Soulful soups for cold days

Upgrade your classic chicken noodle with these tasty alternatives.

There’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of soup to enjoy when the weather gets cold. These recipes are packed with flavour and nutrients to fuel you up for anything winter brings. All of these recipes are simple to make, can be frozen and kept for later, and can be adapted to your liking!  

Lemon chicken soup with orzo via Pinch of Yum 

Switch up your classic chicken noodle soup with this delicious variation that uses orzo, fresh vegetables, and lemon. You can easily make this dish vegetarian by swapping the chicken for beans or another veggie-based protein, and substituting vegetable broth.  

Yields: 6 servings  


  • 1 tbsp olive oil  
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced  
  • Half an onion, diced  
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced  
  • 8 – 10 cups chicken broth  
  • 1 cup orzo  
  • Roughly 3 cups of cooked chicken chopped 
  • 3 eggs  
  • Juice from 3 – 4 lemons (roughly ½ cup)  
  • Handful of fresh spinach  
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt  
  • Freshly ground pepper  
  • Fresh dill to taste (optional)  


  • Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic and sauté until tender (roughly 10 minutes).  
  • Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add orzo and cook until soft. Stir in chicken and remove from heat.  
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs and lemon juice together (not scrambling the mixture, but warming it up). Slowly add a scoop of the soup into the egg mixture. Add the egg mixture slowly back to the soup pot. Stir frequently until smooth and creamy.  
  • Stir in the spinach, salt, pepper and dill (optional).  
  • Serve and enjoy!  

Tips: For a thicker soup lean towards 8 cups of broth. For a thinner soup, use 10 cups. If you’re saving this for later, the orzo tends to soak up more moisture, so you can add more broth before serving if desired. If you add the egg mixture too quickly to the hot soup the eggs will scramble, to keep it smooth ensure the soup has cooled down enough (you can add a couple of ice cubes to help).  

Creamy white bean soup with kale and gremolata via Rainbow Plant Life 

Thickened with healthy ingredients like cannellini beans and potatoes, this nut-free, vegan and gluten-free soup is packed with flavour.  

Yields: 4 servings  


  • 1 tbsp olive oil*  
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced  
  • 3 celery stalks, diced  
  • 3 medium carrots, diced  
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped  
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes  
  • 3 ½ – 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth**  
  • Salt and pepper to taste  
  • Bouquet garni: 2 bay leaves, 1 large sprig of sage, 1 large (or 2 small) sprigs rosemary, tied together with kitchen twine  
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced  
  • 3 ½ cups of cooked cannellini beans (or two 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed) 
  • 1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (optional)  
  • 5 cups lacinato (Tuscan) kale, shredded  
  • Gremolata  
    • 1 cup loosely packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves 
    • ½ cup loosely packed basil leaves  
    • 2 large garlic cloves, left whole and peeled  
    • 2 lemons  
    • Coarse or flaky sea salt  
  • Olive oil (for finishing)  

*Use more oil if you’re not using a nonstick pan
**Use 3 ½ cups for a thicker soup, 4 cups for a slightly thinner consistency  


  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and carrots along with a pinch of salt when hot, cook until vegetables are soft and starting to turn brown (roughly 6-8 minutes).  
  • Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.  
  • Pour in the vegetable broth and make sure you stir up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add 1 tsp salt, black pepper, bouquet garni, potatoes, cannellini beans and optional artichokes. Stir well.  
  • Make the gremolata while the soup simmers: 
    • Finely chop the parsley and basil.  
    • Grate the garlic over the parsley and basil, then zest the lemons on top of the mixture (try not to zest the white pith under the lemon skin). 
    • Mix the garlic and lemon zest with herbs and chop until minced. Sprinkle with a little bit of coarse sea salt.  
  • Transfer half of the soup to a blender and blend until thick and smooth. Return the pureed soup back to the pot. You can use an immersion blender and blend directly in the pot, but don’t blend it all to preserve some texture.  
  • Add kale to the soup and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until kale is tender. Add more salt as needed, remove bouquet garni when soup is done.  
  • Serve soup in bowls and sprinkle the gremolata over each bowl, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil if desired.  

Tips: If you’re sensitive to spice, omit the red pepper flakes. Make sure to chop the potatoes very finely so they take less time to cook. You can freeze the soup for leftovers or store it in the fridge, however the author recommends making the gremolata at the time you eat the soup so it’s as fresh as possible.  

If you’re making this recipe with an Instant Pot, click here for directions.  

Honourable mentions  

Firinda soup via A Kitchen in Uganda 
Turkey taco soup via Kristine’s Kitchen 
Roasted cauliflower carrot soup via Short Girl Tall Order 
Rustic lentil and potato soup via The Garden Grazer 
Turmeric miso soup with ginger, garlic and tofu via Vegan Richa  

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