8 Cozy Plant-Based Soups and Stews To Warm You Up on Cold Nights

Photo: Getty Images / WestEnd61
Unlike cuffing seasons in the past, where I would be cuddled up with a hot-but-emotionally-unavailable man, this year the only things I will be spooning are my bull terrier and winter soups (into my mouth).

Many beloved soups—from clam chowder to miso ramen—are made with meat and dairy, which can make finding a delicious plant-based option challenging for those of us who are trying to limit our intake of animal products. That's why we put together a list of eight plant-based soup recipes to add to your cold-weather cooking routine. Promise: None of them require you to have a cartoon rat with impressive culinary skills hiding in your chef's hat... which is to say that they're as easy to make as they come.

Warm up the cold nights ahead with one of these delicious plant-based soup recipes.

Keep reading for some of the tastiest plant-based soup recipes to stay warm this winter:


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1. Ikarian stew

This one-pot meal is packed with legumes—specifically, black-eyed peas—a Blue Zones diet longevity staple. Fennel, tomato, garlic, red onion, bay leaves, and dill round out the rest of the ingredients for this flavorful dish.

Get the recipe: Ikarian stew

2. Vegan Italian meatball soup

You can still enjoy meatballs on a plant-based diet—thanks to nutritionist Kelly LeVeque's smart use of lentils to form the base of her plant-based balls. Using zoodles instead of pasta ups the vegetable and antioxidant content of this cold-day soup even more while adding a delightful texture. Nonna, this soup might have you beat.

Get the recipe: Vegan Italian meatball soup

kitchen soup recipe
Photo: Diana Davis Photography

3. Kitchen sink soup

Saying "I have nothing to eat," while staring into a fridge with plenty of food in it is the pandemic version of "I have nothing to wear." This recipe, from nutritionist and Alt-Baking Bootcamp host Mia Rigden, makes use of all the veggies in the fridge that are an avocado's breath away from going bad.

Get the recipe: Kitchen sink soup

trader joe's salsa
Photo: The Minimalist Baker

4. Five-ingredient black bean chili

I could probably live off of chili, but I hate how much prep goes into making it. So obviously I love this recipe from Minimalist Baker—the main ingredient is *drumroll please* Trader Joe's chunky salsa. The other ingredients are staples that you probably have in your kitchen right now: veggie stock, beans, onion, and sweet potato.

Get the recipe: Five-ingredient black bean chili

mexican stew
Photo: Bethany Ugarte

5. Mexican chickpea stew

One of my favorite plant-based soup recipes is this one from blogger Bethany Ugarte (aka Lil Sipper)—you literally just warm all the ingredients in a pot. The only prep required for this plant-based version of Menudo is opening cans and chopping some kale, making it ideal for a busy weeknight.

Get the recipe: Mexican chickpea stew

6. Vegan "beef" Bourguignon 

Beets may seem like an odd substitute for beef, but as long as you don't overcook them, they work surprisingly well in this veggie-packed stew. It's also got two kinds of mushrooms to give it an earthy flavor, along with lentils for fiber and protein.

Get the recipe: Vegan "beef" Bourguignon

7. Warming vegetable dal

Chef Palak Patel shared one of her go-to comfort foods in a recent episode of Cook With Us: a hearty vegetable dal. It's rich in spices (including cumin and anti-inflammatory turmeric) as well as fiber-packed lentils, sweet potato, and spinach. "This bowl of lentils is like a blanket being wrapped around you," Patel says. What more could you want from food in 2020?

Get the recipe: Warming vegetable dal

Vegan roasted butternut squash soup recipe to try
Photo: Stocksy/Mariela Naplatanova

8. Roasted butternut squash soup

This flavorful plant-based soup recipe from Ahead Of Thyme is a pure autumnal delight. It's fully vegan, but still incredibly creamy and comforting. And it's so easy to make—you basically just roast all the veggies and spices, then puree with some vegetable stock.

Get the recipe: Roasted butternut squash soup

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