Our best soup recipes to warm your chilly bones

Our best soup recipes to warm your chilly bones

Bowl of gazpacho on graphic background
Photo: Rebecca Fassola

A good soup is a bit like a Jacuzzi. It’s warm. It’s comforting. You can keep it all to yourself, but you can also enjoy it in the company of others. While several members of the Takeout staff have been known to enjoy soups year-round, there’s something undeniably essential about a warm soup on a chilly winter’s day. As we descend into the harshest winter months, we’re rounding up our coziest soup recipes. From classic lentil and indulgent broccoli cheese to slightly avant-garde gazpacho, we’ve got a soup for everyone. Just remember that a good soup, like a Jacuzzi, probably shouldn’t be slurped.

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Everything But The Kitchen Sink Lentil Soup

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Lentil Soup

Colorful graphic featuring bowl of lentil soup ingredients
Graphic: Rebecca Fassola

When you’re cold, lentil soup is a great way to warm up. Lentil soup is also incredibly versatile—you can flavor it in endless ways with whatever spices you have on hand. Just think of the lentils as the hearty soup base and then add whatever you’ve got a hankering for. Our go-to recipe has a little bit of everything, but it’s highly customizable if something else suits your fancy. Get the recipe here.

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Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Bowl of Italian wedding soup
Photo: Danny Palumbo

This classic Italian wedding soup contains the Holy Trinity: homemade meatballs, homemade egg squares (the sign of a good wedding soup), and homemade broth. We also recommend going all in on homemade stock. Sure, you can go to the store and buy chicken stock if you want, but putting in the work is part of this soup’s appeal. It’s also a great excuse not to leave the house for almost two days. Get the recipe here.

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Pumpkin (and) Spice Soup

Pumpkin (and) Spice Soup

Bowl of pumpkin and spice soup topped with green onions
Photo: Kate Bernot

This Pumpkin and Spice Soup is light enough to make for a weeknight dinner, but hearty enough to warm you up after an hour on chilly public transit. It lacks the nap-inducing heft of a stew or the fibrous bulk of lentil soup; the pumpkin effect is actually quite light, sweet, and earthy. You can adjust the spices to your liking, adding more kick from curry or red pepper, or even playing with the additions of garam masala. Get the recipe here.

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Magic carrot soup

Magic carrot soup

Illustration for article titled Our best soup recipes to warm your chilly bones
Photo: Kevin Pang, Graphic: the_burtons / Getty Images

This carrot soup is at once homey and elegant. The portions are small, just enough for two diners, but still satisfying. What’s most novel about this recipe is how the carrots are cooked by being wrapped in plastic film and steamed in a microwave. Turns out, this is way faster than boiling in water, with the added benefit of not losing any nutrients into the cooking liquid. Get the recipe here.

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Velveeta Broccoli Cheese Soup

Velveeta Broccoli Cheese Soup

Bowl of broccoli cheese soup
Photo: Karl Gustafson

You can really use any kind of vegetable in this soup, but Velveeta Broccoli Cheese Soup is a classic combo. Go the easy route and defrost some frozen broccoli, or amp it up a little and sauté the broccoli with some shallots. Or even roast it for a smokier addition. Whatever vegetable preparation path you take, now that soup season is upon us, this is an easy and delicious soup home run right out of the park. Mainly thanks to the Velveeta. Get the recipe here.

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Chill-Chasing Corn Chowder

Chill-Chasing Corn Chowder

Bowl of chowder
Photo: Juanmonino (Getty Images)

You probably already have most of the ingredients for this chowder in your kitchen somewhere—potatoes, frozen corn—making it an easy dinner when you’re out of everything else. You can swap in veggie broth for chicken broth for a vegetarian option, and you can even make it in the summer in the slow cooker when you don’t want to turn on the oven. And as we enter cold and flu season, remember that making corn chowder is a great way to let an ailing someone know how much you care about them. Get the recipe here.

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Hangover-Killer Pozole

Hangover-Killer Pozole

Bowls containing pozole ingredients
Photo: carlosrojas20 (iStock by Getty Images)

Pozole is a stew that leads two lives in Mexican culinary folklore. Like the angel on one shoulder, pozole can be an innocent winter warm-up to be enjoyed with family as a holiday meal. Or, like the devil on the other shoulder, a known hangover cure urging you to go out and drink all the drinks. Even though you might not be going out to drink all the drinks mid-pandemic, this is still a great option for days when you feel a bit under the weather. Get the recipe here.

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Carne En Su Jugo

Carne En Su Jugo

Bowl of carne en su jugo
Photo: Jesse Valenciana

At its heart, carne en su jugo is steak, bacon, and beans stewed in an intensely savory broth. Radishes add crunch, diced onions add bite, chile de arbol add heat, lime juice adds acid, avocado adds richness. Soups like menudo or tortilla or pozole may grab all the attention, but carne en su jugo really is a soup that has it all. Whether for the church crowd or the too-many-cervezas folks, carne en su jugo is a soup more people should know about, made to be enjoyed by both the pious and the pitiful. Get the recipe here.

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Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli

Bowl of pasta fagioli
Photo: EzumeImages (Getty Images)

This ain’t your mama’s fagioli. This recipe employs small, soup-friendly ditalini and elbows, which are jazzed up with more intense flavors (read: exponentially more fresh garlic and a more generous handful of crushed red pepper), color (fresh spinach and/or arugula), and meat like pancetta or guanciale. Get the recipe here.

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Baked potato-leek soup

Baked potato-leek soup

Bowl of potato-leek soup
Photo: Kate Bernot

This soup captures the starchy goodness of a baked potato with some perky freshness courtesy of leeks and garlic. The texture is what makes it: you can puree the mixture until nearly smooth, or you can leave chunks of potato to enhance its baked potato factor and contrast nicely with the salty-crunchy bacon bits and smooth sour cream. Get the recipe here.

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Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Illustration for article titled Our best soup recipes to warm your chilly bones
Photo: A. E. Dwyer

Forget everything you know about cream of mushroom soup, the often gloopy pale stuff that comes from a can. This version is made much more complex thanks to a base of stock formed from boiling pork and chicken bones together for two hours, reducing until all their flavors come together to bring heretofore unknown depth to this misunderstood soup. It’s a dinnertime revelation, and worth picking up some pork bones for. Get the recipe here.

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Muhammara Gazpacho 

Muhammara Gazpacho 

Bowl of gazpacho on graphic background
Graphic: Rebecca Fassola

Gazpacho is one of those dishes that elicits strong and occasionally irrational reactions. “Cold soup!” exclaim the pessimists, “If I wanted frigid vegetable liquid, then I’d order a juice!” Oh, those poor souls, who always see their glass of frigid vegetable liquid as half empty. They’re viewing things from the wrong perspective. What if gazpacho isn’t a thick juice, but a thin dip? It’s a sippable dip for go-getters who have no time to waste seeking chips. It’s also zesty enough to be appropriate on even the chilliest days. Get the recipe here.

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