Hale and Hearty Soup Recipes for Cold Winter Nights

Soup May Very Possibly be the Ultimate Comfort Food

This spicy chorizo, tomato and green bean soup recipe is just one of the soup suggestions you will find on this page
This spicy chorizo, tomato and green bean soup recipe is just one of the soup suggestions you will find on this page

Hale and hearty soups are robust, substantial, warming, filling and satisfying. They are not blended soups which are drunk rather than eaten; hale and hearty soups should be chunky, require chewing and be felt almost to stick to your ribs as they work their way down to your stomach. It is soups like these that will warm not only your body but your heart and your soul when you have struggled to get home through the traffic on a cold winter's night and want nothing more than to relax by the warmth of the fire.

It is important, of course, to strike a balance and make sure that a thick and hearty soup does not simply become a stew. This page is dedicated to helping you find the perfect soup recipe to help you relax after a hard and challenging day at work in the darkest depths of winter. It currently has four very different winter warmer soup ideas and will proceed with plenty more as the nights grow darker, the weather grows colder - and Jack Frost once again lays his cloak across the land, to inexorably tighten his icy grip on winter days and nights...

What Do You Want for Dinner on a Cold Winter's Night?

When you've fought your way home through horrendous traffic conditions on a night like this, what do you really want for dinner? A green leafed salad?
When you've fought your way home through horrendous traffic conditions on a night like this, what do you really want for dinner? A green leafed salad?

Please note that the recipes on this page are all designed to provide four modest servings, or two substantial servings.

As soups are not always the quickest of dishes to prepare and cook, what you may wish to do is look at preparing these soups the night before you wish to eat them, cooling them and refrigerating them, so that when you get in from work shivering and hungry, you simply have to heat the soup up in a pot. In many instances, leaving the soup overnight in this fashion also allows time for the flavours to infuse, further enhancing your enjoyment of the soup. This means you win both ways!

Chicken, Leek and Potato Soup Recipe

Chicken, Leek and Potato Soup should always be made with fresh chicken stock
Chicken, Leek and Potato Soup should always be made with fresh chicken stock

It is vital to a quality soup that you do use fresh stock and definitely not stock cubes. The difference in flavour is like that between night and day - or summer and winter! If you are in the habit of using a lot of stock, you could make it in large quantities and freeze it for up to three months in batches. If you do not have any stock stored in this way, this is a quick and easy way of making a very basic chicken stock.

Very basic chicken stock ingredients
Very basic chicken stock ingredients
Making the basic chicken stock
Making the basic chicken stock
Straining the chicken stock to remove the finer impurities
Straining the chicken stock to remove the finer impurities

Ingredients

½ lb chicken breast quarter
2 pints of cold water
1 medium carrot
½ white onion
6 whole black peppercorns
½ tsp salt

Method

Place the chicken portion in a large soup pot. Wash the carrot but don't peel it. Roughly chop the carrot and onion and add them to the pot with the salt, peppercorns and finally the water. Put the pot on to a high heat until the water boils before reducing the heat to achieve a simmer for twenty-five minutes.

Turn off the heat before lifting the chicken piece from the water with a large slotted spoon. Put it on a plate to cool and cover. Remove as much of the carrot and onion as you can with the slotted spoon and discard. Allow the stock to cool slightly before straining it to remove the peppercorns, as well as perhaps any remaining onion and carrot. Putting some kitchen paper in the sieve through which you are straining the stock removes the very finest impurities and much of any greasy fat in your stock. That is optional and you can simply use a fine sieve if you prefer.

You can now proceed to make your soup immediately or allow the stock to cool completely and refrigerate it for use the following evening. This is a good idea when available dinner preparation times are generally short.

The chicken stock and the meat from the chicken breast portion will both be used in the soup. If you already have the stock in your freezer, you will obviously have to buy the chicken and cook it separately, or buy it ready cooked.

Two medium floury potatoes and one medium leek
Two medium floury potatoes and one medium leek
The potato is peeled and chopped, the leek is sliced and they are added to the clean soup pot
The potato is peeled and chopped, the leek is sliced and they are added to the clean soup pot
The chicken meat is pulled from the bones rather than cut for a rustic effect
The chicken meat is pulled from the bones rather than cut for a rustic effect

Ingredients

2 pints of fresh chicken stock
2 medium floury potatoes
1 medium leek (stem only)
4oz torn chicken pieces
Salt and white pepper

Method

Peel the potatoes and chop them in to approximately three-quarter inch cubes. Wash the leek and slice it to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch. Put the vegetables in to your clean soup pot and pour in the stock. Bring to a boil on a high heat and reduce the heat to simmer for twenty minutes.

It is better to pick the chicken flesh from the bones by hand, in to approximately bite sized pieces. This not only makes the job easier than trying to remove it with a knife, it provides for a more authentic, rustic effect to your finished soup. When the vegetables and stock have been simmering for twenty minutes, carefully add the chicken just to heat through for a further ten minutes of simmering.

Taste your soup and adjust seasoning as required before ladling it in to bowls. Freshly torn basil leaves have been used as a final garnish in this instance but parsley would also be an excellent choice. Be sure to serve your soup immediately, while it is still piping hot.

Top Quality Soup Pots - The Right Tools for the Job

A soup pot is not something which you will be looking to buy every year. A quality soup pot should last for decades rather than years so it is false economy to simply buy the cheapest type on the market. When you are buying a pot to make your hale and hearty soups, be sure that you do go for quality and you will be sure to save money in the long term.

Spicy Chorizo, Tomato and Green Bean Soup Recipe

This Mediterranean themed spicy chorizo soup is perfect for heating you up on a cold winter night
This Mediterranean themed spicy chorizo soup is perfect for heating you up on a cold winter night
Principal ingredients for spicy chorizo, tomato and green bean soup
Principal ingredients for spicy chorizo, tomato and green bean soup
Chorizo and green beans are prepared for the soup
Chorizo and green beans are prepared for the soup
Chorizo and green beans are added last of all to the simmering stock
Chorizo and green beans are added last of all to the simmering stock

Ingredients

½ lb chorizo
2oz trimmed green beans
14oz can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
2 pints fresh chicken stock
1 hot red chilli pepper
½ tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Pour the chicken stock and tomatoes in to a large soup pot and place on a high heat. Very finely chop the chilli pepper (do not remove seeds) and add it to the liquid. Wash your hands thoroughly before going any further to get rid of any remnants of the chilli. Stir the mix well and bring to a moderate simmer for twenty minutes.

It is a good idea to slice the chorizo sausage at a forty-five degree angle. This makes for larger, meatier slices. The trimmed green beans should be chopped in to pieces approximately one inch in length. Add both the chorizo and the beans to the tomato stock and simmer for a further ten minutes.

Do be wary of seasoning this soup before it is ready. The chorizo will contain a lot of seasoning, as may your chicken stock. Delay all seasoning therefore until you taste it immediately prior to service. Season if required with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

A little freshly torn basil may be scattered over the top of each serving if desired.

Quick, Tasty and Satisfying Vegetable Soup Recipe

Vegetable soup need never be boring and can provide a tasty eating experience for vegetarians and omnivores alike
Vegetable soup need never be boring and can provide a tasty eating experience for vegetarians and omnivores alike
Potato, carrot and leek form the basis for this vegetable soup
Potato, carrot and leek form the basis for this vegetable soup
The root end and leaves should be trimmed from the leek
The root end and leaves should be trimmed from the leek
One carrot should be grated and the other sliced in to discs
One carrot should be grated and the other sliced in to discs
The parsley should be washed and roughly chopped
The parsley should be washed and roughly chopped

This vegetable soup could very effectively be made with chicken stock but if it is being prepared for vegetarians, you will of course have to make or buy fresh vegetable stock.

Ingredients

2 pints vegetable or chicken stock
2 large potatoes
1 leek
2 large carrots
Handful of fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Scrape the carrots, coarsely grate one of them and slice the other in to quarter inch thick discs. Cut the leaves and root off the leek, wash it well and slice in to quarter inch discs. Peel the potatoes and chop them in to cubes of around three-quarters of an inch.

Add the vegetables to your soup pot and carefully pour in the vegetable or chicken stock. Put the pot on to a high heat just until the stock just starts to boil and then reduce the heat to achieve a simmer. Continue to simmer for twenty minutes.

The parsley used in this recipe is curly leafed parsley, simply as a personal preference for imparting greater flavour to soups. Flat leafed parsley is equally acceptable and may be the only type available to you. Wash the parsley well through a colander, squeeze it dry and roughly chop it.

When the soup has simmered for twenty minutes, check that the potatoes are soft with the point of a sharp knife, fork or skewer. If so, add the chopped parsley, simmer for a further five minutes and check for seasoning adjustment.

Ladle your soup in to serving bowls, garnish if you wish with a little bit more chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Wholesome Beef and Root Vegetable Soup Recipe

This beef and vegetable soup made from homemade beef stock is satisfying and warming
This beef and vegetable soup made from homemade beef stock is satisfying and warming
Small turnip, potatoes and carrots
Small turnip, potatoes and carrots
Turnip and potatoes, peeled and diced
Turnip and potatoes, peeled and diced
One carrot is grated and the other is sliced in to discs
One carrot is grated and the other is sliced in to discs

Ingredients

2 pints fresh beef stock
1 small turnip
2 medium floury potatoes
2 medium carrots
4oz cooked and cooled beef
Salt and black pepper

Method

Begin by preparing your vegetables. The potatoes and the turnip should firstly be peeled and then chopped to approximately one inch cubes. The two carrots should be scraped, before one is grated and the other sliced across the way in to discs approximately a quarter of an inch thick.

Add the vegetables to your stock or soup pot and pour in the fresh beef stock. Bring the liquid to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering for twenty minutes. After this time, roughly chop your beef and add it to the soup to heat through during a further ten minutes of simmering. Note that the beef used in this instance is that taken from the bones used to make the stock. Be sure to cut away as much fat and gristle as you can before adding the chopped beef to the soup.

Taste your soup for seasoning, adjust as required with salt and freshly ground black pepper and ladle in to bowls for service.

Which type of soup do you prefer?

  • Hale and hearty soups like the ones featured on this page
  • Smoothly blended soups
  • Consomme (clear liquid only soup)
  • Gazpacho (cold soup)
  • All of them!
  • I am not much of a soup lover
See results without voting
1 star from 1 rating of Hale and Hearty Soups


Thank you for your visit to this page and I hope that you have found something which will warm you up on a cold winter night. Do remember that more recipes will be added on an ongoing basis so please call again. Any feedback which you may have for now can be left immediately below.

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24 comments

jimmythejock profile image

jimmythejock 5 years ago from Scotland

My favourite is Cullen Skink Gordon, nothing tastes better than a good home made soup.....jimmy


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I love to make soups through the fall and winter and have bookmarked your recipes to try once the weather gets a bit chilly. They all look delicious. Thanks for more recipes to try Gordon.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Oh yes...voted up and bookmarked for our coming fall and winter season. I think I will try leeks this year.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thanks all, for the visits and comments.

@jimmy - Hi, Jimmy. You are so right. Funnily enough, cullen skink was supposed to appear here from the outset. Unfortunately, I had a slight "technical hitch" in that I somehow managed to delete the photos from my camera when downloading them, rather than download and then delete. No idea what I did but they are floating around in cyberspace somewhere! I will feature it yet, however...

@Susan - I hope they help warm your winter, Susan. I know you can get some pretty severe winter weather in your part of the world!

@RTalloni - Glad you like the page and hope you get to try out some of the ideas. Leeks are really good in soups of so many types. Hope you do give them a try.


preacherdon profile image

preacherdon 5 years ago from Arkansas

I'm looking forward to trying these out, Gordon.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thanks, preacherdon. I hope you like what you try and that they help keep you warm through the winter.


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Hi Gordon, I am bookmarking these wonderful recipes so that when winter comes around I will look forward to making these delicious soups! You make a vegetable soup look very hearty and satisfying indeed. Voted up/useful!

Cloverleaf.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Cloverleaf

Thanks for the visit and comment. I have to admit that although I am far from being a vegetarian, even I love vegetable soup made with chunky root vegetables.

Hope you enjoy!


iZeko profile image

iZeko 5 years ago

I love thick soups and I like the fact that you don’t use stuff like heavy cream to make them. They all look yummy.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thanks, iZeko. I'm not a lover of creams in soups either. Definitely prefer them chunky, traditional and wholesome.


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 5 years ago from Asheville, NC

Gordon - I love your food Hubs. I'm going to try the potato and leek soup. Thanks!


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thanks very much, Suzanne. I really hope you enjoy it! :)


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 5 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

So yummy to have some soup. Thanks for the recipes.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hello Gordon, thank you for more mouth watering recipes and excellent photos as always, I'm looking forward to these soups for a cold winters day!


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thanks, Sandy and Movie Master. I hope you enjoy these soups and they help warm you in the cold of winter.


lcbenefield profile image

lcbenefield 5 years ago from Georgia

What an exciting and inspiring hub. I love soup year round but especially when the weather turns colder. Thanks for the great recipes. I agree, nothing makes for a better soup than fresh made stock. I just finished cleaning the kitchen from supper but after reading your hub I'm ready to get back in there and make soup.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Icbenefield. Thank you for the visit and compliments. I am glad you liked the Hub and hope you enjoy the soup. Stay warm! :)


mib56789 5 years ago

I so agree with you. Soup is the ultimate comfort food on a wintery day or a cold winter's night. I grew up in Miami, Florida. We didn't get a lot of winter days or nights. But when we did, I thoroughly enjoyed my mother's home-made soups.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hello, mib56789. I've never been to Florida but from what I know if it, I wouldn't imagine there are too many cold nights. Glad that you do enjoy homemade soups, however, on those rare occasions. Thank you for visitng and commenting.


Laura 5 years ago

Thank you for this hub :D I've made the chicken, leek and potato soup recipe, and all the soup lovers in my family (including myself) loved it! I made it again today, and I think I didn't do it quite right (I had tripled the recipe) but it was still good. I'll have to try some of these other soups soon, as well :)


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hello, Laura.

Thank you for your comment and I'm delighted you tried and enjoyed the soup. I hope you like any others that you try and will return again to see the other recipes I intend adding as winter continues to approach. :)


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 11 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Gordon, great winter soup recipes. I'll keep them in mind to try them this coming new year at home--sans the chili peppers, of course.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 11 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thank you, Kristen. I hope you enjoy and maybe just give the chilies a go as well.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 11 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Maybe someday, if they're mild. You're welcome Gordon.

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