34 Soups to Keep You From Freezing
Because booze might warm you up but you can't eat it for dinner.
Photo by Heami Lee.
Winter is here in all but official calendar date. It flurried in Brooklyn today, but *technically* the winter solstice isn't until next week. WHATEVER. It's cold, man. We're staring down the barrel of at least a few snow days between now and March. Add in slush, gray skies, poorly-heated office buildings, and at least one prat-fall-style slip on a patch of icy sidewalk that will leave both our butts and our souls bruised. Whether you're dreading the next few months or you love the winter and are looking forward to pretty snowfalls and cozy sweaters and the holidays, you're going to want hearty, cozy soups to warm you up from the inside out. So dig your Dutch ovens and stock pots out of the cabinet—it's soup season, motherfuckers.
Sure, you could buy pre-made wonton wrappers and chicken broth from the store, but Lisa Lov of Copenhagen’s Tigermom might be a little disappointed in you. Just kidding, you do you. But really, these pork wontons and chicken stock made from slow roasted bones will warm you right up. The chili oil certainly helps, too.
Ruth Rogers of London’s River Café is known for elevating simple ingredients to something out of this world, and this pork belly and chickpea soup is testament to that.
Instead of using cod that had already been salted and dried, chef Alex Raij used a quick-cure method on fresh cod, by salting for a few hours then pressing the fish under a heavy pan to draw out the moisture. This Basque-inspired soup is finished by swirling an egg yolk into each bowl right before eating. Guaranteed to stick to your ribs.
Top Chef alum Michael Voltaggio showed us how to get cheffy with a turkey for Thanksgiving. He sous-vided some dark meat turkey thighs, then crisped the skin up to be served with a pureed chestnut soup generously garnished with crumbled bacon bits. A holiday in your mouth.
We’re going to trust the weather people and believe that this frozen hellscape is going to last longer than just a few days, so go ahead and make a big batch of this for Friday's Shabbat, then keep yourself warm all weekend.
It is admittedly hard to find turtle meat in your average super market, but veal is definitely easier to get a hold of and works as a great substitution. Sop up this classic sherry and tomato broth with crusty bread when you’re done.
Fermented soy bean paste and dried anchovies make this beef stew packed with flavor. Really, all you have to do is some chopping and then let the whole thing simmer while you’re catching up on an episode of The Bachelor.
Snow days are for cooking something on the stove low and slow, all afternoon, and there really is no other way than that to make a good stew. This is Matty Matheson’s basic method, so you can swap any hearty, fatty protein for the bison.
Cockles, little mollusks smaller than clams, are a bit of a pain to clean, but this sweet and slightly spicy pumpkin and tomato broth makes it all worth it.
The secret to a great chowder, as Matty Matheson tells us, is a slow-simmered homemade fumet, or fish stock. You can watch Matty filet a whole cod and use the bones to make stock in this clip from IT’S SUPPERTIME!
According to Star Wars canon, Han Solo and Chewbacca once raided a highly-guarded spice vault on the planet Gargon. The lemongrass and ginger in this brothy soup is an ode to all that forbidden spice. Cue up Episode IV while it simmers away.
As Ashok Kondabolu, better known as Dapwell from rap duo Das Racist, says, “This is my grandma’s sacred recipe, so don’t fuck it up.”
If you’re worried that these frigid temperatures are wreaking havoc on your immune system, look no further than this soup from San Francisco chef Brandon Jew. It’s like a hybrid of garlic soup and chicken noodle, with some extra greens and eggs in there for good measure.
If you make an extra large batch of this super flavorful Vietnamese beef stock, you can sip on it all weekend like a bone broth, sort of like a drinkable blanket.
Moving slightly west through the Indian Ocean, here’s a Sri Lankan lamb bone broth fortified with turmeric and chilies that comes together in only an hour.
Laurie Cabot is probably the most high-profile witch in America, and this is how she and her coven celebrate the pagan holiday Samhain, the precursor to the Christian Halloween. You don’t have to serve it in a pumpkin, but why not treat yourself to some unseasonal festivity.
London-based Malaysian chef Mandy Yin’s signature laksa usually takes hours of labor to get right. Luckily, she shared her abbreviated version with us, using some time savers like pre-made stock and packaged egg noodles.
Caldo gallego is a traditional Galician summer soup, with a thin pork broth, sausage, greens and white beans. Philly chef Jose Garces Brooklynized it using some produce from the MUNCHIES rooftop garden.
This herby, tangy Iranian stew will make your kitchen smell incredible while it simmers. Take some time to steam some rice to serve it with.
Technically, you’re supposed to eat luck and money soup on New Year’s Day to reap the benefits, but if you make it this weekend, you might get some of the lingering effects. You could just use plain butter, but slow-roasting garlic to make your own garlic butter is absolutely worth it for this dish.
If you don’t keep kosher, you can use bouillon instead of Osem chicken soup seasoning in this classic Jewish comfort dish.
Chanko-nabe is a traditional Japanese soup, this one with bok choy and pork meatballs, that is a staple of the sumo wrestler’s diet. If it’s good enough for a sumo wrestler, it’s good enough to get you through shoveling off your front stoop.
The seeds of the egusi melon are used for a lot of culinary purposes in West African cooking, but especially for egusi stew. This comes together in just 40 minutes. And bonus—it’s vegan.
If you have access to a West Indian or West African market, you should be able to find groundnuts. But if not, a smooth peanut butter and pumpkin seed oil are a fine substitute.
Making your own curry paste for this spicy, sweet dumpling soup is totally worth it, because it can be repurposed later for curries or to marinate meat, and it keeps for a few weeks in the fridge.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson served this earthy, smoky take on traditional ramen with fried chicken, but we think it’d make a good snow day meal all on its own.
The cheesy toast sealing the top of French onion soup is what draws you in, but what keeps you around is the umami-packed beef broth hidden underneath.
Follow along with our intrepid culinary director, Farideh Sadeghin, as she makes this delicious Italian wedding soup in this how-to video.
This hearty, flavorful soup comes together in just 40 minutes, so you’ll be curled up on the couch ready for Netflix with a big bowl of Frito Pie flavors in no time.
With so many aromatics in this broth—chilies, lemongrass, and ginger—this soup is the perfect restorative to a dull, gray winter day.
It’s really not a proper tomato soup eating experience if you don’t have a grilled-cheese-type-thing to dip in it, so we made sure to include instructions on how to make the perfect cheesy toast, too.
Chicken noodle soup is great for when you have a cold, sure, but subbing in some baby spinach for extra nutritional benefit can’t hurt.
Like a loaded baked potato, but in soup form for extra cozy vibes.
This minestrone is hearty and filling and will warm you from the inside out, but with the pesto drizzled on top? The whole pot will disappear in minutes.
Enjoy a nice bowl of this, from our friend Cara Nicoletti; then call your mother, she worries.