This blog post will share easy homemade soup and stew recipes with you - some from cultures near home, others not so nearby. But each recipe will be a delicious, comforting dish that is sure to satisfy both your appetite and your curiosity!
Are you captivated by foreign cuisine? Do you love to explore the world through food?
From Italy, Croatia and Greece to Burma, Thailand and China, this blog post focuses on homemade recipes from around the globe that make a perfect lunch or dinner for any day of the week.
Be sure not to miss our expert tips and tricks (and FAQs) below to help you get the most out of your next meal!
The definition of "soup" is not just limited to liquid. A soup can be a stew as well!
In addition to the classics such as soothing chicken soup, aromatic pumpkin or butternut squash soup, or mushroom soup, which should not be missing in the feel-good repertoire, it is also worth trying out new variants.
Why it Works
- Soup and stews are great to make during the winter months, but there is nothing better than a bowl of soup or stew from scratch on any day of the year.
- The best part about soup is that it's an all-in-one meal: a bowl of soup can have vegetables, meat, pasta or rice noodles, broth or stock (or both), and even some form of thickeners like potatoes or barley!
- Soup also makes for great leftovers because you can store it in your fridge for up to five days without any loss in flavor.
- Not only do soups and stews taste amazing, but they also provide substantial health benefits!
We collected 15 popular hearty soup recipes and stew recipes with home-style flavor that will have you coming back for more!
Satisfying and warm, they're not just great companions when the temperatures cool down but are delicious for every season.
Why Eat Hot Foods on Hot Days?
There are benefits to eating hot soups and stews during hot summer days. "Fight fire with fire!" meaning hot soup on a hot day will keep your body in balance.
Hot foods make you sweat, which cools you off more efficiently than ice cream and makes for a cool summer.
But come fall and winter, these hearty dishes are true flatterers of the soul and immediately nourish your body and warm your heart.
What should I consider when cooking soups?
- Different ingredients that you use for your soup or stew may also have different cooking times.
- Make sure that you put the ingredients with the longest cooking times into the pot first. Gradually, add the other ingredients according to their cooking time.
- Always cut the very firm ingredients a little smaller or thinner than the already soft or tender food. So that, in the end, everything is equally soft and not overcooked.
Soup/Stew Recipes Tips and Tricks
- If your soup has become too thick, you can easily dilute and stretch it with meat or vegetable stock. If the soup is cream-based, add more cream or milk, then check for seasoning. Note: warm the cream before adding to soup to prevent curdling.
- For soups that are too thin, differentiate between clear and thickened: You can add greatly reduced meat broth with clear soups. A 1: 1 ratio of flour-butter is used for thickened soups. Cook for another 15 minutes and season to taste.
- To remove excess grease from your dish, put some ice cubes in a cloth or paper towel and hang them in the soup for a moment. The fat will coagulate around the ice cubes and be easier to lift out. Another way is to let the dish cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate until the fat solidifies on the surface.
- To keep the soup from boiling over, coat the edge of the pot with oil.
- If your stew started to burn, pour it into another saucepan and be careful not to scrape off the sediment with it. Then just let it cook.
- Salt sparingly! It's easier to add than to remove extra salt. *See FAQ's category below on handling salty soups.
- Soups and stews are best served piping hot!
Regardless of whether you're making international or regional soup recipes with just seasonal vegetables or adding meat - with the right cookware, preparing these well-being meals is all the easier.
Here are some popular options:
- Dutch Oven - A good Dutch oven is a perfect investment for those who love soups and stews. I make almost all my meals in one of my trusted Dutch ovens. They are well suited for long, slow cooking. Enameled ovens do not need to be seasoned before use like other bare cast-iron cookware.
- Instant Pot - The presure cooker is handy for many reasons but it's especially ideal if you like to make soups and stews on the fly. Besides saving time and energy, cooking food in a multi-cooker retains nutrients and vitamins. It replaces up to seven common kitchen appliances, and it cooks tough meats in half the time (perfect for the busy home cooks).
- Slow Cooker (Crock-pot) - "Set it and forget it" is the most convenient type of cooking. A slow cooker is a must in every kitchen. It's great becasue you can set it up the night before or in the morning so that when you come home from work or school there will be hot homemade soup ready to eat without all of the stress.
- Stock Pot - No matter how hard you work, your dishes will be ruined if a pot or pan sticks, so choosing a quality non-stick pot is important. This is especially true for cooking stew or thick soup (also known as stoup, as our Rachael Ray dubbed it).
15 Best Soup and Stew Recipes from Around the Globe
The best part about these recipes is that you can enjoy them no matter where in the world you live.
1. Italian Slow Cooker Lamb Ragu
- This lamb ragu is my favorite cozy Italian stew. The sauce has a wonderful richness, and cooking it in the slow cooker means you can use cheaper cuts of lamb, and it makes for a fuss-free dinner at the end of the day.
- If I were to fuse Italian with another cuisine, it would be Thai! I love the idea of taking Italian classics like pizza and pasta and infusing them with some Thai curries and some fresh aromatics like coriander and ginger!
Tips by Sarah of The Aussie Home Cook for making lamb ragu:
- Use cheaper, tougher cuts of meat such as deboned lamb shoulder or leg roast. Lighter cuts like chops will dry out and are more expensive.
- I use broccoli stalks instead of celery. It means you don't have to buy whole celery to use just a few stalks, and it uses up the broccoli stem, win-win!
- Lamb ragu is traditionally served with pappardelle pasta but is delicious with soft pillowy gnocchi or any other pasta you have on hand.
2. Croatian Lamb Peka
- This lamb peka is the best comfort meal loved by all from Croatia. We tried it on our travels there and had to recreate it when we returned home.
- Lamb with plenty of vegetables, all cooked with olive oil and wine. Why not add stock to transform it into a soup, making a great sauce perfect for dipping fresh bread in. You could even add a British twist by adding dumplings too!
Tip by Kay & Luke of Flawless Food for making peka:
- Our recipe gives you all the information you need to know to make this traditional Croatian dish at home, using a cast iron dish, without the need for an outdoor fireplace or domed bell lid like they do in Croatia.
Explore more Croatian flavors with this easy meatless Roux Soup.
3. Greek Stewed Chicken
- Kotopoulo Kokkinisto (pr. koh-TOH-pou-loh koh-khee-knee-STOH) is a Greek stewed chicken dish cooked in tomato sauce and flavored with Greek spices. Greek stews are not hot but very flavourful because we cook using extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs and spices.
- These spices can be exchanged with others to make it Middle Eastern or even Indian.
Tip by Ivy of Kopiaste for stewed chicken:
- We usually use sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon stick, allspice, and bay leaf in stews. Instead of chicken, you can use lamb, veal, or beef.
4. Bosnian Chicken Paprikash with Dumplings
- We love this dish because it is hearty, filling, and unusual at the same time. Most stews in the region are heavy on red meats, and here's this little chicken stew that blows them all away.
- We would fuse Bosnian with Mexican cuisine. It's divine and so simple. Everything is made from fresh, simple ingredients: vegetables, meat, and grains - things you can easily pronounce and probably already have in your pantry/fridge. Some combo ideas that come to mind are fajitas with these fried little bread called uštipci, or cheese pie, sirnica, and something yummy like tortilla soup.
Tip by Aida and Aleksandra of The Balkan Lunch Box:
- Balkan cuisine is dough-centric. We're talking about the thin, phyllo dough kind. It's best when it's homemade, and that takes some practice as you're essentially spreading out a dough ball until it's the thickness of tissue paper. However, once you learn how to make it, every other dough dish will come easy to you: homemade bread, pizza, breadsticks, crescents, etc.
You will absolutely love this Bosnian hearty and flavorful Cabbage Stew with vegetables and chunks of tender meat.
Or try this light Chicken Soup (Bosnian Bey Soup) quickly made in an instant pot.
5. West African Peanut Butter Soup
- This peanut butter soup from West Africa is memory food for me. I can remember the exact moment I tried it years ago because it was so tasty, comforting, and new.
- I would fuse this dish with Thai cuisine as it has similar qualities, and the Thai flavors would elevate this soup.
Tip by Joss of In the Kitch for serving this PB soup:
- If you feel like this smooth soup is missing something, serve it with crusty bread or rice. You can also add protein.
6. Nigerian Beef Stew
- Nigerian beef stew is a classic African stew made from simple ingredients, including mainly tomatoes, onions, and red bell peppers. It's one of my favorite African stews because of its versatility: it's easy to make and pairs easily with various other side dishes like rice, yams, and plantains.
- This recipe can easily be fused with Mexican or Brazilian cuisine as most of these recipes are similar. For instance, Mexican rice is very similar to Nigerian Jollof rice, with the only difference being the spice blend used.
Tip by Chichi of My Diaspora Kitchen for this beef stew:
- The aim for the blended tomatoes and bell peppers in this stew is to cook and reduce them to a paste-like consistency. Roasting the peppers in the oven makes cooking this delicious stew even easier. Red or purple onions add better flavor. You can easily swap out the beef for any protein of choice.
7. Vietnamese Beef Pho
- Pho is easily the most classic comfort street food from Vietnam.
- If I were to fuse another cuisine with this recipe, Thai would add some additional flavor profiles.
Tip by Jessica of The Forked Spoon for making pho:
- Always make your homemade bone broth for pho, as the lengthy broth cooking process is what gives pho its amazing flavor.
8. Vietnamese Chicken & Shrimp Pho
- We love Asian food, and this is the easiest recipe I have found for Pho. In fact, we will never order out again. Super easy to make at home.
- We also love Italian dishes, especially pasta. I would for sure make this into a pasta sauce.
Tips by Gloria of Homemade and Yummy for making her pho:
- You can play with some of the ingredients; for instance, if you don't like shrimp, omit it or add more chicken.
- Also, with the fish sauce, you can control how much you want to use. Very important if you had a salt-reduced diet; the same goes for the soya sauce.
9. Vietnamese Beef Stew
- This is my favorite recipe stew recipe from Vietnam because it's easy to switch it up between a hearty stew eaten with french bread or thinned out to be eaten as a soupy noodle bowl as well.
- You can switch up the spices and transform this into the French beef stew, beef bourguignon.
Tip by Joyce of Pups with Chopsticks for beef stew:
- I use coke to tenderize the meat, but you can also use fruit like kiwi to go a more natural route.
10. Japanese Miso Soup
- We love it because it's a healthy and nourishing soup that's so versatile. We'll eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and love throwing in extra veggies here or there to make it go further.
- We'd fuse this with classic Chicken Noodle soup - popping in some udon noodles and chopped chicken thighs. Yum!
Tips by Sarah & Laura of Wandercooks for miso soup:
- Leave the miso paste until last, when the heat is off or low, to stop boiling the miso.
- Use a strainer to melt the paste into the soup and avoid clumps.
- If it's your first time cooking with miso, get the white variety - it's less intense than red miso and perfect for beginners.
11. Chinese Spicy Hot Pot
- We love it because it is pure comfort food to share with family and friends. The broth is so nourishing and therapeutic, whether you like it spicy or mild. Perfect to warm you up on a cold day, and you can add any vegetables or proteins you desire.
- Many cultures from around the world have a type of "Hot Pot," but they all have their broth and special ingredients. However, they all have a main communal broth where others cook their own ingredients. In China, this is called Huo Guo; in Thai, this is Suki; and in Japan, this is called Shabu Shabu.
Tip by Bobbi of Healthy World Cuisine for hot pot:
- One helpful hint is to cut up all your proteins and vegetables super thin, so they cook quickly in the broth. Always cook the noodles last as they soak up a lot of the soup broth.
12. Burmese Khow Suey
- This recipe is so comforting - is it a soup, or is it a noodle dish? It's both! This recipe came to me from my aunt whose family lived in Burma (Myanmar)
- This recipe is a fusion of Indian and Burmese cuisine. The Thai recipe Khao Soi is another version of the Burmese Khow Suey.
Tip by Neena of Paint the Kitchen Red:
- I've adapted the recipe to be a one-pot meal cooked in the Instant Pot by using spaghetti instead of noodles. I also like to fry the onion (garnish) ahead of time and store it in the fridge, saving a lot of time.
13. Mexican Chicken Soup
- Caldo de Pollo is a traditional Mexican Chicken Soup. It's very hearty with chunks of vegetables and full of comforting goodness. This is one of my favorite dishes because of the childhood memories it brings.
- If I were to fuse another cuisine, I'd choose Italian. A pasta like fettuccine would go great here.
Tip by Maggie of Mama Maggie's Kitchen:
- One of the best tips I can give is to chop everything in advice. It'll make this dish come together faster. Also, we like to use all parts of the chicken in Mexico. Drumsticks are super cheap and make this soup super tasty.
Mix things up and make this Mexican Tortilla Soup with chicken, beans, and spices, topped with cheese and baked tortilla strips.
14. Jamaican Pumpkin Beef Soup
- I love Jamaican Pumpkin Beef soup because it features so many different flavors and textures. As a bonus, my husband who is Jamaican, is always in charge of making it so I get a break from cooking!
- We make many Jamaican-inspired Canadian dishes at home - the best of both our worlds! My favorite is making jerk chicken burgers on the grill in the summer.
Tip by Elizabeth of Frugal Mom Eh!:
- You can get creative and experiment with various vegetables to add to the soup. We use a different selection of West Indian produce every time we make it!
15. Brazilian Black Bean Stew
- Feijoada (Brazilian black bean stew) is Brazil's national dish for a good reason! It's incredibly delicious and full of history behind it!
- Brazilian cuisine is a fusion of many cuisines such as Portuguese, Italian, African, and Indigenous. Feijoada, for example, is a fusion of African and Portuguese cuisine. If I were to fuse one more cuisine in this pot, I would add Mexican cuisine because of the great flavors it brings.
Tip by Lilian of Simple Living Recipes:
- When cooking Brazilian dishes, make sure to sauté your onions and garlic; as my mom used to say, it's the base for a tasty dish.
If you enjoy South American flavors, you will love this easy Colombian Chicken Stew with potatoes.
Want an amazing stew your kids will love? Look no further! This easy Indian Chicken Tikka Masala is done in 30 minutes and is sure to put your favorite take-out joint out of business.
The simplest solution: Pour cold water into the soup and warm it up again. Just make sure that the soup doesn't get too watery and lose its flavor.
Another option is to put 2-3 tablespoons of rice in a tea infuser, cook then remove it. Potato has the same effect: cut it into small pieces and cook it too. The starch it contains absorbs the salt.
Pour the soup into another saucepan and be careful not to scrape off the sediment with it. Then continue to cook and make sure not to burn again.
Cool down, uncovered, until almost at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for up to three days.
Most soups and stews are freezer-friendly and will keep for up to three months. It's best to refer to the original recipe and the author's tips and suggestions.
We hope you enjoy these recipes for soup and stews from around the world. If you have any favorites not mentioned here, please share them in the comments below.
Other Amazing Recipes to Try
- Mediterranean Okra Stew
- Beef and Vegetable Stew
- German Beer and Cheese Soup
- German Hunter Cabbage Stew
- Mexican Sopa de Polo
- Healthy Beef Bone Broth
- Beef Soup with Semolina Dumplings
- Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Soup
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