Winter Soup Recipes to Cozy Up To

winter soup recipes | Mexican Chicken Noodle | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Feasting at Home | Recipe: Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup

Time to bring some vegetables back into your life! After the holidays, a cozy winter soup will nurture your body back into good health. Most of these recipes can be made in 30 minutes and require one sturdy pot. We’ve compiled hearty Asian vegetarian and comforting creamy recipes that you are sure to love. Try one and start feeling better already.

winter soup recipes protein one pot | Thai Chicken Soup | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Camille Styles | Recipe: Thai Chicken Soup With Butternut Squash + Baby Bok Choy

Nourishing With Winter Soup

The best thing about any soup is its ability to be tweaked according to your taste buds. Take a classic winter soup recipe and add a few seasonal vegetables. Eating vegetables that are in season is a good way to add variety into your diet. This recipe adds in butternut squash, which is a hearty winter squash that is low in fat and high in dietary fiber. You will especially love the chicken, mushroom, and okra combo. Okra is often used to reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and the chicken gives the soup a healthy dose of lean protein.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 chicken drumsticks kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of peeled, chopped butternut squash
1 onion, chopped
3 baby bok choy (or 1 regular bok choy), chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 cups okra, sliced and caps discarded (this is optional, omit if okra isn’t in season!)
2 cups mushrooms (any type), sliced
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
juice of 1 lime (+ more lime wedges for serving)
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro

Click here for the full recipe and instructions. If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, replace the chicken with beans. You will love the Thai flavors in this addictive bowl of yumminess!

winter soup recipes comfort food | New England Clam Chowder bacon | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Bev Cooks | Recipe: New England Clam Chowder

Creamy Clam Chowder

Our next recipe hails from the northeast and calls for hearty doses of bacon and potatoes. Nothing is better on a cold day than a creamy winter soup that sticks to your ribs. Clams provide 133% the daily value of iron and about 30% the daily value of Vitamin C. Sound like something your body might be needing? Don’t worry too much about the bacon; it actually has a high protein to fat ratio and is a good source of animal protein. A couple of slices won’t kill you.

Ingredients:
6 to 7 pounds cherrystone clams, scrubbed of excess grit
Five slices bacon, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
One onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
8 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
Salt and pepper
Oyster crackers, for garnish
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Click here for the full recipe and instructions. The author of this recipe spent a month in New England trying different soups and talking to locals. The finished product is a creamy bowl of deliciousness!

winter soup recipes vegetarian | Asian Vegetable rice noodles | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Jelly Toast Blog | Recipe: Asian Vegetable Soup

Asian Noodles

Asian noodle soups are quite light and incorporate ingredients that work to keep you well. A healthy Asian winter soup is usually packed with antioxidants and is low in calories. Vegetables like bok choy, cabbage, and carrots register high on the Vitamin C scale. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat and are a good choice for anyone on a gluten-free diet. They are also lower in calories than your average pasta and have a texture similar to spaghetti.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon neutral flavored cooking oil
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 medium carrots, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 head nappa cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 small head bok choy
1 9.5 oz package soba noodles
2 teaspoons sesame oil
salt and black pepper

Click here for the full recipe and instructions. This soup is full of fresh ginger and will satisfy you without weighing you down. After the holidays, that is just what the doctor ordered!

winter soup recipes | Creamy Chicken Tortilla avocado beans | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Baked Bree | Recipe: Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Taco Tuesday

Instead of tacos this Tuesday, how about a warm bowl of chicken tortilla soup? The Mexican seasonings in this winter soup are spicy and delicious. It calls for three different types of pepper; each carrying its own special flavor (and spice factor!). Habanero is the spiciest of the three and contains a fiery compound known as capsaicin. Capsaicin has been known to regulate insulin levels and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. A little goes a long way and we love the smoky flavor it gives along with the spice. Add cumin and smoked paprika for a dish of tastiness that will have you going for seconds.

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
3 Tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
1 (32-ounce) box chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
1 can Rotel
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 ears fresh corn or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Click here for full recipe and instructions. This soup is thick wnough to eat with tortilla chips. Top it with all of your favorite taco ingredients like avocado, cheese, and fresh tomatoes.

winter soup recipes | Somen Noodle Tofu vegetarian | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Bev Cooks | Recipe: Somen Noodle and Tofu Soup

Learn About Tofu

Our next Asian-inspired recipe is high in quality protein and rich in flavor. Add tofu to your winter soup to get all nine essential amino acids, iron, and calcium. Essential amino acids cannot be made in the body and therefore must come from food. They help stimulate muscle strength, repair tissue, and absorb nutrients. The trick to tofu is to sear thin slices in a pan on high heat with salt. This helps give it some texture, which works wonderfully with the boiled eggs.

Ingredients:
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1/2 a block extra firm tofu (you can use the whole block if you want), cut into small squares
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs. minced ginger root
One bunch scallions, sliced (whites and greens separated)
8 cups chicken (or veggie) stock
4 eggs (one egg per eater)
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
2 bundles somen noodles
a lime or two
Torn cilantro for garnish
Salt and pepper
Hot chile oil and soy sauce for garnish (optional)

Click here for full recipe and instructions. The broth itself is fairly mild, so topping it with soy sauce or hot chile oil really gives it the flavor. It’s a wonderful meal when you’re feeling a little under the weather, too.

winter soup recipes vegetarian | Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: The Two Bite Club | Recipe: Slow Cooker Vegetable Barley Soup

Easy Vegetables

Most moms have kid-friendly veggies like carrots and celery on hand. Use your veggies in a winter soup that your whole family will enjoy. Just like our Vegetable Beef Soup, this recipe is a good one to use in your slow cooker. You can prepare it in the morning and come home from errands to a house that smells delicious. Pearl barley will give you a fiber boost while also balancing your gut bacteria. It helps encourage weight loss by lowering blood sugar levels, so moms and dads will like this soup even more!

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 ribs celery, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can green beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup pearled barley
4 cups beef stock
4 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Click here for full recipe and instructions. The barley makes this vegetarian recipe quite hearty, but you can add in a little chicken if you want more protein. The total prep time is under 15 minutes and is a terrific way to keep everyone eating healthy.

winter soup recipes noodles | Spinach Vermicelli Fried Egg | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Williams Sonoma Blog | Recipe: Spinach + Vermicelli With Fried Egg

Doctor it Up!

As we mentioned earlier, all of these recipes can be adjusted. If you don’t have all of the ingredients the winter soup recipe calls for, omit it or exchange it for something else. The flavorings and spices are the most important ingredients in a soup. Consider picking up one or two ingredients that you’ve never tried to discover something new to enjoy!

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