As the temperature drops, you may find yourself craving something hot. What’s better than treating yourself to a tasty and piping hot bowl of soup? Warm yourself from the inside out with these exciting options below:
1. Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Easy to make at home, this American classic is rich in flavor and sure to impress family and friends. Made with a creamy base (milk with chicken broth, or half-and-half), onion, butter, flour, and, of course, broccoli and cheddar cheese, this soup can be dressed up or down. For a special event, serve in a hollowed-out bread bowl and sprinkle with a generous dash of cheese. For those who love a bit of fun, top with bacon bits.
2. Tom Yum Soup
Found in almost any Thai restaurant, this traditional soup is sure to leave spicy and sour flavors dancing on your tongue. It’s made with a stock of fish paste, crushed chili peppers, lemongrass, lime juice, basil, and kaffir lime leaves. Variations of this soup include chicken (tom yum gai), prawn (tom yum goong), and many more.
3. Albondigas Soup
Meaning “meatball” soup in Spanish, this beloved dish features spicy meatballs offset with vegetables (zucchini, celery, and carrots) in a broth made from chicken stock, cumin, oregano, cilantro, onions, and more.
Perhaps a more unique dish to America, this Ukranian soup is commonly found in Eastern and Central Europe for good reason—it’s delicious and very versatile (ingredients range regionally and is consumed hot in the winter and cold in the summer). This popular soup’s color comes from its main ingredient, fermented beetroot, and has a distinct sweet and sour taste. Worried about the sour taste? Not all borscht are made with beetroot. Some variations use tomato paste as the primary ingredient for the same vivid color, but with a slightly different taste.
5. Kimchi Jiggae
A popular Korean dish, this hearty stew is made by simmering kimchi, tofu, onions, and pork in a stock made from daikon (radish), hot pepper paste, anchovies, and seaweed. Don’t be intimidated—it’s bright red color screams spicy, but pair with a bowl of rice and eat with side dishes, like seasoned soybean sprouts and salted fish cakes, to lessen the spiciness of the stew.
6. French Onion Soup
A rich treat, this soup is made by browning sliced onions with butter and olive oil in a pot for 15-20 minutes. Beef broth, along with seasonings (like garlic, thyme, and bay leaves), are added and simmered for another 10 minutes. And voila! Eat with toasted slices of bread as part of a filling meal.
This good-for-you Japanese stew is actually a staple in the diets of sumo wrestlers, since it’s packed with protein and vegetables and is usually served in huge quantities. While you don’t need to eat as much of this as sumo wrestlers do, chankonabe is an easy to prepare and versatile stew, containing pretty much whatever vegetables and meats the chef wants (it’s base is a chicken stock, or dashi, that’s sometimes seasoned with sake). More often containing tofu, bok choy, sliced beef or pork, and other meats and vegetables, this nourishing stew can be a meal all by itself or paired with rice.
Esther Chen is a fourth year student studying clinical nutrition at University of California, Davis. She hopes to complete a dietetic internship and become a registered dietitian.