Best Winter Soup Recipes – Warming Winter Soups From Around the World. Copyright © 2020 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved. Moroccan chickpea soup.

Warming Winter Soup Recipes for Hearty Winter Broths From Around the World

Our warming winter soup recipes from around the world include hearty winter soups from Europe to Europe, from North Africa to Latin America – everything from my grandmother’s comforting Russian-Ukrainian borscht recipe and my green Italian minestrone to a creamy Singapore curry laksa, a rich Moroccan chickpea soup and a spicy Mexican tortilla soup.

You’ll love this compilation of warming winter soup recipes if you enjoy slurping soups as much as I do – whether they’re chicken soups, noodle soups, chicken noodle soups, fish soups, vegetable soups, or, in the warmer months, cold summer soups, I adore hugging a big bowl of nourishing broth.

There are few more comforting things in life than soup, especially if you’re in the southern hemisphere in the midst of winter and battling the flu right now – or staying at home and isolating with Covid-19 as we currently are. I never thought I’d be writing that three and a half years into a pandemic, but there you go.

I’m at day #9 so my appetite is starting to return and I’m feeling well enough to cook. We’re out of gas so I’m going to improvise and make a batch of soup in the Dutch oven in our small electric oven. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ve added a few more cosy soups to this collection of our best winter soup recipes from around the world. You might also enjoy my best stew recipes.

Before I tell you about our warming winter soups, I have a favour to ask. Grantourismo is reader-funded. If you’ve enjoyed our recipes or other content on the site, please consider supporting Grantourismo. You could buy us a coffee and we’ll use that donation to buy cooking ingredients for recipe testing or donate to our epic original Cambodian cuisine history and cookbook on Patreon.

Another option is to use our links to book accommodation or rent a car, buy travel insurance, or book a tour on Get Your Guide. Or purchase something on Amazon, such as these James Beard award-winning cookbooks, cookbooks by Australian chefs, classic cookbooks for serious cooks, cookbooks for culinary travellers, travel books to inspire wanderlust, or gifts for Asian food lovers, picnic lovers and travellers who love photography. We may earn a small commission but you won’t pay extra.

You could also shop our Grantourismo store on Society6 for gifts for foodies, including fun reusable cloth face masks designed with Terence’s images. Now let’s tell you about our warming winter soups from around the world.

Winter Soup Recipes from Around the World – Warming Winter Broths from Asia to Africa

Some of these warming winter soups will transport you to warmer climates. Close your eyes as you slurp the spicy coconut-based curry chicken soup from Chiang Mai or the creamy sour and sweet pineapple and pork soup from Cambodia and imagine yourself sitting in a lively local market or by a breezy beach.

Soups mean easy winter dinners. Most of these broths are a cinch to make. Sure, some can take time if you’re making a stock from scratch, and there might be a bit of prep if you’re cooking a Southeast Asian soup that requires you to prepare a spice paste, but, hey, a bit of pounding in the old mortar and pestle will warm you up.

One of the things I love about these warming winter soups is that they just keep tasting better and better each time you heat them up. You could spread any of these soups out over a few meals and not get bored as the flavours evolve.

Or you could make a bit batch of soup then freeze what you don’t think you’ll need in smaller portions that you can defrost for future meals. Here are our best winter soup recipes from around the world for warming winter dinners. Click on the post for the full recipe.

Green Minestrone Soup Recipe

This green minestrone soup recipe makes an easy, versatile, year-round soup that starts out as a light fresh spring soup on the first day of making it, but leave it overnight and it evolves into a warming, hearty autumn or winter broth. It’s one of my absolutely favourite winter soup recipes.

Although there are only two of us, I make enough of this soup for six so that there’ll be leftovers to refrigerate overnight. On the first day, I simmer everything until just-cooked, adding the beans and peas at the end so that they’re still fresh, firm and bright green when serving.

Then, while we’re eating, I leave the remaining soup to simmer longer, until the potatoes are soft and starting to break apart, until the butter beans are rich and creamy, and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rind is melting and oozing.

Vegetables can be substituted according to the season but use frozen peas and beans in autumn and you can pretend it’s spring!

Green Minestrone Soup Recipe that Changes Like the Seasons from a Light Spring Soup to Hearty Autumn Broth


Chorizo Cabbage and Three Bean Stew Recipe

This hearty chorizo cabbage and three bean stew recipe makes my spicy take on a traditional Eastern European stew my Russian grandmother cooked that’s called kapustniak, kapustnyak or kapusniak in Russia, Ukraine and Poland.

Originally made with kielbasa and sauerkraut, I use chorizo to add warmth and deep flavours, and three types of beans to add texture. It’s quickly become one of my favourite new winter soup recipes.

Like all good Russian grandmas, my baboushka had an impressive repertoire of hearty soups and stews. In autumn and winter, there seemed to always be a big pot of something bubbling on the stove, steaming up the windows in a kitchen that was always cold, and filling the house with mouthwatering aromas.

I think half the time I cook my Russian family recipes – and any cabbage recipes, as baboushka was always cooking cabbage! – I do it as much for a taste of the past and to provoke those memories of simpler times, as I do for a chance to savour baba’s delicious food, or something that resembles it. I’d give anything to be in that house again with my family tucking into bowls of baba’s stews and soups.

Chorizo Cabbage and Three Bean Stew Recipe for a Spicy Take on a Traditional Eastern European Stew

Mushroom Noodle Soup Recipe with Handmade Pasta

This comforting mushroom noodle soup recipe with handmade pasta called ‘lapsha’ makes a centuries-old Russian vegetarian soup and it’s another of my most favourite winter soup recipes.

Historically eaten during the Orthodox Great Lent period of fasting, when eggs and sour cream would have been forbidden, this hearty nourishing soup with hand-cut noodles can be enjoyed at any time. Serve with plenty of fresh fragrant dill and rye bread.

Do make these noodles yourself: no matter how intimidated you’ve ever been by the idea of making handmade pasta, don’t be tempted to use shop-bought stuff.

These handmade noodles are super-easy to make and there are few things more satisfying than eating rustic hand-cut noodles that you’ve made yourself.

Make these noodles with loved-ones and you’re also making memories, which I guarantee will give you just as much comfort as this soup one day.

Mushroom Noodle Soup Recipe with Handmade Pasta for a Centuries Old Russian Vegetarian Soup

Classic Ribollita Soup Recipe

This classic ribollita soup recipe makes the Tuscan bean, kale and bread soup, invented to use up leftovers, including stale bread, and it’s easily another of our best winter soup recipes.

‘Ribollita’ means ‘re-boiled’ in Italian and traditionally this hearty vegetarian broth was made with leftover soup, such as minestrone or white bean soup that was re-boiled with old bread. Comforting and warming, it’s perfect for a cold day.

It’s also a perfect example of a dish of Italy’s ‘cucina povera’, literally ‘poor cooking’, a traditional cuisine of the countryside that was born out of poverty and frugality that has resulted in some of Italy’s most delicious specialties.

Cucina povera was all about stretching out ingredients and dishes, and making use of everything in the kitchen, so that nothing went to waste. And, of course, that philosophy has guided country cooking right around the world, not only in Italy.

This ribollita soup recipe was the first in a series of leftover bread recipes, as almost every European country has bread soup recipes to use up stale bread, in the same way that Southeast Asian countries have rice porridge recipes that were created to use leftover steamed rice.

As much as we adore Terence’s beautiful sourdough bread, we rarely get through a whole sourdough batard and it breaks our hearts to have to throw out a sourdough end, let alone half a loaf as we reluctantly did the other day, as two people can only eat so much. This is the best use of leftover sourdough.

Classic Ribollita Soup Recipe for a Hearty Tuscan Style Bean, Kale and Bread Soup

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

This Italian wedding soup recipe makes the enormously popular Italian American meatball soup with which Americans have fallen in love. Never served at weddings and completely divorced from the original Central and Southern Italian soup from which it was born, minestra maritata, a wild foraged greens and porky broth, it’s nevertheless incredibly delicious and another of our best winter soup recipes.

So, no, this is not a traditional Italian wedding soup. In Italy, they don’t serve this soup at weddings now, they’ve never served this soup at weddings, and most Italians are completely baffled as to how this Italian wedding soup recipe became so extraordinarily popular.

That doesn’t make this hearty broth any less delicious – or heaven forbid, any less ‘authentic‘. So don’t even think about not cooking this Italian wedding soup recipe. I just felt it was important that you knew the truth, particularly if you planned cooking it up for your Italian friends. Make it and be proud.

This may be one of those Italian diaspora dishes that has evolved so much that even Italians don’t recognise it, but it’s still authentic to Italian-Americans, and to Italian-Australians and so on, although Australians don’t seem to have become as smitten with this hearty soup as Americans have. Maybe we can change that. It’s so addictive.

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe for the Italian American Meatball Soup Americans Fell in Love With

Dumpling Soup Recipe for Siberian Pelmeni Soup

This dumpling soup recipe for Siberian pelmeni soup with fresh dill and sour cream makes the delicious Russian dumplings called pelmeni in the Siberian style. Petite pelmeni stuffed with a savoury ground beef, minced pork and soft fried onion filling are served in a buttery broth with cracked pepper, dollops of sour cream, and plenty of fresh fragrant dill.

As a child, I only knew three things about Siberia – it was one of the coldest places on earth, it was home to horrific gulags where people were forced into back-breaking work until it killed them, and that Siberia was the reason my Russian great-grandmother never smiled.

My grandmother on the other hand, always had a twinkle in her eye and dimples when she smiled. Baboushka didn’t serve pelmeni in soup. So I had no idea this bone-chilling cold place called Siberia, long associated with brutal labour camps, produced such warming bowls of dumpling goodness, known outside those frozen lands as Siberian pelmeni.

If you’ve cooked and eaten the Russian and Ukrainian dumplings called pelmeni and vareniki and you’ve loved them, and you’re as devoted to soups as I am, then you’re going to adore this Russian dumpling soup recipe for Siberian pelmeni.

Dumpling Soup Recipe for Siberian Pelmeni Soup with Fresh Dill and Sour Cream

Egg Drop Soup Recipe for Egg Flower Soup

This egg drop soup recipe makes an egg flower soup just like your favourite Chinese restaurant does – a velvety yellow soup so dense with creamy egg wisps that it’s almost like a liquid omelette. Slender slices of shitake mushrooms ensure it isn’t! A drizzle of sesame oil, pinch of white pepper and sprinkle of spring onions complete this comforting broth.

This classic egg drop soup recipe will make you an ‘egg flower soup’, as the Chinese name literally translates to, which tastes just like the egg drop soup I grew up eating at my family’s favourite neighbourhood Chinese restaurant in the western suburbs of Sydney. I imagine it tastes very much like a Chinese-American egg drop soup.

Egg drop soup is often referred to as a Chinese-American dish, like chop suey and General Tso’s chicken (although that’s actually from Taiwan), however, egg drop soup is found all over China, both in restaurants and cooked at home, and there are probably as many variations as there are cities in China.

In China, the broth is generally thinner than the Chinese-Australian and Chinese-American restaurant egg drop soups, which are thickened with a corn starch slurry while the egg can vary from fine wispy strands that can look almost flower-like to thicker ribbons to a flat egg ‘sheet’. However, you like your egg, it’s all delicious.

Egg Drop Soup Recipe for Egg Flower Soup Like Your Favourite Chinese Restaurant Makes It

Baboushka’s Russian-Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

This Russian borscht recipe makes the home-cooked soup of my childhood that my baboushka used to make and it’s the most beloved of my winter soup recipes and possibly my favourite of all my Russian recipes.

The Russian-Ukrainian beetroot-driven vegetable soup is served with sour cream and fresh dill and is a filling meal in itself. We’d eat it for lunch or dinner the first night then breakfast the next day.

Whenever I cook this, the aromas fill the apartment and I’m immediately taken back to my childhood. I like to think of it as Russia’s soup for the soul.

Borscht has a special place in the hearts, minds and stomachs of anyone of Russian or Ukrainian heritage who grew up dunking weighty slices of black rye bread into their baboushka’s broth. Try this and you’ll understand why.

This Russian Borscht Recipe Makes the Hearty Home-Cooked Soup of my Childhood

Moroccan Chickpea Soup Recipe

This authentic Moroccan chickpea soup recipe is easily one of the best winter soup recipes and this warming winter soup is one made for the pandemic – because we all have cans of chickpeas in our kitchen pantries now, right?

One of our favourite chickpea soups, Terence was taught to make this by Jamila, the cook at our riad Dar Rocmarra in Marrakech in Morocco, where we spent two weeks on the round the world trip that launched Grantourismo a decade ago, and he hasn’t adjusted a single thing since.

It makes a comforting soup that is perfect for a cold winter’s night. We recommend serving it with some flatbread or chunky slices of toasted sourdough bread.

Authentic Moroccan Chickpea Soup Recipe Straight from a Marrakech Kitchen

Russian Barley Pickle Soup Recipe for Rassolnik

Our Russian barley pickle soup recipe for rassolnik made with chicken and vegetables makes a healthy, hearty Russian soup or stew, depending on how dense you like this beloved Russian dish. While borscht might be the best known Russian soup, rassolnik has a special place in people’s hearts and stomachs.

My Russian barley pickle soup recipe for rassolnik with chicken and vegetables makes a very old Russian dish that in its early form was far less dense and less like a stew and more like a consommé from what I understand.

As I don’t recall eating this in Russia – I was too obsessed with sampling the many different regional variations of borscht – I’m not sure if rassolnik thickened up in the post-Soviet years or in the Russian diaspora, but my family’s rassolnik was rich and hearty.

Rassolnik is pickle soup for many and it’s true that pickles are a key ingredient, but for me it’s always been about the pickles and pearl barley. Rice won’t do. I also love to add mushrooms, another beloved Russian ingredient.

Russian Barley Pickle Soup Recipe for Rassolnik with Chicken and Vegetables

Russian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe with Chicken Meatballs

Our Russian chicken noodle soup recipe with chicken meatballs makes another one of my Russian family recipes, my Russian grandmother’s chicken noodle soup – with a few tweaks. It’s an old-fashioned chicken noodle soup – let’s call it a retro soup – but it’s also a comforting soup as only chicken soups made from scratch can be.

This Russian chicken noodle soup recipe is also an easy soup to make, coming together quickly, in just 30 minutes or so. The juicy chicken meatballs cook in the soup and there’s no stock to make, the flavour coming from the meatballs and subtle use of spice. It’s also a fantastic soup for leftovers, refrigerating well, and tasting even better the next day.

The flavours are well balanced, but if you want even more punch, you could add a little paprika to the chicken meatballs, or a sprinkle of chilli flakes to the broth to give it a little kick.

That’s not such a Russian thing to do, but plenty of fresh fragrant dill, a dollop of sour cream, and a dish of dill pickles and slices of dark rye bread on the side, will well and truly ensure this Russian chicken noodle soup recipe doesn’t lose its identity.

Russian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe with Chicken Meatballs for a Comforting Old-Fashioned Soup

French Onion Soup Recipe for a Fragrant Deeply Flavoured Onion Soup

This French onion soup recipe will make you a fragrant and deeply flavoured French onion soup that has a hint of Southeast Asian spice and umami, thanks to star anise and a fine quality fish sauce.

Inspired by French chef Raymond Blanc’s vegetarian French onion soup recipe, which uses toasted flour to add a nuttiness to the broth, I’ve added a little fish sauce for umami and star anise for aroma and flavour to create a deeply-flavoured onion soup.

We cook everything in a wok, so we use a wok for this French onion soup recipe rather than a pot. While this still remains a slow-cooked soup, it’s a little faster. When we first followed the chef’s recipe it took a couple of hours to make the soup. The wok reduces the time significantly.

I’ve stuck with the chef’s choice of Comté cheese as I adore cheese but I don’t like those French soups that are completely covered in a thick layer of gooey cheese. That’s my preference but you do as you like. Bon appétit!

French Onion Soup Recipe for a Fragrant Deeply Flavoured Onion Soup with a Southeast Asian Twist

A Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe That Will Have My Grandmother Rolling in Her Grave

This cabbage roll soup recipe makes a comforting soup inspired by the Russian cabbage rolls called golubtsi (голубцы), filled with minced meat and rice and baked in a rich tomato sauce.

As far as I know, it’s not an authentic Russian dish. My Russian grandmother did not make this, nor did my mother. In fact, my baboushka is probably rolling in her grave. But this cabbage roll soup is incredibly delicious, rich, and hearty.

It was while cooking a traditional Russian soup called rassolnik, a hearty barley pickle soup with chicken and vegetables, which I make like a stew rather than the more common thinner consistency, that I envisaged a cabbage roll soup based on baboushka’s golubtsi – savoury mince and rice swimming alongside soft yet still crunchy cabbage in a rich tomato broth fragrant with spices.

It’s absolutely delicious and so warming on a chilly winter’s night. And, like cabbage rolls, the soup tastes even better the next day, so make a big batch.

The Cabbage Roll Soup Recipe That Probably Has My Baboushka Rolling In Her Grave

Sweet Corn Soup With Ginger, Turmeric and Chilli Recipe

This recipe for sweet corn soup with ginger, garlic, turmeric, and chilli oil was concocted by Terence in our Siem Reap kitchen in northern Cambodia and it’s another of the best winter soup recipes you can make, especially if you’re under the weather.

It was partly inspired by the ingredients in our crisper – ginger, turmeric, garlic, galangal – as much as memories of the Chinese restaurant dinners of our childhoods growing up in Australia in the 1970s.

While Terence recalls Chinese egg drop soup, I remember the sweet corn soup with crab. Aussies have been eating Chinese food and using Asian ingredients since Australia was colonised.

Ginger arrived in 1778 and an 1825 newspaper ad attests to Sydney’s shops being stocked with “fish sauce, mustard, currie powder, cayenne pepper – spices of all kinds, and ginger…”, so these soups are what we’d make even if we didn’t live in Southeast Asia.

Gently Spiced Sweet Corn Soup Recipe With Ginger, Turmeric and Chilli Oil

Cambodian Chicken Soup with Pickled Limes

Our Cambodian chicken soup with pickled limes recipe makes sngor ngam ngov, a slightly sweet, slightly sour, citrus-driven soup brimming with succulent chicken and aromatics such as lemongrass and coriander.

Easy to make, it’s a nourishing soup that’s one of the best winter soup recipes you can make. The bowl should brim with pieces of tender fall-off-the-bone chicken, fragrant from the lime you roasted them in and aromatics such as lemongrass and coriander that swim in this healthy soup.

In many ways this is Cambodia’s chicken soup for the soul and of Cambodia’s countless soups there are few more comforting.

While I have demonstrated that I can polish off a pot of the stuff on my own, this is a soup made for these uncertain times and is a soup that should be shared.

Comforting Cambodian Pickled Lime Soup with Chicken Recipe for Sngor Ngam Ngov

Russian Cabbage Soup Recipe for Shchi

This Russian cabbage soup recipe makes shchi, perhaps the most Russian of soups. If my baboushka wasn’t making borscht, she was cooking a big pot of shchi.

Long eaten by nobles and peasants alike, the rich included meat in their shchi, while the poor made a vegetarian soup, shchi vegetarianskiye. Skip the sour cream (not something I could do!) and you have a vegan shchi recipe.

While the origin of borscht is much-contested and claimed by the Ukrainians, shchi is resolutely Russian and so beloved by Russians that the Moscow Times called it a “national treasure”.

This old soup dates to the 9th century, when cabbage arrived in ‘the Land of the Rus’ from Byzantium. My version is incredibly hearty and is easily another of the best winter soup recipes for warming up on a cold night.

Easy Russian Cabbage Soup Recipe for Shchi, The Most Russian of Soups – And Vegan!

Classic Cambodian Kuy Teav Recipe

There are few more warming winter soups than a big bowl of kuy teav. Our classic Cambodian kuy teav recipe makes the chicken version of Cambodia’s popular breakfast noodle soup called kuy teav sach moan – ‘sach moan’ is chicken meat in Khmer.

This recipe makes the more restrained style that you’d typically find in a simple local eatery or market or street food stall in Cambodia. A good clear flavourful stock is the hallmark of this soup rather than a bowl abundant with ingredients.

You’ll also find a range of condiments on the table, such as fish sauce, soy sauce, chilli sauce, chilli flakes, along with limes, aromatic herbs such as basil, coriander, mint, fish leaf, etc, blanched bean sprouts, and finely sliced birds-eye chillies.

I love to add a spoon of this homemade chilli oil, which will warm you right up.

Classic Cambodian Kuy Teav Recipe for Cambodia’s Favourite Chicken Noodle Soup

Chiang Mai Khao Soi Gai Recipe

Here in Southeast Asia it’s believed that spicy soups should be eaten on hot days as they make you sweat and that perspiration cools your body down, but we reckon there’s nothing better than a rich, spicy soup for a winter dinner as after the spice quickly warms you up.

This khao soi gai recipe from Chiang Mai makes a coconut based chicken curry noodle soup soup that travellers to the Northern Thai city would be familiar with, and it’s another one of our best winter soup recipes.

Thailand’s former Lanna kingdom capital is home to Northern Thai-style Lanna food and khao soi gai is its most famous dish, consisting of a leg or thigh of bone-in chicken (chicken is ‘gai’ in Thai) and egg noodles in a coconut cream-based stock, sprinkled with crunchy noodles.

Khao Soi Gai Recipe – How to Make Chiang Mai Curry Noodle Chicken Soup 

Russian Fish Soup Recipe for Ukha

Russians love their soups and this Russian fish soup recipe for ukha is based on a centuries-old Russian soup said to be a favourite of emperors and peasants alike.

My recipe makes an easy fish soup, made with salmon that’s fragrant with fresh dill, although historically this fisherman’s soup was made with a fish head stock and several types of fish, such as perch, pike, trout, and/or salmon, so feel free to use alternatives.

My classic ukha recipe is made with garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika, but historically more spices were used, such as saffron, cinnamon or cloves, so do experiment and adjust to suit your taste.

I’m a lover of fresh fragrant dill, but fresh parsley is also often used, so if you’re not a fellow dill lover, opt for parsley instead. Whatever you do, serve with sour cream and dark rye bread.

Russian Fish Soup Recipe for Ukha – A Traditional Fish Soup Made with Salmon

Singapore Curry Laksa Recipe

Terence has been making Singapore curry laksa since we first started slurping the spicy coconut curry noodle soup in Sydney in the 1980s, at a massively popular ‘Singapore Curry Laksa’ stall in subterranean food court in Chinatown food court.

We’d often meet after work and before we headed to evening uni classes, so big bowls of laksa served as our dinner on many a cold winter’s night, making this another of our best winter soup recipes.

While Terence has long been obsessed with recreating that original noodle soup we adored (he has 10 different curry laksa recipes in his recipe manager!) this recipe comes courtesy of legendary Sydney chef, Christine Manfield.

Don’t be deterred by the list of 17 ingredients. The final result is well worth the effort of pounding your own curry paste from scratch.

Singapore Laksa Recipe – How to Make the Spicy Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

Cambodian Samlor Machou Kroeung Sach Ko Recipe

Samlor can mean either soup or stew in the Khmer language of Cambodia and locals will often make a heartier stew-like soup the first day and then add water the next day to stretch it out, especially in the countryside.

This samlor machou kroeung sach ko makes a fantastic green vegetable-driven sour beef soup with morning glory recipe that is easily one of the best winter soup recipes for a cold winter’s meal.

Most people throw all the chopped morning glory into their soup pot but I blend half the leaves and stems for a thicker soup. Morning glory (Ipomoea aquatic) is also called river spinach, water spinach, Chinese spinach, and Chinese watercress.

It’s very nutritious and is a great source of vitamins (C and E), minerals (potassium, iron, magnesium), so it’s fantastic for winter. If you’re vegetarian, use a vegetable stock, leave out the beef, and replace with more veggies.

Sour Beef Soup with Morning Glory Recipe for Samlor Machou Kroeung Sach Ko

Lao Khao Soi Recipe

If you love ragu Bolognese then you are going to love this recipe for Lao khao soi, which is easily one of our best winter soup recipes.

Made with wide rice noodles that are topped with a generous dollop of a rich tomato-based pork mince sauce that is reminiscent of Italy’s ragu Bolognese, it’s filling and comforting in the same way.

This is another recipe that Terence has been perfecting for years, since our first trip to Luang Prabang, Laos, when we became smitten with this dish after our guide Bounmee pointed us to a simple noodle stall in a corrugated iron shed that he claimed dished up the best Lao khao soi in town.

Do as the locals do and serve with plenty of fresh greens on the side – crispy beans, fragrant mint and basil, lime halves – and condiments, such as dried chilli flakes, fish sauce, and chilli sauce.

Lao Khao Soi Recipe – How to Make the Laotian Soup with a Ragu Bolognese Style Sauce

Cambodian Samlor Machou Ktis Recipe

This recipe for a Cambodian samlor machou ktis, a sour soup with pork, pineapple and coconut milk, is another of our best winter soup recipes.

It make a versatile soup that can be served as a thick hearty stew that’s veering toward curry territory or can be thinned out to a lighter broth to stretch out if you have a family or spread out over a couple of days.

Remember ‘samlor’ can mean soup or stew, so that’s okay. When I’m making it for winter, I recommend opting for a thicker soup – just keep reducing it – and when I’m making it in hotter weather (which is most of the time here in Siem Reap!) I will thin in out.

While it comes from a family of Cambodian sour soups, it’s actually a balanced broth with the sweetness of the coconut milk and pineapple offsetting the tanginess of the tamarind.

Cambodian Sour Soup With Pork, Pineapple and Coconut Milk Recipe – Samlor Machou Ktis

Burmese Ohn No Khao Swe Recipe

This Burmese ohn no khao swe recipe makes Myanmar’s much loved chicken coconut noodle soup, which is another one of our best winter soup recipes.

A bowl of ohn no khao swe brims with egg noodles in a perfumed curry chicken soup with a coconut milk base that is garnished with boiled eggs, crunchy fried noodles, shallots, fried garlic, dried chilli flakes, lime, and coriander (cilantro).

It’s the country’s most popular soup, alongside mohinga, and is another dish that Terence has been making since our first trip to Myanmar when we savoured it at Yangon’s grand old hotel, The Strand.

This is a great dish for winter dinners with the family or a group of friends because, as Mi Mi Khaing, author of Cook and Entertain the Burmese Way (1978), wrote, garnishing your ohn no khao swe is one of the most fun parts of eating this soup, which she described as being festive when she was growing up.

Ohn No Khao Swe Recipe for Burmese Chicken Coconut Noodle Soup

Indonesian Soto Ayam Recipe

In Indonesia, ‘soto’ means soup and ‘ayam’ is chicken and there’s said to be a soto ayam recipe for every region, city, town, and village on Indonesia’s 18,307 islands.

But one thing the locals agree on is that soto ayam is Indonesia’s chicken noodle soup for the soul. Terence’s soto ayam recipe is another of our best winter soup recipes, in the style of the delicious bowls of soto ayam we slurped in Yogyakarta, the old capital of East Java.

We’d gone to visit stupendous Prambanan and Borobudur temples but also fell in love with the fantastic street food. Normally eaten as a breakfast soup, there’s no reason why you can’t slurp a bowl of this on a cold winter’s day or night for lunch or dinner.

Recommended for its restorative properties (namely turmeric) soto ayam is perfect if you’re suffering from a winter’s cold or flu.

Soto Ayam Recipe for Yogyakarta’s Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul

Cambodian Samlor Korko Recipe

This samlor korko recipe makes what Cambodians call a ‘stirring pot soup’ because, packed with vegetables and featuring two of Cambodia’s most quintessential ingredients, prahok, a fermented fish paste, and kroeung, the herb and spice paste that is the basis of so many Cambodian dishes, it requires a lot of stirring.

It may not be so pretty to look at, but delicious, hearty and healthy, it makes for one of the best winter soup recipes. While you should easily be able to make your own kroeung, finding prahok can be so tricky outside Cambodia that many chefs with Cambodian heritage will make their own.

Try an Asian supermarket or phone your nearest Cambodian restaurant and ask where they go their prahok or if they’d sell you some.

If you can’t get hold of any prahok, try a little fish sauce or shrimp paste, depending on your preference.

Traditional Samlor Korko Recipe for a Hearty Healthy Cambodian Stirring Pot Soup

Montenegro Riblja Čorba Recipe

We were taught to make this recipe for riblja corba fish soup, another of one of our best winter soup recipes, at Cesarica restaurant in the Old Town of Kotor, Montenegro by chef Rino Janovic, a fisherman and sea captain in a town where “everyone has some kind of an association with the sea here and they all know how to fish,” according to Rino.

The chef’s family’s seafaring traditions go back several generations. This fish soup is on many menus but Cesarica’s riblja corba was sublime. Rino’s recipe was handed down through his family for generations.

The fish is cooked whole in the pot, then the pieces are removed, deboned, and returned to the soup.

In Kotor, where the chef uses a variety of fish to give the soup a really full flavour, his favourites are mullet and sea bass.

Riblja Čorba, a Fish Soup Recipe from Kotor, Montenegro

Mexican Sopa de Tortilla Recipe

Lastly, this spicy Mexican sopa de tortilla or tortilla soup recipe is undoubtedly one of our best winter soup recipes. We’ve been making this soup forever.

Terence began cooking up this wonderful warming Mexican soup after our first trip to Mexico City in the Nineties. He tweaked it a little after a class with the lovely Marilau at her excellent cooking school in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where we spent two weeks on the grand tour of the world that launched Grantourismo.

Terence combined a few tips from Marilau’s recipe with his old recipe – we actually prefer a spicier tortilla soup to Marilau, so Terence added additional Ancho chiles to his recipe.

If you don’t like spicy food, you could leave those out. Although there are few better things than chillies to warm you up on a cold winter’s night.

Sopa de Tortilla or Tortilla Soup Recipe from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Do let us know if you make any of our warming winter soup recipes – we’d love to hear from you and find out how they turned out for you.


Lara Dunston Patreon


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A travel and food writer who has experienced over 70 countries and written for The Guardian, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, DestinAsian, TIME, CNN, The Independent, The Telegraph, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, AFAR, Wanderlust, International Traveller, Get Lost, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee, and more, as well as authored more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Fodors, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides.

0 thoughts on “Warming Winter Soup Recipes for Hearty Winter Broths From Around the World”

  1. Hi Lara & Terrance, I have made many of these soups and they are sooooo good. I will definitely be making these new ones for sure! In Perth and its been as low as ten degrees in the mornings recently!!! Brrr! Thank you!

  2. Hi Kaileen, that’s what we love to hear! Thank YOU for taking the time to drop by and let us know. The new recipes I’ve added are the two Russian recipes and two Cambodian soups. Hope you enjoy them. My sister is also in Perth and has said it’s been very chilly. Stay warm!

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