Winter can be relentless. Its freezing temperatures and long nights are a challenge no matter how many years of previous experience you have, and regardless of how close spring may appear on a calendar. That's why can feel so comforting. Despite the that never melts and the that pours in buckets, and aside from the many layers of clothes and blankets that cover every inch, has a way of making this time of year feel cozy—and dare we say it, even enjoyable. Because when you're wrapped up and sitting near a , soup warms from the inside out with flavors that taste like home.
We gathered 13 soup recipes that will deliver that homespun feeling without much effort, considering that all require minutes of hands-on time before cooking on their own. Classic options like corn chowder and tortilla soup are listed beside more inventive picks like lasagna and creamy wild rice soup so that you can have plenty to choose from between now and the first day of spring. Until then, ready your crockpot and read on. Once you get started, you'll see why nothing sounds better than a warm bowl of after a cold day.
Spicy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
It’s a no brainer that a cold winter day calls for a warm bowl of hearty soup. But Tieghan Gerard of argues that you should take that sentiment a step further—by serving a spicy soup instead. This crockpot vegetarian tortilla soup has all the makings of a classic recipe, thanks to its dried oregano, fresh cilantro, diced onion, and lime juice, but it’s the addition of spicier flavors that’ll bring the heat in freezing temperatures. Toss in jalapeños, chipotle peppers in adobo, and fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and you’re all set.
Keep in Mind: “As with any tortilla soup, it’s all about the toppings,” Gerard says. “I like to add crushed tortilla chips, sliced avocado, plenty of crumbled feta, and maybe even a dollop of Greek yogurt. Oh, and some fresh cilantro, too. It’s a lot, but man, it’s all so good.”
Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup
If you'd rather skip out on a spicy kick but keep your bowl loaded with flavor, then Gerard also recommends this Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup for your next meal. It takes about 15 minutes to combine green lentils, chopped carrots, diced tomatoes, and grated ginger into a crockpot, alongside tamer spices like paprika and cinnamon. Just before serving, canned chickpeas, cilantro, and lemon juice are added for even more texture and taste.
Keep in Mind: "I topped the soup off with a spoonful of whipped goat cheese, lots of fresh cilantro, mint and lemon juice, plus toasted almonds and pistachios," Gerard notes.
Garlic Chicken and Orzo Soup
A lemon garlic chicken with a side of orzo may be the ideal fancy dinner, and yet, version is perfect for those chilly nights that you'd rather spend curled up on the couch. Gerard uses those flavors—chicken breasts, smashed garlic, chopped carrots, fresh sage, orzo pasta, and Tuscan kale—in an effortless crockpot recipe, making for a dinner that's perfect for a night in. All you need is an afternoon to let everything combine, and a few minutes of hands-on time.
Keep in Mind: "Top each bowl with fresh dill and a squeeze of lemon, if desired," she says.
Wild Rice Soup With Butter-Roasted Mushrooms
Our last entry from was included because of one ingredient: butter-roasted mushrooms. Doesn't that sound like something you want to taste beside a fire? Gerard combines wild rice, diced sweet onion, dry white wine, bay leaves, and a parmesan rind to mushrooms that have been cooked in garlic, thyme, lemon, and of course, butter. You'll want to eat this every night until spring.
Keep in Mind: "It's really not a hard 'extra' step," Gerard says. "It's just a matter of adding mushrooms to a pan and putting them in the oven. There's no real work involved. And again, it is so worth the extra effort."
Vegetarian Lasagna Soup
Heidi Larsen at has figured out how to make a vegetarian lasagna in a crockpot, and that should mean one thing: You officially have a go-to dinner on those dreary winter nights that seem to make minutes drag on for hours. Seeing as this recipe features crushed tomatoes, noodles, spinach, herbs, and a ricotta cheese topping, you'll not only want to savor the passing minutes, but you'll encourage a slow night, too.
Keep in Mind: "Once the cooking time is done, cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions, drain, and add to the soup," Larsen says. "Cut them into smaller pieces if you'd like."
Pork Pezole Stew
Here's the thing about this crockpot pork pozole stew from : It serves 10 to 12. So sure, you can be grateful that it's made with pork roast, sliced onion, chopped carrots, jalapeños, and a whole head of garlic—which will be undoubtedly delicious—but you'll be especially glad to have this as leftovers in your fridge for a few days, too. After all, the flavors will only get better with time.
Keep in Mind: "You know how there are some of those crockpot recipes where you have to brown the meat prior to cooking it, and then add it into the pot?" Larsen asks. "You won't find that in this recipe."
There's a surprising factor to this recipe from from Krista Rollins at : It's rich and flavorful, do in large part because of the bacon, potatoes, and coconut milk, but it also happens to be gluten-free. So, as you scoop up these flavors—including the likes of cilantro, avocados, and smoked paprika—go ahead and delight in that unexpected twist, too.
Keep in Mind: "With this soup, I decided to take a couple of cups out of the crockpot and blend it with the coconut milk," Rollins says. "This part was huge because it allowed the coconut milk to blend together with the broth instead of separate."
Black Bean Soup
Rollins at also makes another gluten-free soup option with this black bean recipe, which is cooked alongside a diced red bell pepper, minced chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Once it's ready, bowls are topped with diced green onions and Greek yogurt, making for a meal that's as colorful as it is tasty.
Keep in Mind: "The smokiness from the chipotle pepper and smoked paprika, combined with the cumin and garlic perfectly round this soup out," Rollins says.
Lemon Rosemary Lentil Soup
Sometimes the simplest ingredients make for the most layered soups, and that's the case with this slow-cooker option from Melanie Bauer and her namesake site . She combines versatile lentils with diced carrots, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, and chopped rosemary for a thick soup that has a bold flavor and color. Bauer tops the soup with salt and pepper, and confidently makes the case that it doesn't take much to make a show-stopping meal.
Keep in Mind: "Fresh vegetables, lemon, and rosemary become an amazingly hearty soup with minimal effort," she says.
Sausage, Lentil, and Arugula Soup
In this example from , Bauer’s lentil soup recipe meets the likes of sausage and arugula for another bright recipe option that’ll bring color to a cold day. Minced garlic, diced tomatoes, chopped onion, and chicken stock round out the flavors, and all it takes is 10 minutes to prepare.
Keep in Mind: “If your slow cooker does not have the ability to sauté, you'll want to complete the first step of the recipe in a saucepan on your stovetop and then add it to your slow-cooker,” Bauer notes.
Beef and Guinness Pot Pie Soup
On those winter nights when decadence is a must—say, when sweatpants are on and a Netflix queue is geared up—then this meal from is exactly what you need. Beef stew meat, potatoes, peas, portobello mushrooms, and carrots are combined with Guinness and beef broth, and then the soup is topped with thyme puff pastry croutons. It's the type of dinner that feels just indulgent enough.
Keep in Mind: "The deep flavor of this soup is juxtaposed with light and buttery thyme puff pastry croutons," she says. "It's comfort food at its finest."
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Ali Martin from has yet another crockpot twist on a dinner favorite with this enchilada soup recipe, and it's nothing short of clever. She combines chicken breast, red enchilada sauce, diced onion, minced garlic, and diced green chilis together, and then adds cilantro, avocado, sour cream, cheese, and tortilla chips as a garnish when the cooking is through. It's all the flavors you love without much of the effort.
Keep in Mind: "You can also refrigerate this recipe in a sealed container for up to five days, or freeze it for up to three months," Martin says.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
Nevertheless, if you're looking for a classic soup recipe this winter, also has you covered with this corned beef and cabbage crockpot option. The title ingredients are mixed with diced celery, carrots, and onion, and topped with fresh parsley. This is a meal that will never go out of style—even if, soon enough, the cold weather will disappear.
Keep in Mind: "Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if need be, then remove the bay leaf," Martin says.
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