Los Angeles’ Love Affair with Soups and Which Are the Most Popular
Our ghost kitchen Los Angeles serves up just about everything depending on the chef who’s using it at the time. Our extensive series of stock pots and burners mean we’re always ready at a moment’s notice for the chef who wants or needs to make soup—even enough for an army! With that said, you may want to know which soups are the most popular here the U.S.
The most popular soups in the United States can vary depending on factors such as regional preferences, seasonality, and personal taste. However, some of the most commonly consumed soups in the United States include:
- Tomato Soup: Tomato soup is a classic American favorite, often served with grilled cheese sandwiches. It is typically made with tomatoes, broth, and various seasonings such as onions, garlic, and herbs.
- Chicken Noodle Soup: Chicken noodle soup is a comforting and widely popular soup made with chicken, broth, vegetables, and egg noodles. It is often used as a remedy for colds or as a comfort food during chilly weather.
- Clam Chowder: Clam chowder is a creamy soup made with clams, potatoes, onions, and sometimes bacon. It is particularly popular in the New England region of the United States.
- Chili: While technically not a soup, chili is a thick and hearty dish that is often considered a type of soup in the United States. It typically contains ground meat (such as beef or turkey), beans, tomatoes, and spices, and is often served with toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and green onions.
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Broccoli cheddar soup is a rich and creamy soup made with broccoli, cheddar cheese, and often cream or milk. It is a popular choice for those who enjoy a combination of savory flavors and creamy textures.
- Potato Soup: Potato soup is a hearty and filling soup made with potatoes, broth, and usually milk or cream. It is often flavored with onions, bacon, and cheese, and may be garnished with chives or sour cream.
- Minestrone: Minestrone is a vegetable-based Italian soup that has gained popularity in the United States. It typically contains a variety of vegetables, beans, pasta, and sometimes meat, in a tomato-based broth.
- Split Pea Soup: Split pea soup is a thick and hearty soup made from dried split peas, often cooked with vegetables, ham or bacon, and herbs. It is known for its rich and comforting flavors.
These are just a few examples of popular soups in the United States. It’s important to note that food trends and preferences may change over time, and the popularity of soups can vary by region and personal taste.
That Old Favorite: Pea Soup
There are various ways to make split pea soup, and recipes can vary depending on regional and personal preferences. Here are some common variations:
- Ham Hock or Bacon: Split pea soup is often made with ham hock or bacon, which adds a smoky flavor and richness to the soup. The ham hock or bacon is typically simmered with the split peas and vegetables, imparting its flavors into the soup.
- Vegetarian or Vegan: For those who prefer a vegetarian or vegan version, split pea soup can be made without using any meat or animal products. Instead of ham hock or bacon, vegetable broth or water can be used as the base, and additional flavor can be added using herbs, spices, and vegetables.
- Herbs and Spices: Split pea soup can be seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices to add depth and flavor. Common herbs used in split pea soup include thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary. Spices such as cumin, paprika, and smoked paprika can also be used to enhance the soup’s flavors.
- Texture: The texture of split pea soup can vary depending on personal preference. Some people like to blend the soup until smooth for a creamy consistency, while others prefer a chunkier texture with whole or partially mashed peas. Adjusting the cooking time and using an immersion blender or a regular blender can help achieve the desired texture.
- Additional Vegetables: While the traditional split pea soup recipe typically includes onions, carrots, and celery, additional vegetables can be added to customize the soup. For example, potatoes, leeks, bell peppers, or spinach can be included to add more nutrients and flavors.
- Garnishes: Split pea soup can be served with various garnishes to add additional flavor and texture. Common garnishes include croutons, fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese, or a drizzle of olive oil.
These are just some examples of the different ways split pea soup can be made. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients, seasonings, and cooking techniques to create a split pea soup that suits your taste preferences.
Here’s a basic recipe for split pea soup that serves about 6-8 people:
- 1 1/2 cups dried split peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ham hock or 4-6 slices of bacon, chopped
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional garnishes: croutons, fresh herbs, sour cream, grated cheese, etc.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter or heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery, and sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the minced garlic and chopped ham hock or bacon to the pot, and sauté for another 3-4 minutes until the ham hock or bacon is slightly browned.
- Add the rinsed and drained split peas, vegetable or chicken broth, bay leaves, and dried thyme to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the split peas are tender and falling apart, stirring occasionally.
- Once the split peas are cooked, remove the ham hock if used, and discard the bay leaves. If desired, remove about half of the soup and blend it until smooth using an immersion blender or a regular blender, being careful to allow the soup to cool slightly before blending.
- Return the blended soup to the pot (if using), and stir to combine. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
- Serve hot, garnished with croutons, fresh herbs, sour cream, grated cheese, or any other desired garnishes.
Note: If you prefer a thicker or thinner consistency, you can adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe by adding more broth or water to thin it out, or simmering the soup longer to thicken it. Additionally, you can customize this basic recipe by adding other vegetables, herbs, or spices to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy your homemade split pea soup!