21 Soul-Healing Soups That Comfort From the Inside Out

These soups are warm and comforting ways to soothe the soul, and they’re a nutritious and delicious way to support your body’s natural defense system. With at least 20% of your daily needs of two or more nutrients that support immunity such as protein, vitamins A, C, D and E, and zinc, these foods can help to make you feel good from the inside out. Cozy recipes like our Creamy Sausage & Cheese Tortellini Soup and hearty Minestrone Soup are like a loving hug to pick you back up at the end of the day.

Chicken & Dumplings Soup

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer

This hearty and warming chicken-and-dumplings soup features whole-wheat biscuits that offer a boost of fiber while maintaining a light texture. Thyme and parsley add freshness to the traditional flavors of this crowd-pleasing soup.

Spaghetti Squash Soup with Sausage

Caitlin Benzel

This easy soup is a great way to showcase the versatility of spaghetti squash. The sweet Italian sausage pairs well with the subtle sweetness of the pumpkin. The broth that envelops the thin strands of spaghetti squash is flavorful and light.

Creamy Sausage and Cheese Tortellini Soup

Photographer: Fred Hardy, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist: Shell Royster

This cheese tortellini soup is a quick meal to throw together during the week, and a crowd-pleaser if you have company. If you want a soup with a kick, choose hot Italian sausage. Tortellini, like any pasta, will soak up the broth as it sits, so if you’re making it ahead of time, cook the tortellini separately and add it before serving.

Kimchi-Tofu Soup with Sesame and Egg

Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen, Food Stylist: Ali Ramee

The cubed tofu soaks up the delicious aromatic broth, full of tang and flavor from the prepared kimchi, garlic paste and ginger paste. Use your favorite brand of kimchi, making sure to drain it before adding. A fried egg adds protein to this vegetarian kimchi-tofu soup. If you avoid eating seafood, look for a vegetarian brand of kimchi.

Minestrone soup

Photographer: Grant Webster, Food Stylist: Holly Dreesman, Prop Stylist: Lexi Juhl,

This fresh and simple minestrone soup is the perfect recipe for a cold day. Adding ingredients in stages allows this quick-cooking soup to develop deep flavor in a short amount of time. Cooking pasta in soup is an easy and efficient way to add body. This minestrone soup would work with a variety of vegetables (think peas, cabbage or winter squash) or another type of canned bean, like creamy cannellini beans or even chickpeas.

Spinach-Tortellini Soup

Photographer: Jen Causey; Food Stylist: Ali Ramee; Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

When you need a quick and tasty dinner, turn to this easy tortellini soup with spinach. Chilled cheese tortellini multiply the soup and cook in just a few minutes. Tortellini can be delicate, so be careful when stirring the soup to avoid breaking them.

Coconut Stew with Spinach and Beans

Photographer: Grant Webster, Food Stylist: Holly Dreesman, Prop Stylist: Lexi Juhl

Sweet potatoes add sweetness and body to this stew flavored with ginger, cumin, coriander and turmeric (which gives it its vibrant yellow color). Unseeded chiles add extra heat, but you can plant them to mellow out the spiciness. You want the potatoes to cook until they are tender, but the carryover heat doesn’t fall into the stew so continue to cook them while the stew sits on the heat.

Vegetarian Lasagna Soup

photographer: Jennifer Causey, food stylist: Ali Ramee, prop stylist: Claire Spollen

All the delicious flavors of a vegetarian lasagna can be found in this hearty soup. Mushrooms, zucchini and spinach provide color and nutrition, while the ricotta-and-mozzarella topping provides signature cheesiness and creaminess. Serve with a side salad or crusty bread for dipping.

Thai Green Curry-Inspired Vegetable Soup

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Margret Monroe Dickey, Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Green curry paste, fresh herbs and lots of scallions pack a punch of flavor in this colorful and refreshing soup. The light but creamy broth is loaded with vegetables, with tofu stirred in at the end to give it some substance. A small spoonful of crunchy chilies adds a nice heat and crunch, but if you want to tone down the spice, chopped cashews work well in its place.

Chicken Tikka Masala Soup

Chicken Tikka Masala Soup.
Photographer: Jen Causey; Food Stylist: Ail Ramee; Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

This chicken tikka masala soup tastes just like the original dish, but in soup form! Ginger, garlic and onion are combined with aromatic spices to offer flavor in every bite. Butternut squash (or sweet potato) and spinach add sweetness and color to this warming soup. Serve with toasted garlic naan.

Mom’s minestrone

Kristin Teig

It’s less soupy than the Italian-American vegetable stew, which is delicious on its own but is often eaten as vegetable stroganoff or Bolognese, slathering the pasta in its thick, rustic, vegetable-and-bean gravy, and finishing with the bowl with fresh basil and a dusting of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Derived fromThe Don’t Panic Pantry Cookbook: Mostly Vegetarian Comfort Food That Happens To Be Pretty Good For You 2023 by Noah Galuten. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

Photographer: Brie Goldman Food Stylist: Charlie Worthington

This vegetarian French onion soup is loaded with onions and shallots that caramelize and add a sweet and savory flavor to the soup. Vegetable broth represents beef broth, but mushroom broth, with its dark color and earthy flavor, is also a good option.

Cabbage and Sweet Potato Soup with Sausage and Mustard

Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen, Food Stylist: Ali Ramee

This warming cabbage soup is packed with flavor. Bratwurst and mustard add a savory flavor complemented by sweet potato and an apple slaw on top that adds sweetness and crunch. Savoy cabbage adds texture to this perfect cold-weather soup.

Green Chile Chicken Pozole

Photographer: Jen Causey, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen, Food Stylist: Ali Ramee

This Mexican-style soup features chicken thighs, hominy and roasted poblano peppers, which add depth of flavor and a little heat. Oregano, coriander and garlic give this simple soup a wonderful aroma to whet your appetite.

Chicken & Root Vegetable Soup with Wild Rice

Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food stylist: Ali Ramee, Prop stylist: Clairen Spollen

This chicken and root vegetable soup will fill you up with chicken and nutty wild rice paired with your favorite root vegetables. Try butternut squash for a sweeter note, or celeriac or parsnip for a heartier flavor.

Best Chicken Tortilla Soup ever

Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Hominy adds a mild corn flavor, while poblanos lend smokiness to this chicken tortilla soup recipe. Spices like cumin, coriander and smoked paprika bring a bold flavor balanced by fresh lime juice.

Pea Egg-Drop Macaroni Soup

Hetty Lui McKinnon

Hetty Lui McKinnon’s love for macaroni soup runs deep. It was an evocative dish, a reminder of her mother’s devotion to cooking hearty breakfasts every morning and the quick lunches they shared when it was just the two of them at home. This version is inspired by her mother’s recipe, but McKinnon’s version includes an egg drop, which not only thickens the broth, but also adds a tastier finish. He recommends topping it with his Umami Crisp, which you can find in his book,Soft hearted. Recipe adapted fromSoft hearted 2023 by Hetty Lui McKinnon. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Velvety Winter Squash Soup with Smoky Garlic Custard

Ali Redmond

In the French countryside, soup is a main event, brought to the table in vintage soup tureens passed down through families. Every element of this winter squash soup—the color of the sunset, the silky texture, the smoky undertones—evokes winter in the south of France, inspired by Julia Child’s kitchen. It’s weekend cooking, when you can roast the squash and garlic the night before, prepare the soup and custard the next day, and keep warm by the fire. Serve this soup with warm, crusty bread to soak up every delicious drop.

Coconut Curry Squash Soup with Spiced Seeds

Jacob Fox

In this curried butternut squash soup, we leave the soft chunks of squash whole to give the soup texture. If you are starting with a whole pumpkin, you can toast its seeds instead of pepitas.

French Onion Soup

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Jennifer Wendorf

This French onion soup recipe uses two types of onion, yellow for sharpness and sweet for sweetness, for a more complex flavor. White wine and vermouth bring a slight acidity, while thyme provides an earthy flavor. Thick and cheesy slices of whole-wheat bread soak up the delicious broth.

Easy Tortellini Soup

Photographer: Greg Dupree, Food Stylist: Ana Kelley, Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman

This nutritious, colorful soup is on the table quickly, making it the perfect weeknight meal. The broth is delicate and creamy, thanks to the Parmesan rind, while the dried basil adds an herbaceous note. We call for cheese tortellini, but you can easily substitute your favorite kind.

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