From Z to A: 3 Soup Recipes to Keep You Warm This Winter

Happy new year! I know a lot of people are already starting the year off strong with their new year’s resolutions, but to me, January serves only one purpose: It’s soup season. The salads and healthy eating can take the back seat until spring as far as I’m concerned, because in January, I have to finish making all the soups I’ve been dreaming of since soup season started way back in September or October. 

So for January, let’s sit in fuzzy socks and pajamas and eat all the soups! Here are three of my favorites.


Loaded Potato Cheese Soup


  • 1 package bacon, chopped up
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • optional: 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5-6 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • optional: 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 carton vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/4 -1/2 heavy cream
  • 1 small package shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese
  • optional: chopped green onions for garnish


  1. In a large pot (preferably cast iron), cook bacon pieces on medium low heat until crispy.

  2. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon onto a paper towel-lined dish and leave bacon fat in pot.

  3. To the bacon fat, add the chopped onions (and carrot, if using) and cook until translucent. Add in garlic paste, potatoes, oregano and thyme and cook together another couple of minutes.

  4. Add in the broth and allow to boil together until potatoes are cooked through. Turn heat off.

  5. Remove thyme stems, and then using either a blender or hand immersion, blend the potatoes until creamy and blended. If housing a blender, only do half a batch at a time.

  6. Add in more broth (or water) if needed, then add in as little or much of the milk and cream as you’d like to get the creamy level you desire.

  7. Add in cheese and mix until it’s melted through.

  8. Taste for salt and add more only if needed because both the bacon and cheese are salty. Add freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

  9. Top with crumbled bacon and fresh green onions and serve.


Lasagna Soup


  • oil for pot
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 lb. ground beef, turkey or sausage
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste (or Greek seasoning)
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (my favorite is Rao’s)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 7-8 pieces lasagna noodles, broken
  • 1 – 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1 container ricotta cheese
  • 1 – 1.5 cups blend of shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheeses
  • fresh basil for garnish


  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil on medium heat and add in onions. Cook for a bit, then add in garlic paste.

  2. Add in ground meat of choice and break up to cook with onions.

  3. Add in tomato paste and all the dried herbs as well as salt and pepper.

  4. Cook together until most of the moisture has cooked out.

  5. Add in a jar of your pasta sauce, broth and the broken noodles. Stir everything together. Add fresh basil, cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

  6. To make the cheese topping: Mix together ricotta, shredded cheeses and oregano. Set aside to use when soup is ready.

  7. After simmering and noodles are almost cooked through, add in heavy cream and allow to cook together a few more minutes until noodles are tender. Check for seasonings and serve with cheese mixture and fresh basil.

  8. Alternative ideas: A. instead of lasagna noodles, you can use filled tortellini or ravioli. B. Instead of using cheese mixture as topping, you can add it directly into the big pot of soup.


Dumpling Soup


  • oil for pot
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced or sliced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic ginger paste
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tsp. sesame oil 
  • 1-2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 8-10 dumplings, depending on size and preference
  • optional: handful of spinach or bok choy
  • toppings: chili oil, cilantro, green onions, sesame seeds (or everything bagel seasoning)


  1. Heat oil in pot and sauté onions and garlic ginger paste.

  2. Add broth, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.

  3. Add in frozen dumplings and spinach or bok choy and allow to simmer until tender.

  4. Check for seasonings, top with chili oil and sesame seeds and enjoy.

  5. For chili oil topping: Heat chili oil with a little sesame or canola oil, add a little cilantro and green onions to a bowl and top with hot chili oil. Stir and add to top of soup.


From Z to A with Zara Abbasi

Zara Abbasi is the pastry chef and recipe developer behind Zara Made It. Follow her food adventures on Instagram at @zaramadeit and on Tiktok at @happiestfoodonearth.

Related Articles