HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Winter soups!

As the weather gets chilly and cold season advances upon us, I find my thoughts turning to soup. I usually make one to two soups a week all winter long. I would love to get recipes/ideas/new things to try. What are some of people's favorite winter soups? What is the soup you crave on a cold, blustery day?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Vegetable beef barley is great for cold days.

    Also buffalo chicken chowder and chicken soup with matzo balls.

    2 Replies
    1. re: KitchenAid

      What is this buffalo chicken chowder you speak of?

      1. re: ssusu

        1 sm. onion - chopped
        3 ribs celery – chopped

        3 potatoes - cubed
        1/4 cup butter
        1/4 cup all-purpose flour
        3/4 cup milk
        3/4 cup chicken broth
        2 cups diced, cooked chicken
        1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce

        1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese

        1⁄2 tsp salt

        -In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté onions, celery and potatoes in butter until tender.
        -Stir flour into pan; slowly whisk in milk and broth.
        -Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cheese has melted.

    2. This is a favorite of mine. Once I make it, we live on it for a week.......tee hee

      Jewish Mother's Chicken Noodle Soup

      One 4- to 5-pound stewing hen or frying chicken (whole), all visible fat removed

      n Four or five stalks celery (diced)
      n One large onion (diced)
      n Four or five carrots (diced)

      Place chicken in a Dutch oven, cover with vegetables and fill with cold water to cover half-way up breast. Add minimal salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

      Stew chicken for about an hour and a half. Remove from heat and place chicken into a large bowl.

      Place stewing broth and cooked vegetables into a blender, cover with a towel (to avoid a kitchenwide explosion) and process until pureed. This may require two batches.

      Place the pureed mixture back into the Dutch oven and add:

      n Four or five stalks celery (diced)
      n One large onion (diced)
      n Four or five carrots (diced)
      n Three or four cups water
      n One large spoonful Better Than Boullion (chicken flavored)
      n One large spoonful Better than Boullion (beef flavored)

      While bringing the pot back up to a simmer, debone chicken, dice or shred into small pieces and return chicken meat to the pot. Season to taste with salt, celery salt, a touch of minced garlic powder and white pepper.

      When pot begins to slowly boil, add one package Kruslix (sp?)or homemade thick-cut noodles.

      This soup is chock full of vitamins (double the norm) and is great for relieving a stuffy head and other cold symptoms. Besides, it just tastes great!!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: pilotgirl210

        A tip for you...instead of putting the broth & veggies in a blender...use an immersion blender right in the pot...They only cost about $20 - 25 and are great for making quick whipped cream also...I use mine all the time

        1. re: LenaNE

          Oh, I've had one for years. Just find it easier to use my blender...and it does a more thorough job, in my opinion. But I'll have to give it another go next time.

      2. Oops.....I cut and pasted this recipe into the above reply and the bullets came out as *n*s. Sorry about that. Also, I saw this recipe made on an early morning television show years ago and have been making it ever since. I'm a mother, although not Jewish, so maybe someone can help me with the proper spelling of the noodles. Thanx.

        1. I made pots of butternut squash soup (from Cooks Illustrated website) and bean & bacon soup recently for a big dinner. The CI squash soup was a huge success. If you go to their site and do a search you should be able to download it - free registration is required. The b & b was also good, really hearty in cold weather.

          I'm planning to make a Cuban black bean soup this weekend and perhaps a mussel and squash curry soup which sounds interesting. We do a variety of lentil soups as well. Our current version is spicy and has lots of kale in it. Another winter favorite is Scotch broth, with lamb, barley and lots of vegetables.

          We both love fish chowders. I made a Portugese fish chowder a couple of weeks ago which DH couldn't get enough of. The recipe is by Jasper White and has fish, chorizo, potatoes and lots of vegetables.

          I usually make soups in big batches and freeze what we can't eat immediately so we always have soup in the freezer.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cheryl_h

            The Cooks Illustrated black bean soup is also very good -- you don't have to soak the beans first, and you use a ham steak for the smokiness.

            1. re: yumyum

              That's the recipe I was planning to use! I'm glad to hear your positive comment.

              1. re: cheryl_h

                Mine turned out a bit salty -- but I didn't use low sodium chix stock as suggested. That would be my only reservation. Oh, and don't be scared of the look of the ham steak when you pull it out of the beans. Ugly but very tasty chopped up and stirred back into the soup.

                1. re: yumyum

                  This is my black bean soup recipe - simple and very good. Add extra cilantro when serving for cilantro lovers.

                  Black Bean Soup
                  serves 8

                  16 oz dried black beans

                  4 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips

                  1 large onion, chopped

                  3 cloves garlic, minced

                  1 small red bell pepper, chopped

                  1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped

                  1/2 cup chopped cilantro

                  10 cups water

                  1-2 tsp. salt

                  1/2 tsp. pepper

                  Cover beans with 4 inches of water, soak overnight. Drain soaked beans. Combine bacon, onion and garlic in large pot. Cook bacon until crisp and onion is opaque, stirring occasionally. Add beans, water, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add chopped peppers and cilantro and simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

          2. Butternut squash is my new favorite. I do it two ways, one with apple and ginger and the other with a sweet potato and garnished with balsamic and gorganzola.

            I also have been really happy with a cannalini bean soup with rape and digitali (sp?).

            Usually I end up doing a chicken and noodle with an old fashioned, wagon train, one egg noodle.

            1. Hands down: kale soup. It is at least as much a part of coastal Massachusetts as clam chowder (the only thing I suspect could be even more traditional is fish chowder). Kale soup is a derivative of the Portuguese caldo verde, which is itself a fantastic soup of course.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Karl S

                This is going on the menu this weekend. Thanks for the link. As luck would have it, I have the Dean and DeLuca cookbook. My winter soups tend to run more toward the beans 'n' greens variety than chowders/squash soups, mainly because I seem to have a cold from October to May, but I'm open to suggestion. Keep 'em coming!

              2. I made a Sweet Potato Chile Lime Soup the other day that was so good. It was from a cookbook for Inns and B&B's in the MidAtlantic. I can post the recipe, if you'd like......

                1 Reply
                1. Here's a winter favorite of ours that I'm looking forward to making again soon.

                  Chestnut Soup

                  1⁄2 cup minced celery
                  1⁄2 cup minced onion
                  1 stick (1⁄2 cup) unsalted butter
                  1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
                  8 cups chicken broth
                  15-oz. can unsweetened chestnut purée

                  1⁄2 cup heavy cream
                  1⁄4 cup Frangelico
                  freshly ground white pepper to taste
                  1⁄2 cup crème fraîche for garnish, if desired
                  10 chestnuts, roasted and chopped for garnish if desired (Actually, I buy already roasted and peeled chestnuts in a jar)

                  Cook the celery and the onion in the butter in a kettle over moderately low heat, stirring until the vegetables are softened, add the flour, and cook the roux, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the broth and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Whisk in the chestnut purée and simmer the soup for 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and Frangelico, simmer the soup for 1 minute, and stir in salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish it with the crème fraîche and the roasted chestnuts. Makes about 12 cups, serving 8 to 10.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Deenso

                    Deenso - I recently made one of your soups: Leek, Potato and Kielbasa. Very simple and very good.


                    Thank you.

                    1. re: mirage

                      Glad you had success with that recipe, mirage. That's another cold weather favorite that we haven't had for a while. Might be time to give it another try...

                      1. re: Deenso

                        I made this last night too! It was very good... I love kielbasa! Thanks for the recipe Deenso and for the inspiration mirage!

                  2. Tortilla soup with chicken & lime.

                    Onion soup with white wine, cumin, and ground blanched almonds (trust me).

                    Green cabbage soup with onions, white wine and lemon (juice and yellow rind from one whole), cook down then puree.

                    Chickpea with rosemary, topped with olive oil croutons.

                    Green split pea, at the end throw in sauteed finely chopped greens (parsley, chervil, boston or romaine lettuce).

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Louise

                      I have attempted white gazpacho with blanched almonds but have not made a warm soup. I'd be interested in the onion soup recipe. Thanks!

                      1. re: ssusu

                        It's here:


                        Though I don't bother straining the almonds, just grind them up really well and mix in.

                        1. re: Louise

                          Wow, thanks for this recipe and the link to the amazing website.

                    2. I just made a batch of Chicken with Root Vegetable Soup, from Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet -- I do turnips, parsnips, potatoes, carrots and leeks with chicken. Hearty, easy and delicious.

                      1. Tuscan White Bean Soup with Rosemary Croutons from The Greens cookbook. Here's the recipe:

                        I use canned beans and puree the entire mixture with a hand blender. So hearty and delicous.

                        1. Butternut Squash soup!

                          1. This isn't really a winter soup, per se, but I made it again tonight and it's really good and pretty healthy altho I do doll mine up with sour cream and avocado slices ... lime cilantro soup with chicken. It would also work well for Candy's post about new things to do with boring old chicken breasts , this recipe calls for two although I used an equivilant amount of tenders tonight because they were on sale .


                            1. My all time favorite is Chicken, mushroom, and rice chowder.... recipe is at http://www.recipesonrails.com/recipes... Turns out really thick. Recipe has some of my own shortcuts in it, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

                              1. I like bean and bacon soup, made with navy beans. Date nut bread spread with cream cheese on the side.

                                1. Puree of parsnips and pears, seasoned with thyme and a bit of garlic, then finished with cream. (My teens love this soup, which gives me hope!) If you are feeling flush, some nice pricey proscuitto and a warm baguette will make this meal sing.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: cayjohan

                                    What ratio of parsnips to pears?

                                    Please give approx weight--the number of each never seems to make sense as here in California everything seems to be jumbo sized. (Yes, yes, poor us)


                                  2. Fish Soup

                                    3 cloves garlic, minced
                                    1 large onion chopped
                                    2 medium size carrots chopped
                                    2 stalks celery chopped
                                    2 tablespoons olive oil
                                    1 tablespoon paprika
                                    16 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
                                    1/2 cup dry white wine
                                    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
                                    1/2 teaspoon crushed thyme leaves
                                    1 bay leaf
                                    2 eight ounce bottles clam juice
                                    1 1/2 pounds of either flounder or sole cut into bite size pieces
                                    1 tablespoon of anise-flavored apertif such as Richard or Pernod

                                    1. Saute onions in olive oil until wilted. Add garlic and saute for another minute.
                                    2. Add everything but fish and apertif.
                                    3.Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
                                    4.Add fish and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in aperitif and serve immediately.
                                    Note: If you want to make this ahead of time, do steps 1-3 in advance. Just before serving bring the soup back to a simmer and cook the fish just before serving.

                                    (recipe from the October 2006 edition of the newsletter)

                                    1. I choose recipes from the Moosewood Daily Specials and the Moosewood Low Fat Cookbooks. Recent favorite was a Southwestern squash, corn and tomato soup/stew. From Cooking Light Magazine, a favorite is Jalapeno Vegetable Chowder, cauliflower is used instead of potato. The jalapeno pepper is removed after simmering in the broth mixture so it's not very hot, just mildly flavored.

                                      1. Sweet Potato Chile Lime Soup

                                        1 sweet onion, chopped
                                        4 cloves of garlic, chopped (I like more, actually!)
                                        tbsp or so of olive oil
                                        (SAUTE THE ONIONS AND GARLIC IN THE OLIVE OIL FOR A FEW MINUTES)

                                        4 sweet potatos, sliced or cubed
                                        quart of chicken or veggie broth

                                        1 poblano pepper, roasted/skin removed/seeded/course chop
                                        2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped


                                        1/4 cup apple juice (this is my little addition, cools the heat a bit, and sweetens it a touch....add as little or much as you'd like....I also added a couple swirls of fat free milk, too)
                                        Juice of 2 limes
                                        salt and pepper to taste

                                        Fry up some corn tortilla strips and pile in the soup (this makes it, I think!).

                                        Really yummy and easy!

                                        1. I made a great soup tonight -- bit of a mishmash that came out really nice.
                                          chop 1 or 2 stips of bacon, put in a big soup pot with some o.oil, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 3 chopped celery stalks and 2 sliced sausages (i used leftover chicken/ mushrooms sausages) and let all brown a bit. next add 1/2 head chopped cabbage, 1 diced tomato (or small can of), cook on high, stirring. add some chile powder, cumin seeds, salt, and red pepper flakes, keep stirring, then add about 4 cups chicken broth, one can black beans, 3 cloves crushed garlic. stir and simmer for 15-20 minutes, add 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and simmer another 20 minutes (it'll be quite thick). serve w/ a dolop of whole yogurt. hearty wintery goodness.

                                          1. My favorite soup/stew is a recipe that was featured in my local paper, oh, five years ago. It is a curried lentil soup and the flavors are amazing. I adore the texture of mustard and cumin seeds. I like some spice so I typically use a habanero as opposed to a jalapeno.


                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: juliebird

                                              This looks lovely -- and I'm sure it would taste even better with ghee instead of veg. oil. (I love the taste of buttery lentils.)

                                              1. re: ssusu

                                                You know, I do not know why I have not tried that before. I really love the depth of flavor a bit o' butter can bring to a dish.

                                              2. re: juliebird

                                                I just tried accessing the recipe, but the link would not pull it up. Can you repost it? I saw it yesterday and thought it looked great. I was going to make it tonight but didn't save the recipe yet. thanks!

                                                1. re: juliebird

                                                  Juliebird .. the soup sounds like just the thing I'm looking for. Like Sam21479, I can't seem to access the recipe. Is there anyway you could post it?

                                                  1. re: SLO

                                                    Clearly I'm not juliebird, but I was able to access it.

                                                    Credit to San Diego Signs on Entertainment.

                                                    Cheese Shop's Indian Lentil Soup
                                                    6 servings

                                                    1-1/2 cups uncooked lentils
                                                    4 cups water
                                                    2 bay leaves
                                                    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon light vegetable oil (divided use)
                                                    2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
                                                    2 tablespoons cumin seeds
                                                    1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
                                                    1 fresh jalapeno chile, finely chopped
                                                    4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
                                                    1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
                                                    1 teaspoon turmeric
                                                    2 onions, chopped
                                                    1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut
                                                    1 quart canned tomatoes
                                                    2 teaspoons salt
                                                    2 tablespoons ground cumin
                                                    2 tablespoons ground coriander
                                                    1/4 teaspoon cayenne

                                                    Put lentils, water and bay leaves into a medium-size pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally to keep lentils from sticking. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

                                                    In a soup pot, heat 1/4 cup of the oil. When you drop a mustard seed in the oil and it sizzles, the temperature is right. Pour in mustard and cumin seeds and cook until most of them pop. Lower the heat and stir frequently so you don't burn any of the seeds. Stir in Madras curry powder, then jalapeno, then garlic, ginger and turmeric. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

                                                    Add the onions. Stir and cook for 10 minutes. Add the coconut along with the remaining tablespoon of oil, then cook for 10 minutes more.

                                                    Crush the canned tomatoes with your hand or the back of a spoon to get small pieces. Add to the soup, along with the accompanying tomato juice and the salt. Cook for 20 minutes, or until hot. Stir frequently so nothing sticks.

                                                    Stir in cumin, coriander and cayenne. Add the cooked lentils and water, removing bay leaves. Continue to simmer for at least 30 minutes.

                                                    (From The Cheese Shop.)

                                                2. I love soups, we make them every sunday, and at least one more time during the week.

                                                  The weekends are usually reserved for a bean soup or chili soup. I made this white chili last weekend, and was VERY pleased with the results:

                                                  And this weekend, my husband made corn chowder, substituting proscuitto for the bacon and frozen corn for the fresh called for:

                                                  I really enjoyed it.

                                                  During the week, I really like to take snow peas, broccoli, peppers, udon noodles, shrimp and soup base I get from an asian market and make udon noodle soup. Trader joes has some udon soups in their refrigerated case, and if you add shrimp, veggies, and a little sesame oil make the perfect meal.

                                                  1. Ox-tail soup is really wonderful anytime of year. It's a clear-ish broth and perfect for those who are lactose intolerant and want a flavorful winter soup without cream. I used to eat bowls and bowls of this as a kid. If you have left overs, it's great to add in some noodles or pasta the next day.

                                                    Boil 2-3 good sized cuts of ox-tail (larger than a fist) for 1-2 hours.
                                                    --> Optional: Cool overnight in the fridge, remove fat. You can also remove the bones at this point, but I usually leave them in an take care not to serve them when I dole out the soup. Although some people like to eat the ox-tail meat.

                                                    Add chopped carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, and salt to taste.
                                                    --> Optional: dried scallops (only 1-2 large ones)

                                                    Note: if you are using fresh tomatoes, it's nice to add some ketchup to give a little thickness to the soup. If you are using canned peeled tomatoes, but sure to add in a little of the tomato juice.

                                                    Boil until potatoes are done and serve!

                                                    1. This fall I've started making hot and sour soup, and I think it's perfect, especially at the beginning of cold-and-flu season. It's easy, too.


                                                      1. Here's one of my cold weather favorites...

                                                        Mexican Potato Soup

                                                        4 lg potatoes, peeled, cubed
                                                        1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes, or 1 can Rotel
                                                        1 onion, chopped
                                                        1 med. can Ortega green chiles
                                                        some minced jalapeno and garlic
                                                        1/2 lb. bacon, cut up
                                                        Jack cheese, grated

                                                        Boil potatoes (cover with water).
                                                        Fry bacon until crisp, drain.
                                                        Cook onion, green chiles and diced tomatoes in bacon grease. When potatoes are fork tender, mash with masher in water, until just broken up.
                                                        Add bacon and tomato mixture, simmer for awhile.
                                                        Cover soup with jack cheese, allow to melt
                                                        Great with beer bread or sour cream cheddar bread!

                                                        1. Corn and crab chowder! Mmm! Made some last night for some friends who came over for dinner. They gobbled it up. We had it with bread and a salad.