The notion of whipping up soup from scratch might seem daunting, but many of the best recipes require little active time. The real magic happens when you let the ingredients simmer and the flavors meld together.
Aside from being easy to make, soup can pack in a meal's worth of nourishing ingredients, provided you "include an abundance of vegetables; healthy starches, like beans and whole grains; and some lean meat, fish, or poultry," says Susan Bowerman, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.
Many of the following recipes on call for just 15 or 20 minutes of prep work and an hour or two of fragrant simmering. Others come together in less than an hour. Use fresh herbs, garlic, or ginger for flavor and you'll need a fraction of the salt hiding in most canned soups.