Soup is incredibly easy to prepare, freezes easily and can make for a quick meal or comforting fare while you’re battling the flu that’s going around. Here are some recipes, tested by grandmothers from all corners of the world. All of these dishes can also be made in a slow cooker, allowing you plenty of time to lie on the couch and recuperate.


Bubbie’s Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is often called “Jewish penicillin.” It provides nutrients, sodium and liquids, all of which are needed when you’re battling a cold or flu. So maybe it’s not such a folktale after all. Nu?



2 medium onions, chopped

2 medium carrots, halved and thinly sliced

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 tablespoon chicken fat or corn oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 chicken quartered

6 cups water

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ cup frozen peas

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley



In a large pot, sauté the onions, carrots and celery in fat or oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. Add water, chicken, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Remove chicken, allow to cool, remove skin and shred meat, add meat back into soup with the peas and parsley, simmer 15 minutes. Makes 2-3 quarts.


Italian Sausage Kale Soup

Just like Nona used to make! Use turkey sausage to make this dish a bit healthier.



1½ pounds bulk Italian sausage

1 medium onion, chopped

8 cups chopped fresh kale

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

1 cup water

1 carton (26 ounces) chicken stock

1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes

½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper



Crumble sausage into a large pot; add onion.

Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.

Remove sausage and set aside.

Drain most of the fat, leaving just enough to cover the bottom of the pot.

Sauté kale in reserved fat until wilted.

Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute.

Add water and cook 2 minutes longer.

Stir in the stock, beans, diced tomatoes, dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and sausage mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until kale is tender. Makes 2 quarts.


Abuela’s Sopa de Res

If you like your soup with a little kick, add more red pepper flakes or a can of chipotle peppers and its sauce.



1 pound beef stew meat

¾ pound potatoes,

2 medium carrots

1 medium onion

2 garlic cloves

1 ear of corn, shucked

1 cup frozen green beans

1½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups beef stock

1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes

1 can (5 ounces) diced chilies



Cut beef into 1-¼ inch pieces.

Cut potatoes into cut into ¾ inch cubes.

Cut carrot into 1½ inch slices.

Cut corn into 1inch discs

Chop onion and garlic.

In a large pot, combine all ingredients.

Cook, covered, on low until meat is tender, 6-8 hours. Makes 2 quarts.


Zu Mu’s Dumpling Soup

Using frozen pot stickers makes this a quick and easy dish. If preparing ahead of time, reserve pot stickers and cook them as you reheat the soup. Using vegetable pot stickers and vegetable broth makes this a nice vegetarian dish.



½ pound napa cabbage, thinly sliced

2 celery ribs, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks

½ cup thinly sliced green onions

2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

½ teaspoon sesame oil

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 package (16 ounces) frozen pot stickers



In large pot combine the first nine ingredients. Stir in broth. Cook, covered, on low until vegetables are tender, 5-6 hours. Add pot stickers; cook, covered, on high until heated through, 5-10 minutes. Yield: 2 quarts.


Daadee Ma’s Cauliflower Soup

Vegetarian and healthy, the heat level helps you sweat out those toxins.



1 large head cauliflower

5 medium potatoes

1 large onion

4 medium carrots

2 celery ribs

1 quart vegetable stock

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Water or additional vegetable stock

Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped



Break cauliflower into small florets, peel and dice potatoes, onion, carrots and celery. Add to a large pot with stock and spices, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Pour small batches into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Adjust consistency as desired with water (or additional stock). Sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving. Makes 3 quarts.