Recipe Review

I Tried Rachael Ray’s Favorite Cozy One-Pot Soup and I’ll Be Making a Pot Every Sunday

published Nov 10, 2023
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Rachel Ray's one pot soup in bowl.
Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

There’s nothing like your favorite bowl of soup to give you that warm, cozy feeling you crave on a cold winter day. While soup can serve as a staple meal when you need something warm and hearty, it can also serve as a delicious appetizer for any of your holiday festivities — like with this creamy pumpkin soup, Maya Feller’s sweet potato and leek soup, or even Martha Stewart’s minestrone. So of course, after stumbling upon an episode of the Drew Barrymore Show in which Rachael Ray was showcasing a one-pot soup featuring beans, greens, and macaroni, I knew I had found my next soup challenge. 

Barrymore’s episode was dedicated to decluttering — and Rachael’s recipe does exactly that for your fridge and pantry. It was a match made in celebrity-culinary heaven, and I was more than ready to give this one-pot soup a try to see if it’s worth adding to my regular soup repertoire.

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

How to Make Rachael Ray’s One-Pot Soup

Start by placing a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven-style pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and toss in diced pancetta. Cook until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes, then add in diced onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes, letting the onions sweat out. Add the Calabrian chile paste, or red pepper flakes if a substitute is needed, and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. 

Now you can add in the chopped escarole (I swapped in chopped kale due to my grocery store being out of escarole) and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. After giving everything a nice stir, add the chicken and vegetable stocks along with the rind from your block of Parmesan. Bring the pot to a boil, then add the ditalini and canned white beans; cook according to the instructions on the pasta package. 

When ready, add lemon juice, stir, and adjust the seasoning to your preference. Ladle the contents of the pot into a shallow bowl and top with a healthy amount of freshly shaved Parmesan and enjoy!

Credit: Nathan Hutsenpiller

My Honest Opinion of Rachael Ray’s One-Pot Soup

From the very first taste, I was a major fan of this recipe. All it took was one little dunk of my tiny piece of French baguette and I knew that Rachael Ray had struck gold with this one. I loved the idea of using ingredients that I was likely to find already in my kitchen, and the addition of the dark, leafy greens was just like a breath of fresh air and brought everything together. 

The simple yet impactful addition of lemon juice and a fresh topping of shaved Parmesan are probably my two favorite aspects of the recipe. I felt they both played a key role in the overall satisfaction of each bite, and I found myself going back for more shavings of Parmesan before I could even finish the bowl.  

It’s very fitting that Barrymore featured this recipe in her episode dedicated to decluttering. This soup truly helps you get rid of those pesky leftovers in a hearty and delicious way. Barrymore wasn’t lying when she claimed Rachael Ray was coming with some “hot tips and a hot recipe,” and her description of the soup as being “so beautiful” is really beyond accurate. I’ll certainly be making this one again soon, and I am officially going to be on the lookout for future seasonal recipes from Rachael from now on, too.

Tips for Making Rachael Ray’s One-Pot Soup

  • Know that dark, leafy greens are key. Rachael uses escarole for this recipe; however, any dark, leafy green is going to work perfectly. I opted for kale for my iteration of the recipe, but spinach and collard greens can act as solid substitutions as well.
  • Season and make adjustments you go. Remember that this soup is just an amalgamation of a bunch of leftover ingredients, so try different things out if you happen to be missing a specific ingredient from Rachaels recipe. Additionally, remember to add seasoning as per the instructions as you go; we all have very different palates, and there are plenty of opportunities to get this soup tasting exactly how you like it. 
  • Save for leftovers. This soup should keep just fine for three to four days, as long as you store it in an airtight container in your refrigerator. If keeping out on the stovetop while eating, avoid letting soup set at room temperature for more than two hours.