A Taste of Other Countries – 10 Soup Recipes

Girls Who Travel | A Taste of Other Countries - 10 Soup Recipes

As winter descends upon us here in the Northern hemisphere, it’s soup time at my house! There’s simply nothing better after a walk out in the cold than a hot soup to fill your tummy. Want to get a taste of other countries and change up your soup routine? Cooking meals from different countries is a fun way to immerse yourself in different cuisines. With that said, let’s cook some soups from around the world!

A Taste of Other Countries – 10 Soup Recipes

Girls Who Travel | A Taste of Other Countries - 10 Soup Recipes

1. USA – Loaded Potato Soup

What you need:
1 package (12 oz.) of bacon
1 1/2 cups of chopped onion
6 cups of chicken broth
2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
2/3 cup of butter
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
4 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1 cup diced and cooked ham
1 container (8 oz) of sour cream
2 1/2 cups of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (10 oz)
3/4 cup of sliced green onions

In a medium-sized skillet cook the bacon over medium heat. This takes about 6 to 7 minutes or cook it until it is crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Crumble the bacon and set it aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the skillet. Cook the onion in the bacon drippings over medium-high heat, about 6 minutes or until it is almost tender.
In a 6-quart Dutch oven, mix the onion, the broth and the potatoes. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.
In same skillet, melt butter over low heat. Stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in 2 cups of the milk. Pour the milk mixture into the potato mixture, then add the remaining 2 cups milk, salt and pepper. Cook everything over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
Add the ham, half of the bacon, the sour cream, 2 cups of cheese and 1/2 cup of the green onions. Cook until everything is thoroughly heated and the cheese is melted. Garnish the individual servings with the remaining bacon, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 cup green onions.

2. The Netherlands – Snert (Split Pea Soup)

What you need:
1 (14 ounce) bag dried split peas
1 ham hock
3 slices bacon, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
3 ½ cups water, plus more as needed
4 small potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 leek, diced
½ large onion, diced
2 stalks celery with leaves, stalks diced and leaves chopped
1 clove garlic, diced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 (1 pound) package smoked sausage, sliced

Place the dried split peas, the ham hock, and the bacon into the slow cooker. Pour the chicken broth in and add the 3 1/2 cups water. Cover the cooker and turn on high until the peas are tender and broken apart. This should take about 3 to 4 hours. Stir in more water as needed to make sure the soup isn’t burning on the bottom. Stir the soup occasionally throughout cooking. Add the potatoes, the carrots, the leek, the onion, the celery, and the garlic into the soup. Mix in more water if the soup is too thick. Cover and continue cooking the soup on high for 2 more hours. Season with salt, black pepper, thyme, nutmeg, and cloves, then mix the sausage slices into the soup. Cover and cook for 2 more hours to blend the flavors.

3. Mexico – Pozole (Spicy Mexican Soup)

Girls Who Travel | A Taste of Other Countries - 10 Soup Recipes

What you need:
3 lb. pork shoulder, cut into 2″ pieces
Kosher salt 
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion, quartered
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
2 dried chiles de arbol, stem and seeds removed
2 dried ancho chiles, stem and seeds removed
2 dried guajillo chiles, stem and seeds removed
3 (15-oz.) cans hominy, drained and rinsed 
Thinly sliced radishes, for garnish
Thinly sliced green cabbage, for garnish
Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Season the pork with pepper and salt. Add the pork to a large pot over medium heat, then add the onion, the garlic, the cloves, the cumin seeds, the bay leaf and the chicken broth. Add enough water to cover the pork by about 2”. Bring everything to a boil. When it first starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover, and then let it simmer for 1 ½ hours, skimming foam off the top if necessary. In the meantime, place the dried chiles into a medium-sized bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over them. Let them soak for 30 minutes. Place the chiles and ½ cup of their soaking liquid into a blender. Blend until everything is smooth, and add more water as necessary. Add the pureed chile and the hominy to the pot with the pork. Continue to simmer, covered, until the pork is very tender That should take another 1.5 hours. Serve the pozole garnished with radishes, cabbage, and cilantro.

4. Indonesia – Bakso (Meatball Soup)

What you need:
500 gr/1 lb. 2 oz beef, low fat, minced
100 gr/3.5 oz of tapioca flour or corn starch
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of pepper
1 tsp of salt, or to taste
1 tsp of sugar, or to taste
150 ml/ a little more than 0.5 cups of ice water
1 egg
3 tbsp fried shallots
For the soup:
2 liter / 4 pints broth or water
3 cloves of garlic, bruised
1/2 tsp of pepper powder
1 onion, finely chopped
1 spring onion, cut about 1 cm (approx. 0.5 inch) long
1 tsp beef broth powder
Salt to taste
For the Pangsit/Fried Wonton:
10 pcs fried wonton wrapper (for frying)
Garnish and Condiments:
fried shallots
2 spring onions or flat-leaf parsley, finely sliced
Asian noodles / glass noodles, boil to al dente, set to drain
Coy sum, blanched, set to drain
Kecap manis
Tomato ketchup
Sambal Oelek

Put all the seasoning ingredients for the bakso into a mortar or grinding stone and grind until smooth. That includes the garlic, fried shallots, salt and sugar. You can also use a blender. If you do that, add 50 ml ice water to the above mentioned ingredients, then blend until smooth. Put the mixture into a large bowl, then add the tapioca flour or corn starch. Mix everything well with with a wooden spoon, then put it aside.
Put the sliced beef and the egg into the food processor and blend until everything is smooth. Next, mix the tapioca mixture and beef paste, add the remaining ice water and process once again until the dough well mixed. You can also add the tapioka into the beef paste. Mix them together using the food processor.
In the meantime bring the 3 lt / 6 pints of water to a boil, using a large saucepan. Add 2 tsp of salt. As soon as it starts to boil, turn down the heat to medium.
Next, make the meatballs. Form the beef mixture into balls. Add one of them to the water. Let it boil and cook. Taste it and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Put aside about 3 tbsp of dough for the wonton filling if necessary. Proceed to cook the other meatballs. The meatballs are finished when they are floating to the water surface.
Now it is time to make the fried wonton. Place the wonton wrapper in front of you, with one corner at the bottom so that it looks like a diamond. Put 1 tsp of the meatball dough in the middle of the wrapper. Fold it over to form a triangular shape. Pick up the two ends that have the 45 degrees angle, pinch and seal them with a dab of water on your finger. Deep-fry the wonton until they turn golden brown.
Make the Soup. Bring the broth or water to a boil. Stir-fry the garlic & chopped onion for the soup until they become fragrant, then add them to the broth. Add the spring onions, salt, pepper and broth powder to the soup, and then add seasoning if necessary.
Add the coy sum and blanch it shortly, until it is just wilted. It may be necessary to take the blanched coysum out of the pan and store separately to prevent overcooking.
Finally, put the noodles and vegetables in a bowl. Add the meatballs and pour the soup over everything. Garnish with sliced spring onion, fried shallot & fried wonton.

5. Portugal – Caldo Verde (Kale Soup)

What you need:
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 quarts cold water
6 ounces linguica sausage, thinly sliced
2 ½ teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 pound kale, rinsed and julienned

In a large saucepan, cook the onion and the garlic in 3 tablespoons of olive oil for 3 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the potatoes and cook, while stirring constantly, for 3 more minutes. Pour the water in and bring to a boil. Let it boil gently for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are mushy.
In the meantime, cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-low heat, until it has released most of its fat. That should take about 10 minutes, then drain.
Mash the potatoes or puree the potato mixture with a blender or in a food processor. Stir the sausage, the salt and the pepper into the soup. Return the soup to medium heat. Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Just before serving the soup, stir the kale into it and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. The kale should tender and jade green. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and serve immediately.

6. India – Rasam (Sweet and Sour Soup)

Girls Who Travel | A Taste of Other Countries - 10 Soup Recipes

What you need:
2-3 (or 1 – 1.5 cups) medium tomatoes, pureed or chopped
1/8 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 – 3 cups of water
1 teaspoon tamarind or lemon juice (optional)
1-2 tablespoons jaggery or sugar (or as needed)
1/4 cup coriander leaves with stems, finely chopped
For the seasoning:
1 1/2 tablespoons of oil or ghee
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 dried red chili, mild, broken
1 sprig curry leaves
1 pinch of hing
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
To roast and powder:
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 small dried red chili, mild (optional)
Optional: use 1 teaspoon cumin powder and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper instead to roast and powder.

Add the 1/4 teaspoons of methi seeds and one of the red chilies to a smaller frying pan. Dry roast on low to medium heat. When the seeds start to turn golden add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of cumin seeds and the 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper to the pan. When the seeds start to give off a fine smell after being roasted briefly turn off the heat. Let it cool completely, then grind into a fine powder using a grinder or mortar pestle.
Heat your oil or ghee in a pot, then add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and the last red chili. When they begin to bubble, add the crushed garlic, one sprig of curry leaves and a pinch of hing. Saute for about one minute, or until the leaves turn crisp.
Make the soup:
Add the tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Saute until the tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Add the ground spice powder and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. When it starts to smell aromatic, add the water. Then add the tamarind and jaggery and bring to a boil. When it starts boiling, lower the temperature and let it simmer for 5 minutes. It should start to thicken slightly. Add rasam, salt, jaggery and tamarind to taste. Add chopped coriander leaves. Simmer for one minute. Serve as soup, or with rice.

7. Uzbekistan – Lagman Noodle Soup

What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
½ pound beef chuck, cut into strips
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
3 small potatoes, cubed
½ cup thinly sliced celery
8 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup finely chopped parsley
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 (8 ounce) packages thin Chinese noodles

In a large pot heat the oil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high, then cook and stir onion in the hot oil and fry until golden. This should take about 3 to 5 minutes. Next, stir in the beef strips, the cumin, and the black pepper. Cook everything until the beef is browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the carrot to the pot and cook until it is coated with tomato paste. About 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the green bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. Finally, add the potatoes and the celery, cook for 5 minutes and then pour the water in. Bring the mixture to a boil. Season the water with salt. Reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer until the potatoes are soft, 40 minutes or so.
Next, stir the parsley and the garlic into the soup. Let it simmer until garlic is soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Cook the noodles in the boiling water, stirring occasionally, until they are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse and drain the noodles well. Divide them among the serving bowls. Ladle the hot soup over the noodles.

8. Nigeria – Chicken Pepper Soup

What you need:
1kg (approx. 2.2 pounds) of chicken breast
1 tablespoon ground ehu (calabash nutmeg)
3 small seasoning cubes (chicken flavor)
Scent leaves (alternatively, you can use parsley)
Habanero pepper (to taste)
Sweet pepper or tatashe
Red onions
1 teaspoon thyme (optional)
Salt (to taste)

First, cut the chicken into small pieces. Peel and cut the onion into 4 large pieces. Peel and grind the ehu, then clean and chop the peppers.
Add the pieces of chicken to a pot, then add the thyme, the ground ehu and the crushed seasoning cubes. Over medium heat, start steaming while stirring chicken. When they start to turn white, add the chunks of onion, then pour enough water to cover the contents of the pot. Cover and start cooking until the chicken is soft. Top up the water if necessary while cooking, so that the contents are always fully covered.
When the chicken is fully cooked, take out the now deflated chunks of onion. Add the chopped peppers and the vegetables. Leave the soup to boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt to your taste and serve.

9. Morocco – Harira Soup

Girls Who Travel | A Taste of Other Countries - 10 Soup Recipes

What you need:
1 pound lamb meat, cubed
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
¼ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of margarine
¾ cup chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
½ cup of chopped fresh cilantro
1 (29 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
7 cups of water
¾ cup of green lentils
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
4 ounces of vermicelli pasta
2 eggs, beaten
Juice of 1 lemon

In a large soup pot, mix the lamb, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, butter, celery, onion, and cilantro. Cook over low heat while stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Pour the tomatoes ( but reserve the juice) into the mixture and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Next, add the tomato juice, the 7 cups of water and the lentils to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let the soup simmer for 2 hours.
About 10 minutes before serving turn the heat to medium-high and place the chickpeas and noodles into the soup. Let everything cook for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente. Finally, stir in the lemon juice and the eggs, let it cook 1 more minute and serve.

Thailand – Tom Yum Soup

What you need:
6 cups chicken stock
1 stalk lemongrass (lower third finely minced, top bulb smashed and bound with twine)
1 carrot (thickly sliced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
3 tablespoons onion (minced)
2 tablespoons galangal (or ginger, grated)
3 leaves makrut lime (or bay leaves and long strip of lime zest)
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce (divided)
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice (or lemon juice)
1 to 2 cups shiitake mushrooms (stems removed)
1 small zucchini (sliced into half-moons)
12 to 14 medium shrimp (or 8 to 10 large; raw, shells left on or removed)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
1/4 to 1/3 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
Optional:1 teaspoon chili oil , brown sugar (to taste) , crushed chili pepper flakes (to taste), 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)

Pour the stock into a large cooking pot. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the prepared lemongrass, including the upper sections of the stalk. Boil for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the carrot, the garlic, the onion, the galangal or ginger, also the lime leaves, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the fish sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice. Then reduce heat slightly, cover your soup, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini, and continue simmering another 5 minutes. After that, add the shrimp and cherry tomatoes. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp turned pink.
Lower the heat to low and add 1/4 can of the coconut milk, the chile oil, and brown sugar. If you are using red pepper flakes, add them now, to taste. Finally, add the remaining teaspoon of fish sauce or more chile oil to taste. Discard the lime or bay leaves and the zest, if you used them. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprinkled over and serve.

Click here to listen to Away She Goes, the Girls Who Travel podcast. On this episode: recreating your favorite meals at home.


Sailor, adventurer, writer, editor, dog mom, off the beaten path lover.

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