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The Best Soup Recipes for Busy Winter Days

The best soup recipes yield delicious meals and starters that are quick to make and perfectly comforting as the temperatures plummet. From homemade lentil soup to a hearty cheese tortellini soup that you’ll adore, tasty options can be made to meet everyone’s dietary preferences. If you are craving simple meals that are budget-friendly and thoroughly satisfying, keep reading as we reveal some of the best soup recipes for busy days this winter. 

15-Minute Lentil Soup 

Lentil soup is a classic recipe that stays on the menus of busy families and Martha Stewart Living for a reason; it “is a fast, hearty soup for dinner.” True to its name, it only requires 15 minutes of total preparation and cooking time. And the soup is filled with ingredients you may already have in your pantry: onions, carrots, celery, garlic, red-wine vinegar, and lentils (the Magazine recommends using cooked lentils from a 15-ounce can). While the original recipe calls for chicken broth, this quickly becomes a vegetarian and vegan favorite when you substitute low-sodium vegetable broth instead.  

Spiced Tomato Soup

Is there anything more reminiscent of childhood winters than tomato soup paired with a grilled cheese sandwich? Quick and straightforward to make, tomato soup continues to make us smile, and Martha Stewart Living’s twist updates this classic to delicious perfection. “This is no simple soup, it’s a richly-flavored dish that features lots of spice and aromatics,” and uses whole roasted tomatoes as a base. Made as is, it is a terrific option for carnivores and vegetarians. Want to make this recipe vegan? It’s a quick fix; substitute vegan butter in the final stir.

Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup

Only five ingredients are required to make Health’s “Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup,” one of the best soup recipes for those looking for healthier alternatives this winter. Health raves: “This belly-warming soup is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in calories—but it’s not low in flavor thanks to the creamy sweet potatoes, spicy ginger, and just a touch of sugar.” Considered a superfood, “sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and healthy carbohydrates,” according to the Magazine. All of this healthy goodness results in a terrific way to revive after a hectic day at work or busy weekend.

Smoky White Bean Soup

Have you been trying to figure out what to do with that can of cannellini beans sitting in your pantry? Try making Southern Living’s “Smoky White Bean Soup.” This recipe is ideal for anyone looking for one-pot dishes that can be made in under 30 minutes. It’s such a comforting and tasty recipe that we bet you’ll want to make it a permanent part of your winter meal rotation. What makes this white bean soup recipe one of the best? Bacon. One extra thick-cut slice of bacon is all you need to take this recipe from good to great. 

Potato, Broccoli, and Cheddar Soup

Martha Stewart Living’s “Potato, Broccoli, and Cheddar Soup” is one of the winter’s best soup recipes because it combines rich flavors and healthy ingredients for kid-friendly results. The original recipe yields four servings and takes under 40 minutes from preparation through serving, making this an appealing choice for weekend lunches. While Yukon Gold potatoes and white cheddar help create a delightful base, it’s the broccoli that gets the star treatment. The Magazine explains: “It’s simmered until tender for the soup base and roasted for the garnish.” What is the final touch that takes this dish to the next level? The soup is enhanced with toasted rustic Italian bread that has been topped with roasted cheese, garlic, and broccoli florets. Yum!

Spicy Southwestern Black Bean Chili

When you hear the word “chili,” it probably sparks images of ingredients simmering for hours in a slow cooker. The good news is that the “Spicy Southwestern Black Bean Chili” recipe from Health can be ready in under half an hour. It seems too good to be true, but it is. The Magazine explains: “The key is using boxed roasted red pepper and tomato soup as well as flavorful ingredients like jalapenos, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.” This vegetarian chili is thoroughly satisfying and is also packed with protein and fiber. Plus, if you want to add some healthy fat to the mix, all you need to do is top the chili with some sliced avocado, and you are ready to serve.  

Ham-and-Bean Soup

Are you looking for a slow cooker recipe that can put a leftover ham bone to the best use? Southern Living’s “Ham-and-Bean Soup” is an “eight-ingredient soup recipe that’s made in the slow cooker from start to finish.” The Magazine advises: “Made with a ham bone, dried white beans, chopped carrots, celery, onions, and garlic, chicken stock, and fresh thyme, this recipe takes minutes to assemble ….” Cannellini beans work well, as do navy beans, but you should feel free to substitute in any small, dried beans that you have on hand. Get ready for compliments!

Cheese Tortellini Soup

If you love cheese tortellini as we do, you’ll adore this “Cheese Tortellini Souprecipe from Rachael Ray In Season. This dish yields a flavorful broth that offers comforting warmth on a cold day. The Magazine explains the process: “Bring chicken broth and finely grated onion and carrot, 1 bay leaf, onion salt, celery salt, pepper and chopped fresh dill to a boil.” Once the broth is finished, add your pre-made cheese tortellini to it and cook as you would normally. It’s that simple. And, yes, it’s every bit as delicious as it sounds. 

Cream of Asparagus with Shredded Prosciutto

Are you hoping to add a creamy soup to your weekly menus? Rachael Ray In Season reveals that one of the best soup recipes for winter is their “Cream of Asparagus with Shredded Prosciutto” soup. The key is to shred your prosciutto and cook it until crisp in extra-virgin olive oil. The rest of the recipe is simple, according to the Magazine, just “remove prosciutto with a slotted spoon, add chopped asparagus and onion and cook until tender, then puree. Stir in half-and-half and heat through.” Minutes before serving, you can pop the crispy prosciutto on top and get ready to dive into this delightfully filling creation. 

Chunky Vegetable Beef Soup

If you hesitate to make vegetable beef soup because you think it will take too much time to chop everything, Southern Living’s “Chunky Vegetable Beef Soup” may be the best soup recipe for you. Why? “Since this hearty beef soup uses canned veggies, you won’t waste any time chopping.” It’s also wonderfully affordable, as it is made from “budget-friendly yet robust ingredients, with ground chuck, canned vegetables, and tomato sauce rounding out the list,” according to the Magazine. This recipe serves eight people and can be whipped up in under an hour. It’s also ideal for anyone who wants to make meals on a Sunday afternoon that can be eaten throughout the week or even later. In fact, when stored properly, this delectable soup can be frozen and enjoyed for up to a month.