10 easy stews and soups to make on lazy days – five steps maximum!

If you’re scrambling for time every evening but have a sudden desire to have a comforting home-cooked dinner, stews and soups are just the things for you. In fact, we think that stews and soups should totally be the national dish of time-pressed Singaporeans because seriously, they are simply a lifesaver for many a busy family.

Not only are stews and soups hearty, nutritious, and packed with flavour, but they are also the kind of dish that you can make way before meal time – just prep the ingredient, pop them into a slow cooker, and voila! Then, all you need is a bowl of fluffy white fragrant rice or chunky bread and you’ve got a complete meal for everyone in the family, young or old.

Ahead, AVENUE ONE has done the heavy lifting and found 10 recipes that don’t need more than five steps to make. That’s right, just five things you have to do to take your ingredients from fridge to bowl. What we really like is that these recipes are from all over the world, so your taste buds will at least get to travel even with the pandemic grounding you for just a while longer. So, count to five and let’s go!

Pro tip: You’ll want to invest in a good old slow cooker (or crockpot) if you want to keep on making these delicious pots of stews and soups. It’s truly a worthy investment because you basically just need to put all your ingredients into the pot in the morning, turn the slow cooker on, and you’ve got your meal cooked hours later, without you needing to mind anything.

1. Pork Stew

Photo source: Scrambled Chefs

This aromatic stovetop stew is a winner in terms of how easy it is to make and eat. Four steps are all you need to make a hearty serving of this stew, with about two hours of cooking in a slow cooker.

If you’re wondering what cut of meat works best, the answer is pork shoulder. It’s got the perfect amount of marbling that makes for melt-in-your-mouth meat while retaining its chunkiness. Perfect for enjoying over a plateful of steaming white rice.

Get the recipe here.

2. Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Photo source: Damn Delicious

Ah, the quintessential stew. When done right, beef stew is truly lovely simply because it’s hearty and immensely flavourful – trust us, we (and thousands of people who’ve tried this recipe) promise it’s an aromatic feast that everyone in the family will love.

Not only can you cook this in a slow cooker for hours before you actually want to eat it, but the prep is also as simple as it can get too – just dice up veggies like celery, carrots, and potatoes, put them all into the trusty slow cooker with the meat and sauce ingredients, and the slow cooker will work its magic.

Get the recipe here.

3. Spanish Garlic Bread Soup (Sopa de Ajo)

Photo source: Abra’s Kitchen

Missing the feeling of traipsing along the sun-soaked streets of Spain, enjoying glasses of sangria as the sun sets at 9pm? This simple, hearty soup will take you right back to those idyllic summer days.

It’s basically a Spanish-style egg drop soup that’s chock full of garlic, pure olive oil, and smoked paprika. You’ll only need 15 minutes and five simple steps to recreate this punchy soup that’s said to be restorative and good for colds. Drop some croutons in for that added crunch, if you like.

Get the recipe here.

4. Simple Khichari

Photo source: Bon Appetit

Feeling like you need a detox? This one’s for you. Known as an Ayurvedic cleansing stew, this simple dish is delicious as it is restorative thanks to its clean ingredients.

It’s a complete one-pot wonder that’s made with lentils, mung, quinoa, and basmati rice as a base. As for the vegetables, you can basically use any vegetable you can find in your kitchen, yes really. It also includes superfood turmeric, so you know you’re in for a healthy feast with this one. Serve with toasted flatbread to dip.

Get the recipe here.

5. One-Pot Tomato Tortellini Soup

Photo source: Gal on a Mission

There’s something magical about tomato soup. Perhaps it’s the gorgeous umami tang of tomatoes paired with parmesan that makes it hearty, comforting, and refreshing all at once. And pasta in the soup? It’s just a big, warm hug in a pot at this point.

This one-pot tomato tortellini soup is a real keeper for days when it feels like too much trouble to cook and yet you still want a comforting home-cooked meal to warm your stomach. 10 minutes of prep time is all you need – then pop it all into a Dutch oven for stovetop simmering and stirring.

Get the recipe here.

6. Gochujang Cioppino

Photo source: Punchfork

Cioppino is a classic Italian-American dish fish stew that originated in the city of San Francisco, that was made with whatever the fishermen caught in the day. We’ve found this recipe that includes Korean Gochujang (red pepper paste) for a zippy twist.

In the spirit of the original dish, go on ahead and use whatever seafood you feel like having. Remember that this is a quick cook because you don’t want to overcook the seafood, so just sevens minutes will do, or until the clams and mussels open up. Best served with crispy rice crackers or a bowl of steaming white rice.

Get the recipe here.

7. Creamy Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Photo source: Delish

Make this delicious – and genuinely healthy – creamy soup on days that you simply don’t want to think about serving up appetising greens on the table. It’s a winner for all ages, even the pickiest of vegetable eaters in our team concurs.

Plus, the recipe we’ve found lets you make a bowl of hearty soup that’s chock full of broccoli and cream in three simple steps. Your secret weapon to yielding the perfect consistency of soup that’s neither too clumpy nor watery? A stick blender, to blitz the broccoli in the soup while it’s cooked and soft.

The proof they say is in the pudding, or in this case, the cream, so go on and make this yourself – we promise it will not disappoint.

Get the recipe here.

8. Roman Egg Drop Soup (Stracciatella alla Romana)

Photo source: The New York Times

Is there anything that’s more appetising than egg ribbons in a rich, meaty stock? This Roman egg drop soup is all that and then some, flavoured with savoury Parmesan rinds and topped off with hints of nutmeg.

The trick to getting those egg tendrils just perfect is to pour thoroughly whisked eggs into the simmering soup in a thin stream, switching off the heat the moment all the egg mixture has gone in.

Get the recipe here.

9. Soba Noodle Soup

Photo source: The New York Times

This Japanese dish is the epitome of simplicity at its best. It’s as easy as cooking the buckwheat soba noodles, arranging some soft runny eggs, blanched leafy greens, and crispy Japanese seaweed over the noodles, and pouring piping hot bonito broth over it all.

If you like, add mushrooms, sweet beancurd or tempura for a bit of an indulgence. You’ll be done in three steps and 10 minutes.

Get the recipe here.

10. Avgolemono Soup

Photo source: The Mediterranean Dish

Our gastronomic grand tour around the world in the form of stews and soups ends here with this Greek rendition of everybody’s all-time favourite, chicken soup. It starts with the same base as most chicken soups: sautéed carrots, onions, celery, and aromatic chicken broth.

The difference lies in the unique Greek egg-lemon sauce which is fairly straightforward to make. Our one tip for you while making it? Just keep whisking! This luxurious soup with comforting rice and chicken shreds soaked in is truly a must-try if you’re a chicken soup fan.

Get the recipe here.

Looking for more simple dinner ideas? Check out these 20 easy-to-make recipes that you won’t be able to botch up, even if it’s your first time cooking!