These Soup Recipes Keep Our Food Editors Cozy Throughout the Winter

Their go-to formula starts with a flavorful batch of homemade stock.

Creamy Leftover-Turkey- and-Rice Soup
Photo: Johnny Miller

Looking for ways to become a more confident cook at home? Our food editors are here to help. Each week, we're shining a spotlight on the exciting things happening in the Martha Stewart test kitchen. Our editors will share their best cooking tips, favorite products, new ideas, and more in our weekly series, Out of the Kitchen.

During the winter, nothing hits the spot quite like a bowl of homemade soup. In preparation for chilly weather, our food editors all like to make a big batch of homemade vegetable, beef, or chicken stock to have on hand whenever the craving hits. "I make chicken stock and beef stock in an eight-quart stockpot. I'll then let it cool and freeze in pint or quart containers (a good rule of thumb is approximately one pint of stock per serving of soup). Whenever I'm craving soup, I can pull a container out of the freezer and quickly thaw it in a saucepan," says deputy food editor Greg Lofts. Take a page out of senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell's book and go one step further by scraping the fat off the top of your homemade stock once it has solidified and reserve it for cooking—sautéing vegetables, pan-searing chicken or beef, or using in place of butter.

Some of our editors—like Sarah Carey, our editorial director of food—follow a specific soup recipe. When she's feeling nostalgic (who isn't during the winter months when comfort food appeals?), Sarah loves to make creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch or her mother's chicken soup, which was one of the first recipes she ever made on television with Martha. Lauryn can't get enough of nourishing tomato-based soups either, but she gravitates towards recipes that "feel hearty and cozy without being too rich." Her go-to recipes include this Vegan Lentil Soup or a bowl of Chipotle Chicken and White-Bean Soup. However, she always keeps a basic minestrone soup in her back pocket based on what vegetables she has in the refrigerator or freezer. Looking for your own go-to vegetable soup? Try Minestrone with Winter Greens, swapping in seasonal vegetables.

Greg, too, is pretty free form: "I never make soup from a recipe and will usually incorporate whatever veggies, herbs, and proteins I happen to have in the kitchen," he says. That usually means a version of chicken or beef noodle soup with fresh Shanghai noodles or dried rice noodles, pumpkin squash, shiitake or beech mushrooms, bok choy or Napa cabbage, a spicy fresh chile pepper, fresh ginger, finished with as much soy sauce, fish sauce, Chinese black vinegar, and lime or lemon juice as it can take.

Sarah uses a combination of chicken broth, crushed lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and chile peppers for another take on chicken soup. "I simmer until it's super fragrant, then serve with or without noodles. Maybe some shredded cooked chicken, lots of fresh herbs like basil and cilantro, lime wedges, and maybe even a spoonful of soft tofu. It's not authentic but it's delicious," she says. Try a version of Sarah's homemade soup with this recipe for Ginger-Lemongrass Broth with Noodles, Silken Tofu, and Broccoli.

Want to dress up store-bought soup? Lauryn says finish fresh. "A squeeze of lemon or a little splash of vinegar, a drizzle of high-quality oil, or a handful of fresh herbs or greens can really elevate a humble bowl of soup," she says.

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