1. Basic Chicken Chop 1 onion, 1 celery stalk, 2 carrots and 1 tablespoon thyme; sauté in butter until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add 6 cups chicken broth; simmer 20 minutes. Add 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, 1/3 cup mixed chopped dill and parsley, and some lemon juice.
2. Chicken Rice Make Basic Chicken Soup (No. 1); omit dill and add chives, chervil and tarragon. Stir in 1/3 cup cooked basmati rice.
3. Italian Wedding Make Basic Chicken Soup (No. 1) with a rind of parmesan in the broth. Add 1 pound mini meatballs, 1 cup orzo and 3 cups torn escarole; simmer until the orzo is tender.
4. Chicken Dumpling Mix 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 cup farina cereal and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drop half-teaspoonfuls into simmering chicken broth; cook for 3 minutes after the dumplings float.
5. Escarole and White Bean Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves and some red pepper flakes in olive oil. Add 3 cups chicken broth, 1 head chopped escarole and a parmesan rind; simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 can white beans, parmesan and salt.
6. Butternut Squash Sauté 1/2 sliced onion with a pinch of thyme in butter until soft. Add salt, pepper, 2 pounds diced butternut squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Simmer until tender, then puree.
7. Squash and Sage Make Butternut Squash Soup (No. 6) using 2 shallots instead of onion. Fry sage leaves in the butter. Replace 1 1/2 cups of the broth with apple cider; add nutmeg. Top with crème fraîche and the fried sage.
8. Parsnip-Bacon Make Butternut Squash Soup (No. 6); substitute 2 pounds parsnips for the squash. Top with crumbled bacon and crème fraîche.
9. Asian Chicken Puree 2 garlic cloves with a 2-inch piece peeled ginger; fry in oil with 1 bunch sliced scallions. Add 3 cups each chicken broth and water, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sherry, and a pinch of sugar; boil. Add shredded cooked chicken, sliced carrots and snow peas; drizzle with sesame oil.
10. Spicy Dumpling Make Asian Chicken Soup (No. 9); add frozen dumplings instead of chicken. Top with Asian chili sauce.
11. Spicy Tortilla Puree 2 seeded, soaked ancho chiles, 1 onion, 2 tomatoes and 2 garlic cloves; fry in oil. Add 6 cups chicken broth, 4 torn corn tortillas, some shredded cooked chicken and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer until thick. Add salt; garnish with crisp tortilla strips, Mexican cheese, avocado, cilantro and lime juice.
12. Stracciatella Beat 2 eggs with 1/3 cup grated parmesan. Drizzle into 6 cups simmering chicken broth; cook 2 minutes.
13. Egg Drop Cook 1 tablespoon chopped ginger and 3 chopped scallions in sesame oil. Add 6 cups chicken broth and 2 tablespoons each soy sauce and sherry; bring to a simmer. Slowly pour in 2 beaten eggs and cook 2 minutes.
14. Sausage-Bean Make Escarole and White Bean Soup (No. 5); sauté 4 chopped sweet Italian sausages with the garlic.
15. Egg-Lemon Cook 1/2 cup pastina in 6 cups simmering chicken broth with 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Beat 2 eggs, 2 yolks and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; whisk in a little hot broth, then stir the mixture into the soup. Cook over low heat until thick.
16. Potato Chowder Sauté 4 ounces chopped bacon; add 2 tablespoons butter, 2 sliced leeks and 2 teaspoons each sage and thyme. Add 4 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups cream, a bay leaf and 3 chopped potatoes. Simmer until tender; top with chives.
17. Potato Cheese Make Potato Chowder (No. 16); stir in 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar.
18. Clam Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16); omit sage and use 2 cups each clam juice and water in place of broth. Season with cayenne. Add 2 cups clams during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
19. Corn Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16); omit sage. Stir in 2 cups corn during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Garnish with diced roasted red peppers.
20. Minestrone Chop 3 garlic cloves, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 celery stalk and 1/4 head cabbage; sauté in oil. Add 1 can each white beans and diced tomatoes, 4 cups chicken broth and a parmesan rind; simmer 20 minutes. Add 1 cup ditalini pasta and simmer until tender. Add salt and pepper.
21. Fish Chowder Make Potato Chowder (No. 16) with just 2 ounces bacon. Omit sage; swap the cream with half-and-half. Add 1 pound white fish chunks and 1/2 pound flaked smoked trout during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
22. Pistou Make Minestrone (No. 20); add 1 sliced zucchini and 1 cup diced butternut squash with the vegetables. Swirl in pesto.
23. Tortellini Make Minestrone (No. 20); substitute 1 cup tortellini for the ditalini.
24. Sweet Potato Sweat 2 chopped onions, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 3 peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, and 1 teaspoon coriander in olive oil. Simmer with 6 cups chicken broth until soft. Puree; top with salsa.
25. Curried Sweet Potato Make Sweet Potato Soup (No. 24); use butter instead of oil and add 1 tablespoon curry powder with the potatoes. Top with chutney.
26. Curried Red Lentil Cook 3 chopped garlic cloves, 1 each chopped onion and carrot, 1/2 tablespoon chopped ginger and a pinch of cayenne in oil. Add 6 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, 1 cup red lentils and 1/2 cup rice; simmer 20 minutes. Garnish with lime, cilantro and scallions.
27. Split Pea Simmer 1/2 pound split peas with 1 each chopped celery stalk, onion and carrot, a ham hock and a bundle of fresh herbs in 5 cups water until tender. Remove ham and bone; pull off the meat. Puree the soup; stir in ham.
28. Vegetarian Pea Make Split Pea Soup (No. 27); omit the ham hock. Puree just half of the soup and mix it back in; add 1 cup diced carrot. Top with croutons.
29. Cheddar-Horseradish Sweat 2 each diced carrots and leeks in butter. Add cayenne, salt, 3 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons dry mustard; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 bottle beer, 1/4 cup horseradish, 3 cups water and a dash of Worcestershire; simmer until thick. Whisk in 2 cups half-and-half and 1 1/2 cups cheddar.
30. French Onion Cook 4 sliced onions and 2 thyme sprigs in butter, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover; cook 1 hour, or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add 6 cups beef broth; simmer 10 minutes. Add cognac, salt and pepper. Top with gruyère toasts.
31. Tomato Alphabet Boil 3 cups chicken broth, 2 cups tomato juice and a pinch of dried oregano. Add 1/2 cup alphabet pasta, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Stir in grated parmesan.
32. Tomato Orzo Make Tomato Alphabet Soup (No. 31) with orzo instead of alphabet pasta. Omit parmesan; top with feta and dill.
33. Carrot-Ginger Sweat 2 sliced shallots and 3 tablespoons minced ginger in butter; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 pound sliced carrots, 2 tablespoons rice, 2 cups chicken broth and 3 cups water. Simmer until the rice is tender, then puree.
34. Carrot-Dill Make Carrot-Ginger Soup (No. 33); omit the ginger and add chopped dill. Garnish with sour cream.
35. Pappa al Pomodoro Sauté 1 chopped onion in oil until tender; add 3 chopped garlic cloves, some red pepper flakes, 1 large can chopped tomatoes, 1 cup water and a basil sprig. Add 2 cups stale bread cubes; simmer 20 minutes.
36. Thai Coconut Sauté 3 sliced garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons grated ginger, 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass, 1 teaspoon each cumin and coriander, and a Thai chile in oil. Add 1 sliced raw chicken breast and 1 sliced onion; cook 5 minutes. Add shredded bok choy, 4 cups water, 1 can coconut milk, cilantro and 2 tablespoons fish sauce; simmer 8 minutes.
37. Black Bean Soak 1/2 pound dried black beans overnight; drain. Sauté 1 each chopped celery stalk, onion and carrot and 2 smashed garlic cloves in oil. Add beans, thyme, a bay leaf, a ham hock and 5 cups water; simmer 40 minutes. Remove ham and bone; pull off the meat. Puree the soup; stir in the ham.
38. Mexican Bean Make Black Bean Soup (No. 37); omit thyme and add 1 teaspoon each chipotle chili powder and cumin. Puree just half of the soup and mix it back in. Mix in the juice of 1 lime; top with sour cream, cilantro and salsa.
39. Curried Cauliflower Cook 4 sliced leeks with 1 tablespoon curry powder in butter. Add 1 head chopped cauliflower and 1 garlic clove; cook 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 5 cups chicken broth; boil until soft, then puree. Simmer with 1 cup cream.
40. Thai Shrimp Make Thai Coconut Soup (No. 36); omit the chicken and add 1/2 pound peeled small shrimp during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
41. Potato-Leek Sauté 3 cups each sliced leeks and cubed potatoes in butter. Add 1 sliced garlic clove and a pinch each salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg; cook 5 minutes. Add 5 cups chicken broth; boil until potatoes are tender, then puree. Reheat with 1 cup cream.
42. Beef Borscht Sweat 1/2 head chopped cabbage and 2 each chopped celery stalks, leeks, carrots and parsnips in oil. Add thyme, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, a bay leaf and 10 cups beef broth; simmer 30 minutes. Add 4 diced roasted beets and 2 cups shredded cooked beef; simmer 15 minutes. Top with sour cream and dill.
43. Potato Broccoli Make Potato-Leek Soup (No. 41); add 3 cups broccoli and simmer 5 minutes before pureeing.
44. Vichyssoise Make Potato-Leek Soup (No. 41) with water instead of broth. Strain after pureeing, then chill. Omit the cream; stir in half-and-half and top with chives.
45. Watercress Make Potato-Leek Soup (No. 41); add 2 bunches chopped watercress and simmer 3 minutes, then puree until smooth.
46. Garlic Broth Sweat 2 heads garlic (smashed and peeled) in olive oil. Add 8 cups chicken broth and a bundle of fresh herbs; simmer 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
47. Garlic-Chorizo Make Garlic Broth (No. 46); add 1/4 pound sliced chorizo during the last 10 minutes. Add chopped spinach.
48. Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Make Garlic Broth (No. 46); add chopped broccoli rabe and small pasta during the last 10 minutes. Top with grated parmesan.
49. Tomato-Lime Make Garlic Broth (No. 46); add 3 chopped plum tomatoes during the last 3 minutes. Stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro.
50. Peas and Pesto Make Garlic Broth (No. 46); add 1 cup frozen peas during the last 5 minutes. Stir in pesto and grated parmesan.