SOUP!!! It's the perfect easy dinner idea on those cold days! Plus it's #ShelfCooking friendly since you can easily make soup from scratch using what you've got on your shelves! Ready, set, build your own soup!

Soup from scratch on a counter, from Shelf Cooking

There's nothing like a nice steaming bowl of soup on a cold day. It warms you from the inside out and often makes you think back to the good ol' days when you were a kid and your mom would make you your favorite soup to eat when you were sick. Guess what!?! You don't have to be sick or a kid to enjoy a hearty bowl of soup!

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Rather than grabbing a can out of the pantry, or running to the store because you don't have said can, try building your own soup! It's much easier than you might think! We've got some great tips on how to make soup from scratch. You'll use whatever ingredients that you have on hand in your pantry, fridge, and freezer and shelf cook the best soup you've ever had! So are you ready to get to it?!


Chicken noodle soup in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Keep in mind that the longer you allow your soup to simmer, the better it will taste! You at least have to give it enough time for everything to cook all the way through, but feel free to let it simmer for as long as you can.

There are a few basic ingredients you'll need to make soup from scratch. Start with those ingredients and then get creative! Try out different flavor combinations to see which ones your family likes the best. If you have a lot of people to feed, then feel free to double or triple the amounts. Add it to a pot big enough to hold all of your soup, such as a stockpot, and get to cooking!

Pro Tip: Soup is almost ALWAYS better the next day, so it's a perfect meal to double for two or more meals.


To make soup from scratch, you want to start off by cooking your protein. Soup doesn't get hot enough for long enough to cook your meat, so you need to make sure it's cooked beforehand. Bonus points if you're using leftover meat and turning it into a new meal! Here are some options for you to try:

Homemade soup is the perfect way to use up those random single fillets of fish or leftover ham from the holidays. You don't need a lot for it to go a long way. Shoot for 16 ounces of meat, but really, just use what you've got!

Not a meat-lover? No problem! Skip the meat and go vegetarian!


Man chopping veggies, from Shelf Cooking

Shoot for at least 3 different vegetables for your soup, but feel free to add more if you have them and need to use 'em! (Or only use 1 or 2 if that's all that you have!) Just try to keep in mind what they taste like so you don't end up pairing 2 totally different veggies together and throw your taste buds for a loop.

Try throwing some of these veggies in:

  • Broccoli
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Try out some of these pairings if you're not sure where to begin:

  • Potatoes and corn
  • Broccoli, onion, carrots, and cauliflower
  • Carrots, squash, and zucchini
  • Tomatoes, corn, onion, and peppers
  • Kale, onion, and celery

If it's a veggie that will take longer to cook, sauté it in butter or a cooking oil until it's at your preferred texture. However, if it's a veggie that won't take as long to cook, such as spinach, then only sauté it for a few minutes until it's done cooking. If you're going for a pureed soup texture, then make sure you fully cook those veggies (such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash) before blending.


Obviously, your soup needs the soup-y portion. You can achieve this from a number of different ingredients, such as:

Feel free to mix and match your liquids to try out different flavor combinations. The heavy whipping cream will make your soup from scratch end up creamy (and dreamy). Shoot for 1 quart total of your liquid.


Noodles and a wooden spoon, from Shelf Cooking

Adding grains to your soup will really help to stretch it even further, especially if you're feeding hungry teenagers or a crowd. If you're trying to be healthier, feel free to use whole grains in your homemade soup, or just use whatever you have, such as:

  • Egg noodles
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Rice

Aim for using 2 cups of grains. You'll need to allow your soup long enough to cook the grains, so make sure you account for that time when you're cooking it.

Pro Tip: If you double your soup, keep in mind that noodles, rice, and potatoes will continue to soak up the moisture of your soup in the fridge, so divide your soup before adding grains. Then you can add them fresh for your next meal if you don't like soggy noodles!


Want to know how to make soup from scratch taste amazing? It's by using seasonings, of course! Start by using salt and pepper, and then add in other seasonings that match the flavor profile, such as:

  • Bay leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Onion powder
  • Parsley
  • Pepper
  • Salt

As you're adding your seasonings in, don't forget to taste the soup as you go along! That way you know exactly what it needs. It'll keep you from going overboard on your spices, as well as making sure it's got enough flavor.


As mentioned above, soup always makes great leftovers! Seriously, how does it get better the next day?! If you know you'll eat it within a few days of cooking, then put it in an airtight container as soon as you're done eating your dinner.

Most soups also freeze very well! So if you doubled the recipe or just have lots of leftovers, freeze it for a quick and easy meal the next time you have a hankering for soup. You can freeze it in a soup container or a freezer baggie, either will work! Just make sure you get all of the air out of it to prevent freezer burn.

So, now that you know how to make soup from scratch, what are you waiting for?! Get in that kitchen and get to it! Let us know what your favorite combinations are in the comments!

Image with text that reads "how to make soup from scratch with what you have on-hand" from Shelf Cooking

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Have a soup-er good time!