6 of our coziest soup recipes to keep you warm

Grab your bowl and spoon! Whether you want something classic or creative, there's a soup for you

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Food Editor

Published January 28, 2022 6:30PM (EST)

Woman Enjoying Food with Campfire (Getty Images/Jasmin Merdan)
Woman Enjoying Food with Campfire (Getty Images/Jasmin Merdan)

I'm a year-round soup enthusiast, but my desire for endless bowls of all things warm and comforting really kicks into overdrive during the winter months. Thankfully, Salon Food has a rich archive of soup recipes from which to draw inspiration. From small hacks to amp up existing classics to unique combinations of flavors, there is — to bastardize the iconic "Seinfeld" line — a soup for you.

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1 Cheesy, no-tear French onion soup

"Lately, I've been craving a little piece of Paris — or at least of midtown Manhattan, anyway — in my own kitchen," writes Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams in her latest Quick & Dirty column. "By cobbling together a frankensoup that relies on the easiest and fastest tips I could find, I wound up with a cozy dish of cheese and onions sans the watery eyes." 

Come for the immensely comforting soup that's ready in less than 30 minutes, stay for the unexpected trick that prevents your eyes from watering when chopping the requisite onions. 

2 Chicken stew with schmaltzy croutons

As I wrote, this soup recipe was born out of my enduring pandemic-era fantasy of picking up and moving to a spooky cottage in some potentially haunted forest. I wanted something that was appropriately woodsy and earthy, hence the inclusion of wild mushrooms and anise-flavored tarragon. To top it off, toast up some hunks of bread in schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat. You'll never go back to saltines again.

3 The herbiest bean soup

While I often love the meditative experience that is a day-long cooking project, sometimes you just want lunch on the table in five minutes. Instead of reaching for wilted lettuce and cold cuts to make a sandwich — which doesn't exactly scream "cozy" — combine canned beans and good stock with a secret ingredient to make a gorgeous soup packed with flavor and greens.

4 Chicken soup with gnocchi

If chicken soup in its many forms is on repeat in your home this winter — as it is in mine — consider swapping out the noodles or rice for pillowy-soft gnocchi. This recipe keeps much of the classic chicken noodle soup flavors, including a pop of color and sweetness from sliced carrots. However, it upgrades the basic egg noodles to Italian potato dumplings.

5 Tomato basil soup

This recipe for tomato basil soup, which cooks in 25 minutes, comes from Barbara Kuhns, Millersburg, Ohio. It was published in "Super Easy Soups and Stews: 100 Soups, Stews, Broths, Chilis, Chowders, and More!" by Abigail Gehring.

Start by melting an entire stick of salted butter in your soup pot, and don't forget to freeze an extra batch for a cold day.

6 Flavorful tortilla soup

While "Latin Superfoods" cookbook author Leticia Moreinos Schwartz usually keeps this flavorful tortilla on the simpler side with garnishes like shredded chicken, queso-blanco, cilantro and tortillas, she encourages cooks to "go crazy with all of the extra stuff you can put in the soup: avocados, sour cream, or more cheese."

"You can serve the side dishes in small bowls and people can add whatever they want to the soup," she writes. "It's a fun dish to eat!"

More great stories about soup: 

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By Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is Salon's food editor. She is also an award-winning radio producer, editor and features writer — with a special emphasis on food, culture and subculture. Her writing has appeared in and on The Atlantic, National Geographic’s “The Plate,” Eater, VICE, Slate, Salon, The Bitter Southerner and Chicago Magazine, while her audio work has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and Here & Now, as well as APM’s Marketplace. She is based in Chicago.

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