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.
Get the recipe
8. Parsnip-Bacon Make Butternut Squash Soup (No. 6); substitute 2 pounds parsnips for the squash. Top with crumbled bacon and creme fraiche.
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.
Photographs by Con Poulos