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Not Sure What to Fix for Dinner? Savory Homemade Soup will Hit the Spot

umami recipes

Now that autumn is officially here, thoughts start turning to favorite “cooler weather” foods.

One of them, at least in my home, is piping hot homemade soup. It has become our go-to food when nothing else sounds appetizing. Be it homemade chicken noodle, navy bean with ham or a unique vegetable soup, a variety of soups show up on the menu weekly and more often during chilly months.

I usually choose recipes that are rich in umami because they are more satisfying than soups that are not savory in nature. Any recipe that has glutamate-rich – aka umami ingredients (e.g., meat, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms) will be a winner at my home. Adding some monosodium glutamate (MSG) in place of salt also makes any hearty soup taste better while reducing the sodium.

In past blogs, we have shared with you some soup recipes, including Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup.In my opinion, any time you can use a crockpot, it is a good thing. It’s so easy to prepare and clean up! And with the classic combination of beans and ham, you can’t go wrong.

Another recipe from an earlier blog is German Potato Soup, which just the thought of is making my mouth water as I write. As noted in that blog, there are many variations of the recipe, with most traditionally served with sausage. To make the soup more filling, bread or rolls can be crumbled into the soup before indulging! Yum.

For your convenience, here’s a recipe for vegetable-based Zucchini Soup. Zucchini is an incredibly versatile veggie that is often overlooked for soups.

Zucchini Soup

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 3 cups zucchini chopped unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. MSG
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Place zucchini, water, onion, salt, parsley, bouillon, pepper, MSG, butter and flour in large pan. 
  2. Simmer until zucchini is tender. 

  3. Remove from heat and cool slightly. 

  4. Place vegetable mixture into a blender. Blend until smooth. 

  5. Return to saucepan and add milk; stir. Heat while stirring. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Photo credit: Flickr user, Sarah R.

Recipe courtesy of

Another savory recipe I highly recommend is Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. Clearly, it is hard to beat a family-favorite, especially one that is made from scratch, and is a “comfort food!”

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 quarts water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 cups celery cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 1 16 oz. bag mixed peas and carrots
  • 2 large baking potatoes skinned and cut into squares
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups thin egg noodles cooked
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. MSG (umami seasoning)


  1. Bring chicken, onion, and celery to a boil in a 4-quart Dutch oven.
  2. Add salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder.
  3. Cover and simmer until chicken is done.
  4. Skim fat if necessary but save the chicken broth.
  5. Remove chicken from broth; cool slightly.
  6. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
  7. Add peas and carrot mix, potatoes and cornstarch to broth. Stir.
  8. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
  9. Add cubed chicken and cooked noodles to broth; sprinkle with MSG and sugar; stir to combine and continue to cook about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Note: Popular brands for MSG that you can most likely find at your local grocery store in the spices/seasonings section: Accent, Ajinomoto or Vedan brand.

Recipe courtesy of

In closing, I’d be remiss to not suggest the ultimate umami soup might be Mushroom Soup.

Find more delicious, savory recipes in the MSGdish Savory Cuisine Corner.

Kaye is an author and consulting nutritionist with more than 15 years’ experience representing clients in the food industry, providing strategic leadership and consulting on meal planning, recipe development, consumer-focused educational materials relating to food and nutrition, science-based communications, and media relations. Read more about her background on the About page.

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