Soup is a culinary dish enjoyed around the world in almost every country. Different regions and cultures take different approaches to this dish, adapting it to their specific flavors and taste.
For that reason, soup is a broad term that encompasses a large variety of textures, temperatures, ingredients, and appearance. While they are often savory, they can also be sweet!
This article will explore the most popular soups worldwide and discuss their unique qualities and characteristics. It includes soups from Japan, Italy, The United States, Vietnam, and more!
If you are interested in any dish on this list, you should be able to find a recipe online to recreate it, or a local restaurant may serve it.
Popular Soups From Around the World
The best way to learn about a soup is to try it yourself! We have ranked fifteen of them here and look forward to diving into everything soup-related.
Phở originates in Vietnam but has gained worldwide appreciation in recent years.
This soup dish typically contains broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat, although vegetarian variations are available.
In Vietnam, it is commonly served in various settings in homes and outside homes alike. In non-Vietnamese nations, it is typically found in restaurants rather than in homes.
Pho is so widely appreciated in its home country that it is considered the national dish of Vietnam.
Surprisingly, this dish does not date back as far as some other Vietnamese culinary staples. It is believed that Pho was created in the 19th or 20th century.
Tom Yum (Thailand)
Tom yum or tom yam of Thailand is a savory dish famous for its hot and sour flavor pairing.
It is commonly cooked with shrimp, a staple ingredient in Thai cooking. It can also be cooked with other seafood if shrimp isn’t your thing.
Tom yum soup has many variations. The traditional essential ingredients include mushrooms, shrimp, tomatoes, onions, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, cilantro, chilies, lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves.
Tom yum is famous for its healthy qualities from its spices and seafood. Not only is it eaten commonly in Thailand, but also in Australia.
Borscht (Russia / Ukraine)
Borscht, originating from Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, is known for its deep red color and distinct flavor.
The color and flavor stem from the ingredient beetroot. Other common ingredients include stock, vegetables, and fermented beetroot juice.
These ingredients may be substituted or swapped depending on preference.
The vegetables typically used are cabbage, celery, onions, tomatoes, and carrots. These change depending on the type of borscht, the region it comes from, or the particular recipe.
Those looking to save money may enjoy making borscht at home as most borscht ingredients are affordable and easy to procure.
Caldo Verde (Portugal)
Portuguese cuisine would be incomplete without the soup caldo verde.
It originates from the Minho region located on the coast of Northern Portugal.
Although caldo verde translates to “green broth,” that simple line does not encapsulate the flavors and tradition held in this soup.
Traditionally, it is made with cabbage, potatoes, salt, black pepper, olive oil, onion, and garlic.
Sometimes it is prepared with collard greens instead of cabbage. Once a regional pleasure, all of Portugal now partakes in preparing and eating this hearty soup.
Caldo verde is typically vegetarian without special accommodations needed, but it should still be checked before consumption for animal products if you do not use them.
Chupe de Marisco (Peru)
Peruvian cuisine often incorporates savory seafood and rich flavors, and the staple Peruvian dish, Chupe de marisco, does not sway from this.
Chupe de marisco, also called Peruvian shrimp chowder, is a very hearty dish that consists of fresh shrimp, creamy cheese, and golden potatoes.
Soup is often regarded as a light meal that may compliment a heavier dish. Chupe de marisco defies this notion by being the center of the meal when served, as it is dense enough to satisfy one’s appetite on its own.
Taking on chupe de marisco as a home cook may be overwhelming at first attempt but is sure to be worth it once completed.
Gazpacho is unique compared to many other soups on this list because it is served cold rather than hot.
Due to its cold temperature, it is well-enjoyed in warm climates during the summer months in areas such as Spain and Portugal.
Often described as refreshing and cool, this dish is made of raw vegetables blended together.
Common gazpacho ingredients include tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and green peppers. Occasionally, these vegetables are substituted with garlic, olive oil, water, and bread crumbs.
These additions add flavor and texture to the stars of the show, the blended vegetables. A notable quality about gazpacho is its adaptability to be made with various vegetables.
Gumbo (United States)
Gumbo is an American dish that is most popular in the country’s southeast regions but particularly in the state of Louisiana where Cajun food is famous.
Gumbo is the official state cuisine of Louisiana and is centered around flavorful seafood that people can catch in the local area.
Gumbo is often referred to as a “comfort food” because of its hardiness and warm flavors.
Although seafood is typically the main meat in gumbo, chicken and sausage are also commonly used in tandem with shrimp or other seafood ingredients.
Making roux at home can be challenging for first-time cooks because it starts with a roux, a cooking technique that can be difficult to master.
Moroccan soup Harira is a savory dish full of legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and fava beans.
Because these ingredients are so important to the dish, anyone wanting to increase their protein intake can find it by eating some harira.
It is commonly made with lamb but can be made vegetarian if preferred.
Harira is eaten all year in Morocco but is especially popular during Ramadan, the sacred Muslim holiday.
This cultural and religious importance tied to harira makes it vital to Moroccan cuisine.
Italy is world-famous for being a premier food destination. Included in the country’s most famous dishes is minestrone.
This soup is full of hearty vegetables and typically includes pasta, rice, or both.
The flavor of minestrone is robust, particularly from the inclusion of tomatoes, onions, and parmesan.
Minestrone is a year-round staple and adapts to the seasons by including in-season vegetables as they are available.
There are endless recipes for minestrone, but none of them are, per se, the correct version because they can be made in so many variations.
Although ramen originated from Japan, it has also gained popularity in many other countries outside of Asia.
The main components are Chinese-style noodles that are served in a savory broth.
Toppings are traditionally used that include items such as nori (dried seaweed), scallions, sliced meats, and eggs.
There are many different options when it comes to trying ramen. For example, some restaurants specialize in this soup and amp it up to its traditional level, or some packs cost 33 cents in the grocery store.
In our opinion, both are amazing and deserve a place on your menu! If you want to try some Japanese ramen that won’t break the bank, check out Bokksu Market
Indonesian soto ayam could be considered a variation of chicken noodle soup that amps up the flavor and color with turmeric, coconut milk broth, and shallots.
There are many variations across Indonesia, heavily depending on the region you are in. It is a distinct yellow color from the use of turmeric!
Making soto ayam at home is quite simple, making it a great soup to make for beginner cooks.
The ingredients are accessible in countries outside Indonesia and can be tweaked according to taste and preferences.
Tonkotsu Ramen (Japan)
Tonkotsu ramen refers to a type of ramen that includes pork bone broth.
It is distinct from other kinds of ramen because of the meaty flavor supplied by the pork.
The pork broth resembles the color of miso broth, making it difficult at times to distinguish the two.
The broth’s texture is silky because of the collagen from the bones. The noodles used are commonly the same as other kinds of ramen.
Tonkotsu ramen can be made quite spicy or mild in flavor. It is typically spicy in its home country of Japan where spicy foods are staples in the local cuisine.
Yayla çorbası (Turkey)
Turkish soup yayla çorbası incorporates herbs, chickpeas, and rice into a yogurt base that makes for a creamy, satisfying meal.
Outside of Turkey, it is often referred to as Turkish yogurt soup. While the yogurt ingredient may seem odd to those who have not tried it, it actually supplements the other ingredients and brings out the dish’s overall flavor.
This soup is on the creamy side rather than a broth-based soup like ramen. Meatballs are often incorporated into the dish, as well as chicken.
Mint is also often used, bringing a dynamic taste that is unusual for soup but very enjoyable.
Check out other tasty Turkish dishes.
Miso Soup (Japan)
Miso is hard to avoid in Japanese cuisine. It is used in almost every traditional savory dish.
Therefore, it makes sense to have a soup centered around this iconic Japanese ingredient!
Miso soup is a savory broth that is made from miso paste. Other ingredients may be included as well for flavor or texture, including tofu, seaweed, noodles, and vegetables.
Miso soup has recently been gaining traction in the United States and other countries outside of Japan.
If you can find some miso paste, it will be relatively easy to create this delicious soup at home!
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is iconic in American cuisine, although many other countries have their own variations of the popular meal.
The main ingredients include chicken, a savory broth, and some sort of noodle. Vegetables such as peas and carrots are often included, especially in the popular canned versions that are found in supermarkets.
Campbell’s chicken noodle soup is arguably the most common option that is easy to prepare in just minutes by diluting it with water and heating it on the stove.
To enhance the flavor of either store-bought or homemade chicken noodle soup, try adding a small amount of fresh lemon juice or salt.
Popular Soups From Around the World
- Phở (Vietnam)
- Tom Yum (Thailand)
- Borscht (Russia / Ukraine)
- Caldo Verde (Portugal)
- Chupe de Marisco (Peru)
- Gazpacho (Spain)
- Gumbo (United States)
- Harira (Morocco)
- Minestrone (Italy)
- Ramen (Japan)
- Soto (Indonesia)
- Tonkotsu ramen (Japan)
- Yayla çorbası (Turkey)
- Miso Soup (Japan)
- Chicken Noodle Soup
As mentioned above, soup is a broad term that encompasses a variety of dishes. The term connects every cuisine worldwide because different countries and cultures all have different takes on it. Some are cold, and some are hot. Some are savory, and some are sweet.
The ingredients can vary widely or be similar but prepared with different techniques.
No matter where you live, a soup is most likely local to your region or country. But if you’re looking for other options, try the soups we discussed today for yourself and see what you think!
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