The 50 Soups of America
The 50 Soups of America
Soup is one of those universal delights that every culture seems to partake in around the world. From warming bowls of hearty stews, comforting classics like chicken noodle, and the ultra-refined consommés, there are soups for any occasion.
Whether it be a particularly important agricultural crop, rich immigrant history, or a recipe made famous by a landmark restaurant, we’ve rounded up 50 soups we feel are most representative of our collective national food traditions and local traditions.
Alabama: Alabama Chili
While there are plenty of regional variations of chili across the U.S., Alabama certainly loves its chili.
Alaska: Salmon Chowder
Arizona: Tortilla Soup
Arizona shares a border with Mexico, so it is not surprising that many of those spicy, picante flavors have made their way north of the border. This tortilla soup can be made with fresh or frozen vegetables and delivers a spicy kick from the addition of jalapeño peppers.
Arkansas: Tomato Soup
California: Avocado Soup
Since 95 percent of the avocados produced in the U.S. are grown in California, it only seems fitting that this state’s soup features this nutritious fruit. Save your avocados until they are very ripe to make this extra-creamy, refreshing soup.
Connecticut: Cabbage Soup
The cold New England climate and large Irish-American population in Connecticut make it the perfect state to try a traditional Irish soup of corned beef and cabbage. Early settlers would dig out underground stores to preserve their harvested cabbage and root vegetables fresh.
Florida: Black Bean Soup
Because of Florida’s large Cuban population, Cuban food is quite prevalent in the state. This recipe for black bean soup is a classic dish, prepared with Florida citrus and topped with fresh Florida avocados.
Georgia: Brunswick Stew
The South is known for its many iterations of barbecue, but in George there is only one soup that matters. Brunswick stew is generally made with whatever leftovers are on hand, from pulled pork to barbecue chicken.
Idaho: Potato Soup
While Idaho and Washington duke it out for the title of largest potato producer in the country, it is safe to say that most people associate this tuberous vegetable with Idaho. This puréed soup is naturally thickened by the starches in the potatoes, giving it a smooth, creamy mouthfeel.
Illinois: Pumpkin Soup
According to the state of Illinois, 95 percent of the pumpkin crop processed in the United States is grown there, so it is only fitting that we select a creamy pumpkin soup for the great state. If you are using fresh pumpkin, save the seeds for a toasted, crunchy topping for your soup.
Indiana: Duck Soup
Iowa: Corn Chowder
The U.S. produces a lot of corn, but no state is more famous for its corn than Iowa. This interpretation of a classic corn chowder is topped with crisp, salty bacon to balance the sweet corn soup.
Kansas: Kansas City Steak Soup
The landmark Kansas City steakhouse, Plaza III, made this hearty soup famous, and now the steak soup is a staple comfort food for the city and the state. Check out this recipe for steak soup in a flavorful tomato, vegetable broth.
Maine: Lobster Bisque
It’s hard to think of Maine without the image of a bright-red, steamed lobster popping into your head. To celebrate the crustacean this state is famous for, we have a decadent, creamy bisque recipe that any seafood-lover will happily devour.
Maryland: Maryland Crab Soup
Nothing says Maryland like fresh, sweet crabs, but add a dash of the state’s favorite Old Bay seasoning and you have one creamy, rich seafood soup that is more than a local favorite, it’s a time-honored tradition. Our recipe uses the classic spicy Old Bay seasoning and a splash of dry sherry.
Massachusetts: New England Clam Chowder
One of the oldest restaurants in the country, The Union Oyster House in Boston is famous for its creamy clam chowder that it has been serving since 1826. This classic recipe uses fresh Cherry Stone clams.
Minnesota: Turkey Soup
Every Thanksgiving, Minnesota establishes its dominance as the largest turkey producer in the U.S. The rest of the year, the state is known for producing hearty grains, especially wild rice. To honor two of Minnesota’s biggest contributions, we have chosen this simple and delicious Wild Rice and Turkey Soup recipe.
Mississippi: Sweet Potato Soup
While corn and soybeans rank among the top crops for Mississippi, sweet potatoes are a local favorite. This sweet potato recipe is just a little bit sweet, and makes a perfect light lunch or starter at dinner.
Missouri: French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup might not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of Missouri, but in St. Louis the soup is a legend. The now defunct Famous Barr Department Store was known for its French Onion Soup, and so the recipe left a lasting impression on visitors. Today, copycat recipes are served around the city in honor of the famous menu item.
Nebraska: Great Northern Bean Soup
No state produces more Great Northern Beans than Nebraska, which is why we chose this hearty, white bean soup for the state. The sautéed bacon, and vegetables flavor this soup, while the starches from the beans thicken it.
Nevada: Beef Stew
New Hampshire: Turkey Consommé with Cranberry Walnut Chutney
The cold climate of New Hampshire makes it an ideal place for cranberry production. In fact, New Hampshire is one of the largest producers of cranberries in the U.S. Here, we have a rich turkey consommé that is garnished with sweet and sour cranberry-walnut chutney that adds both texture and color to the simple soup.
New Jersey: Cream of Mushroom Soup
New Jersey is home of the famous Campbell’s Soup Company, which is why we selected one of the original soup flavors for the state of New Jersey. Our Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe is an amped up version of the canned variety, made with white wine and flavorful leeks.
New York: Minestrone Soup
New York has the largest Italian-American population in the country. This minority group has had a major impact on the food culture of the state, which is why we chose a classic Minestrone soup for New York. This soup is a hearty vegetable soup loaded with cannellini beans.
North Carolina: Black-Eyed Pea Soup
North Dakota: Knoephla Soup
Ohio: Cincinnati-Style Chili
In Ohio, one city has become a mecca for chili. Skyline Restaurant’s famed chili put Cincinnati on the map as one of our nation’s favorite chili-styles. This thick chili is often served on top of spaghetti (aka chili mac).
Oklahoma: Chicken Pot Pie Soup
While Oklahoma is the only state with an official state meal, it unfortunately doesn’t include a soup, so we took some creative liberties in deciding the perfect soup to represent Oklahoma. Pulling from the tradition of okra, squash, chicken, and biscuits, we decided on a chicken pot pie soup that sort of embodies these traditions in one steaming bowl of soup.
Oregon: Pear Soup
Oregon is home to the Bartlett pear, which is why we chose the sweet and savory pear soup to represent Oregon. The leeks and spicy ginger add depth to the ripe pear-flavored soup.
Rhode Island: Rhode Island Clam Chowder
In New England, there is a tale of two chowders, while New England’s thick and creamy chowder is perhaps more well-known, another style clear chowder is famous in Rhode Island. Unlike New England or Boston clam chowder, the base of this soup is clear with a splash of cream added just before serving.
South Dakota: Pheasant Soup
As the best place in the country to hunt wild pheasant, we imagine that this gamey bird has ended up in a pot or two of soup, which is why we chose this pheasant soup for South Dakota. Don’t have pheasant? This soup still tastes great made with chicken or any other fowl you choose.
New Mexico: Hatch Chile Corn Chowder
Named for the area they are grown in, Hatch chiles are a favorite of the state. Every September Hatch Chile season begins with a festival, so to honor this New Mexican staple we have chosen a soup that features this famous pepper.
Tennessee: Chicken and Dumplings Soup
A time-honored Southern tradition, chicken and dumplings are widely popular in Tennessee. This simple soup is a twist on the classic and comforting Chicken Noodle Soup.
Texas: Taco Soup
In Texas, where Tex-Mex reigns supreme, no soup hits the spot quit like this taco soup, made with ground beef, pinto beans, corn, chile powder, and garlic scented taco seasoning.
Utah: Slow-Cooker Turkey Fajita Soup
What makes this soup a perfect pick for Utah are the Southwestern influences, and perhaps most importantly, the use of the slow-cooker. Dutch ovens are a favorite cooking apparatus for the large Mormon population in the state, which makes this slow-cooker soup a tasty representation for local flavors and popular cooking methods.
Virginia: Peanut Soup
Washington: Lentil Soup
While more than 10 states grow legumes in the United States, two are responsible for 95 percent of lentil crops, according to the USDA. To celebrate Washington’s significant contribution to our lentil supply, we have this easy lentil soup made with cannellini beans and sweet, roasted tomatoes.
West Virginia: Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Apples rank among West Virginia’s most important crops. While states like Washington and New York might get more recognition, it is West Virginia that calls the Golden Delicious Apple its state fruit. For this reason, we chose this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup that is sweetened with fresh, grated apple.
Wisconsin: Beer-Cheese Soup
This soup combines two of Wisconsin’s greatest contributions, Milwaukee’s beer tradition and Cheddar cheese. Enjoy this cheesy soup with a pretzel roll for a truly Wisconsin experience.