings like quinoa, diced avocados, and violets on top for a Pinterest-worthy dish. 

Thai Pomegranate Chicken Khao Soi Noodle Soup

Half Baked Harvest

The Hero Ingredient: Coconut milk makes this dish creamy and a little decadent. 

The Recipe: Khao Soi is a traditional Northern Thailand dish that's bursting with unique flavors and textures. It combines egg noodles, curry paste, coconut milk, chicken breast, fish sauce, and more for a hearty meal that's perfect for lunch or dinner. 

The Clincher: Make a batch in advance, and cook the noodles separately to toss in when you're ready to eat. 

Curried Potato and Lentil Soup

The Minimalist Baker

The Hero Ingredient: Lentils make this hearty dish the ultimate comfort food. 

The Recipe: This curried potato and lentil soup will make you want to cozy up by the fireplace. It's packed with healthy and comforting ingredients like carrots, potatoes, garlic, kale, and lentils. It's loaded with plant-based protein and fiber, making it the perfect meal to help you stick to your healthy resolutions. 

The Clincher: It's a one-pot recipe, so cleaning up is a cinch. 

Williams-Sonoma Signature Soup Pot $200 $100
Heath Ceramics Pouring Bowl $145
Kim Seybert Chambray Gauze Napkin $24

Browse these easy, delicious slow-cooker recipes for more midweek meal inspiration. 

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