Soups and Stews for Winter Comfort!

November 2, 2021

If you haven’t already, it’s time to pull out the slow cooker and the instant pot for one—or more – of these winter soup and stew recipes that are sure to hit the spot as the temperatures drop! You’ll find everything from throw-back chicken and dumplings and potato-hamburger soup recipes, to secret-ingredient beef stew and a vegan bowl of deliciousness with lots of spice and nutrition.

Throwback Comfort Soup

You don’t have to be from Italy to love Italian Wedding Soup, with tiny round acini de pepe pasta, homemade meatballs and rotisserie chicken. This traditional easy-to-make soup has everything in it but the kitchen sink – spicy pork sausage, chicken, beef meatballs, plus raisins (chopped) garlic (minced), red pepper, black pepper, chicken broth and plenty of Parmesan cheese. Which, Taste of Home says is optional, but we say — not if you want the best bowl of wedding soup!

Blogger Karen at 365 Days of Crockpot offers recipes with alterations for the Instant Pot, like her Creamy Potato Hamburger Soup. The secret ingredient might be the cream cheese, added to the ground beef, onion, garlic and vegetables. The result is creamy and dreamy and perfect with a side salad and breadsticks. 

And if you like Panera Bread’s Chicken and Wild Rice soup, Karen has a copycat recipe that you’ll love and it won’t cost you $6 a bowl-full. It’s a short-cut recipe with cooked chicken breasts or thighs and you can make it in your instant pot or Crockpot. The hardest part is dicing the veggies!

Chicken and dumplings sounds like a vintage recipe, “the one grandma used to make”, and the aromas, texture and taste will conjure up plenty of family nostalgia! With chopped onion and carrots, celery and peas, the spices chef Lauren uses are garlic, thyme and a bay leaf. This recipe from Delish uses refrigerated biscuits for the dumplings, little lumps of doughy goodness in a flavorful broth.

Plenty of Pasta Soups

Nonnie’s Spaghini Stick-to-Your-Ribs Soup will serve 13 people and uses ground round, chopped cabbage, kidney beans, whole tomatoes and adds angel hair pasta in the last five minutes of simmering. This high-protein, low-fat meal is great for leftovers and perfect for a chilly winter day or night. Eating Well has a version of this soup with cannellini instead of kidney beans and no tomatoes and floats a crusty slice of country wheat bread in between shreds of fontina cheese!

Karen’s Tuscan Tortellini Soup, also for the Instant Pot, is a creamy tomato-based soup with white beans, tortellini, spinach and bites of chicken. She uses fresh cheese tortellini, Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base®, crushed tomatoes – not diced, heavy cream and parmesan cheese. There are a few recipe changes for the slow cooker version, but the results are just as tasty!

Beef, Lamb and Chicken Stews

The internet can’t lie, can it? When Taste of Home bills this recipe as The Best Beef Stew ever, we believe them. After all, they have a pretty good track record for comfort food. And the secret ingredients may well be the red wine, herbes de Provence and smoked paprika. Right? A friend of Southshore adds a few more cloves of garlic for its immunity-boosting properties and a can of chopped tomatoes. Pick up 1 ½ pounds of stew meat at the grocery store, Costco or Sam’s Club — and the chef/author says you can also get meat labeled chuck or round, lower-priced options, but they’ll do fine in a slow cooker simmering in the wine and broth for a hearty bowl full of expertly-seasoned deliciousness.

In the mood for a creamy comfort food stew – also with plenty of immunity-building flavor? You’ll like The Recipe Rebel’s Garlic Parmesan Chicken Stew for the slow cooker ( i.e., the appliance, not the speed of the chef!). Make it on Meatless Monday or any day because it’s loaded with veggies – onions, celery, carrots and potatoes – and plenty of flavor. Blogger Ashley – the Recipe Rebel – says broccoli or mushrooms are great add-ins, too. With a loaf of crusty French bread on the side, it’s easy, savory and seconds-worthy.

If you’re entertaining and want something a little bit different for guests, get ready for the main event with this easy but elegant Spiced Lamb Meatball and Swiss Chard Stew. The recipe directs you to brown the homemade meatballs first in your Dutch oven and cook the chard in the same pot before adding the broth and cooking everything through to readiness. You can serve this soup with a dollop of yogurt or light sour cream, say the chefs at Real Simple. And, perhaps a side salad of baby greens.

Prep, Cook, Serve in Southshore!

Cutting, slicing, dicing and mincing is made all the easier in a kitchen you can move around in, and store all your implements and appliances. And the kitchens being built in the master-planned community of Southshore are designed with home cooking in mind! Check out the brand new homes from Taylor Morrison, Century Communities, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers. Because Life at the Lake is not just exclusive and amenity-rich – you’ll find the perfect ranch or two-story design, priced between the $400s and the $700s.