By Ariel Knutson
Fall might mean pumpkin spice lattes and cheesy casseroles for some, but for me it means one thing: soup. Nothing feels cozier than a pot of something delicious simmering on the stove. A really good soup is akin to lying in bed with a weighted blanket or putting on a pair of your favorite sweatpants after a really hard day; it’s comfort in food form. It feeds your belly and your soul.
So grab your biggest — no bigger! — spoon and dig in.
Cauliflower can do a lot of things in the kitchen, but I think it reaches peak magic in soup form. Roasted, pureed cauliflower adds a velvety texture to any soup — and it’s also a great base for whatever flavors you want to include. This recipe keeps it simple with lots of garlic and a touch of thyme and white truffle oil. It feels rich without actually being so.
Ah yes, the king of all comforting soups: chicken noodle. This twist on the classic from Pinch of Yum brightens up the whole recipe by adding a ton of lemon and swapping the traditional noodles for orzo. The base of the soup feels creamy (without any added cream), but it remains highly slurp-able. Fresh dill and a handful of spinach keep things fresh.
I’ve made this recipe countless times, and I have to tell you: burrata on soup is a revelation. It feels downright decadent and adds the most luxurious texture to an already-delicious sweet potato soup base. The sage pesto (made with sage, kale, Parmesan, and pistachios) cuts through the richness and makes the dish feel a little more vibrant.
This recipe uses three smart grocery tricks: rotisserie chicken to cut down on time, fire-roasted tomatoes for added heat, and a can of enchilada sauce for easy complexity. All you have to do is toss everything together in a big pot, let it do its thing on the stove for 30 minutes, and then top with plenty of tortilla strips before serving.
When the weather is bone-chilling and I want something warm, but also healthy, this is the soup I make. With minimal ingredients and prep work, this soup only takes about 40 minutes. It’s deeply savory and a great way to clean out your fridge — throw any leftover vegetables you may have in here. It’s also the kind of soup that tastes way better the next day, so make a double batch (trust me).
This soup is exactly the kind of thing that you want when you feel a cold coming on. It gets a sour tang from a splash of white vinegar, and heat from white pepper and dried chilis. The soup also has a thick, comforting broth, and is filled with tofu, bamboo shoots, and plenty of shiitake mushrooms. As The Woks of Life promises, it’s just as good as (if not better than) the takeout option at your favorite Chinese restaurant.
This recipe is carrot sticks and hummus in soup form. And let me tell you: it really works. The carrot soup itself is well spiced with cumin and red pepper flakes, but the real surprise comes with the toppings. Smitten Kitchen adds roasty, toasty chickpeas as “croutons” to each bowl, alongside a generous dollop of a lemony-tahini sauce. Serve with za’atar-spiced pita wedges.
Sometimes you want a black bean soup that simmers and builds flavor on the stove all day long, and sometimes you just want something pantry-friendly that takes less than an hour to make. This recipe is the latter. You only need a few ingredients: cans of black beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, lots of spices, and some chicken or vegetable broth. I like to make a big batch of this and freeze half so I always have a cozy option for dinner.
Traditional lentil soup gets a flavor punch with a Parmesan rind, diced bacon, and white wine; It also feels extra hearty thanks to the addition of cannellini beans and diced carrots. I love this soup for lunch when it’s cold outside with a thick slice of sourdough bread.
This soup has a lot of unique flavors going on. The apple adds a hint of sweetness, the fennel adds that distinctly-mild licorice flavor, the roasted walnuts add a touch of creaminess to the entire dish, and the turmeric is responsible for that gorgeous mustard-y yellow color. This is great with a hearty winter salad or a simple grilled cheese sandwich.