Last Updated on September 12, 2020
There is such comfort in a delicious bowl of soup. From light, golden broths to rich, hearty stews, it’s no wonder soups are loved worldwide. Read on to discover the best soups of the world. You might like to sample their goodness while traveling or make them yourself at home. Either way, it will be hard to pick a favorite.
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Essential Kitchen Gear to Make the Best Soups of the World
Before we explore some of the best soups of the world, let’s first outline all of the kitchen utensils and gear that you’ll need to create some of these rich and wonderfully comforting soups at home. Because even though many of us are not traveling internationally at the moment, we can still bring a bit of the world into out very own kitchen, by creating some of the vibrant and wonderfully flavorful soups outlined below.
So, to cook some of these incredible dishes, you’ll need the following:
- Cutting Board – For any great soup, you’ll first need a selection of fresh, high-quality ingredients – a variety of fruits, vegetables, spices, and meats that will need to be broken down into smaller pieces. To do so, you’ll first need a durable, high-quality cutting board that will keep your food clean and your countertop protected. And that’s where this amazing organic, anti-microbial bamboo cutting board comes into play. Not only does it retail for just $16.97 (with free shipping in the US), but it also features a money-back guarantee, is professional-grade, has useful side handles that make it the perfect serving tray for cheese, and includes built-in grooves that hold excess juices from anything and everything you cut.
- High-quality Chef’s Knife – You’ll also need a fantastic chef’s knife to pair with that amazing cutting board. Something like this German, PAUDIN Pro Kitchen, 8-inch Chef’s Knife which is made of carbon, stainless steel and features a specially designed, ergonomic handle for added comfort. This knife is also extra sharp, retails for just $25.99, features a beautiful handle pattern, and is incredibly multifunctional, allowing you to quickly and easily take care of all of your daily, cooking needs.
- Stock Pot – Once all of the ingredients for your soup are gathered together, you’ll need a fantastic stock pot to cook everything in. Something durable that will allow you to simmer your dish for hours on end and fully develop the wealth of flavors that you’ll find in some of the best soups of the world. And this HOMI CHEF 16-quart stockpot will allow you to do just that! It’s made of high-quality, nickel-free stainless steel and is designed with a timeless French kitchen elegance that is reflected in the pot’s mirror-polished body. It also has a thick base that is immune to warping and is the perfect addition to your kitchen at $59.74 each.
- Fine Mesh Strainer – There is nothing worse than a woefully lumpy soup that is actually meant to be smooth and creamy. So, to get the right texture and consistency from any soup that you make, try straining your base through this Zesproka strainer first. Because for just $12.95, you’ll get a set of three, stainless steel strainers that are easy to store, safe to use, and that are lovely to look at. They also come in three distinct sizes, making it an incredibly versatile kitchen tool that can be used to make a variety of delicious dishes.
- Immersion Blender – When it comes to making a delicious soup, consistency is key. That’s why, you’ll need a high-quality, immersion blender to seamlessly combine all of your ingredients. And while many blenders can cost upwards of $100 each, this heavy, stainless steel, Austrian immersion blender from Mueller costs just $34.97 and includes a hand blender, a whisk, a milk frother, and easy to understand user manual. It also has a sophisticated design that includes a non-slip, ergonomic handle, a durable copper motor, and a removable blending arm with fixed blade locks that will help you quickly blend your soup.
- Soup Ladle – To quickly and easily serve soup from a deep stockpot, you’ll need something economical and versatile, like this Zulay soup ladle. Each spoon retails for $6.99 and features a large nylon scoop, a comfortable handle, a lifetime warranty, and is exceptionally easy to clean.
- Superfood Soups Cookbook – Looking for additional soup inspiration this winter? Then check out this amazing, Superfood Soups cookbook. Created by Julie Morris, this comprehensive soup guide includes over 100 different soup recipes that are delicious, easy to make, and absolutely healthy. That’s because every recipe in this book is packed with nutrient-dense, plant-based, superfoods that are brimming over with flavors that your family will love. It also retails for $16.95 and would make the perfect gift for any soup enthusiast in your life.
Now, let’s talk about some of these favorite international soups you’ll want to try.
Quick List of The Best Soups of the World
CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn more about these best soups of the world, including what makes each special:
- Miso Nikomi Udon [Nagoya, Japan]
- Ashlyan-fu [Central Asia]
- Lohikeitto [Finland]
- Piti [Azerbaijan]
- Minestrone [Italy]
- Rasam Drink [Southern India]
- Zuppa Gallurese [Sardinia]
- Sancocho [Dominican Republic]
- Yakhni Soup [Kashmir, India]
- Caldo de Gallina [Peru]
- Rasam [India]
- Kjötsúpa: Icelandic Traditional Lamb Soup [Iceland]
- Gazpacho [Spain]
- Beef Noodle Soup [Taiwan]
- Pakistani Chicken Corn Soup [Pakistan]
- Borscht [Eastern Europe]
- Tortellini in Brodo [Italy]
- Split Pea Soup [The Netherlands]
- Ramen [Japan]
- Shurpa [Central Asia]
- Escudella [Cataloniam, Spain]
- Tom Kha [Thailand]
- Encebollado Soup [Ecuador]
- Lava Soup [Iceland]
- Lobster Bisque [France]
- Goulash [Hungary]
- Lentil Soup [Egypt]
- Vietnamese phở [Vietnam]
- Sarawak Laksa [Borneo, Malaysia]
- Bak Kut Teh [Malaysia / Singapore]
- Final Thoughts
Miso Nikomi Udon [Nagoya, Japan]
By Lena Yamaguchi of Nagoya Foodie | Facebook
The best time to visit Nagoya, Japan is around November or December when the autumn foliage is at its peak. There are many beautiful parks gardens, shrines, and temples around the city just waiting to be discovered.
Once you have explored a bit of the city and you are ready to feel warm again it is time to have some Miso Nikomi Udon. This dish is served piping hot in an earthenware pot and it will heat you right up from the inside.
Miso Nikomi Udon or Miso Stewed Udon is a local specialty from Nagoya and one of the best soups of the world. Udon noodles are served in a dark reddish-brown soup made from red Miso fermented soybean paste.
The Miso from Nagoya is special because it is made only from soybeans (whereas other Miso pastes use rice or wheat as well as soybeans) and fermented for a much longer time (2-3 years compared to a couple of months).
The dish is topped with an egg, leek, and Kamaboko (steamed fish cake). Variations of the dish use other toppings such as chicken, deep-fried shrimp, and mushrooms.
Miso Nikomi Udon is eaten with chopsticks and a spoon. Place smaller servings into your serving bowl or the lid of your earthenware pot to cool a little bit before eating. And be careful not to splatter all over your shirt!
The locals of Nagoya love Miso Nikomi Udon. You can find it at most Udon restaurants in the city. My recommendation is Yamamotoya.
However, if you can’t go to Japan, then you can always try this Miso flavored, ramen right here. It’s made by Nissin (the King of Ramen) and cooks in just four minutes.
Ashlyan-fu [Central Asia]
By Stephen of Asia-Hikes | Instagram
Ashlyan-fu is a cold noodle soup common across Kyrgyzstan (and found in other Central Asian countries), particularly well-known as a hangover cure.
Attributed to the Dungan ethnic minority, a Muslim Chinese group who fled China for Central Asia during and after the ‘Hui Minorities War’ in the late 1800s, the dish is the most widely-known representative of Dungan cuisine across the region.
Starting with a mixed vegetable and meat bouillon base, a fried pepper and garlic paste known as lazhan is added to the cooking soup to simmer. Then the whole dish is cooled. Vinegar is added to the cooled broth, which is then served over hand-pulled wheat laghman noodles topped with starch jelly cut into then strips.
Traditionally, the dish is served with pirozhki, a fried dough typically stuffed with potatoes and sometimes zhucai (green onions).
Though ashlyan-fu can be found widely across Kyrgyzstan and occasionally in surrounding Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, aficionados largely agree that the best place to try it is in the small villages surrounding the trekking hub of Karakol in Eastern Kyrgyzstan.
Better known as a trailhead for epic treks like the Ak-Suu Transverse, the Dungan community in the city and surrounding region have also become a focal point for culturally-minded travelers in recent years, with several families offering ‘Dungan Family Dinner’ or ‘Dungan Cooking Class’ experiences to visitors.
By Jordan of Inspired By Maps | Facebook
Traditional Finnish salmon soup, or Lohikeitto as it is known in its homeland, is a creamy and hearty soup popular in Finland with children and adults alike. It is one of the best soups of the world, prepared with fresh salmon, carrots, and potatoes, in a creamy broth, and promises to warm your soul — essential during the long Nordic winter.
Temperatures can often reach -40°C or -40°F here in Finland, a.k.a the mysterious point when Celsius and Fahrenheit’s numbers meet up, and Lohikeitto helps many Finns get through this. Plus, it is simple, easy, and quick to make, adding to its enduring appeal here.
Finland has an abundance of salmon since the Tana River flows through Lapland and is one of the best rivers for salmon on Earth. Many local dishes here use salmon – either searing, baking, smoking, poaching, or curing in salt, but Lohikeitto is a dish served everywhere from schools to workplace cafeterias to Grandma’s house. So, even as Finland has modernized, Lohikeitto has maintained an enduring, nostalgic charm.
There are, however, many ways to prepare it.
Some recipes call for lots of stock and only a few bits of salmon (the ‘poor man’s soup’), but the best ones have an abundance of salmon and vegetable chunks.
You can try to make it yourself at home on a cold winter night, but one of the best ways to try it is while visiting Helsinki in Finland to stop by the Kappel dining hall. The traditional Salmon soup here, served with chunky bread rolls, is out of this world!
By Kristin from Adventures with Ensuite | Pinterest
Piti is considered a national dish in Azerbaijan but variations of the soup are found all over the Caucasus and even as far away as the Balkans. Made from mutton, chickpeas, potato, onion, dried plum and saffron it is cooked in the oven for 8 to 9 hours in a clay pot. If making it at home most recipes have a cooking time of 2 hours.
It is served at nearly every restaurant in Azerbaijan, but the most famous variation is from Sheki, an ancient city on the Silk Route. This is where the dish is supposed to have originated and what makes it different here is that it is made with chestnuts rather than potatoes. The dish also includes mutton fat and the traditional way of cooking it is with tail fat, but don’t let that put you off!
The soup is served in the clay pot it is cooked in, together with an empty bowl and bread. The correct way to eat it is to break up the bread, put it into the bowl, pour in some broth and as the bread absorbs the broth it becomes like a dumpling. After this has been eaten the rest of the piti is mashed within its pot and served as the main course.
By Katy Clarke of Untold Travel| Facebook
One of Italy’s best know and most loved soups is the humble Minestrone. Made with broth, tomatoes, vegetables, beans and pasta or rice, this hearty dish has ancient origins.
Food historians believe the first versions of the soup were created in Roman times. However it wasn’t until the 16th century when tomatoes and potatoes were introduced to Italian cuisine that the dish took on the characteristics that we know today. It’s one of the best soups of the world!
There is no specific recipe for Minestrone. Some versions may use vegetable broth and others use beef or chicken stock as their base. Then seasonal vegetables are added with pasta and berlotti beans.
This soup was traditionally the perfect nourishment for farmers and workers who needed low cost yet hearty sustenance.
And you’ll find regional versions all over the country. In Genoa and Liguria, minestrone is served with pesto, made from basil, olive oil and pine nuts. While in Campania, eggplant usually added. Often a liberal handful of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is added for extra flavor.
You’ll find Minestrone in homes and humble trattorias from Rome to Milan. But increasingly, modern Italian chefs are updating the soup in more refined ways, always acknowledging its place as one of the country’s most important dishes.
After all, the name minestrone comes from the word minestra – meaning soup in Italian.
And if you want delicious, authentic, and flavorful Minestrone soup at home, then try Amy’s Organic Minestrone Soup. Sure, it may not be as good as what you find in Italy, but it’s healthy, contains a multitude of vegetables, and costs less than $3.00 per can.
Rasam, a Power-packed, Flavorsome South Indian drink
Rasam is a popular tangy-spicy-sweet South-Indian signature dish that is made in every household as part of daily food. Also known as Chaaru, Saaru, Saathamudhu or Saru pani, traditional Rasam is not termed as “soup,” but it can either be taken along with rice, or one can drink by itself.
An elaborate South Indian Thali, Festival or Wedding menu is always incomplete without Rasam. In the recent times, Rasam as a Soup has been added into the menus in various restaurants owing to the popularity, taste and benefits.
There are as many as 45-50 different types of Rasam, including:
- Tomato Rasam
- Dhal Rasam
- Garlic Rasam
- Pepper-Cumin Rasam
- Long Pepper Rasam
- Pineapple Rasam
- Lemon Rasam
- Apple Rasam
- Beetroot Rasam
The base ingredients for any Rasam is tamarind juice, chopped tomatoes, dry roasted spice powder, turmeric, ground pepper, salt and asafeotida. To mak:
- Apple Rasam, add ground paste of apple.
- Garlic Rasam, add roasted garlic.
- Dhal Rasam, add boiled and mashed dhal.
The ingredients are then boiled together with two cups of water until they form froth and bubbles. The liquid is finally tempered with oil, mustard, cumin, curry leaves and garnished with coriander.
Being one of the quickly made recipes amongst the south Indian dish, added with myriad flavors (as mentioned above) South Indians believe that Rasam has a lot of medicinal values. Anyone down with flu or cold consumes piping hot Rasam in the traditional “tumbler” and the medicinal values of Rasam soothes the throat and relieves cold instantly.
Whether you are down with flu, or the weather is chill outside, or even if everything is normal, Rasam is THE MOST comforting food anytime!
Zuppa Gallurese [Sardinia]
By Claudia Tavani of Strictly Sardinia | Instagram
Zuppa Gallurese is one of the most traditional dishes of Sardinia, eaten in the Gallura region and typically found in small towns such as Santa Teresa di Gallura. Also called “suppa cuata,” despite the fact that the name of the dish refers to a soup form, the final result is so thick and rich that there is little resemblance to a soup.
The dish is prepared by layering slices of stale traditional Sardinian bread (made with durum wheat semolina) with a rich sheep broth, and an abundant dose of grated pecorino cheese, mint, and parsley. Once ready, the tray is placed in the oven and baked until the cheese melts completely. A lighter version uses beef or vegetable broth.
The dish is meant to be served hot and it is a perfect, comforting food on cold winter days. You will find it in good agriturismo and traditional restaurants in the Gallura region of Sardinia. With a bit of luck, you may be able to eat it even during the summer – though it is hardly recommended!
Should you want to try it, you may want to visit Trattoria Gallurese in Tempio Pausania, or Ristorante Taverna da Tommy in Luogosanto. Finally, for a full Sardinian meal which includes a good Zuppa Gallurese, go to Agriturismo Stazzu li Paladini, just outside of Olbia.
Sancocho [Dominican Republic]
By Chris from Punta Cana Travel Blog | Facebook
Sancocho is the national Dominican soup and without a doubt part of the Dominican heritage, as it is prepared mainly on special occasions and celebrations.
It contains a lot of local root vegetables (the most commonly know is yucca), plantains and other vegetables. Depending on the way it is prepared it can feature up to 7 kinds of meat, even it is usually prepared just with 1 or 2 different types.
When ordering Sancocho, you always get it served with an additional plate of cooked rice and 2 or 3 pieces of lime for additional flavor. As most traditional soups, it is a slow-cooked soup which takes several hours (at least 4 hours) to be finished. This makes it one of the best soups of the world.
While people in the Dominican Republic might eat sancocho in local eateries on various days, they only prepare it at home on special occasions.
New Year’s Day is one of them, where Dominicans start cooking right at midnight, continue drinking and eat their sancocho finally at 5 or 6 am.
Another common practice is that after cricket or softball games the losing team – especially in the countryside – invite the winners for sancocho and beer, which might end up in a big street party.
If you visit the Dominican Republic and would like to eat Sancocho, you can order it in many upscale restaurants with a Dominican menu, which should cost you around 10-15 USD. Alternatively, if you would like to eat it as the locals do, go to any food stall (“comedor”) and ask if they have sancocho on the menu – your best bets are on Mondays. The price is usually around 3 USD.
Yakhni Soup [Kashmir, India]
By Claudia Rojas from The Visa Project | Facebook
If you are visiting India, food will always be a big part of your journey. India is a country with a rich and diverse tradition of food with so many mind-blowing varieties of soups. And if like me, you are a foreigner with an Indian spouse, you would definitely try lots of new Indian soups every now then.
Kashmir Yakhni is a traditional soup (or shorba) that’s usually eaten in the north-west Indian Kashmir area. Slow-cooked in yogurt, it is made with chicken or mutton. And it’s flavored with many spices and ingredients like cardamom, cinnamon, whole cloves, asafoetida, and fennel seeds powder. It’s unlike other Indian soups (or curries) that are flavored by turmeric or red chili powder, but it’s one of the best soups of the world.
The chicken yakhni holds a very important place in Kashmiri culture. If it’s a special occasion or you are a guest of a Kashmiri family, you can count on this being served to you. You can find it in most of the restaurants in Kashmir.
The yakhni is served with hot steaming rice and the cold weather of Kashmir makes it the perfect combination.
Although if it’s your first time, trying the chicken one would probably be better since chicken is more common than mutton in most parts of the world and you probably already know what it tastes like.
Caldo de Gallina [Peru]
By Sean of LivingOutLau | Pinterest
Caldo de Gallina, or hen soup in English, is one of the most traditional dishes in Peru. Don’t confuse this with your typical chicken soup, because it is not. Hens usually refer to female chickens that are kept in the wild and fed a specific diet, resulting in extremely flavorful and tough meat.
To allow the flavors to come out, the hen is first cooked in the soup for a long period of time. After the essence of the hen has fully come out in the soup, ingredients such as noodles, eggs, and potatoes are added to create a simple but filling meal.
No one knows exactly how old this traditional soup has been around in Peru. Is it even originally from Peru, or have the Peruvians just taken a variation of the common chicken noodle soup? No one knows exactly. But given how it is commonly found and widely-consumed in all regions of Peru, Caldo de Gallina definitely has some origins in Peru.
Caldo de Gallina is believed to have restorative powers and helps to “warm up” your body, perfect for anyone that is doing any of the hikes in Peru. In higher elevation regions of Peru such as Cusco and Huaraz, the climate is much cooler, and you will find many restaurants specializing in the Caldo de Gallina. Make sure to ask for Caldo de Gallina and not Caldo de Pollo, which is just a chicken soup but not as delicious!
And although perhaps not as delicious, Campbell’s rich and flavorful, slow kettle style-roasted chicken noodle soup will quickly and easily satisfy your craving for Caldo de Gallina at home. Plus, at just $2.75 per cup, the price really can’t be beat.
Rasam, by meaning, translates to “juice”, but it’s actually a soup that’s fondly eaten in South India. It is a delicious soupy dish that’s primarily made from tamarind, tomato, lentil, garlic, lemon, and several Indian spices. Traditionally, it is eaten along with rice and idlis (rice cakes) but it can also be consumed individually as a tangy soup.
The dish originated in Madurai (Tamil Nadu) in the 16th century and is a staple food of the state. It has the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors and is, therefore, a must-try if you are a foodie and visiting any of the South Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh or Kerala.
Rasam, in fact, has several medicinal properties as well. It helps in treating cough, common cold, sore throat, constipation, high blood pressure, and breathing problems. The tamarind and black pepper used in the dish are chief ingredients that contribute to it’s health benefits. The texture of the rasam is extremely thin, so it’s easily digestible.
A famous version of the soup is the tomato rasam which, as the name suggests, has tomato to give it a kick of flavors. The main spices that add a zing to the dish are black pepper, cumin, mustard, and red chillies, making Rasam one of the best soups of the world. Coriander and curry leaves are used as garnish to give it some color and spunk.
Rasam is a soup that’s full of essential vitamins and minerals. It is not just a savory dish but a nutritious one too. It is comfort food that you can have throughout the year. Try it once, and you’ll be addicted to it for life!
Kjötsúpa: Icelandic Traditional Lamb Soup [Iceland]
By Mayuri from ToSomePlaceNew | Instagram
Traditional lamb soup is a popular delicacy from Iceland. Known as the Kjötsúpa, this soup is made up of simple ingredients of meat and vegetables. The meat here is Icelandic lamb and local produce and potatoes, with little to no seasoning.
You can use herbs like thin slices of dried parsnip, carrots, and leek for seasoning. The vegetables used in the Kjötsúpa are winter ones, and in most places, the soup is not always thickened with something starchy, but the potatoes and the soft meat give you all the comfort!
It is served in a bowl and paired with bread. In Iceland, you can also try this soup with lava or rye bread. You can try it in any restaurants across Iceland.
This traditional soup is of cultural importance to Icelanders, and one of the best soups of the world. It also bears a close cultural connection to the national meat soups of other Nordic Countries.
Our favorite place to try soup is at the Icelandic Street Food Cafe in Reyjkavik. It offers the best value for food and gives you unlimited refills of soup. And it is served deliciously in a bread bowl.
By Milijana Gabric of WorldTravelConnector | Facebook
Spanish Gazpacho is probably the most famous tomato-based soup in the World and definitely one of the most popular Spanish dishes ever. In fact, Gazpacho soup is a national dish of Spain.
Although Gazpacho originates from Andalusia, nowadays you can enjoy this mouthwatering soup across Spain. Classic Andalusian Gazpacho is prepared with tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, garlic, first-class Andalusian olive-oil, authentic Andalusian Sherry vinegar, and bread. It perfectly balances ripeness and sweetness in taste while it is smooth in texture.
Opposite to many popular soups in the world, authentic Spanish Gazpacho is traditionally eaten cold from a glass or a traditional bowl. It is served chilled, not warm! This healthy and refreshing soup is a perfect soup for hot summer days.
So, it is not surprising that Andalusian Gazpacho got many devotees in the world after their holidays in Spain. Delicious Gazpacho is a perfect way to revitalize yourself daily during hot summer days on an Andalucia road trip. You can enjoy authentic Andalusian gazpacho in sunny Malaga, bohemian Granada, royal Seville, flamenco-vibed Jerez, historic Cordoba, ancient Cadiz, picturesque Ronda, and elsewhere in Andalucia.
If the essence of hot summer days of the south of Spain could be captured in one dish, then that dish would be flavorsome Gazpacho. If you are a foodie who is planning a trip to Andalusia, don’t forget to try authentic Andalusian gazpacho!
For some cool and refreshing, Spanish-style, tomato-based soup at home, try delicious, ready-to-eat, TIO Gazpacho. This all-natural soup is made with a unique mixture of carrots and yellow tomatoes, creating a sweet, bright, and tangy flavor that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters,
Beef Noodle Soup [Taiwan]
When you think of the country of Taiwan, one thing will pop into your minds. And that thing is “Beef Noodle Soup”. Beef Noodle Soup is the national dish of Taiwan and is served all throughout the country. It is one of the most comforting yet tasty dishes you’ll ever have tasted.
The dish, which consists of beef broth, noodles, some vegetables, and cuts of beef (usually shank or brisket meat), is a popular dish many will order year round. You can find it in almost every single noodle shop around the country.
And depending on where you go to get it, the dish will commonly be paired with some side dishes like braised dried tofu, seaweed or even pork intestines.
It is a relatively cheap dish to get as you can find it in most shops selling a bowl for around 100 to 150 TWD or $3 to $5 dollars USD.
Beef Noodle Soup is so popular that there is even an annual Beef Noodle Festival held every year in the country where various chefs and restaurants try to compete with one another for the title of “Best Beef Noodles In Taiwan.”
Which is why if you ever get the chance to visit Taiwan, you must try some delicious beef noodle soup.
And for a hearty and satisfying bowl of beef noodle soup at home, try a bowl of Nongshim beef noodle soup. This mild but savory, beef-flavored soup is made with a variety of zesty flavors and comes in an easy-to-use, 100% recyclable bowl. So, just pop this soup in the microwave, and in a few short minutes, you’ll have a warm and delicious, easy to eat meal that is perfect on the go.
Pakistani Chicken Corn Soup [Pakistan]
By Samantha Shea of Intentional Detours | Instagram
Pakistani Chicken Corn Soup is perhaps one of the most delicious soups you can slurp up in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The tasty dish is simple, but oh-so satisfying.
Shredded chicken, chicken stock, pureed corn, one beaten egg, hard-boiled eggs, soy sauce, hot sauce, and a generous amount of pepper are combined in a pot and mixed together to make this Pakistani wintertime essential.
The soup is especially popular in cities like Lahore, where temperatures actually get a bit chilly between November-March. It’s typically served in a bowl with a soup spoon, the latter of which is the kind of spoon you might have seen in your local Chinese or Japanese restaurant. While some people prefer to just drink the delicacy, both methods are common to see.
Though the dish is commonly homemade in Pakistani homes, once the weather cools down, you can easily find it sold at urban street food markets. Some versions of the soup may have many pieces of hard-boiled eggs, whereas others might just have a few. However, it’s the hot sauce and pepper that give this recipe a uniquely spicy (and very Pakistani) kick.
Soups are not that common in Pakistan compared to other foods–such as the famous karahis and biryanis–but if you find yourself in the country during the winter months, this is a dish you absolutely cannot miss. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself trying to recreate the recipe once back at home. This is far from your everyday chicken noodle soup…it’s one of the best soups of the world.
And if you’re craving chicken and corn soup but can’t get all the way to Pakistan, then try this hearty, chicken and corn chowder from Campbell’s. It’s made with high-quality chicken, costs just $1.75 per can, and contains a satisfying, 14 grams of protein per serving.
Borscht [Eastern Europe]
By Lindsey Puls of Have Clothes, Will Travel | Instagram
Borscht is a delicious and a must-try dish in Eastern Europe. It is a hearty, sour soup that’s main ingredient is typically beetroots. This is what gives it its deep red coloring. Are you surprised to see this listed as one of the best soups of the world?
While its origin is hotly contested, Ukraine is usually credited with originally creating borscht. It is most popular in Poland, Ukraine and Russia. (If you’re ever in Russia, some of the best restaurants in Moscow to try borscht are Café Pushkin and Mari Vanna.)
Each place you have it will likely make it a little differently. It can be made with beef, fish or entirely vegetables. The vegetables used in borscht also vary from carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, onions and more. Many recipes also call for dill, and it is almost always served with sour cream. Borscht can also be served hot or cold.
While borscht is plenty hardy enough to be a meal on its own, it is typically served as a starter. It goes very well with pelmeni (Russian dumplings) on a cold winter day.
Looking for authentic, Eastern-European borscht a bit closer to home? Then try this Ukrainian-style Borscht soup which is easy to make, reasonably priced, and incredibly delicious.
Tortellini in Brodo [Italy]
By Lori Sorrentino of Travlinmad | Facebook
It’s often said — and usually true — that the simplest food often tastes the best. And so it is with one of the best soups of the world, made with love from one of the most famous foods of Bologna — Tortellini in Brodo.
Pasta is beloved throughout Italy, and in northern Italy in the region of Emilia Romagna, is where you’ll find the bright yellow egg pastas that are often stuffed, and super delicious. The most famous stuffed pasta is undoubtedly the ring-shaped tortellini. Modeled after the curve of a woman’s navel, the tiny tortellini is made daily by women in local sfogline, or pasta shops.
The most common way of eating these tiny purses of pasta stuffed with a mixture of pork, cheese, herbs, and sometimes a touch of spinach, is in a simple bath of seasoned broth, typically a Capon broth. The combination of simmered tortellini and broth creates the most flavorful and wonderfully textural taste sensation in your mouth.
Tortellini in Brodo can be found throughout northern Italy and on every menu in Bologna, Modena, and throughout Emilia Romagna. It’s the chicken noodle soup of Bologna, and often served at local celebrations. Grate a tablespoon of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over top, and you have one of Italy’s simplest, and most famous foods.
If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious bowl of Tortellini soup outside of Italy, then taste Rill Foods Thorpellini, tortellini soup mix. Each package is made by a local, family-owned business in Washington and includes a selection of high-quality ingredients, like cheese-filled tortellini that come from some of the finest pasta makers in Italy.
Split Pea Soup [The Netherlands]
Split Pea Soup or ‘Snert’, as it’s called in The Netherlands, is a delicious, traditional soup eaten throughout the whole of The Netherlands. There’s nothing better in winter than a bowl of thick Snert to warm up with.
Snert is traditionally made from meat broth (made from scratch with salted meat) with split peas. Then leek, celeriac, carrot and onions are added. A lot of times potatoes, stalk celery and leaf celery will also be added to the soup.
Your Snert bowl should also contain sliced rookworst (smoked sausage). Other meat that is added into the soup are pork belly strips, pork chops, pork leg or ribs. Your Snert should be so thick that a spoon can stand up straight in it.
Snert is usually eaten from a bowl with a spoon. In restaurants it’s served with rye bread and katenspek (smoked bacon) on the side. When it’s really cold and you can ice skate, there are ‘koek’ and ‘zopie’ stalls along the ice. These usually sell Snert in cups, at which time you drink the Snert from the cup or with a small spoon.
Pea soup has a long tradition, it was already being made in Ancient Greece. The first Dutch recipe is from the beginning of the 16th century. The Dutch version is so thick, it’s more porridge then soup.
Yearly there’s a world championship ‘snert koken’ (cooking Snert) in the north of The Netherlands. The winner gets a silver soup ladle.
And while Amy’s split pea soup might never win this competition, it is light, low in sodium, 100% organic, reasonably priced, and easy to get when you’re stuck at home and craving split pea soup.
By Sydney of A World in Reach | Instagram
There are few things more delicious than enjoying a steaming bowl of ramen after exploring Japan. In Japan, ramen is much more than your standard bowl of instant noodles loved by broke college students; rather, it is a delicious noodle soup featuring wheat noodles and various toppings in a broth, most often meat-based.
There are several different varieties of ramen that can be found around Japan.
- Tonkotsu ramen, one of the most popular varieties, is made with a pork bone-based broth and usually includes sliced pork belly on top.
- Hokkaido is known for miso ramen.
- Tsukemen is a variety of ramen where you dip cold noodles into a warm broth.
You can try all kinds of ramen at Ramen Street in Tokyo Station, which is a must for anyone’s Tokyo bucket list. Another spot loved by both tourists and locals alike is Ichiran, a chain ramen shop that can be found all around Japan.
When enjoying your ramen, it’s perfectly acceptable to slurp your noodles. Ramen is meant to be eaten quickly as the noodles get soggy if they sit for too long.
In late October to early November, Tokyo hosts the Tokyo Ramen Show, a huge festival where you can try tons of different types of ramen. This is a must for ramen lovers visiting Japan!
However, for any ramen lovers who are not currently in Japan, you can always try Menraku Shoyu Ramen instead. It’s rich, flavorful, and easy to make. But best of all, you can find it close to home and can enjoy a taste of Japan without ever leaving your house.
Shurpa [Central Asia]
By Jiayi Wang of The Diary of a Nomad | Instagram
One of the best soups of the world you can try while traveling is Shurpa, a very simple yet flavorful soup that’s especially popular in Uzbekistan and Central Asia as a whole. If fact, you can enjoy it to a large extent on a 10-day trip to Uzbekistan, where it’s found in pretty much every restaurant in town.
Shurpa consists of mutton and vegetables (like potatoes, onions, and carrots) cooked in lard. There are also lots of herbs and spices inside, such as red pepper, cilantro, and parsley. You’ll typically get it in a soup bowl and drink it from there, and the flavors are so rich; they’ll immensely satisfy your taste buds.
Shurpa is also very popular in Uzbek weddings; so much so that the celebration itself even begins with drinking it! It was also deeply loved by both Amir Timur (Uzbekistan’s national hero and former ruler) and Genghis Khan.
Shurpa in Uzbekistan is particularly special because it’s often cooked in a cauldron (as opposed to a small pan in other countries). The open fire of the cauldron is part of the reason the ingredients inside the soup are so rich in taste. It’s easy to see why this is one of the best soups of the world.
Make sure to try Shurpa in some particularly remarkable restaurants around Uzbekistan, such as Bibikhanum Teahouse in Samarkand, Doston House in Bukhara, and Terrassa Cafe & Restaurant in Khiva!
Escudella [Catalonia, Spain]
By Vicki Franz of Vickiviaja, Everyone Can Travel | Facebook
While many consider Valencia to be Spain’s food capital, it is often forgotten that the Spanish region of Catalonia also has excellent dishes to offer.
One of the most popular foods in Catalonia is Escudella soup. It is widespread throughout the whole region of Catalonia, and there are several versions of this soup. The simplest version of Escudella is served with broth and pasta or rice. It is usually eaten as a starter. Escudella is a popular meal, especially in the mountains and in winter, because it warms you up and protects you against colds.
If you eat Escudella as the main course, you usually add meat to the broth. Albondigas, Spanish meatballs, are famous. But so-called carn d’ olla, a popular way of preparing meat in Catalonia, is also often added to soup, especially in winter.
However, Escudella is particularly popular at Christmas. Then it is served with clam noodles under the name Escudella de Nadal (Christmas Escudella) and is a popular custom among many Catalan families.
It’s hardly surprising that there are so many versions of the soup, as its roots date back to the 14th century. Because already in the Middle Ages, it was a popular dish for the Catalans.
Tom Kha [Thailand]
by Wendy Werneth of The Nomadic Vegan | Instagram
Popular throughout Thailand and also in Thai restaurants around the world, Tom Kha is a creamy and flavorsome soup. It’s prepared using typical Thai herbs and spices, such as galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
Thanks to the addition of coconut milk, though, it doesn’t taste as spicy as many other Thai dishes. If you can’t handle spicy foods well, and the Thai hot and sour soup known as “Tom Yum” is too much for you, then you may want to give Tom Kha a try instead.
And since the milk used in Tom Kha is coconut milk rather than cow’s milk, Tom Kha is also a great option for vegans in Thailand! That is, of course, as long as no meat it added. Admittedly, one of the more common forms of Tom Kha is made with chicken and is usually translated as either “Tom Kha Kai” or “Tom Kha Gai.”
However, there are other versions of the dish that are free of all animal products, such as Tom Kha Taohu, which features tofu, and Tom Kha Het, which is made with mushrooms.
A great place to try a veggie version of Tom Kha is at May Kaidee’s. This family-run restaurant started out as a little hole-in-the-wall in Bangkok but has since expanded to multiple storefronts in Thailand, and they even have a location in New York!
As for the history of Tom Kha, the soup as it’s eaten today is a relatively recent invention, but it’s still one of the best soups of the world. Just a hundred years or so ago, the name “Tom Kha” referred to something quite different. A recipe book from that era describes it as a dish of duck or chicken meat cooked in galangal and coconut broth and then dipped in chili paste.
Related: Learn more about Thailand’s cultural norms here.
Encebollado Soup [Ecuador]
By Tegan and Alex of WhyNotWalk | Instagram
When in Ecuador, trying Encebollado soup at least once is a must! Tied perhaps with Locro de Papa as Ecuador’s national soup, Encebollado is a fish stew that translates roughly to “cooked with onions” or “onion-ed.”
Encebollado is said to have originated from dockworkers and fishermen along the Ecuadorian coast, utilizing the ingredients they had handy to make a filling and healthy stew. In the days before refrigeration, it was often imperative to cook fresh fish quickly so it wouldn’t spoil, so fishermen would often take their catch-of-the-day straight to a waiting stockpot.
Nowadays, Encebollado is a ubiquitous and customizable dish found in just about every restaurant in Ecuador, especially along the coastline. It’s even rumored to be a hangover cure!
To make Encebollado, start out with a sofrito base (a sauteed mix of tomato, celery, cumin, cilantro, and, of course, onions), followed by adding fresh tuna and cassava root (or yuca) for protein and starch. Pickled onions are the traditional topping for Encebollado, but other delicious topping options include:
- Crunchy toasted kernels of corn
- Crushed plantain or banana chips
- Ketchup and mustard
Of course, no Encebollado is complete without a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a variety of shellfish are often added as well.
If you’re in the Plaza Foch area of Quito, you can’t miss trying Encebollado at Cevichería Siete Mares. It’s less than a 10-minute walk from the Plaza, and is always packed with quiteños at mealtimes. There is often a wait, but it is absolutely worth it!
Related: Best Island Destinations (including the Galapagos, off the coast of Ecuador).
Red Lava Soup [Iceland]
By Kay of The Awkward Traveller | Instagram
If there’s one thing to know about Iceland before you go, it’s that Iceland is very windy, which can make the cold even more bone-chilling. However, stop by the family-owned restaurant The Soup Company in Vík for a bowl of their famous Red Lava Soup.
Icelandic families gather together on cold rainy days, and the Soup Company embodied that tradition so visitors from all over can experience the warmth from the land of Fire and Ice.
The restaurant is located in front of a museum that exhibits REAL molten lava, iconic for Iceland, so the Red Lava Soup is a symbol of that.
The soup is made up of some Icelandic essentials: meat, beans, lentils, and tomatoes, with a dollop of Icelandic yoghurt on the side to wash it down.
Along with an order of the soup, there is an included second-helping as well as unlimited bread and butter. While you will find iterations of Red Lava Soup all across the island, The Soup Company has a cozy and warm atmosphere – and there’s an actual lava tour in the back of the restaurant.
Plus, if you’re in the mood for more soup, they even have a soup flight option so you can taste a variety of Icelandic soup flavors. Spoiler: They’re all delicious. So feel free to spend as much time exploring and soaking in the turquoise waters at The Blue Lagoon, the soup will be waiting for you when you’re ready!
Lobster Bisque [France]
By Theresa of Fueled By Wanderlust | Instagram
Lobster Bisque, or simply Bisque, is a soup that originated in France sometime around the 17th century. Bisque is traditionally a thick, smooth soup made with cream, wine, and shellfish.
What makes Bisque unique is that fact that both the crustacean shells and meat are used to make the soup. While authentic versions ground the shells into a paste used to thicken the soup, today it is quite common to use rice as the thickener. The meat can either be entirely pureed into the soup to further thicken it and add flavor, or some of it can be held back to use as delicious lobster chunks in the soup.
Although Lobster Bisque originated in France, today it is a popular style of soup found in much of the western world. It can be consumed in restaurants all over, with styles ranging from upscale and expensive, to casual and cheap. The quality, of course, will vary from place to place as well.
In modern times, particularly in the United States, the meaning of bisque has become a bit diluted. Many restaurants use “bisque” in the title of any pureed soup, particularly in vegetable soups like “Tomato Bisque” and “Pumpkin Bisque”. This is not technically correct, as by definition, the soup must be made from crustaceans.
Now you’ll know to look at any bisque on a menu with a questioning eye, as well as to pay attention to the intricacies of your next bowl of Lobster Bisque.
And although you may not be able to get authentic French lobster bisque at home, you can try this delicious lobster bisque from Blount fine foods instead. This Maine-based company is known for their delicious seafood and ships high-quality, utterly decadent, frozen, lobster bisque to soup enthusiasts all over the United States. It’s a great way to enjoy one of the best soups of the world at home.
By Claire from This Travel Lover | Instagram
Goulash is one of the most famous dishes in Central Europe and probably the most famous food in Budapest and Hungary. In many countries, it is known as a meat stew flavored with paprika, but in Hungary, gulyas is served as a soup.
Gulyas literally translates as shepherd or herdsman and the origins of Goulash have been traced to 9th century Hungary, where Magyar shepherds would prepare a stew to take with them when they went out to tend their sheep.
Before setting out, they prepared a portable supply of food by slowly cooking pieces of meat with onions and seasonings until the liquid had been absorbed. Once the meat had dried out it was packed into bags made of sheep’s stomachs. Then, when they were ready to eat their meals, the shepherds added water to the meat to make a tasty soup.
These days, there are no sheep’s stomach bags, but when you order gulyas you will still get to enjoy a rich and flavorful soup. Goulash in Hungary is one of the best soups of the world. It’s usually made with chunks of beef meat slow-cooked in broth, with a mixture of root vegetables like potatoes and carrots and generously seasoned with paprika.
The soup is always served with bread, and it is one of the most delicious and comforting soups you can hope to try! Goulash is cheap too and is one of the traditional Hungarian dishes you simply have to eat in Hungary.
And if you can’t get to Hungary to try authentic Goulash, then you can always make your own with Knorr Fix Goulash. It’s an authentic packet of German spices that contains all the flavors you need to make Goulash at home.
Lentil Soup [Egypt]
By Nadine Arab of Curls en Route | Instagram
Egyptians are known for their mouthwatering feasts, and no dining table in Egypt would lack soup, an integral starter to kick-off the party in your soon-to-be-happy belly. Some prefer Vegetable Soup; some like their Chicken-broth Soup with Vermicelli; and the majority loves it with the traditional orzo. However, in winter, Lentil Soup is always a winner!
Food is an integral part of the Egyptian culture and as Egyptian cuisine is famous for a wide array of dishes, lentil soup has been around for quite some time. In fact, a Lentil Soup recipe was found on ancient Egyptians papyrus that shows it’s been a staple in the Egyptian kitchen for more than 4,000 years! Throughout the ages, the recipe may have been tweaked, but Lentil Soup still holds its place in every Egyptian’s heart (and stomach).
Lentil Soup is not just perfect for chilly days, but in general, it’s a very nutritious meal. It’s a great source of protein and other nutrients such as iron and potassium. So, vegetarian or not, it’s heaven served in a warm bowl! Just don’t forget to dip in a piece of baladi bread (traditional Egyptian bread similar to pita bread) as you dig in.
And for delicious lentil soup any time, try this Alessi Lenticchie Sicilian Lentil Soup mix. Inside each packet, you’ll find a rich selection of spices, lentils, and pastas that are all there to help you create a perfect bowl of lentil soup on a chilly, winter’s day. So, if you have fifteen minutes than you have more than enough time to create the perfect bowl of lentil soup.
By Emily from Wander-Lush | Facebook
In the world of soups and stews, there are few dishes more iconic than Vietnamese phở.
Ubiquitous from north to south and typically eaten for breakfast, phở is a hearty soup that consists of a richly spiced, cloudy broth with rice noodles, greens, and thin slices of either chicken or beef added. In some areas, you can find phở made with duck, buffalo or goat meat. Some specialty cafes in Hanoi and Saigon now cater to tourists with vegetarian or even vegan versions of phở.
Phở is a staple of any restaurant menu, but it’s best eaten at humble street kitchens and inside markets. Every family has their own recipe for pho broth and the ratios of anise, chili and other spices used is often a closely-guarded secret. If you want a behind-the-scenes look at how the country’s favorite dish is made, a phở masterclass is a must-do foodie experience in Vietnam.
Phở is easy to order and simple to eat. The steaming bowl that arrives at your table isn’t quite finished – before you dive in, you must tweak the broth to suit your taste buds by adding sugar, salt, fish sauce and chili from the condiment jars on the table. Finish it with a squeeze of lime, then toss everything together using your chopsticks. It’s good etiquette to slurp up the noodles (don’t hold back on the sound effects) and drink the broth using the spoon provided.
Luckily for you though, Pho isn’t only found in Vietnam anymore. Instead, companies like Snapdragon now sell ready-to-eat, utterly delicious pho bowls that you can get delivered right to your home. So, savor a bit of Vietnam from the comfort of your very own kitchen.
Sarawak Laksa [Borneo, Malaysia]
By Beth Jarrett of Frugal Female Abroad | Facebook
Sarawak Laksa is one of the most notable dishes to eat when visiting Kuching, Sarawak on the island of Borneo, Malaysia. When traveling to this region, make sure you find a place that sells it!
Sarawak laksa is a noodle soup that is deliciously spicy and so flavorsome. It is said to have been brought to the region around 1945 by a Chinese immigrant, Goh Lik Teck .
Sarawak Laksa has a sambal belacan base, which helps to contribute to its color. The soup is also made from coconut milk. There are many other combinations of ingredients that can be used to create this delightful dish. However, the dish usually has the staple ingredients of vermicelli noodles, prawns and chicken.
The food in Kuching is deliciously amazing and is quite renowned. Some places sell the laksa in the morning, but often sell out early. One of the most popular places to find it is on Carpenter Street in Kuching. Even Anthony Bourdain included Sarawak laksa in his television series No Reservations.
Sarawak Laksa is much more subtle than other curries. Regardless, this soup will warm you up on a cold, rainy day.
It is the perfect dish to seek out as part of your trip to Kuching, Malaysia. You won’t be disappointed! That’s also why you can now find delicious, Lee Fah, Sarawak Laksa instant noodles right here in the United States. And the best part? They’re 100% vegetarian-friendly too.
Bak Kut Teh [Malaysia / Singapore]
By Nicholas of Rambling Feet
When bone broth became a trend in the Western world a few years ago, Malaysians and Singaporeans looked on in bemusement. After all, they have had the original for decades, and know it as “bak kut teh”. That means “pork bone tea” in Hokkien, a Southern Chinese language (many Chinese migrants to Southeast Asia in the early 20th Century came from that part of China).
It started out as a form of street food that nourished laborers who worked the ports and godowns; today, it’s comfort food on a rainy day for ordinary people, especially those of Chinese descent.
In Malaysia, the Hokkien version (also known as Klang bak kut teh) dominates. Order one and you get a bowl of pork ribs in a dark and savory soup flavored with soy sauce and medicinal herbs.
In Singapore, the Teochew variant is more common. (Teochews are another group of Southern Chinese people). You get ribs too, but the soup is clear, peppery and garlicky.
For both versions, rice, braised vegetables and fried dough strips are standard accompaniments, and you wash them all down with a pot of Chinese tea.
In both countries, there are many chains and mom-and-pop shops that specialize in this dish. It’s an indispensable part of Malaysia and Singapore cuisine.
Try not to weigh in on who has the better version, because it’s an argument that never ends!
However, for a more Chinese style Bak Kut Teh at home, you can try this delicious spice mixture by A1. Open each packet and you’ll find a delightful assortment of spices that include cinnamon, Angelica pepper. star anise, and more.
Final Thoughts on Best Soups of the World
So, there you have it–an incredible, mouth-watering collection of the best soups of the world. Some have been passed down for centuries through generations; others are said to have curative properties. Most celebrate fresh, local ingredients.
Even though they are each unique soup recipes with flavors influenced by culture and region, they share a common theme: they make fantastic comfort food.
Did any one of these delicious soup ideas remind you of your travels, a family soup recipe, or inspire your own culinary creativity? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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