16 Absolute Best Soup And Sandwich Combinations, Ranked

Is there any better food pairing than the soup and sandwich? This classic staple is a go-to combination for a reason: It's filling, allows for variation in a meal, and is almost infinitely customizable. There are, in fact, a nearly inexhaustible number of potential combinations to choose from, applicable to every taste and even to every season.

Truthfully, with so many options, putting the right meal together can get a little overwhelming. Or, it can sometimes get mundane (i.e., eating chicken soup and a turkey sandwich all the time may be easy, and tasty, but will quickly get dull). With that in mind, we've ranked some of the best soup and sandwich combinations out there. Some of these options — which include a few unique variations — may be familiar to you, while others might trigger some wholly new lunch (or dinner) ideas. Above all, these combinations will help to remind you why soups and sandwiches are such an essential pairing.

16. Black bean soup and a chicken quesadilla

For an innovative Southwestern or Mexican twist on the "soup and sandwich" concept, try pairing our black bean soup with crispy chicken quesadillas (and yes, a bunch of ingredients placed between hand-held carbs constitutes a sandwich for us). The soup offers a protein-rich, wholly vegan dish that combines black beans with onion, canned tomatoes, green chilis, and Southwestern spices like cumin and chili powder to produce a chili-esque bowl. While the recipe calls for an immersion blender, it can be left as chunky as you like, or puréed (even in part) in a food processor or standard blender.

Hearty chicken quesadillas help round out the theme. Our recipe notably includes sweet potato, which gives these a unique and slightly sweet dimension that pairs beautifully with the chicken, chopped cilantro, and shredded Mexican cheese. Pico de gallo makes a key side dish for serving, and both the soup and the quesadillas will benefit from a little added sour cream. The downside? Southwestern flavors come on a little strong for some; for others, a quesadilla just won't cut it as a sandwich.

15. Roasted butternut squash soup and an herbed mayo club sandwich

If you're a soup person, hopefully you are already familiar with the rich variety of winter squash-based soups. From pumpkin to kabocha squash, there's really no limit to the soup experimentation that can be done with this autumn fruit.

Whether you have a lot of experience with winter squashes or not, this roasted butternut squash soup is a great place to start. Slightly sweet and creamy, this is a perfect recipe for staying in on a chilly fall or winter night. The cinnamon, maple syrup, and apple give it homey, autumnal qualities, while the cayenne pepper helps to offset the sweetness and keep things interesting.

A club sandwich with herb mayo makes a great complement. The lemon juice and zest in the homemade herb mayo add some tanginess into the mix, while the turkey, ham, and bacon ensure that the meal, in its entirety, will be plenty filling. The biggest drawback here is the recipe's seasonality; it just doesn't work as well outside of autumn and winter. 

14. Crab and corn chowder and avocado and poached egg toast

There are all sorts of chowders, which can be broadly defined as thick, creamy soups, generally made with milk or heavy cream. They are undeniably ideal in cold weather: Warm, hearty, and nourishing.

Seafood is a natural choice for chowders and works nicely in this crab and corn chowder recipe. It's a pretty simple dish, calling for onion, carrot, potato, corn, and crabmeat to fill out the soup. Notably, this recipe calls for créme fraîche (as opposed to milk or heavy cream), which gives the soup an added richness.

But what really makes this meal is the sourdough avocado toast with a poached egg. While it can easily be turned into a sandwich, it'll be messy either way, so open-faced might be ideal. This recipe calls for lightly cooking asparagus spears, topping them with sliced avocado, and finishing it off with a poached egg on top. All told, the recipe is sure to make a filling midday meal, though a fair amount of work goes into it and that might turn some away. If you want to make it, it's probably best to plan ahead.

13. Smoky chicken chili and a pimento grilled cheese

A list of the top soup and sandwich combinations just wouldn't be complete without chili. For a tasty variation on a classic, try out this smoky chicken chili recipe. Kidney beans, black beans, and chicken ensure this is super hearty and packed with protein. A cinnamon stick and a little dark chocolate give it a very special richness, helping to accentuate the overall savoriness of the dish (and finally, avocado and sour cream for serving help balance everything out).

Keep to the theme by pairing it with this pimento grilled cheese. This excellent twist uses two types of cheddar — along with pimento peppers, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, jalapeños, and a few other flavors to create a spicy version of the classic. Of course, all this extra flavor requires a lot of extra work. You've got to really be in the mood, because it will take some time to assemble the full meal.

12. Kale and farro soup and a fried chicken sandwich with homemade coleslaw

Farro, like barley, is a sometimes underutilized grain, neglected for more popular options like rice. But the ancient wheat grain from Mesopotamia (usually sold as emmer in stores, per Healthline), is a nutritious option that should really be on your radar. Of course, if you are familiar with farro, you may know that it makes a fantastic, hearty base in soups — as in this kale and farro soup. This substantial dish also includes onion, leek, carrot, celery, squash, kale, and tomatoes combined for a rich and filling meal, particularly when topped with some grated Parmesan cheese.

To really bring things to the next level, try pairing it with this delicious fried chicken sandwich. The homemade marinade really takes this to the next level, while the pickled slaw adds a tangy dimension that plays well against the richness of the chicken.

It's a pretty stellar combination, but the catch, like some other combos, is that prep time is inevitably substantial. There are a wide variety of ingredients here, so if you're planning to make a meal out of this, be sure to give yourself plenty of time.

11. Red pepper soup and a hoisin BBQ turkey sandwich

Creamy tomato soup may be more common, but if you've never tried it, making a red pepper-based variation can be a great alternative. This hearty red pepper soup includes a lot of flavor, combining onions, garlic, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, spices, coconut milk — and, of course, red bell peppers — into a delicious finished product that is most conveniently brought together with an immersion blender (a standard blender or food processor works fine if you don't have one).

Ultimately, it's a little spicier and a little more complex than your average tomato soup, and to complement that, consider this hoisin BBQ turkey sandwich to go with it. Technically designed as a way to use Thanksgiving leftovers, this banh mi-like option is packed with rich, varied flavor, imparted by the rice vinegar-pickled carrots and the homemade hoisin BBQ sauce, which is made with sesame oil, chile-garlic sauce, and rice vinegar. While this dish requires a couple of specialty ingredients, they shouldn't be too hard to find. 

10. Gazpacho and a prosciutto and mozzarella panini

Soups are invaluable in winter. There's nothing like a big bowl to warm you up and help you through the cold weather. But it's important to not forget about summer soups, like this delicious Mexican gazpacho. Don't let the long list of ingredients deceive you: This soup is easy to make, requiring virtually no processing besides chopping up the vegetables (a nutritious list that includes tomato, onion, cucumber, pepper, and garlic). Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce will give this an extra kick. Make it just before eating, or well in advance, as it'll store nicely in the fridge.

For a good sandwich pairing, try this prosciutto and mozzarella panini with fig jam. The warm sandwich will complement the cool gazpacho, making the combo extra appetizing for warm and cold weather alike. This does require a panini press, but if you don't have one, approximating the sandwich on a stovetop can work well too.

9. Potato and sweet corn chowder and a lobster roll

Chowders are often based around seafood, but they don't have to be. If you prefer your soups without fish or shellfish, this creamy roast potato and sweet corn chowder is an excellent alternative. While it's not hard to make, it's an intensive recipe, calling for roasting the potatoes before making the soup. But if you've got the time, it's a delicious finished project, with chipotles in adobo sauce, maple syrup, and gouda rounding out the soup's creaminess.

And if that weren't rich enough, you can really top it off with a lobster roll on the side. A wide variety of seasonings — Old Bay, celery salt, lemon, parsley, and even lemongrass — bring out the richness of the lobster meat, making for a fantastic finished sandwich.

All things considered, this is a fantastic combination, but it's time intensive — plus, as we all know, lobster isn't cheap.

8. Clam chowder and a blackened fish sandwich

Continuing on the chowder theme, it's important not to neglect the most fundamental of all chowders: Clam chowder. This winter staple traces its origins to the American colonial period and was already popular by the 18th century. While there are a handful of different types available today, it really is hard to beat the archetypal New England variety. There are plenty of variations, but recipes typically call for clams, bacon, and a handful of veggies (including potatoes, garlic, celery, and onion) to make a rich,  filling bowl of soup.

There's almost no limit to sandwiches that pair nicely with clam chowder, but to amplify the seafood theme, consider this blackened fish sandwich recipe. Its sharp, spicy rub will help offset the creaminess of the soup, thoroughly rounding out your meal.

Of course, if you're not a seafood lover, this probably isn't the combination for you. Also, while prep and cooking time are manageable, this lunch will definitely take you more than a few minutes to prepare.

7. Cold cucumber and avocado soup and a vegan eggplant BLT

Gazpacho is hardly the only warm-weather soup; another essential one is cold cucumber soup. This variation takes the summer staple to the next level by incorporating avocado, garlic, and lemon juice, which are pureed with chicken stock and then chilled (chicken stock can be substituted for water or vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian). Hot pepper sauce and sour cream garnish help round out the flavor.

But what really makes this combo is the vegan eggplant BLT on the side. Vegan "bacon" can be hard to do well but this recipe takes a pretty novel approach, marinating eggplant strips with liquid aminos, liquid smoke, and sweet and spicy flavors, and baking at low heat for over an hour to dry them out.

If you substitute out the chicken stock in the soup, this combination offers a wonderful lunch option for vegetarians. Just be mindful that the sandwich, in particular, takes a couple of hours to properly make.

6. French onion soup and a roast beef sandwich

If you're a fan of bistro eating, you've probably tasted French onion soup. Complexity varies, but it remains somehow remarkable how one simple ingredient (onions) can be the base for such a rich soup.

If you've never made your own at home, know that it's simple — and, of course, that nothing can beat homemade soup. This recipe uses a slow cooker to leisurely blend together the onions (along with fellow alliums shallot and garlic, and spices), before adding beef broth and letting it cook another couple of hours. Gruyère melted on top makes for the perfect finish.

To complement the beef broth, try pairing this rich soup with a hearty roast beef sandwich. Grilled scallions, arugula, jalapeños, and homemade herbed mayo add some extra flavor to the mix. While an undeniably hearty meal, this soup takes several hours to cook and almost invariably must be made ahead of time.

5. Chicken noodle soup and a BLT

Sometimes you've got to go with the basics — and it's fair to say that there really is nothing like good, homemade chicken noodle soup. That's not to knock the pre-made stuff, which can be pretty satisfying, but making it yourself allows you to get a depth of flavor that the packaged products have difficulty matching.

It's also a versatile soup — certainly fundamental in winter, but pretty good eating year-round. If you're looking for somewhere to start, try this recipe for quick, easy chicken noodle soup. It's pretty basic — calling for onion, carrots, celery stalk, egg noodles, and spices, including thyme — and invites you to use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, saving time (of course, making your own chicken and chicken broth will only enliven it).

To keep it simple, try pairing this with a classic BLT. The linked recipe keeps things pretty basic but adds in a light honey and cayenne glaze for the bacon — for some added heat — and calls for a basic homemade aioli. All in all, a satisfying, quick, anytime combo.

4. Beef and barley soup and a beefsteak tomato sandwich

When it comes to rich, filling soups, you can't really beat beef and barley soup. This hearty recipe is a good jumping-off point, bringing together carrot, onion, celery, garlic, rosemary, and thyme, along with a nice amount of beef chuck, pearl barley, and beef broth. Despite all the ingredients, once the prep is complete the soup is relatively quick to make: The whole thing can be done in just under an hour, though it will only get better as it sits.

As a lighter complement to the beef, a vegetarian beefsteak tomato sandwich makes a great addition. For one thing, the flavors of the tomato itself will balance well against the stew — and will be even more amplified by the pickled red onions. Despite being meatless, this sandwich will be plenty hearty on its own, with homemade herbed mayo, avocado, and sprouts rounding out the tomato and pickled onions — all coming together on a toasted brioche bun. Pretty quick, all things considered, and bonus points for the rich vegetarian sandwich.

3. Tomato soup and a grilled cheese

You certainly can't have a soup and sandwich list without the classic staple of tomato soup and grilled cheese. Rich, hearty tomato soup with freshly melted cheese is an essential combination, whether or not you're the kind of person who likes to dip your sandwich in soup.

This recipe takes the basic combination to the next level. While there's nothing wrong with store-bought tomato soup, homemade soup is pretty easy to do, and this simple recipe — with just a little spice, imparted by red pepper flakes — can come together in about half an hour. Best of all, it's complemented by a "specialty" grilled cheese variation, giving the recipe some added depth of flavor. While there is, of course, nothing wrong with sticking with American or cheddar cheese, the combination of grated Comté and gouda cheese melted on fresh potato bread makes for an extra rich dimension to the meal.

2. Tom kha soup and a banh mi

There's really no limit to the kinds of soup and sandwich combos you can come up with — including some that are a little more striking. For something that keeps the spirit of the meal but incorporates less common flavors, try putting together a tom kha chicken soup with a basic banh mi sandwich.

Both dishes are pretty popular these days, but for newcomers, tom kha is a delicious Thai soup flavored with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and Thai chiles, among with some other remarkable flavors (all of which can usually be found at an Asian market). This soup isn't too much of a hassle, only taking about an hour to make from start to finish.

The banh mi on the side is a perfect compliment. It's a Vietnamese sandwich that combines local flavors with French elements. Carrots pickled in rice wine vinegar are key for the flavor, and garlic, sesame oil, and soy sauce-marinated chicken sautéed on the stove-top round it out. It takes a little more work than a PB&J, but the result is worth it!

1. Red lentil soup and a chicken salad sandwich

Sometimes it's the slight variations on traditional recipes that really make foods pop. That's definitely the case with this red lentil soup and chicken salad sandwich pairing.

The red lentil variation offers an interesting twist on a classic lentil soup, perhaps most notably by including the juice and zest of a whole lemon, giving the dish a tartness that nicely complements the cumin, paprika, onions, and garlic. It's also pretty quick to whip up, requiring only limited prep and about 30 minutes of cooking time.

The apple pecan chicken salad makes for a nice pairing — not too heavy, and the relative sweetness that the apples and pecans impart effectively complements the soup's heat. Both the chicken salad and soup are pretty quick to make, so this can be fairly conveniently whipped up the day of. Just pick your favorite bread (and cheese if you want it) and the soup and sandwich combo is complete.