These 5-Ingredient Soups Can Be Made In 20 Minutes

As the chilly fall air starts creeping in at night, my cravings turn away from all things iced and towards all things oozy and warm. My favorite fall food moment does not involve Pumpkin Spice; rather, it's cozying up in some sweats after a long day and downing a huge bowl of homemade soup (topped with lots of cheese, please/of course). With some help from your pantry staples (salt, pepper, olive oil), you can make delicious soups with just five easy-to-find and inexpensive ingredients. Click through to see five-ingredient, 20-minute soups designed just for us by The Natural Gourmet Institute — and be sure to make extra if you're trying to save your lunch money.
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Photographed by Janelle Jones; Food Styling by Susan Ottaviano / Halley Resources.
Speedy French Onion Soup
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
3/4 tsp dried thyme
About 3/4 tsp sea salt, divided
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
8 1/2-inch-thick slices of baguette
1/4 pound Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over low heat. Add onions, thyme, and ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Stir, cover tightly with a lid, and cook until onions soften, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

3. Remove lid, turn heat up to medium, and cook until onions are browned and mushy, stirring frequently for 6-8 minutes.

4. Add beef broth, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Taste and season soup with salt if needed.

5. While soup comes to a boil, place baguette slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Place in preheated oven and toast until edges are golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, flip bread slices, and top each piece with a generous mound of grated Gruyere. Place in oven and toast until cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

6. To serve, divide soup among bowls; top each bowl with 2 cheesy toasts and a grind of black pepper.
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Photographed by Janelle Jones; Food Styling by Susan Ottaviano / Halley Resources.
Thai Sweet Potato Soup
Yield: 4 servings

Thai red curry paste can be found in health foods stores or in the international aisle of your local supermarket.

Ingredients
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 ¼ pounds), peeled, cut into ¾-inch cubes
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3-4 tbsp Thai red curry paste, to taste
1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
About 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions
1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and salt and cook until potatoes are starting to brown in places and soften, stirring occasionally for about 4 minutes.

2. Add stock, close tightly with a lid, and bring to a boil.

3. Simmer until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, 3-4 minutes.

4. Pour a ladleful of hot broth into a small bowl and add curry paste. Whisk to dissolve and stir mixture into soup, along with coconut milk. Turn heat off.

5. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Stir in lime juice. Taste and season with more salt or lime juice, if needed. Garnish with cilantro (if using) and serve.
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Photographed by Janelle Jones; Food Styling by Susan Ottaviano / Halley Resources.
Fuss-Free Black Bean Chili
Yield: 4 servings

Be sure to buy beans that are labeled “low sodium” or “no salt added” so you can control the amount of salt going into the soup.

Ingredients
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp ground cumin
2 (14 oz) cans black beans, drained, rinsed
2 (14 oz) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions
1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in cumin and cook for another 30 seconds.

2. Add beans and tomatoes, cover tightly with a lid, and turn heat down to low. Simmer chili for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Taste and season with black pepper and salt, if needed. Garnish with cilantro (if using) and serve.
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