Stock your pantry with simple ingredients for budget friendly and fast soups, virus fears or no

Puree the cream of tomato soup if you want it silky or leave the tomatoes chunky and add more vegetables to make a sturdier soup. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

The lentil stew is studded with carrots, potatoes and smoked sausage. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

This classic take on potato soup gains flavor and joy from a can of clams and a handful of crisped, chopped bacon. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

With just a few staples on hand, you can choose any of these three budget-friendly soups, customize with other additions, and still have supper on the table in 40 minutes or less. Choose from a hearty lentil stew, cream of tomato or potato soup. They’re not high-end cooking, but they are fast and nourishing and soothing.