Skip to Content

One Soup, Endless Ways

  • Save Recipe
  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 40 min
  • Servings 4
  • Save
  • Print
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Email
Ready to make?
  • Save
  • Share
  • Keep Screen On
What will your soup look like? One master soup base recipe with endless variations depending on your choice of additions!
Updated Oct 4, 2017
  • Save
  • Share
  • Keep Screen On


Soup Base

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 5 cups Reduced Sodium Progresso™ chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen™ Organic Diced Tomatoes with juices (no salt added)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Protein Choices (cook prior to adding to soup base)

  • 19 oz of beans, rinsed (such as cannellini, butter, or garbanzo beans)
  • 6 oz cooked ham, cubed
  • 1 lb chicken, cooked and chopped, or the white meat from 1 rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 1 package (12 oz) cooked sausage (4 links), sliced and lightly browned in 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package (12 oz) Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled and browned until cooked through in 1 tablespoon olive oil

Starch Choices

  • 10 to 12 oz frozen cheese tortellini, simmer about 10 minutes or as directed by package
  • 1 lb dried pasta, simmer about 10 minutes or as directed by package
  • 2 cups pre-cooked rice
  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced or sliced, simmer about 20 to 30 minutes or until tender

Vegetable Choices

  • 1 medium size butternut squash, peeled and cubed, seeds removed
  • 3 or 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups frozen corn or other frozen vegetables
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 apples or pears, peeled and diced

Leafy Green Choices

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz fresh spinach


  • 1
    If you’re cooking meats: Prepare the meat in the pot before preparing the soup base.
  • 2
    For the soup base: Start with a large, heavy pot and heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and thyme, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer.
  • 3
    To the soup base, add any combination of desired ingredients in desired amounts, allowing them to simmer as long as needed to cook or heat through. Meats should be pre-cooked before starting the soup base. Pre-cooked meats can be added to the base at any time. Pasta and potatoes can be cooked in the simmering broth. Add pre-cooked rice at any time. Add 1 or 2 vegetables just after bringing the soup base to a boil and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add a leafy green to the simmering soup, if desired, 5 to 7 minutes before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste just before serving.
  • 4
    Suggested soup combinations: White beans, sausage, apple and kale, Italian sausage, potato and spinach, Chicken, carrots, rice and kale, Ham, potato and corn, Butter beans, ham, apple and spinach, Tortellini, spinach and chicken, White beans, butternut squash, pear and kale with nutmeg.

Expert Tips

  • tip 1
    Add hot sauce, red pepper flakes or diced hot peppers to add some heat.
  • tip 2
    Experiment with additional spices, such as sage, basil, oregano and nutmeg.
  • tip 3
    Vegan? Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.
  • tip 4
    Like creamy soups? Add 1/4 cup of heavy cream.
  • tip 5
    In place of the can of diced tomatoes, try a can of pureed pumpkin.
  • tip 6
    Try substituting one cup of white wine in place of a cup of broth.

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • One base recipe, then you decide what ingredients finish it up! Soup. This warm bowl of comfort is an essential staple, and you won't believe how easy it is to master the art of making any kind of soup you like. Hmm, “essential staple.” Is that redundant? Considering you can freeze a batch of soup for an anytime dinner, serve it with bread and salad at a dinner party, or just whip some up after work, I’m sticking with the redundancy. Start with this simple recipe for your soup base. Then mix and match proteins, fruits and veggies and starches to create your own soup masterpiece. Meat lover? Veggie lover? Pasta lover? Vegan? This soup has you covered. What ingredients you choose and how long they need to cook or heat through will determine when you add what you like to the base. Below you’ll find all the information you need, as well as even more options to spice things up once you’ve mastered the art of combination. First, let’s set up your soup base. You’ll need olive oil, garlic, broth, a can of diced tomatoes and some thyme. That’s it. You can use any big, heavy pot you have. Add as much garlic as you'd like. Two cloves, three cloves, even four cloves if you like garlic that much! TIP: To free the thyme leaves, run the stem between your thumb and forefinger against the growth direction of the leaves. When you add the ingredients will depend on whether it needs to cook or just needs to heat through. First we’ll need one or two choices from the protein category – meat and beans. Rinsed beans from a can and cooked meats can be added at any time, so I usually add these right when the soup base comes to a boil. Try cannellini, butter or garbanzo beans for another form of protein. You can also add cooked and diced ham, rotisserie chicken, Italian sausage with the casings removed (crumbled and browned in olive oil), or sliced sausage links, browned in olive oil. If you plan on cooking any of your meats, cook them in your pot before starting your soup base. For the soup pictured, I’m choosing white beans and sliced chicken-apple sausage. You might want to also add some veggies or even fruit, like apples or pears. The vegetables will need to cook, so how long your soup will take to make depends mostly on the veggies. Butternut squash will take 20 to 30 minutes to cook through. Broccoli and frozen peas or corn will take a bit less, about 10 minutes. You might also try celery or onion (which can also be cooked with the garlic) or chopped carrots. I love adding a couple diced apples or pears to add sweetness to the savory soup. I’m only adding diced apples to my soup today, so I added that with the beans and cooked sasuage, after my base came to a boil. Add a starch, such as pasta, rice or potatoes, if you like. This will also need some cook time. Read your package directions to see how many minutes pasta or tortellini will need in the simmering or boiling broth, but it's usually about 10. Diced potatoes can take about 20 to 30 minutes. Because rice absorbs so much water, I find it easiest to cook this ahead of time. Since I have two proteins already, I’m not adding any starches to my soup this time, but adjust to your liking. Leafy greens are last. I always add kale or spinach for the extra dose of vitamins. I like these a bit tender, so I add leafy greens in the last 5 to 7 minutes. When your soup is all done, season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! Or freeze. Or serve. But wait… there’s more! Feel free to experiment with additional spices and herbs, such as sage, oregano and basil. I love to add nutmeg to butternut squash, bean and kale soup. If you want to add some heat, go for some red pepper, cayenne or some of your favorite hot sauce. And again, if you’re brand new to this cooking thing, consider making some of the suggested combinations before trying something daring. Here are my favorite combinations: White beans, sliced sausage (I like chicken apple sausage) and kale Italian sausage, diced potato and spinach Chicken, rice, carrots, and kale or spinach Ham, potatoes and corn (try adding a bit of heavy cream to this one!) Butter beans, ham, apple and spinach Tortellini, chicken and spinach White beans, butternut squash, pear and kale with nutmeg It's just that simple to come up with a delectable soup to eat and share. Try it today and see what combo you like best!
© 2024 ®/TM General Mills All Rights Reserved