There are some foods we eat year round and some foods that appeal to us during a particular season. A bowl of hot soup clearly is one of the perks of the cold weather months, and there are so many different kinds of it, you could eat soup every day, all winter long, and never eat the same one twice.
See also: Comfort meals of 400 calories or less.
While there are some indulgent soups out there, by and large soup is a pretty healthy food category. Many soups are made with a broth base that is either low fat or fat free, and many are filled with vegetables and protein, providing a well-rounded nutritional meal in a bowl. Depending on which ingredients you choose, you can create a soup that is rich in vitamins and minerals, fiber, protein, antioxidants, or all of the above. Not to mention that it is comforting, filling and easy to make. Plus, soups are highly forgiving. Tweaking a recipe to suit your taste with what you have available is not only acceptable, it's encouraged.
Here are a few classic soup categories, and some recipes to get you started.
Chicken Soup by Sharon Lebowohl
This is a classic recipe for a classic soup, with onions, celery, carrots and parsnip adding the flavor to the rich broth, made by slow simmering chicken in a stockpot of water.
Yunnan Steamed Chicken Soup by Mimi Sheraton
You'll feel better just making this soup! It's aromatic with wine, ginger and scallions, and amazingly restorative.
Mexican Chicken Soup with Tortillas by Leslie Revsin
Flavored with tomatoes, chilies and oregano, this lively broth features chunks of chicken and corn kernels. Its lively flavors are a great change of pace from the usual chicken soup.
Chicken Soup with Fresh Herbs and Homemade Matzoh Balls by David Waltuck
This is the classic, sometimes called Jewish Penicillin, because it cures all that ails you — or at least makes you feel that way.
Umbrian Lentil Soup by Viana La Place
If ever there was a satisfying soup, this is it. Thick with miniature tubes of pasta, this is definitely a main course soup. A couple of handfuls of chopped parsley do a lot to brighten up the color and the flavor of this cold-weather friend.
Split Peas and Smoked Turkey Soup by Terry Golson
The smoked turkey does what a ham hock does in so many Southern and soul food recipes, offering up a base of flavor for the other ingredients to build on.
Black Bean Soup by Christopher Idone
This is so simple but so robust. You might want to add a splash of dried sherry to each portion before serving for a little added fortification.