Bowls of Comfort

A soothing bowl of soup can instantly make you feel better on a cold winter day.

Glorious aromas and distinctive flavors come out of the stock pot with these bubbling-hot classics, steaming chowders, veggie combos and more.

Ham and Bean Soup

A pantry perennial, dried beans make an outstanding everyday soup when flavored with smoked ham.

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  • 3 cups dried navy beans
  • 20 cups water, divided
  • 1 (3½-pound) meaty smoked ham bone*
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ tsp kosher salt plus additional, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)
  • Rinse beans. In a large pot, combine beans and 8 cups water. Cover and let stand in a cool place for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. (Or for a quick-soak method, bring beans to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 60 minutes.) Drain and rinse beans; set aside.
  • In the same pot, add ham bone and remaining 12 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Add beans and thyme to the pot. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Add onion, carrots, celery and salt to pot. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until beans and vegetables are tender and ham is falling off the bone.
  • Remove ham bone from pot. When cool enough to handle, cut meat off bone; coarsely chop. Discard bone. Using a potato masher, slightly mash beans and vegetables in pot. Stir in chopped ham; simmer mixture for 10 minutes more. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper. If desired, garnish each serving with parsley.
  • *Note: If you don’t have a reserved ham bone at hand, purchase a 9- to 10-pound bone-in, smoked fully-cooked ham and cut off a 3½-pound portion that includes the bone to use in the soup. Reserve remaining ham for another use.
Creamy Tomato Soup

Piping hot, creamy tomato soup topped with thick, melty grilled cheese croutons is the ultimate comfort meal.

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  • 3 (1-inch) slices Italian bread
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, undrained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsps butter, softened
  • 4 (½-inch) slices Italian bread
  • 4 slices sharp Cheddar cheese
  • For soup, remove crusts from 1-inch bread slices and discard. Tear bread into 1-inch pieces; set aside.
  • In a large pot heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Stir in tomatoes and basil. Using a potato masher, mash until tomatoes break down. Stir in brown sugar and bread pieces. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until bread begins to break down.
  • Transfer cooked mixture in two batches to a blender or food processor; add 1 tablespoon oil to each batch. Cover and blend until smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in chicken stock. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Stir in yogurt and simmer until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm topped with grilled cheese croutons.
  • For grilled cheese croutons, heat a large skillet or griddle to medium heat. Spread butter on one side of each ½-inch bread slice. Place two slices, buttered side down, in skillet. Top each with two cheese slices and remaining bread slices, buttered side up. Cook about 2 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Turn sandwiches over; cook 2 to 3 minutes more or until bottoms are golden and cheese melts. (Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent over-browning.) Cool slightly. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup

One potato, two potatoes ... the more types you use, the better this soup tastes.

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  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ ozs sliced prosciutto
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 pound aged white Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Chopped chives (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Scrub russet potatoes; pat dry. Prick potatoes with a fork. Bake 40 to 60 minutes or until tender. Cool for 10 minutes. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato pulp; place in a large bowl. Discard potato skins. Mash pulp with a potato masher; set aside.
  • In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add prosciutto and cook until crisp. Remove prosciutto and set aside. Add onion to oil remaining in pot and cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in garlic and flour; cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken stock and cream. Stir in mashed potato pulp, chopped Yukon gold potatoes, salt, thyme and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until chopped potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in white Cheddar cheese until melted.
  • Serve soup topped with crisp prosciutto. If desired, add shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, sour cream and chives.
Chicken and Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Smoky roasted salsa and crushed tortilla chips simmered in broth form the base to this spicy south-of-the-border soup.

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  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • 2 cups crushed no-salt tortilla chips
  • 2 cups roasted restaurant-style salsa
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups shredded or cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 ½ cups whole-kernel corn, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
  • Fresh lime juice, to taste
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • 1 avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • Additional crushed tortilla chips (optional)
  • In a large saucepan heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in 2 cups tortilla chips and cook until softened. Add salsa and chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool for 5 minutes. Transfer soup in batches to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Return soup to saucepan.
  • Add chicken, corn and black beans. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted. Season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper. If desired, serve soup topped with sour cream, avocado slices and crushed tortilla chips.
Corn Chowder

This thick, creamy chowder starts with cream-style corn and adds potatoes and bacon for delectable taste and enticing texture.

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  • 1 recipe Corn Broth (see below)
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 8 cups frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sliced green onions, divided
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped*
  • 2 cups chopped, peeled Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and white pepper, to taste
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 3 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and chopped
  • Prepare Corn Broth (see below); set aside. In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add corn, 1 cup green onions and jalapeño peppers. Cook for 5 minutes or until green onions and peppers are softened, stirring occasionally. Add Corn Broth, potatoes and thyme. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Cool slightly. Remove thyme sprig.
  • Transfer 2 cups cooked mixture to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Return mixture to pot. Simmer for 5  minutes. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and hot sauce. Serve chowder topped with bacon and remaining 2 tablespoons green onions.
  • *Note: Chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes. When working with jalapeños, wear protective gloves.
Savory French Onion Soup

Tender onions, rich meaty stock and nutty cheese toasts—these are what make this boldly flavored, rustic French soup a favorite worldwide.

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  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 6 large yellow onions, thinly sliced; divided
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsps minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • ⅓ cup dry sherry
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 16 (½-inch) slices French baguette, toasted
  • 3 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (12 ounces)
  • Chopped fresh thyme (optional)
  • In a large pot heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add half the onions. Cook, covered, 20 minutes or until onions are dark golden brown, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in wine. Increase heat to high and cook until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Add remaining onions, garlic, sugar and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, covered, over medium heat 15 minutes or until onions are dark golden brown. Stir in broth, sherry, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove and discard thyme and bay leaf.
  • Position a rack 8  inches from the broiler and preheat broiler. Place 8 broiler-proof soup bowls or crocks on a baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls; top each with baguette slices and cheese. Place baking sheet with bowls under the broiler. Broil 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Watch closely! If desired, garnish soup with chopped thyme. Serve immediately.
Classic Minestrone

This classic Italian soup, which uses a handful of fresh vegetables and pantry staples, has deeply satisfying flavors and is quick to fix.

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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped pancetta (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup finely chopped carrot
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 ½ ozs green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup small shell macaroni
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add pancetta; cook for 8 minutes or until crispy, stirring often. Add onion, celery and carrot; cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in green beans, oregano and basil; cook for 3 minutes more.
  • Stir in tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in spinach, chickpeas and macaroni. Cook for 10 minutes more or until vegetables and pasta are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Steak and Potato Stew

Warm up to a hearty meal featuring fork-tender meat, fall vegetables and woodsy mushrooms.

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  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 12 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 2 cups assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, porcini, oyster, stemmed shiitake and/or chanterelle, halved
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped green beans
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Season beef with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a large pot heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add beef, half at a time, and cook for 8 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and onion to the pot. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic and tomato paste; cook for 1 minute or until mixture darkens. Add flour; cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add wine, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape brown bits from bottom of pot. Add broth, beef and its juices, onions, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until meat is tender
  • Stir in potatoes, mushrooms, carrots and green beans. Simmer for 15 minutes more or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

The simple down-home goodness of this soup has made one thing for sure—it’s pure comfort.

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  • 1 recipe Homemade Egg Noodles (see below)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsps chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken
  • ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Prepare Homemade Egg Noodles (see below); let dry.
  • In a large pot heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is softened. Stir in chicken stock and thyme. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  • Gently stir in Homemade Egg Noodles (see below). Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until noodles and vegetables are tender. Add chicken and parsley; heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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