A dreary, grey day can be a bit of a bummer, but it can also be a great excuse for spending a cozy day inside. Grab your favourite blankie, put on your guilty-pleasure show (trashy reality TV, anyone?) and curl up with one of these delicious and easy soup recipes. There's something about a hot bowl of soup that's infinitely comforting, whether it's ramen piled high with toppings, a sweet and spicy pho or even a plain old chicken noodle. If it's hot and tasty, count us in.
Here, we have easy soup recipes from some of Toronto's best restaurants and chefs. Known as the Six Pack Chef (we'll give you one guess why), Top Chef Canada finalist and Chopped Canada winner Wallace Wong gives us his recipe for potato leek soup. Full of Yukon gold potatoes and fresh leeks, this hearty soup recipe is a big bowl of comfort. Finish it off with a sprinkling of sour cream and onion potato chips for a delicious crunch.
Meanwhile, creamy coconut milk, juicy chicken thighs and Thai spices come together in this flavourful Tom Kha Gai soup recipe from Kiin. The entertainment district restaurant, as well as the eponymous cookbook come to us from beloved Thai chef Nuit Regular. Her Tom Kha Gai soup recipe has a spicy and sour kick that will give you that warming feeling from the inside out.
Ahhhh, do you feel that? It's your cares drifting away as you tuck into these comforting soup recipes.
2 lbs medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
¾ tsp salt
½ stick (¼ cup) unsalted butter
2 tsp all-purpose flour
¾ cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken or beef broth
1 ½ cups water
½ tsp black pepper
6 diagonal slices of baguette, ½-inch thick
1 piece gruyère, comte or emmental cheese (½ lb)
2 Tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
In a 4–5-quart heavy pot, combine the onions, thyme, bay leaves, salt and butter. Cook over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water and pepper, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
While the soup simmers, put an oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 350 F.
Arrange the bread in one layer on a large baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes.
Remove the croutons from the oven and preheat broiler. Put crocks in a shallow baking pan and fill each crock with soup, leaving a space at the top. Place a crouton on top of each soup and cover with cheese.
Place under a broiler and melt cheese until it forms a golden crust. Serve immediately.
1 lbs potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into ½-inch pieces (Wong likes using Yukon golds for its vibrant yellow colour and starch content)
3 cups chicken broth or broth of choice
1 whole bay leaf
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, roughly 3–5 sprigs
1 cup heavy cream (can be substituted with your preferred dairy alternative)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crushed sour cream and onion chips, to garnish
Chopped green onions, to garnish
Add the butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add in the leeks, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally, roughly 8–10 minutes. You want it to soften but not brown.
Add in the potatoes and broth, and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are soft, roughly 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and then in batches (depending on the size of your blender), purée the soup until smooth.
Return the soup to the pot, add in the heavy cream and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with crushed up Sour Cream and Onion Chips and green onions.
Kiin's Tom Kha Gai, coconut soup with chicken recipe
1 cup packed oyster, button, shimeji, or king oyster mushrooms, trimmed
15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half crosswise
1 fresh red bird’s eye chili, cut in half crosswise
2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce, or to taste
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 Tbsp tamarind paste, or to taste
1 Tbsp Thai cane sugar, if needed
2 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup (about 9 leaves) packed fresh sawtooth coriander leaves, chopped into 1-inch pieces
½ cup packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, about 1-inch pieces
Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
Standard Meat Marinade (Nham Mhak Nua Sud) Ingredients
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp tapioca starch
½ tsp sea salt
Tamarind Paste (Nham Mha Kham) Ingredients
1 cup water
¼ cup seedless sour tamarind (dried or block)
Standard Meat Marinade (Nham Mhak Nua Sud) Method
In a medium bowl, combine the water, vegetable oil, tapioca starch and salt. Stir until the salt and starch have fully dissolved.
Add the meat to the bowl and mix well. Chef Nuit Regular likes to stir the meat in a clockwise motion, massaging until all the liquid has been absorbed. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Tamarind Paste (Nham Mha Kham) Method
In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a rolling boil. Break the tamarind into small pieces and drop them into the boiling water. Boil for 3–4 minutes. The heat breaks down the tamarind pulp and makes it easier to separate the fibres. If using dried tamarind, it will start to expand. If using a tamarind block, it will absorb the water and start to soften.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a large bowl, pressing out every bit of liquid and paste. Chef Regular recommends using a large bowl to help minimize the mess. Make sure to scrape the paste off the bottom of the sieve and mix it into the liquid. Discard the pulp in the sieve. Allow to cool before using. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai) Method
In a medium pot, combine the coconut water, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves and shallots. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk and salt and simmer until the coconut milk starts to boil, about 3 minutes.
Add the marinated chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes and chili. Poach the chicken for 8–10 minutes or until the chicken floats to the surface. If the soup starts to simmer, reduce the heat a bit. Once the chicken floats up, cook for another 2 minutes.
Add, to taste, the fish sauce, lime juice and tamarind paste for a balance of sour, salty and sweet. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and taste the soup. Coconut milk and mushrooms provide a natural sweetness. If there is not enough sweetness, add the cane sugar. The best way to do this is by scooping about ½ cup of the soup into a small bowl and stirring in the sugar until it dissolves completely. Stir into the soup, mix well, and taste again. If it still needs more sweetness, add a little more sugar the same way.
Stir in the green onions, sawtooth coriander and cilantro. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.