5 Easy and Comforting Soups to Keep in Your Winter Meal Plan

published Jan 23, 2022
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Credit: From Left to Right: Feed the Swimmers, Sweet Potato Soul, Sweet Life Bake

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There’s one category of food that my family, including my 10- and 3-year-old girls, will always eat, and that’s soup. And I’m thankful for soup for being that rare gimme on weeks when it feels like every decision is a struggle. I need that ace in my pocket when the sun goes down at 5 p.m. and it’s bitterly cold outside. Soup brings us all together, especially these five soups — tried and true bowls of comfort from a few of my favorite bloggers.

A classic Hungarian Mushroom Soup has been one of my favorite dishes since I was in high school. It’s actually the dish that brought me and my husband together (I made a Hungarian Mushroom Soup-inspired pizza at a pizza party, and he pretended to like mushrooms to have an excuse to talk to me — classic love story). Our (my husband grew to love them too) love for mushrooms was, thankfully, passed down to the kids, and this creamy, silky soup with the perfect balance of sour cream, dill, and paprika is a weekday favorite with a loaf of crusty bread.

Get the recipe: Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Contrary to its title, this is not just another black bean soup; this is a particularly well-seasoned, homey, sustaining meal in a bowl, and yes, you can use canned beans. (That’s always my first question when I see beans in a recipe because I can rarely be counted on to soak beans in advance.) Feed the Swimmers’ black bean soup can be made from dried or canned beans and, in the latter case, comes together in under an hour. My kids love what comes next — topping the soup with all sorts of fun garnishes like fresh avocado, pico de gallo, radishes, and corn chips. It’s a veritable party in a bowl.

Get the recipe: Another Black Bean Soup

Miso soup is one of my older daughter Lily’s favorite foods, and through the power of sibling peer pressure, Hazel loves it too. Usually, we opt for the Kikkoman packets to which we add tofu and scallions (the girls love the fact that they can make it themselves), but when we want something a little more sustaining, say for dinner, this Collard Miso Soup from Sweet Potato Soul does the trick. Zippy fresh ginger and umami-rich miso provide the backbone of this soup, to which ribbons of collard greens (you could use any hearty leafy green) and cubes of soft tofu are added. We add a simple salad with ginger dressing and maybe a few frozen potstickers to make it a well-rounded family dinner.

Get the recipe: Collard Miso Soup

Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig; Food Styling: Catrine Kelty

Sheela Prakash’s Lemony Black Lentil Soup has surprising depth for a dish that comes together in a little over thirty minutes. Black lentils cook up quickly while delivering richness that’s heightened by smoky cumin and ground coriander. A little lemon and yogurt take this bowl to a happy, tangy place, but what my kids really love about this soup is the kale chip garnish. They particularly enjoy helping me make the kale chips while the soup is simmering, occasionally adding their own seasonings (everything bagel spice is a favorite) and then snacking on the light, crispy chips until they disappear.

Get the recipe: Lemony Black Lentil Soup

A good pozole is complex but comforting, with contrasting textures from the tender braised meat and chewy hominy. While this recipe from Sweet Life Bake does take some time if you’re starting from scratch (about 3 hours to braise the pork shoulder), once you have the shredded meat, the soup practically makes itself. The move here is to cook the pork shoulder in the slow cooker during the day and then bring the soup together (with your favorite garnishes) for an easy dinner. Just combine the cumin-laced pork with hominy and return it to the cooking broth for a soul-settling soup that only gets better with time.

Get the recipe: Pozole Blanco