Simmering Soups and Stews
Dish out a steaming bowl of comfort food with some of our favorite recipes for soups, stews, chowders, chilies and bisques.
If you have partial bags of dried beans loitering in the pantry, throw them all in the pot to make this anything-goes fall soup. Perfumed with thyme and sage, it's creamy, homey and gratifyingly resourceful.
Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
A whole jalapeño pepper brings subtle, delicious heat in this soup recipe (remove the seeds for less kick). Add your favorite toppers like tortilla strips, cilantro, avocado or Greek Yogurt, and dig in.
Related: Sizzling Mexican and Tex-Mex Recipes
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Broth gives this comforting soup plenty of meaty flavor, but you can stir in chopped cooked chicken for a heartier version. The recipe comes from La Soupe, a nonprofit cafe that helps feed hungry families in Cincinnati.
Vietnamese-Style Noodle Soup
This comforting, spiced soup will warm you up on chilly evenings. Our recipe echoes pho (pronounced "fuh") but has a shorter simmer time thanks to boxed broth and flank steak.
Asparagus, Morel and Walleye Soup with Rye Croutons
Don't skip the addictive miso-butter croutons in this recipe, adapted from one served at Larder, a Jewish deli in Cleveland. (Chef Jeremy Umansky is also an expert in Asian fermentation.)
Related: How 3 Midwest Kitchens Are Adapting—And Expanding—Modern Jewish Cuisine
Sausage-Sweet Potato Soup
Sweet potatoes contribute their sweet taste to this hearty weeknight soup which is balanced by tart apple cider.
Related: Sweet Potato Recipes You'll Love
This traditional Greek chicken soup made with egg, lemon and orzo is rich and velvety, but also bright and refreshing thanks to a healthy dose of lemon juice.
Italian Dinner Soup
Gail Gladding-Pullara of Oregon, Wisconsin, created this simple, crowd-pleasing soup. "My family loves this recipe," she says. "It's easy and tastes like you've been cooking for hours."
Related: Family-Favorite Soups and Stews
Spicy Beef, Bean and Vegetable Stew
Affordable beef chuck roast, apple, parsnip and sweet potato slow-simmer in broth flavored with dark beer, herbs and spices. Warm corn bread muffins and cold winter night optional.
Related: Try Our Sage Corn Muffins
Moroccan Chicken Stew
Golden raisins and almonds are classic Moroccan ingredients that are essential to this comforting weeknight stew. The raisins add sweetness and the almonds add texture.
Pork and Tomatillo Pozole
Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup thickened with hominy. This version, from Karen Bell, chef and owner of Bavette La Boucherie in Milwaukee, only gets better the next day, so keep extra slaw around for round two.
White Surprise Chili
This high-protein main dish looks like navy bean soup but is actually a mild chicken chili.
Related: Warm-You-Up Chili Recipes
Maple-Chile Butternut Soup
This is a great dairy-free (and cholesterol-free, too) soup in its own right, but a drizzle of Asian-spiced maple syrup adds a wonderfully unexpected kick and dramatic red flourish. The recipe comes from The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook (University of Minnesota Press, $29.95).
Related: Butternut Squash Recipes
Hearty Vegetarian Chili
Many vegetarian chilies eat more like soups, but ours is built to satisfy a meat-lover. Bulgur wheat and mushrooms combine to mimic the texture and flavor of ground beef; chili powder, smoked paprika and chocolate stout lend deep, authentic flavor without a long simmer.
Related: Our Top Vegetarian Recipes
Chili-Ginger Mung Bean Soup
Mung beans are petite beans with a toothsome texture and earthy flavor. They're sold dry and simmer right in the broth of this deliciously sinus-clearing soup.
Chili Verde with Corn Bread Croutons
Bulgur wheat lends meaty texture, fiber and protein to soups and stews, where it can cook in the broth. In our sweet and savory chili, we match the grain with salsa verde, peppers and edamame—a weeknight meal that makes it oh-so-easy to be green.
This twist on your classic potato soup uses rutabaga, a humble root veggie that has a deliciously sweet-nutty flavor.
Smoky Roasted Tomato Bisque
Even so-so winter tomatoes work beautifully in this easy recipe from La Soupe cafe in Cincinnati: Roasting brings out their sweetness.
Shredded Pork Posole
Hominy is the signature ingredient in this traditional, chililike Mexican soup.
Related: Our Best Pork Recipes
Tuscan Bean Soup
Flecked with a grab bag of hearty vegetables, this healthy soup hums with garlic and crushed red pepper. The recipe comes from La Soupe, a nonprofit cafe in Cincinnati.
Chicken and Kielbasa Winter Stew
Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but this hearty supper soup takes just an hour to make. The secret? Deli-roasted chicken and precooked sausage. Pair with breadsticks or a crusty baguette for a perfect winter meal that will fill your house with good smells.
Thai Egg Drop Soup
Curry paste and fish sauce (both available at large supermarkets) give a Thai twist to the Chinese take-out staple. Ready in about 20 minutes, this recipe from La Soupe cafe in Cincinnati is a great pantry recipe for frigid winter weeknights.
Gingered Chicken Meatball Soup with Brown Rice and Basil
This healthy, Asian-style soup is ready in only 45 minutes. Ingredients such as rice vinegar, fresh ginger, sesame oil, and soy sauce add tangy and savory accents.
Tuscan Lamb and White Bean Stew
Woodsy rosemary makes this a perfect dish for fall and a lovely change from traditional beef stew. Serve with crusty bread or ladled as a sauce over pappardelle noodles.
Related: Try Our Do-Anything Artisan Bread
Hearty Minestrone Soup
Susan Corley of New Albany, Ohio, shared her version of the classic Italian soup in New Albany Cooking with Friends, a cooking club project that took regional honors in the Tabasco Community Cookbook Awards. Susan often slow-cooks a pot of the soup for family meals during the holidays.
Soy-Ginger Soup with Chicken
Somen are thin Japanese wheat noodles. Find them at Asian groceries or large supermarkets, or substitute vermicilli in this light chicken soup.
Bacon and Baked Potato Soup
Bacon is versatile and dependable, amping up most dishes. Our cheesy potato soup just seems to call for salty-smoky crumbled bacon. So we stirred some in and sprinkled the rest on top. If you like seasoned bacon, try pepper-rubbed bacon in the soup.
Power Green Soup
One of the most popular menu items at La Soupe in Cincinnati, this cleansing blend is flavored with garlic, ginger and horseradish, and is loaded with nearly 2 pounds of spinach, collards, kale and mustard greens. Try it with a squeeze of lemon.
Pumpkin, Chickpea & Red Lentil Stew
This hearty soup boasts a bounty of veggies and seasonings, including pumpkin or squash, fresh ginger, lime juice, cumin and fresh cilantro.
Apple Harvest Chili
Fresh apple, dried fruit and cashews add color, sweetness and crunch to a ready-in-45 vegetarian chili. For a twist on the traditional toppers (and to hint what's inside), garnish with apple slivers.
Chipotle Black-Bean Chili
Tuck this chili into your slow cooker in the morning so you can come home to a warm winter dinner. Omit the meat if you'd prefer a hearty meatless main dish. If you like, add chopped avocado or shredded cheese as toppers before serving.
Red Bean, Chicken, and Sweet Potato Stew
Vitamin-rich sweet potatoes and creamy peanut butter complement spicy Cajun seasoning in this easy chicken slow-cooker stew.
Cream of Any-Vegetable Soup
Simmering for hours is so Sunday afternoon! On weeknights, whip up this easy and nutritious soup using whatever veggies you have on hand.
Matzo Ball Soup
Minnesota TV personality and author Andrew Zimmern's version of a Jewish deli staple is the perfect antidote to a cold winter night.
Related: Try AZ's Ultimate Chicken Stock
Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Soup
Nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and naturally sugary Vidalia onion and sweet potato mingle to evoke pumpkin pie. The soup (which is served at La Soupe in Cincinnati) is dairy-free, but if you like, swirl in some sour cream or crème fraîche.
Kansas City Steak Soup
Our version of the classic Kansas City steak soup uses lean ground sirloin mixed with veggies and seasoned with a blast of steak sauce and Worcestershire. It cooks in just 25 minutes.
Related: Favorite Midwest Hometown Recipes
Curried Cauliflower Soup
Let your imagination roam to India when it comes to toppers for this mildly spicy soup: toasted unsweetened coconut, coarsely chopped cashews, a dollop of yogurt and warm naan bread for dipping. The recipe comes from La Soupe, a nonprofit cafe in Cincinnati.
Ham Florentine Soup
Florentine-style dishes have one thing in common: heart-healthy spinach. In this case, the leafy greens combine with chunks of ham in a chowderlike soup. For best results, remove spinach stems before cooking.
Combine caramelized onions, ginger, carrots and a sweet potato for this creamy, pretty soup.
Related: Good-For-You Carrot Recipes
Pork and Veggie Oven Stew
Thyme, oregano and lemon-pepper seasoning flavor this oven-baked stew, which includes potatoes, pork, corn and green beans. Like even more corn? We love corn muffins with this dish.
German-Russians settling the Dakotas put Red River Valley potatoes to good use in this creamy-rich potato-filled base with noodle dough. It's pure comfort food.
Great Lakes Salmon Chowder
Asparagus slices add color, and the dill and lemon zest add fresh flavor to salmon that's packed with protein and heart-healthy.
Related: 20 Favorite Salmon Recipes
Quinoa Harvest Chili
This hearty and uber-healthy vegetarian chili recipe comes from Brianne Jamerson of Indiana. If you'd prefer a looser texture, just add extra water or broth.