Life Style

These Cozy and Comforting Winter Soup Recipes Will Warm You From the Inside Out

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shared my soup obsession only to be met with the following words: “Soup isn’t a meal.” Well, I couldn’t disagree more. Soup is more than a meal—it’s everything. Growing up, my family started a Sunday Soup Night tradition. As the weekend came to a close, we’d spoon out steaming bowls of all our favorites. Minestrone, lentil, mushroom, sweet potato—the list goes on. Since then, my love for soup has only grown. There’s nothing I find more comforting than serving up a pot of soup to friends—it’s one of the best ways to feed a crowd. On top of that, there’s really nothing more satisfying than cozying up to a bowl of soup all to myself. To help everyone partake in the pleasure, I’m sharing my 15 favorite winter soup recipes. Because we all deserve a little liquid warm-up, don’t we?

Don’t get me wrong: As much as I believe that soup can fully satiate anyone, I also love serving it alongside salad and a crusty loaf of bread. Perhaps that gets to the truth of my love affair with the dish. While soup in and of itself is a delight, it also provides a centerpoint for countless other aesthetically pleasing and heartwarming joys. I’m talking about everything everyone loves most about the winter season. Soft sweaters, a roaring fire, piles upon piles of blankets, and gathering with the best people you know.

While it might seem humble, it’s true: soup is capable of bringing all of that into your life. So if you haven’t yet joined the soup lovers fan club (we have sweatshirts), consider this your initiation. It’s easy to make, endlessly customizable and most recipes keep well in the freezer for many meals on the fly. Honestly, what’s not to love?

Enough of my soapbox—let’s get to the recipes. Try a few of these out this winter and be prepared to love soup as much as I do (maybe even more).

feature image by Ashleigh Amoroso

Creamy Pumpkin Chicken Tortilla Soup from Kim’s Cravings

Why We Love It: I’m a little obsessed with this soup. It has everything I could ever want in a bowl: pumpkin, black beans, shredded chicken, my favorite spices (cumin and chili powder), and a healthy bit of Greek yogurt stirred in at the end. Every spoonful is a zesty delight, plus it only takes 20 minutes to whip up. For all my vegetarian friends out there, simply omit the chicken and you’ll get to indulge as well. 

Hero Ingredient: Pumpkin purée makes this soup thick and velvety—just the way I like it.

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Tomato Basil Soup from Foodie Crush

Why We Love It: This is your classic tomato soup kicked up a notch. While nostalgia gets the better of me and makes me crave a can of Campbell’s on occasion, if I can dedicate a little time in the kitchen, I’d happily opt for this recipe instead. Roasting the Roma tomatoes in advance lends a lovely caramelized flavor to your soup, and it’s full of plenty more ingredients that make it as creamy as creamy can get.

Hero Ingredient: Adding even just the single tablespoon of tomato paste this recipe calls for creates a rich depth of tomato-y flavor that’s unmatched.

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Vegetarian Chili from Cookie + Kate

Why We Love It: Everyone has their tried-and-true chili recipe and this one’s mine. It’s vegetarian but hearty, meaning that even the most zealous meat-eaters will love it. The ingredients list seems lengthy, but that’s because it’s packed with veggies and flavor-boosting spices that make it a crowd-pleaser. Here’s the thing about chili, too: it’s always better the next day once the flavors have had time to develop. Oh, and it’s easy to double (or triple!), so I know what I’ll be eating every night next week.

Hero Ingredient: The combo of spices alone (chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and oregano) is the reason this recipe will be the winner of every chili cook-off.

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Vegetarian Pesto Soup from Liz Moody

Why We Love It: Green soups are like green smoothies—even the sight alone gets me excited to be doing good things for my body. There’s truth to the visual here: This soup is packed full of nutrient-dense ingredients. Three cups of broccoli, two cups of basil, and a whole heaping cup of walnuts for all the antioxidants. A healthy winter soup? It’s not impossible.

Hero Ingredient: The handfuls of basil thrown into this soup give it a fresh, bright, and beautifully pesto-y flavor.

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Creamy Potato Soup from Love & Lemons

Why We Love It: I love my soups thick and creamy, and that’s exactly what you get with this recipe. While many cream-based soups can feel too heavy, this one gets its velvety texture from potatoes and white beans alone.

Hero Ingredient: I love the bit of heat that Dijon mustard brings to creamy comfort food dishes.

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Easy Black Bean Soup from Two Peas and Their Pod

Why We Love It: You can never go wrong with this quick and easy black bean soup. Bonus: You probably won’t even need to make a trip to the store. All it takes is a few pantry staples plus a medley of fresh and colorful veggies to whip up this weeknight wonder.

Hero Ingredient: Stirring in a tablespoon of fresh lime juice at the end seals in the peppery, fiery flavor.

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Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Why We Love It: It’s safe to say that I never met a butternut squash recipe I didn’t love. The winter squash is sweet, nutty, and full of antioxidants, vitamins, and plenty of fiber. It serves as the base for this healthy winter soup that you can bet I’ll be including in my post-holiday reset.

Hero Ingredient: Two tablespoons of turmeric can seem like a lot, but when combined with the butternut squash, it gives this soup a vibrant color that’s almost too beautiful to devour.

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Turmeric Chicken Soup

Why We Love It: Nothing warms you up in the dead of winter quite like chicken soup. This recipe is undeniably nourishing and always my go-to if I feel a cold starting to come on. It contains superpowered ingredients like anti-inflammatory ginger and heart-protecting garlic. Pro tip: This soup keeps well in the freezer, so make a double batch and store for when you need a quick immunity boost.

Hero Ingredient: Hands down, the turmeric. Lauded for its anti-inflammatory properties, the spice is one of the most health-promoting ingredients you can find. While fresh turmeric root works best in this recipe, the powdered version makes for a great substitute as well.

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Roasted Red Pepper Soup from House of Yum

Why We Love It: It’s the food hybrid I’ve always dreamed of—this is literally pizza in soup form. This soup has all the layers of creamy and spicy deliciousness that my favorite slices deliver. While it takes a little time to roast your red peppers, it’s well worth the effort. After that, it’s really just a matter of pulsing ingredients in the food processor and letting everything simmer on the stovetop until it turns to soup perfection.

Hero Ingredient: The hot sauce, of course, brings the heat.

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Creamy Pumpkin Soup from The Recipe Critic

Why We Love It: By this point, you’ve probably noticed a consistency: I love when a recipe includes “creamy” in the name. This soup gets its rich texture by blending together pumpkin and carrot and stirring in a good amount of half and half at the end. If you want to make it vegan, I’d suggest swapping out the half and half for coconut milk. All the creaminess without the dairy.

Hero Ingredient: It’s in the name, y’all. Maybe your pumpkin-powered October and November made you never want to look at the squash again, but this soup makes a convincing argument for why you should add it back into your weeknight rotation.

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Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup

Why We Love It: If you haven’t started cooking with them already, lentils are the tiny round legume you need to start adding to your repertoire. They bring a delicious bite and meaty texture to soups, salads, and stews, and are a great way to work iron, fiber, magnesium, and calcium into your diet. This recipe is already packed with flavor, spice, and everything nice, but throw lentils into the pot, and friends, you have yourself a substantial soup.

Hero Ingredient: Adding the zest and juice of an orange creates a citrusy and tangy flavor that’ll brighten up your soup.

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Carrot Ginger Soup from Downshitfology

Why We Love It: When I want to treat my body to an extra-nourishing meal (and I’ve already made the green soup above multiple times this week), this is the soup I go for. It’s full of flavor-building aromatics, a whole lot of beta-carotene-boosting carrots (2 pounds!), and a sweet and warming blend of spices. Finish a bowl, and I promise you’ll feel like the best version of your winter self.

Hero Ingredient: Just a single bay leaf infused in the broth provides a subtle bitterness that keeps this creamy soup tasting light and fresh.

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White Bean and Escarole Soup from Reading My Tea Leaves

Why We Love It: The concept of this soup is brilliant: Recipe creator, Erin Boyle, collaborated with a friend to develop a soup that helps reduce food waste. The recipe uses two ounces of Parmesan rind to create a wonderfully rich broth. So the next time you make one of your favorite Parmesan recipes and are tempted to compost the rind, run, don’t walk and make this soup instead.

Hero Ingredient: Similar to dandelion greens, escarole is the slightly sharp and bitter-tasting leafy green that’ll help you work a few key nutrients into your diet (even in the middle of winter).

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Creamy White Lasagna Soup from Half Baked Harvest

Why We Love It: This is quintessential comfort food at its finest. It’s the kind of soup you reserve for the coldest winter nights when you’re considering throwing out all your shoes and living in slippers and fuzzy socks instead. Before you’re tempted to raid your closet, see if a pot of this will satisfy your cozy cravings. Spoiler alert: it will.

Hero Ingredient: I have no shame and will eat all the broken bits of lasagna noodle goodness first.

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Minestrone in Minutes from Nigella Lawson

Why We Love It: This recipe is as easy as it gets. Four ingredients and 20 minutes (10 of which are letting the soup stand and develop its flavors) is all it takes. Weeknight dinner, solved.

Hero Ingredient: The quality of this soup is fully dependent on the quality of your tomato sauce. I’d recommend the cult-favorite Rao’s. Opt for a jar of the spicy stuff if you like a little kick.

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