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Our best winter soups

30 Recipes
A bowl of white bean soup
(Linda Pugliese)

30 recipes for cozying up at home

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.

Garlic Soup

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 4

Quick Chicken Pho (pho gà nhanh)

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 2

Big Sky Cafe vegetarian pozole

Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Yields Serves 10 to 12

Creamy butternut squash soup with ginger

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 6

Bún Cá Kiên Giang Fish and Shrimp Rice Noodle Soup

Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8

Mexican chicken soup

Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Soupe a l'oignon gratinee

Time 3 hours
Yields Serves 8

Winter vegetable soup

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Ginger Chicken Soup With Shiitake Mushrooms

Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Yields Serves 6

Chickpea and noodle soup with Persian herbs

Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4

Beef Vermicelli Soup (Bun Bo Hue)

Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8

Spiced Lamb Meatball and Escarole Soup

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Black bean tortilla soup

Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Yields Serves 8

French leek and potato soup

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Lentil Soup

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 10

Lucque's soup au pistou with Parmesan croutons

Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8

Chunky vegetable chicken soup

Time 40 minutes
Yields Serves 4

White bean and fennel soup

Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Yields Serves 8

Grub's spinach-mushroom-ginger soup

Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields Serves 4

Winter Greens and Chickpea Soup

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8

Dominick's Italian wedding soup

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8

Taix's split pea soup

Time 3 hours
Yields Serves 8 to 12

Coconut chicken soup (Tom kha gai)

Time 15 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Red lentil soup with berbere

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 12

Curried Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6

Giant White Bean Soup

Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Yields Serves 6

Italian Pasta and Bean Soup With Arugula (Pasta e Fagioli)

Time Active work time: 45 minutes. Total preparation time: 1 hour 45 minutes.
Yields Serves 6

Le Petit Cafe’s creamy mushroom soup

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8