Soups, from Brothy to Creamy

Soups, from Brothy to Creamy

Warming, filling, and comforting

By Aïda Mollenkamp

It’s versatile, it’s easy, and it’s good. Those are reasons enough to make soup, but if you really need an excuse, use the weather. It’s that time of year when it seems winter will never end. To celebrate all the thawing potential that soup has, here are 10 of our favorites.

1. Oxtail and Barley. If you’re a stew person but want to switch it up, this is the place to start. The long, slow cooking of the oxtails makes for rich flavor. Peppered with bits of meat, chewy barley, and toothsome turnip, this soup’s hearty enough to fend off the most brutal winter weather.

2. Chicken and Wild Rice. You can stock up on the over-the-counter drugs and Emergen-C to fend off that annual winter cold, but it’s hard to go wrong with chicken soup. This version is so healing and satisfying, you might want to feign illness just to get a chance to make it.

3. Creamy Tomato. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is one of life’s greatest comfort meals—there’s just something about dipping cheesy, toasty bread into creamy, sweet soup. Our tomato soup is simple to make, leaving you plenty of time to revel in soup-sandwich perfection.

4. Turkey Posole a la Guerita. This quick, slightly bastardized, no-fuss take on posole makes a great weeknight dinner.

5. Hot and Sour. Almost every Chinese takeout place has its version of this soup, but often it’s starchy, gloppy, or just gross. Our vegetarian hot and sour has a kick of heat, as it should. And though there’s a laundry list of ingredients, it’s easy to put together.

6. French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme. This lentil soup from vegan cookbook wunderkind Isa Chandra Moskowitz is so flavorful and filling you won’t have to use the v-word when serving it to your omnivore friends.

7. Smoked Paprika and Rutabaga. The grocery-store shelves are packed with puréed soups in boxes, but they’re seriously easy to make at home, like this velvety bisque.

8. Minestrone. It’s one of the most widely available canned soups, and it can be flavorless, insipid, and pathetic. This healthy, quick version dispels those notions: It’s delicious.

9. Mushroom and Pancetta. This soup is brothy yet hearty. Dried shiitake mushrooms and sake combine with pancetta to give it a complex sweet-and-savory flavor. And it gets bonus points for being simple enough to throw together for a weeknight meal.

10. Stracciatella. When the pantry is nearly empty but you want soup, turn to the Italian-style egg drop soup called stracciatella. It’s simple: Bring some high-quality chicken broth (stock is even better if you have it) to a simmer. Mix a handful of finely grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan, together with a few eggs until the eggs are broken up. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the broth in a circular method, and then give it a few stirs to break the egg into strands. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and some crusty bread, and call it a meal. (Personalize it as you please with extras such as pasta, onion, red chile flakes, or parsley.)

Aïda Mollenkamp is a former food editor at CHOW.