Whatever You Want Soup


Samin Nosrat, NYT Cooking


8 servings


  • 4 tablespoons butter, olive oil or neutral-tasting oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 to 8 cups meat, vegetables or other add-ins
  • About 1½ pounds raw, boneless chicken (optional)
  • About 8 cups water or chicken stock


  1. Set a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat and add 4 tablespoons butter or oil. When the butter melts or the oil shimmers, add onions and garlic, and a generous pinch of salt.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Place the meat, vegetables and other add-ins in the pot, along with the raw chicken (if using), and add enough liquid to cover. Season with salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Cook until the flavors have come together and the vegetables and greens are tender, about 20 minutes more. If you added raw chicken, remove it from the soup when cooked, allow to cool, shred and return to the soup. Taste and adjust for salt.
  5. Add more hot liquid if needed to thin the soup to desired consistency. Taste and adjust for salt.
  6. Serve hot, and garnish as desired.


  • For add-ins, you can use a combination of vegetables diced into 3/4-inch pieces (use one or more of carrots, fennel, celery, leeks, winter squash, potatoes or parsnips); cooked beans, lentils or chickpeas; up to 4 cups of sliced kale or green cabbage; or up to 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken or pork, if not using raw chicken.
  • If desired, replace some of the liquid with bean broth, heavy cream, chopped tomatoes in their juices or full-fat coconut milk.