According to my cellphone, Los Angeles is in for a bit of a cold spell: Temperatures will not rise above 66 degrees for a good 10 days. In Connecticut, where I grew up, 66 degrees is considered downright balmy. But 20-plus years living in Southern California has taught me that 4 degrees below the annual average of 70 degrees qualifies as soup weather, especially since temperatures here can drop 15 to 20 degrees once the sun goes down (even in Connecticut, 46 qualifies as soup weather!).
A wintertime essential and a year-round staple in most cultures, soup is said to have been consumed by humans as long as 20,000 years ago. The variety that has resulted from peoples around the globe boiling similar ingredients in hot water is extensive. There are brothy soups like pho and tom kha gai; puree soups like creamy mushroom, butternut squash and winter vegetable soup and chunky almost-stews like pasta e fagioli, kibbeh bi’kizabrath, black bean tortilla soup and winter greens and chickpea soup.
Whether you’re looking for an old favorite or something new, any of these 30 soups will provide tasty sustenance and comfort regardless of the outdoor temperature.