February 23, 2024

Vote for Your Favorite Soup Recipe!

At EatingWell, we think every day is a great day for soup—from big pots that simmer all day long, filling your home with delicious aromas, to quick soups you can throw together on a whim, using up bits and bobs from your fridge along with some choice pantry ingredients. Soups nourish us from the inside out.


Every time our food team meets to decide which recipes to develop next, soup is always part of the conversation because we know you are big fans of it too. And in this collection of recipes created for our second annual Souper Bowl, we have a soup recipe for everyone—from cup soups that meal-preppers will fall head-over-heels in love with, to soups you can cook up in 20 minutes or less. And we’re giving you the chance to vote to crown the winner for the best soup recipe of all.





Here’s How Souper Bowl Voting Works

This year’s voting bracket consists of some of our favorites, like last year’s Souper Bowl winner Chicken Enchilada Soup, as well as brand-spanking-new recipes we know you’ll love. As you’ll see in the bracket below, we organized 32 soups into four categories: Cup Soups, 20-Minute Soups, Copycat Soups and Slow-Cooker Soups. The winner of each matchup will be determined by popular vote on EatingWell’s Instagram account, playing out in the stories section on our page.


Each week will bring a new round of voting, so mark your calendars and be sure to check in on Instagram to submit your votes. Voting begins for Round One on January 2, and we’re kicking off with Cup Soups. The remaining three categories will have their matchups over the next three days. Then we’ll take the weekend to rest up before voting for Round Two the week of January 8. We’ll start off the week of January 15 with a halftime show, which is a trivia contest about—you guessed it!—soup. Then the remaining rounds take place over the next two weeks, culminating with the championship on January 23.


If you’re more of the voyeuristic type, you can come back here to see results as they roll in. We’ll be updating this page with results throughout the contest.


So, are you inspired to make some soup? We are too! Please tell us what you think by leaving a rating and review—real people read them (really!), and we use your feedback to continually improve our recipes.





The Contenders

Cup Soups

If you’ve perused the soup aisle of your grocery store recently, you may have noticed an uptick in the variety of cup soups available these days. And while they’re convenient, delicious and even nostalgic if you grew up with them, they’re typically loaded with sodium and bereft of vegetables. Enter our homemade cup soups, all created with an eye toward nutrition, like Anti-Inflammatory Eat-the-Rainbow Vegetable Soup and High-Protein Tex-Mex Soup with Rotisserie Chicken. Skip your way over to our Instagram stories on Tuesday, January 2, to vote for the one you can’t wait to make first.


Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall , Prop Stylist: Shell Royster







20-Minute Soups

While having a pot of soup simmer away on your stove all afternoon, filling your home with delicious aromas, is a nice idea, we don’t always have time for that. By using a few choice ingredients and quick cooking techniques, it’s easy to get a pot of soup on the table in 20 minutes or less. And these soups are just as flavor-packed as their long-simmered cousins. Quick! Get over to our Instagram stories on Wednesday, January 3, to vote for the one you want to make for dinner tonight.


Photographer: Robby Lozano, Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless







Copycat Soups

We find recipe inspiration everywhere, from trending recipes on TikTok that we can’t wait to put our own healthier touches on to re-creating our favorite restaurants’ dishes so we can enjoy them at home whenever we want. We also like to have fun taking the delicious flavors from one recipe and transforming them into another type of dish. Think: taking the flavors of stuffed cabbage or lasagna and turning it into a soup. And that’s what this copycat soup category is all about! Hop on over to our Instagram stories on Thursday, January 4, to vote for the one that inspires you most.


Photographer: Robby Lozano, Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless







Slow-Cooker Soups

If you’re the kind of person who has more energy and time in the morning, perhaps it’s worth starting dinner then—in your slow cooker, that is. Bonus: Most of these delicious soups cook all day long while you’re at work or school, so dinner is waiting for you when you get home. Slide on over to our Instagram stories on Friday, January 5, to vote for the one that you most want to come home to for dinner.


Photographer: Robby Lozano, Food Stylist: Margaret Dickey, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless








The Winner

Which soup will be crowned the winner of Souper Bowl 2024? Visit EatingWell’s Instagram page throughout the month to vote for your favorite soups. Then come back here on January 23 to see which soup wins it all!



A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How Our Recipes Are Developed

Every single one of EatingWell’s healthy recipes is developed by food experts and reviewed by registered dietitians, and these Souper Bowl recipes are no exception. The process started all the way back in August, when it was too hot to think about soup. Our team met to decide which types of recipes we wanted to feature in this year’s bracket. After that, the EatingWell Test Kitchen team came up with dozens of ideas for us to choose from. We picked the finalists, and our culinary team started development, keeping in mind EatingWell’s nutrition guidelines. (Our soups are typically 500 calories or less per serving and have no more than 750 milligrams of sodium, although we do make exceptions.)


Soup can be tricky to fit into our guidelines, particularly when it comes to sodium. That’s why you’ll notice that we often call for lower-sodium ingredients—no-salt-added canned beans and tomatoes and unsalted or low-sodium broth, for example. We find that using those and adding a measure of salt makes for a tastier bowl of soup while letting us better control the overall sodium.


Once the recipes are developed, our food editors review them to suggest any changes before they’re cross-tested. What is cross-testing? This is when someone other than the person who developed the recipe makes the recipe. This step is really important to ensure that the recipe will work at home for you too! If the developer created the recipe on a gas stove, the cross-tester uses an electric one or vice versa. They also use alternative ingredients mentioned in the ingredient list to make sure the end result is still delicious. And if the cross-tester finds any issues, they’ll work through them until they’re happy with the final results.


Once the recipes are finalized, they take a trip to one of our two photo studios. Those teams photograph the finished recipes as well as step-by-step photos to help you see the process of making it.


Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall , Prop Stylist: Shell Royster



The final step is having a registered dietitian take a look at each recipe’s nutrition analysis to make sure it’s accurate. They also add the nutrition and dietary tags you see on each recipe page—heart healthy, gluten-free, healthy aging and diabetes-appropriate, to name a few. 


It’s a detailed process, but it’s important to us to ensure we’re publishing the best recipes possible for you to enjoy! 


Credits

Editors: Carolyn Malcoun, Sophie Johnson and Alex Loh.

Visuals & Design: Jesse Blanner, Sabrina Tan, Maria Emmighausen and Cassie Basford.

Special Thanks: Penelope Wall; Victoria Seaver, M.S., RD; Alysia Bebel; Anne Treadwell; Dillon Evans; Sadie Schulte; Allison Little; Riley Steffen; and the entire staff of EatingWell.