There comes a point every year when we desperately wish we could have an IV of hot, flavorful stew in our veins. Alas, modern technology has yet to make our dreams come true—for now, we'll settle for enjoying these filling cold-weather soups via mouth. For those days when we don't have a few rounds or a literal liquid layer, the ultimate winter comfort food is just a pot and a spoon away.
Chickpea and Pork Soup
Delicious, fatty hunks of pork belly save this chickpea soup from being too light and healthy for winter. The potatoes also help to bulk up the servings and, when smashed into the broth a little bit, give the whole thing a rich, creamy texture.
Korean Beef Brisket Stew
Making broth from scratch is a daunting proposition, especially when you're just trying to get some hot-ass soup down your gullet as soon as humanly possible. This Korean brisket stew by Kimchi Pete should quell your DIY-broth anxieties—the base is just water, kombu, dried anchovies and Korean fermented soybean paste, and it comes together in just enough time for you to prep your meat, vegetables, and tofu.
Bison Short Rib Stew
Come on. Just looking at this meaty stew is filling. Matty Matheson makes his with bison ribs (because he's Canadian AF), but this'll be just as delicious with any meat you'd like.
This West African soup uses roasted and ground seeds from the egusi melon to thicken the base, but you can substitute pumpkin seeds or even almonds and get a similar effect. The rest is mostly vegetables, including a ton of chickpeas that make this super-satisfying.
Apple Snail Stew
Here's the perfect example of a recipe that sounds intimidating, tastes complex, but is deceptively simple. And don't let the apple snails scare you—they add a subtle layer of flavor to this rich, creamy, fast-fancy soup that you can make in ten minutes.
Oyster Pan Roast
Is there anything more epically decadent than an oyster pan roast? We'd argue that this is as good as it gets—a toasty slice of white bread drowned in a creamy sauce and topped with gorgeous, plump oysters. Close the blinds, add a martini, and have the best damn weeknight of your life.
This soup may look light and brothy, but make no mistake—this is a hibernation-friendly bowl of filling goodness. After all, we got the recipe from a sumo wrestler. Sure, there's some fish broth and vegetables, but it's the pork meatballs and tofu that'll sustain you through through a wrestling match with a 300-pound dude—or a walk through the cold to your laundromat. Whatever.
Turtle soup isn't necessarily a thing of the past. It's known as "snapper soup" in the South and in Philly, and it goes by "caouane" in Creole cuisine. Call it what you will—we call it delicious. But if you're totally shook by the thought of eating turtle, you can sub in veal.
We snagged this winter-friendly recipe from Dutch chef Werner Dent, who uses sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and red bell pepper to add a touch of sweetness to this otherwise savory bivalve soup. The cockles open up with a big pour of white wine (just like we do) and they give the dish a comforting, ocean-y chowder aroma.
This first appeared on MUNCHIES in February 2017.