38 Family-Favorite Soups & Stews
Mashed Potato Chicken Stew
Fun idea! Mashed potatoes are the secret thickener and tasty topper for this stew.
For this fall recipe, use classic spaghetti ingredients—sauce, diced tomatoes, ground beef, noodles and Italian seasoning—to create this easy soup. A salad and garlic bread complete the meal.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Diane Buller of Champaign, Illinois, shared this flavorful version of the classic tortilla soup. Garbanzo beans add extra texture and protein.
Three Sisters Corn-and-Chili Chowder
This lively chowder uses the three sisters of Native American cooking: corn, beans and squash.
Slow-Cooker Brat and Sauerkraut Soup
Potatoes, onion, sauerkraut and brats pack in the German flavor in this homey slow-cooker soup. Try with Whole Wheat Pretzel Rolls; the soft pretzels' chewy, brown exterior comes from being boiled in an alkaline solution—the 1/4 cup baking soda in the water isn't a typo!
Veggie Cheese Chowder
This creamy chowder uses a blend of fresh and canned ingredients for a fast-cooking soup with fiesta flair.
Asian Beef Barley Soup
We love this contemporary global twist on classic Midwest beef-barley soup. Coconut milk adds creaminess, while a tiny bit of curry powder and hot chili oil add zip. The recipe comes from Beth Seuferer of West Des Moines, Iowa.
Miner's Beef Stew
In Branson, Missouri, guests dine on this favorite fall stew at Silver Dollar City's Lucky Silver Mine Restaurant, while others learn how to make it at the park's Culinary & Craft School. The meat slow-cooks for fork-tender results.
Spiced Pumpkin Bisque
The Inn at Irish Hollow in Galena, Illinois, serves this creamy, curried soup throughout the fall and winter. You can make your own crème fraîche for the garnish, or use purchased crème fraiche or sour cream.
Sweet Potato-Corn Chowder
Chef Paul Dagenbach upgraded the classic Midwest corn chowder for the class he teaches at Cooks' Ware in Cincinnati. Sweet potatoes and andouille sausage made their way into the mix, along with cumin, chili powder and Cajun spice for a little zing.
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Leftover chicken and frozen noodles cut prep time for this ultimate comfort food.
Chipotle Black Bean Chili
Inspired by traditional Mexican mole, this hearty vegetarian chili includes a touch of chocolate to add depth. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce give a rich smokiness to this fall recipe. If you like, you can save half the chili to make Stacked Black Bean Enchilada Pie.
Hearty Meatball Soup
This version of a cold-weather staple, from author and cooking-school instructor Marilyn Harris of Cincinnati, features basil-flecked meatballs. "This is a quickie version of veggie-beef I created that's great to make when time is limited," Marilyn says. "But it still has all of the good flavors."
Iowa Corn Chowder
This hearty soup, an update of an Amish favorite, comes from an Iowa City, Iowa, reader and football fan. Flavored with bacon and onion, it's a great soup for family dinners or tailgate parties.
Old-Fashioned Cream of Tomato Soup
Try serving this rich tomato soup with burgers or toasted cheese sandwiches.
Midwest Ham Chowder
Cheese, chopped veggies and ham make a winning combination in this recipe from Syl's Cafe in Ontonagon, Michigan.
Steaming Sweet Butternut Bisque
Combine leeks, garlic and butternut squash in this pureed hot soup that's studded with corn and seasoned with cumin and nutmeg.
Plenty of meat and potatoes make a satisfying meal-in-a-bowl. This recipe, from a Libertyville, Illinois, reader, has been a hit since it ran in Midwest Living® in 1988. "I have been making this chowder for friends and family since it first appeared in the magazine in the late 80s," notes a reviewer on our website. "It never fails to receive rave reviews. One of my all-time favorite soups!"
Hot-Stuff Kielbasa-Cheese Soup
The rich flavors in this colorful soup from a Lima, Ohio, reader, earned it a top spot in a Midwest Living® Favorite Winter Recipes contest. If you like, you can cut calories by substituting turkey kielbasa, fat-free milk, and low-fat cheese.
So-Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
Maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg add rich flavor to this blend of cooked sweet potatoes, cream and broth. "It's the best sweet potato soup," says recipe contributor Marie Rizzio of Interlochen, Michigan.
Curried Lentil Soup
Karen Scott from Park Forest, Illinois, fell in love with this spiced specialty when her daughter, Sandy Rutkowski, served her a bowl. "I thought it was out of this world," Karen says. Curry powder and fresh ginger add spicy flavor to the lentils.
Wild Rice & Turkey Soup
Short on time for a post-holiday meal? Try our quick and easy soup inspired by the flavors of Minnesota, which leads the nation in turkey production. Smoked turkey mixes with the state grain, wild rice. Meaty shiitake mushrooms add more substance to the bowl.
Another soup option: Aunt Maude's Southwestern Turkey Chili. The blend of chile peppers and spices give it a smoky flavor and a nice kick of hotness to stave off the cold. It's a regular on the winter menu at Aunt Maude's restaurant in Ames, Iowa.
Saturday Night Beef-Vegetable Soup
For retired home-economics teacher Pollie Malone of Ames, Iowa, Saturdays used to be family time, ending with a meal of hearty soup. "Today, my grown children make this soup and serve it to their children," she says. "What great memories of cold Iowa nights enjoying a memory meal!"
Vegetable Stew with Dumplings
This cheese-topped vegetable stew gets an unusual twist from the carrot dumplings on top.
Savory Beef Stew
This steaming stew features hearty chunks of pot roast and a colorful combination of vegetables, all flavored with bacon. Serve alone or over mashed potatoes, noodles or biscuits.
Butternut Squash, Lentil and Wild Rice Stew
Here's a main-dish soup loaded with veggies. Need to reduce the sodium? Use only one can of French onion soup and replace the other with 1-1/2 cups water.
Midwest Corn Chowder
Here's a reduced-fat, yet delicious version of classic Midwest Corn Chowder, made without butter or whole milk. Serve with a salad or fruit for a light dinner or with a sandwich for heartier appetites.
Aunt Bonnie's Taco Soup
Make this hearty soup on the stove or in a slow cooker. Serve with sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese and tortilla chips for added taco flavors.
Easy Potato Soup
This quick and easy recipe, from a Halstad, Minnesota, farming family, features just five ingredients and can be on the table in 15 minutes.
Italian-style tortellini combines with Mexican seasonings in this chowder. Make it as spicy as you like with the pepper and chile peppers.
Seasons Eatings Pumpkin Soup
Sprinkles of salty ham cracklings top this soup from Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Missouri.
Cheesy Potato Soup
Potato, bacon and cheese - all the flavors you love in a bowl of soup! The American cheese keeps the soup from curdling while it slow cooks. Mashing cooked potatoes a bit gives it some body, while the bacon adds a smoky-salty taste to this fall soup.
Wild Rice and Chicken Soup
Mix a can of cream of chicken soup, mushrooms, veggies and rice mix for the soup base. Any boneless cooked chicken works in this recipe, but chicken thighs, with more moisture from fat, slow-cook the best.
Fresh spinach and sliced carrots add a vitamin-rich veggie punch to this easy slow-cooker soup. Top with shaved Parmesan, if you like.
Smoked Tomato Soup
Smoked tomatoes give all-American tomato soup a twist of Ozark flavor. Thyme, garlic and onion bring more depth to the taste.
Beef and Bulgur Soup with Chickpeas
Several spices flavor this low-cal soup, including cumin, ginger and garam masala.