5 Winter Hearty Soups

Southern California is finally feeling it’s chill (65 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit). We even recieved a jolt for an earthquake and a bout of rain and lightening to give a snowing in the local mountains all in one day. I think it’s time to list some frugal winter hearty soups to warm the soul and body (and make the tast buds jump for joy). Here are 5 heart warming soups for the soul:

three sisters soupThree Sister’s Soup
Serves 4

“Three sisters” refers to the wonderful combination of beans, corn and squash — foods traditionally grown and consumed together by many American Indian tribes.

3/4 to 1 cup dried pinto (or other) beans, soaked overnight in 4 cups water
1 acorn squash
1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 onion, diced
Pinch sea salt
1 large carrot, diced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, diced
3 to 4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup corn off the cob (or frozen)
1 teaspoon dried or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Drain and rinse soaked beans. Put them in a pot and cover with water by an inch. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Add more water if necessary. While beans are cooking, cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Bake squash halves, cut side up, in a 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until tender.

Heat butter or oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and a pinch of salt and sauté over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add carrot, garlic and celery, and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for another 5 to 10 minutes.

In the meantime, scoop cooked squash out of shell. Add squash to onion mixture and mix well, smoothing out any large lumps. Rinse and drain cooked beans. Add stock and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and add beans, corn and thyme. Simmer, covered, for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot with crusty bread.

creamy-corn-and-potato-chowder-recipeCreamy Corn and Potato Chowder


2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
5 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 large all-purpose potato, peeled and diced
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Black pepper, to taste
Fresh dill or parsley for garnish, chopped


Melt the butter in a large saucepan or medium soup pot.
Stir in the onion and celery.
Partially cover the pan and cook the vegetables over moderate heat for 9 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken stock, corn, potato, and salt and bring the mixture to a low boil.
Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and flour.
Stir the mixture into the soup with the pepper.
Bring the soup back to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes.
Serve hot, garnished with herbs.

ChickentortillasoupCrockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup


1-2 lb. cooked chicken tenders
2-3 large potatoes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1/2 C. onion
1 tsp. chili powder
1 small can green chillies
Fresh cilantro, to taste (optional)
3 flour tortillas


Cut cooked chicken tenders and potatoes into cubes. hop onion into bite-size pieces. Place all ingredients except tortillas into a crock pot and cook on medium heat for 5-6 hours. Cut flour tortillas into small strips. Fry in batches in deep fat until slightly golden brown.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with fried tortillas and grated cheese.

split_pea_soup_recipeVegetarian Split Pea Soup
Serves 4 to 6


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water
juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)

a few pinches of smoked paprika
more olive oil to drizzle

Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through (but still a touch al dente). Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree – you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. If the soup needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.

Ladle into bowls or cups, and serve each drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good pinch of smoked paprika and a touch of lemon zest.

awesome chicken noodle soupAwesome Chicken Noodle Soup


1 gallon water
1 (4 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 large onion, peeled and halved
3 bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
2/3 bunch celery, leaves reserved
1 pound whole carrots
3 tablespoons chopped lemon grass (optional)
1/4 cup chicken bouillon powder
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1/3 bunch celery, chopped and leaves reserved
1 (8 ounce) package dry egg noodles


Place chicken and water in a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, skimming fat as needed, 30 minutes.
Place the halved onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, whole celery, whole carrots and lemon grass in the pot and simmer, covered 1 hour.
Strain broth and reserve chicken. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and cut meat into bite-size pieces.
Return strained stock to pot over high heat, and stir in chicken base, chopped celery and chopped carrots. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
Chop celery leaves and stir into pot with the noodles. Simmer until noodles are cooked, about 10 minutes more. Stir in chicken and heat through.

Care to share you favorite soup to warm your soul during the winter?

15 thoughts on “5 Winter Hearty Soups

  1. April

    “Southern California is finally feeling its chill (65 – 70 degrees).”

    Oh dear, should we send blankets and mittens? 😉

    1. admin

      Um, yes. I am freezing over here. 😉
      We get a hole 3 days of rain next week.

      BTW, love the snow you recieved. I wish I could make snow angels in your front lawn.

      1. ConsciouslyFrugal

        Don’t mock! I am originally from Missouri and laughed and laughed at people out here who whined about the cold or the heat. 8 years later? I’m freezing my tukus off. Seriously. This place turns us into wimps. We can’t help it. ha!

        On another note, thanks so much for this recipe. I usually make a big batch of soup to get me through the week at work. The farmer’s market has all of these goodies super cheap right now. This will be perfect!

        1. money funk

          LOL! Scarf and mittens for the Californian’s! 😉 I think our body truly adapts to our surroundings. When I lived in San Francisco I got used to the weather, but now… there’s no way I could handle it without being bundled up like a tourist.

          I make a really good ‘throw everything in it’ chicken soup. I like to throw rice, chicken, zucchini, corn, garlic, bullion, peppercorns… whatever looks good and serve it with crusty bread. Mm-mm! The wonders of soup. Oh, how I wish we had a nice farmer’s market around here. I am on a CSA waiting list. Can’t wait until my name gets called on that one! 🙂 Let me know how your soup comes out.

  2. Laura

    Today it was -30 degrees (Celcius) on my walk to work. I sure wish I had one of these soups cooking in a crock pot to warm me up when I get home.

    1. money funk

      Ouch. On your walk to work???? Oh my! I surely would not even attempted to go outside. You’re right for wishing to have one of these soups in the crockpot (and a fire going, too). May your days ahead look warmer!

      1. Laura

        its not a bad walk…you have to mummify yourself with a scarf, a toque and a parka. And I am forever buying knee high socks or tights to wear under pants. But its about 20 minutes and kind of refreshing. the people I shake my head at are die-hard joggers and bike riders! The gym was created for a reason!

    1. money funk

      I’m a whiner, huh? 60-70 degrees – LOL.

      Chicken Tortilla soup also makes for a great get together buffet. Just make the base and then all the additions go into separate bowls (shredded cheese, scallions, etc…). That way guest can make their tortilla soup they way they like it. I like mine really spicy. It’ll help warm me up in these frigid temps. 😉

  3. KelsaLynn

    Just a warning- I fully plan to steal the Three Sister Soup and Split pea soup recipes! I have to “zonify” them first so I’m sure they’ll be slightly different, but they both sound soooo good! I will probably post them on my recipes blog once I figure out the new ingredient! THANK YOU FOR THE GENIUS IDEAS AS ALWAYS!

  4. KelsaLynn

    PS: of course, if I do use them and post them on my recipes blog (even if I tweak them) I’ll give you credit and a shout out to your blog! keep you posted… I have a backlog of recipes to add!

    1. money funk

      Thank you, but you don’t have to credit me. You’re making them KelsaLynn personal – take all the credit. But please do share – I’d love to see them Zonified. 🙂

    1. money funk

      I love a good soup! Especially a nice butternut squash bisque or cream of celery or cream of broccoli. Yum! I haven’t tried the split pea, listed, but it sure looks good!

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