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Amanda’s top 16 soup recipes from around the world

Greek-style lemon and chicken soup

Enjoy a world of affordable, simple and satisfying soups this winter

From a spicy Thai tom yum to a Greek-style lemon and chicken soup, we’ve got your warming winter soups covered. These recipes cover all budgets and are perfect for a cosy family weeknight meal or a weekend get-together with friends. Ditch the suitcase and passport, and travel the world from the comfort of your kitchen this winter.

Expert Amanda

“For me, winter means making lots of simple, nourishing and aromatic soups that I can serve as a one-bowl meal during the week or share with friends on the weekend. The great thing about soups is that they’re so forgiving – you can play around with the ingredients you have on hand and still end up with something delicious. Canned tomatoes, corn and beans, plus whatever veggies are hanging around in the crisper drawer, and some onion, garlic and seasoning: add them together and you’ll have a hearty veggie soup.

You don’t always need stock; water will do. Make spice pastes your friend, too – the only limit is your imagination. Travel anywhere in the world and you’re likely to find a soup that’s a national treasure, from a hearty borscht to a bright, spicy Thai tom yum. Here, I’ve compiled some of my favourites, but not all of them – I’m looking at you, minestrone!”

– Amanda

Tom Yum soup

01

Thai tom yum soup

This fragrant Thai favourite is light yet totally satisfying, packed with veggies, and only $3.23 per serve. You can adjust the amount of tom yum paste and chilli to suit you and your family’s tastes – the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves (also known as makrut lime leaves), lime and garlic add plenty of flavour.

To bruise a lemongrass stick, place it on a chopping board and – using the flat edge of a large kitchen knife – pound along the stem of the lemongrass stick a few times to release its flavour and fragrance.

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slow-cooker lamb and rice soup

02

Turkish slow-cooker lamb & rice soup

Here’s a perfect soup for a cosy weekend gathering. It’s an affordable $4.66 per serve and it takes a few minutes to prepare before you can leave it to your trusty slow cooker to do the rest of the work. You could use a lamb shoulder instead of a lamb leg roast, but remember to spoon off any excess fat that rises to the top before adding the rice in the last hour or so of cooking.

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Italian wedding soup

03

Italian wedding soup

While it might not actually be served at Italian weddings (its name comes from the way the ingredients combine to create a marriage of flavours), this hearty soup is definitely cause for celebration. Don’t have orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta)? Any other short pasta, such as fusilli (corkscrew), penne or farfalle (bow-tie), will be just as delicious. Bonus, it’s budget-friendly at only $3.77 per serve.

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Moroccan-style spiced lentil soup

04

Moroccan-style spiced lentil soup

Packed with veggies and coming in at a very affordable $1.69 per serve, this warming lentil soup is the perfect accompaniment to a chilly evening. The Moroccan-style spice mix – coriander, paprika and rosemary – adds a fragrant flavour you will love. Even better, it’s on the table in 30 minutes. This recipe also freezes beautifully, so feel free to double the quantities and save some for another time.

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Braised beef and noodle soup

05

Braised beef & noodle soup

With its delectable Asian flavours and glossy broth, this winter soup is ideal for a weekend dinner. Adjust the amount of hot pepper paste to suit your taste, and use any Asian baby greens you want, such as bok choy or choy sum.

Thoroughly rinse between the leaves and stalks of your greens to remove any dirt or grit before halving them lengthways. If you can’t get beef short ribs, you can use chuck steak or any other beef cut that requires slow cooking – they’re the ones with the most flavour!

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Korean-style hotpot with kimchi & hot sauce

06

Korean-style hotpot with kimchi & hot sauce

This simply sensational hotpot is as much fun served for a celebration as it is for a midweek family meal. Traditionally, the ingredients prepared for cooking are served in bowls or on platters, and the broth is kept hot on a little stove in the centre of the table.

People then serve themselves, dunking the thinly sliced meat and veggies in the broth until they’re cooked to personal preference. Gochujang (Korean chilli paste) adds heat to this dish, so experiment with the quantity to suit your taste. To make things even simpler, swap the rice for microwave rice.

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Mille-feuille nabe

07

Mille-feuille nabe

The French phrase mille-feuille literally means 1000 sheets, layers or leaves, and it perfectly describes this Japanese-style hotpot. But, rather than stacking the layers horizontally (as in the classic French flaky pastry), you pack the Asian green leaves and thinly sliced pork belly vertically into the pot before pouring over the stock. Serve this to guests for a quick and easy winter dinner that looks and tastes incredible.

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Japanese shabu-shabu

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Japanese shabu-shabu

Once you’ve prepared all the ingredients, the actual cooking of this hotpot dish takes hardly any time at all. Here, everyone gets to cook their own ingredients at the table, which makes for a fun dinner party for adults and kids.

Semi-freezing the steaks makes them much easier to thinly slice and means they’ll cook to perfection in seconds. As more ingredients are dunked and cooked in the soup base, it will take on an increasingly rich and rounded flavour – perfect for slurping once the dunking is done.

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Borscht

09

Ukrainian borscht

While borscht is enjoyed throughout Eastern Europe, it’s long been claimed by Ukraine as the country’s national dish. It’s the epitome of the best of winter comfort food for so many reasons: its deep red colour, its warm, earthy flavour, and – of course – the fact that it’s packed with delicious winter produce, including beetroot. This version is $3.46 per serve and makes for a complete a meal in a bowl, with a dollop of sour cream on top and a side of cheesy toasted rye sourdough.

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Minted pea soup with bacon croutons

10

British minted pea soup with bacon croutons

This British classic has been given extra veggie goodness with the sneaky addition of spinach, and zhooshed up with crunchy bacon and sourdough croutons. This is a no-brainer midweek meal for the winter months. It’s a very affordable $2.34 per serve, quick to make, and great for freezing (just leave out the bacon croutons). Double the quantities and freeze the remainder for busy days. For a meat-free version, use vegetable stock instead of chicken and leave out the bacon – too easy!

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Greek-style lemon & chicken soup

11

Greek-style lemon & chicken soup

Based on the traditional avgolemono soup, this comforting dish melts in your mouth and for only $3.75 per serve. Whisking the egg yolks and lemon juice separately with some of the warm (not boiling) broth before gradually stirring it into the remainder allows the mixture to emulsify more easily. For best results and to prevent curdling, make sure your egg yolks are at room temperature and that the broth isn’t boiling when you stir the egg and lemon mixture back in.

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Chicken & corn soup

12

Chinese-style chicken & corn soup

This family favourite is $3.02 per serve, plus it’s super-quick and super-easy – you can have it on the table in 20 minutes, so it’s just the ticket for a midweek dinner. This is a great Monday night soup to make if you’ve roasted a chicken over the weekend and have some leftovers, but store-bought rotisserie chicken meat works just as well. You can also replace the fresh corn cobs with drained canned corn kernels.

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Speedy chicken and tortilla strip soup