Think of the most romantic meal you've ever had. Got it? If we had to guess which image came to mind, it probably wasn't along the lines of soup. Soup has a tendency to get lost in the shuffle of tummy-filling grand gestures, but there's something to be said about its versatility when you're looking to impress a plus one. Unlike steak, which can only be prepared a handful of ways, or chocolate, which really isn't a meal unless you're cool with cavities, soup can combine innumerable flavors and textures to showcase just how thoughtful you can be.
Consider the ingredients your partner loves most, and there's likely a soup for that.
We found 10 soups to share with a significant other, including plenty of crockpot recipes for two, so that you can show your love with a spoon. These recipes cover beloved combinations like broccoli and cheese or tomato and basil and also venture into more adventurous tastes like Thai butternut squash and Tuscan white bean and lemon. No matter which one you choose to make—and you can make them all—you're sure to soon reconsider what's on your list of the most romantic meals you've ever had. Because, really, enjoying these soups with your special someone is sure to be memorable, too.
Quinoa Tortilla Soup
Ali Martin from Gimme Some Kitchen dreamed up this tortilla soup recipe—which is vegetarian and gluten-free—for her husband's dietary needs. And if that isn't reason enough to also share this meal with a partner, then maybe the ingredients will do the trick. Martin uses dried chiles, diced onion, minced garlic, quinoa, and black and pinto beans for this soup, and then tops it of with tortilla strips, naturally.
Bring the Love: "If you have a gas range, briefly toast the chiles by holding them a few inches above the open flame, rotating to toast on all sides, until fragrant," Martin notes. "If you have an electric range, heat your stockpot over medium-high heat and toast the chiles in the dry pot for a minute or so, pressing them down with a wooden spoon or spatula, and rotating to toast on all sides, until fragrant."
White Bean, Sausage, and Kale Soup
Martin from Gimme Some Oven also recommends this recipe for a Tuscan white bean, sausage, and kale soup for two reasons: It's delicious, and it comes together in all of 30 minutes. The title ingredients are mixed with diced carrots and onion, rosemary, thyme, and parmesan cheese, and then finished with more salt and pepper. This is also a recipe to make ahead—Martin says that it freezes well, too.
Bring the Love: "Any kind of smoked sausage or Italian sausage will work," she says. "Just a heads up that the raw Italian sausage will need a bit longer to cook completely."
For our last entry from Gimme Some Oven, Martin uses Italian sausage for this tomato soup as well, but adds in gnocchi and other rich flavors for a simple but layered dish. Diced celery, carrots, and bell peppers are combined with options for red or white wine and spinach or kale. When the soup is ready, Martin recommends garnishing the bowls with freshly-grated parmesan, basil, or parsley.
Bring the Love: "To save time, I recommend chopping the vegetables while the sausage cooks," she notes.
Beef Stroganoff Soup
Tiffany Azure at Le Creme de la Crumb put forth this recipe for beef stroganoff soup, and it's just the type of dinner two people would crave when they want a filling meal without much effort. Why? The stew meat, sliced mushrooms, noodles, and spices can be put inside a slow-cooker or Instant Pot, and then simply topped with herbs and cheese when the time is right.
Bring the Love: "Any short noodle works great!" Azure says. "Egg noodles are really common with traditional stroganoff and taste great in this soup, but my favorite are cellentani."
Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Azure from Le Creme de la Crumb also breaks out her slow-cooker for this Thai butternut squash soup recipe, which includes unsweetened coconut milk, brown sugar, lime juice, chopped peanuts, and cilantro. It's a sweet-and-spicy combination with an eye-catching shade and fragrant finish, making for a meal that can bring some excitement to a typical weeknight.
Bring the Love: "Just before serving, prepare the gremolata," she says. "In a small bowl, stir together cilantro, peanuts, lime zest, and red chili pepper flakes."
Broccoli Cheese Soup
Broccoli cheese soup is a classic comfort food, and it might be exactly what a couple needs after a long day. Azure at Le Creme de la Crumb has a simple recipe for it that includes finely chopped broccoli florets, sharp cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, and plenty of butter. Everything combines and is ready to serve in about 30 minutes, and then topped with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Bring the Love: "Do not use pre-shredded cheese, please grate cheese from a block," Azure says. "Cheese that comes already grated is tossed in a powdered coating that causes it to melt differently than freshly-grated cheese and will give your soup a gritty texture."
Tomato, Basil, and Tortellini Soup
Our last entry from Le Creme de la Crumb features yet another comforting option: tortellini soup made with tomato, basil, and parmesan. Azure mixes these rich flavors with heavy cream, mixed garlic, diced onion, and a roux, and then finishes it off with more cheese and basil. And since this soup can also be made in a crockpot—with just 10 minutes of prep—it's a meal that won't take up much of your time.
Bring the Love: "About 30 to 40 minutes before serving, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, then return to the crockpot," Azure says.
Tuscan White Bean and Lemon Soup
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest may have created an easy-to-assemble crockpot soup with this Tuscan white bean and lemon option, but its presentation is so beautiful that it's worthy of a romantic night in. The recipe includes quinoa, chopped sweet onion, sage, cannelloni beans, carrots, and basil pesto, which is cooked in four hours and topped with parmesan. Gerard also recommends serving this dish with bread, of course.
Bring the Love: "To keep the recipe simple and easy, I used my favorite pantry staple, canned cannelloni beans," she says. "But if you wanted to make the soup with dry beans, just soak about one or two cups of white beans overnight in water, then drain, and add to the crockpot with all of the other ingredients."
Wild Rice Soup
If you and your significant other are fans of mushrooms, then this recipe for a wild rice soup from Gerard at Half Baked Harvest may become part of your permanent rotation. It's made with diced onions and carrots, fresh thyme and wild rice, and smashed garlic and lemon zest, which are all combined with mixed mushrooms that have been cooked in garlic and butter. By the way, this recipe can also be made in a slow-cooker, making it even more appealing.
Bring the Love: "Mash the garlic with a fork, and then stir the mushrooms, mashed garlic, and any butter left into the soup," Gerard notes.
Quinoa, White Bean, and Kale Soup
Chelsea Lords at Chelsea's Messy Apron also makes the most of a crockpot's convenience with this tasty quinoa, white bean, and kale soup, and we can't deny how easy it is to bring this option to your dinner table. The namesake ingredients are mixed with chopped yellow onion, parmesan, and seasonings over a four-hour cooking time, and that's all it takes to make your loved one smile.
Bring the Love: "Don't forget the (generous) handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese at the end," Lords says. "I love stirring all the cheese in and letting it melt a bit—so, so good!"