20 Noodle Soup Recipes for All Occasions

[Photographs: Kenji López-Alt, Vicky Wasick]

Noodle soup is one of those foods I never get tired of. Perhaps that’s because there are just so many variations. Just about every culture has at least one defining noodle soup, and I have yet to meet one I don’t love. In the winter, I go for heartier, heavier soups with beans and tomatoes, finished with a handful of thick wheat noodles. But in the summer, I’m drawn to light, brothy soups with thin, almost-translucent, rice noodles. Whatever the weather, no matter your mood, one of these 20 soups is sure to do the trick.

Rich and Creamy Tonkotsu Ramen Broth

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Okay, we admit, this is only part of a noodle soup—the non-noodle part. But this rich, comforting, and creamy pork bone-broth is the perfect base for ramen noodles and all of your favorite ramen toppings. To top it off, we opted for preserved bamboo shoots, thick slices of braised pork, and a soft-boiled egg, but really, whatever you’ve got in the fridge will make for a mean bowl of soup.

Rich and Creamy Tonkotsu Ramen Broth Recipe »

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The Best Minestrone Soup

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

It’s almost too easy to push a few cans or cartons of soup into your shopping cart as you head to the checkout lane. But minestrone is one of those soups you should really take the time to make yourself. Our recipe acts as a guide, so you can add all your favorite vegetables at just the right time, so nothing gets too mushy. Consider this a blueprint for the best possible minestrone soup.

The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe »

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Spicy Cuban Shrimp Soup With Noodles

[Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Consider this soup the answer to that dread you feel on Sunday evenings as you prepare for another week. This bright, spicy Cuban shrimp and noodle soup will give you the burst of energy you need. The base of sautéed onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and plenty of garlic is given even more flavor by the shell-on shrimp, which are cooked directly in the soup.

Spicy Cuban Shrimp Soup With Noodles Recipe »

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The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Chicken soup is one of those dishes that gets very personal very quickly. So we won’t say this is the best chicken noodle soup. But by initially roasting chicken wings and charring onions for the broth and finishing with chopped dill and a squeeze of lemon, we create a deeply flavorful, gold-hued soup that might just be the ultimate chicken noodle soup. We think it is.

The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe »

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Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

[Photograph: Cathy Erway]

This Taiwanese beef noodle soup is incredibly rich and satisfying. The dark broth—which balances between acidic, sweet, and slightly spicy—is a vessel for thick chewy noodles, fall-apart beef shank, and wilted greens.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Recipe »

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Taiwanese Danzai Noodle Soup

[Photograph: Cathy Erway]

While we’re talking Taiwanese noodle soups, you should probably try your hand at this danzai soup. The pork-and-shrimp broth is paired with Chinese wheat noodles, one lone shrimp, and a traditional Taiwanese meat sauce.

Taiwanese Danzai Noodle Soup Recipe »

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Miso Ramen With Crispy Pork and Burnt Garlic-Sesame Oil

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

The best soups are the ones that act as an entire meal in a single bowl. This miso ramen is exactly that. The rich and creamy miso-flavored pork stock is topped with crispy braised pork, a soft-boiled egg, and any other toppings you have on hand.

Miso Ramen With Crispy Pork and Burnt Garlic-Sesame Oil Recipe »

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Wonton Noodle Soup With Chicken and Shiitakes

[Photograph: Shao Z.]

This wonton noodle soup is equal parts easy and satisfying. Dried shiitake mushrooms are combined with thin wonton noodles, slivers of chicken, and scallions in a light chicken and mushroom broth. By using dried shiitake mushrooms and store-bought chicken broth, we achieve maximum flavor without the hours of work a soup like this would otherwise demand.

Wonton Noodle Soup With Chicken and Shiitakes Recipe »

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Homemade Wonton Soup

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

This isn’t quite a noodle soup, but it feels wrong not to include a great wonton soup on this list. Chicken, pork trotters, and ham enrich the broth, and homemade shrimp wontons add tons of texture and a bit of needed richness.

Homemade Wonton Soup Recipe »

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Pressure Cooker Chintan Shoyu Ramen

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This recipe provides all the building blocks of a perfectly balanced chintan shoyu ramen. Plus, it all comes together in your pressure cooker. The soy sauce–flavored, clear-broth ramen is an ideal base for rich pork belly and homemade, or store-bought, ramen noodles.

Pressure Cooker Chintan Shoyu Ramen Recipe »

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Miso Tori Paitan Ramen (Creamy Chicken Broth Ramen)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This ramen features a creamy, rich chicken paitan broth flavored with a tare, or seasoning, made from a mixture of red miso, soy sauce, sake, dried fish, kelp, and optional fresh red chilies. To round out an already-great bowl of ramen, we add sliced braised pork belly, finely diced white onion, and thin slices of scallion.

Miso Tori Paitan Ramen (Creamy Chicken Broth Ramen) Recipe »

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30-Minute Pressure Cooker Pho Ga

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Making pho from scratch might sound intimidating, but this pressure cooker version makes it quite easy—and extremely fast. In 30 minutes, you’ll have a flavor-packed bowl of pho, complete with tender chicken legs, thin rice noodles, and bright herbs.

30-Minute Pressure Cooker Pho Ga Recipe »

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Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles

[Video: Natalie Holt]

There’s no reason you should ever have to eat a sad desk lunch again. We believe that so strongly that we created four recipes for DIY instant noodles you can heat up and eat at work. All you need to do is combine parcooked noodles, a vegetable base, sliced vegetables, and a combination of seasonings. You could go with the mellow, sweet flavors of Thai coconut curry with shrimp, an umami-packed jar of noodles with vegetables and miso-sesame broth, spicy kimchi beef noodles, or, perhaps, these light and flavorful chicken and dill noodles. As a matter of fact, we think your best bet is to make them all.

Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles »

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Real-Deal Khao Soi Gai (Northern Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup With Chicken)

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

This Northern Thai khao soi gai perfectly blends rich coconut curry with tender braised chicken and crisp fried noodles. Toasting aromatics for the soup’s curry paste will up their flavor and make them easier to pound. Makrut lime zest and fresh turmeric round out this full-bodied, creamy soup.

Real-Deal Khao Soi Gai (Northern Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup With Chicken) Recipe »

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Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Bean and Pasta Soup)

[Photographs: Daniel Gritzer]

This classic Italian soup is best kept simple. So instead of embellishing and improving upon an already-great recipe, we focus on using the best ingredients to take this soup to the next level. The secret is using the highest quality dried beans, and letting them go low and slow.

Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Bean and Pasta Soup) Recipe »

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The Ultimate Rich and Creamy Vegan Ramen With Roasted Vegetables and Miso Broth

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Making a great bowl of vegan ramen is hard; we admit it. Usually, pork and chicken meat and bones are responsible for giving ramen broth its rich flavor. But this vegan ramen will rival your favorite meat-based ones, relying on the umami of charred vegetables, soy sauce, and sweet potatoes.

The Ultimate Rich and Creamy Vegan Ramen With Roasted Vegetables and Miso Broth Recipe »

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Bukkake Udon (Japanese Cold Noodles With Broth)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This is one of those soups I start calling on in the heat of summer, but it’s a satisfying and light meal perfect nearly any time of year. Chilled Japanese udon noodles are served with a cold soy-based broth. The bowl of noodles is topped with your choice of condiments, like grated fresh ginger, a soft-cooked egg, or scallions.

Bukkake Udon (Japanese Cold Noodles With Broth) Recipe »

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Quick Kimchi Ramen With Shiitake Mushrooms and Soft-Cooked Egg

[Photograph: Daniel Gritzer]

This super-quick Korean kimchi ramen relies on intensely flavorful ingredients to pack a big punch in a short amount of time. In addition to kimchi, this bowl of ramen gets its flavor from miso, shiitake mushrooms, and soy sauce. The addition of baking soda to a pot of boiling water turns angel hair pasta into springy ramen-like noodles, so you don’t even have to go in search of ingredients.

Quick Kimchi Ramen With Shiitake Mushrooms and Soft-Cooked Egg Recipe »

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Homemade Shin Cup–Style Spicy Korean Ramyun Beef Noodle Soup

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

This Korean beef noodle soup is our nod to a much-loved spicy beef instant noodle. The rich bowl of soup gets its depth from short ribs, sea kelp, Korean chili paste, and kimchi. This isn’t a quick soup, but when you have a slow and leisurely evening, it’s more than worth your time.

Homemade Shin Cup–Style Spicy Korean Ramyun Beef Noodle Soup Recipe »

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Cold Korean Noodle Soup With Asian Pear and Cucumber (Mul Naengmyun)

[Photographs: Daniel Gritzer]

Cold soups don’t get enough love. And to be fair, I didn’t love them when I was a kid. But now that I’ve seen the light, I get exactly what’s so great about this Korean cold noodle soup with Asian pear and cucumber. A sweet-tart broth meets slick, chewy noodles and a crisp topping of sliced cucumber and pickled radish.

Cold Korean Noodle Soup With Asian Pear and Cucumber (Mul Naengmyun) Recipe »

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