Food

14 Vegetarian Soups and Stews for a Cozy Fall

Maybe you’ve noticed the chill in the air, or that the leaves are starting to turn shades of orange and red. The first pumpkin spice lattes of the season have already been sipped, and perhaps you’ve taken out the sweaters that make you feel like Cameron Diaz courting Jude Law in a cozy cottage in the English countryside. But is it really sweater season without a pot of soup bubbling away on your stove? Or a hearty stew on the table, served with a fistful of crusty bread? A few veggies, possibly some beans, aromatics and broth are just about all you need for a satisfying meal.

Below are 14 vegetarian recipes from New York Times Cooking that are perfect for hunkering down in the months to come. Plenty of soups and stews rely on meat, but these dishes smartly build layers of flavor that fortify.

1. Vegetarian Red Borscht

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Eastern Europeans are no strangers to harsh weather, and borscht is a perennial favorite. While red borscht is typically made with meat, David Tanis’s version is fortified with extra veggies and a piquant horseradish cream.

Recipe: Vegetarian Red Borscht

2. Vegan Tantanmen With Pan-Fried Tofu

Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

Tantanmen ramen broth has a rich creaminess, with a spicy yet balanced flavor. This vegan version from Hetty McKinnon gets that flavor from a few key ingredients, including kombu, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar and chile oil. Soy or oat milk and sesame paste give the dish that desirably creamy texture.

Recipe: Vegan Tantanmen With Pan-Fried Tofu

3. Sweet Potato-Garlic Soup With Chile Oil

Credit…Nik Sharma for The New York Times (Photography and Styling)

Nik Sharma’s recipe isn’t just any sweet potato soup — a whole head of garlic is roasted alongside the sweet potatoes before everything is blended with black pepper and turmeric. A generous drizzle of homemade chile oil finishes the dish.

Recipe: Sweet Potato-Garlic Soup With Chile Oil

4. Somen Noodles With Poached Egg, Bok Choy and Mushrooms

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

The base of this quick cold-weather balm is simple: a broth of soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions and fresh shiitake mushrooms that comes together quickly. In Sue Li’s recipe, two bundles of noodles and a couple of eggs give it body and heft.

Recipe:Somen Noodles With Poached Egg, Bok Choy and Mushrooms

5. Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Credit…Romulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

Visit any fast casual restaurant, and there’s about a 50-50 chance you’ll see broccoli and Cheddar soup on the menu. And Alison Roman’s recipe tastes just as good (maybe better) sitting in a pleather booth as it does enjoyed at home: Just-cooked broccoli comes together with nutmeg, half-and-half and extra-sharp Cheddar for a delightfully heady combination.

Recipe: Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

6. Lentil and Orzo Stew With Roasted Eggplant

Credit…Tara Donne for The New York Times. Food Stylist: LIza Jernow.

In this stew from Yewande Komolafe, lentils, orzo and eggplant make for a hearty dish, and lemon zest and juice brighten it enough to make you (almost) forget about the rapidly dwindling hours of sunlight.

Recipe: Lentil and Orzo Stew With Roasted Eggplant

7. Shiro (Ground-Chickpea Stew)

Shiro, or ground chickpea stew.Credit…Photograph by Heami Lee. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Rebecca Bartoshesky.

For when you need a cozy meal fast, shiro hits the spot. This recipe, from Ghennet Tesfamicael and adapted by Samin Nosrat, is a simple stew that calls for minimal time and effort. Preparation includes a homemade blend of berbere spice that will transport you as the kitchen fills with the scent of toasted ground chiles and warm spices.

Recipe:Shiro (Ground-Chickpea Stew)

8. Ribollita

Credit…Melina Hammer for The New York Times

There’s a whole pound of kale in this veggie-packed recipe from Mark Bittman. If that kind of volume of vegetables gives you pause, fear not: This classic stew is finished with a topping of toast and Parmesan (vegetarian or not) that melts and browns under the broiler.

Recipe: Ribollita

9. Mushroom-Spinach Soup With Cinnamon, Coriander and Cumin

Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

A mix of browned mushrooms and wilted baby spinach meet a warming blend of cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice in this four-step soup from Melissa Clark. With more than 3,000 five-star reviews, it’s among our readers’ favorites.

Recipe:Mushroom-Spinach Soup With Cinnamon, Coriander and Cumin

10. White Beans au Vin

Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini

Lidey Heuck takes the coq au vin you know and makes it totally vegetarian. A can of white beans replaces the chicken, and mushrooms, red wine, Cognac and balsamic vinegar give it an impressively complex flavor. A tip from a reader who left a comment on the recipe: Double it, because you’ll be sad when it’s all gone.

Recipe: White Beans au Vin

11. Vegan Chili

Credit…Kate Mathis for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Eugene Jho.

In the comments section on this recipe from J. Kenji López-Alt, Marcia writes: “This chili is delicious. It’s hard to believe it’s vegan! The flavor is complex, rich and satisfying. Highly recommend.” That complexity comes from whole dried chiles that are toasted and blended together, then fried with vegan ground meat and other aromatics. A dollop of sour cream and a shower of shredded cheese (vegan or not) play nicely with the rich, umami flavors.

Recipe: Vegan Chili

12. Mushroom Bourguignon

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Let the richness and depth of flavor of Melissa Clark’s recipe wrap around you like a warm blanket. In place of the traditional beef, this vegetarian Bourguignon calls for two pounds of mixed mushrooms — they’re simmered on low with pearl onions, carrots and wine for a result that’s nothing short of divine.

Recipe: Mushroom Bourguignon

13. Creamy Cauliflower Soup With Rosemary Olive Oil

Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

With nearly 4,000 five-star reviews, it’s safe to say that Lidey Heuck’s recipe is a popular one. It may be the soup’s pillowy texture, or the lovely simplicity of the rosemary-infused olive oil and lemon zest garnish. (Or both!) Our readers come back to this vegetarian dish again and again, and you will, too.

Recipe: Creamy Cauliflower Soup With Rosemary Olive Oil

14. Health Soup

Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times

A commenter going by Jacques left this haiku as a review of this recipe from Tamar Adler: “Late fall feet have froze/ Miso melts, instant relief/ Leftovers galore.” It’s a fitting tribute to this cold-weather balm.

Recipe:Health Soup

Looking for even more recipes? Search no further: Our Best Vegetarian Soups and Stews

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