Best Cozy Soup Recipes

Here are the best cozy soup recipes for the season… They are easy, delicious, and healthy.
creamy lemon rice soup

Soup, Soup, Soup… It is repetition worthy

Soup  is the most amazing food. Honestly, soup has saved me on many an occasion. If I have a big pot of soup sitting in my fridge, I’m good. It means I have food for when I’m hangry. Or for when someone just drops by. Or for when I feel a bout of gluttony coming on while I’m watching The Great British Baking Show. If I have a big bowl of healing soup instead of let’s say… cake… I am so much better off.

If you follow me on Instagram then you already know I can be obsessed with certain food groups or preparations. Soup is a happy obsession. Pasta is another one… but that’s a post for another day. There are plenty of worse things than cooking and making way too much soup. Don’t get me started on that though…

There are two types of soup eaters. Those who like a thin, delicate soup and those who feel it should be more like a stew and the thicker and heartier the better. I am part of each. Steve, on the other hand, needs his soup to be more like a Stoup, if I may borrow that word from Rachael Ray. When I worked at Food Network for a stint, I thought that word was so corny, but now I find myself actually using it in sentences. I guess I’ve evolved. Thanks Rachael.

Anyway, this list of the Best Cozy Soup Recipes includes both types. Because diversity is always good. I always like to switch things up. So if you think you only like thick soups, try making a thinner one. And if you always make brothier soups, go for one with a thicker consistency sometimes. These recipes are easy enough so you can make several of them. Or all of them. So go for it.


What makes a good soup?

Well, taste, obviously is the number one factor. Duh. But there’s so much more than that. To earn a spot on this best cozy soup recipes list, it’s got to be more than tasty. It has to have a great mouth feel. And it has to have healing ingredients, be kind to my digestive system, and be nice to look at. It also has to have some textural complexity. Some of my favorite great soups are made exceptional by the addition of amazing toppings. Kind of like what makes a smoothie bowl good. But then again, this is nothing like a smoothie bowl, but my point is that it can be all about the toppings if you want it to be.


Here’s my  list of the Best Cozy Soup Recipes…

These recipes are mostly dairy-free, grain-free, and easy to make. Remember, it’s only soup, not rocket science. Change up the recipes as you see fit. You do you and have it your way. All of these soups are healing and in each recipe I describe the healing ingredients and how they can help you out. There are no bad choices here.


1. Dairy-Free Creamy Tomato Soup

Dairy Free Creamy Tomato Soup

This one is comfort food to the max. I love to serve it with dairy-free quesadillas made with grain-free wraps. Or, with sourdough croutons. It doesn’t sound decadent, but it is.


2. Grain-Free Creamy Lemon Rice Soup

creamy lemon rice soup

It’s creamy and has the texture and taste of a traditional lemon rice soup. But there’s no cream and no rice. Go figure.

3. Instant Pot Hamburger And Hot Dog Soup

hamburger and hot dog soup

This soup came to be when I was craving burgers and dogs but it wasn’t the season to be standing outside at the grill yet. This one will make you feel like a kid again. Or still.


4. Easy Black Bean Soup

easy black bean soup

One of the first soups I learned to make was black bean soup. It was good way back then and it’s still good now. I like to top mine with scallions, dairy-free cheese, and some avocado. Oh, and if you add a dollop of dairy-free yogurt, it takes it to a whole other creaminess level. So there’s that.


5. Immune Boosting Onion Chicken Soup

immune boosting onion chicken soup

This soup is a mashup between chicken soup and onion soup. The broth is like an onion soup broth but the ingredients in the soup are like those found in a more traditional chicken soup. It is so healing.


6. Fresh Vegetable Minestrone Soup

fresh vegetable minestrone soup

This photo says it all. Fully loaded with fresh veggies, this one will make you smile. A lot.


7. Borscht With Beef

borscht with beef

I don’t like to play favorites. But as I sit here and write this post now, this one is my baby. Beets are like magic. They are one of the most healing foods and this soup calls my name loudly. I just love it.


8. Chicken Tikka Masala Soup


This is one of the most flavorful soups around. It’s warming and cozy and just plain delicious. Make it vegan by substituting cauliflower for the chicken if that makes you happy.


Let me know which one is your favorite. My recipes are always a work in progress, so I love any and all feedback. Pick one or two and make them now. Make a big pot and keep it in your fridge for the week. Maybe soup will save you too.

Paleo Meatloaf

Sometimes you just need a comforting paleo meatloaf… and oh how good the leftovers are…

paleo meatloaf

I’m a pretty fickle foodie. One month I’m all gung-ho vegan and then another month I’m all about the meat. This month I’m a little bit vegan and a little bit meat-y. But, I am almost always a Paleo eater. I learned many years ago that my body feels best without grains and without dairy. But, if I eat grass-fed organic meat, I’m also good. So, believe you me, I love to take advantage of those facts.

This meatloaf came to be last week when I was craving meat. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but all week long I was making recipes out of various types of ground meat. It’s making me laugh now when I think back on Steve’s face when I put a different variety of meatballs in front of him several meals in a row. Then, I moved on to meatloaf. Which I happen to love.

Truth be told, I love meatloaf, but nobody else in my house does. So, that means there’s a boat-load of leftover meatloaf in my fridge each time I make it. Have you ever made a leftover meatloaf wrap for lunch… OMG it’s sooooo good. And this time, I even made a bolognese sauce out of a few slices. Then, I made a sweet potato hash with meatloaf chunks one day. I don’t know why, but my family will eat all of these reconstituted meatloaf recipes, but they back away from the fresh thing. Go figure.

I’ve probably made hundreds of different types of meatloaf over the years. I figured it was about time I made a traditional meatloaf that was also paleo-friendly.

Take my word for it, you are not going to miss the bread in this meatloaf. And your gut will thank you. Oh, and your tastebuds will be pretty happy too…

This meatloaf has no grains and no dairy. It’s made with homemade ketchup, but you can buy a jar of paleo ketchup if you’d prefer to use that. I hid some hemp seeds in the loaf for some extra nutrition and I ground up some zucchini for a little added moisture. I think the next time I make it, I may even try to substitute some mushrooms for the zucchini and see how that tastes.

Bottom line: even if your family says no to meatloaf — like my crazy crew — make this anyway, because you will love it, and the leftovers are amazing!

If you like this recipe for paleo meatloaf, you will also love my recipe for Paleo Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs!

paleo meatloaf

paleo meatloaf

Here are some of the awesome healing powers of this paleo meatloaf:

Beef is good for a lot of ailments. It’s good for edema/swelling in the body, it helps many people with their weak back and knees and, believe it or not, it’s good for that bloated, distended feeling we sometimes get in our stomachs. In the olden days, beef was stewed for hours so that the liquid could be sipped to combat chronic diarrhea. I use grass-fed beef whenever possible.

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

In eastern medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond flour.

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

paleo meatloaf

Paleo Meatloaf
Recipe type: paleo, whole30
Cuisine: meatloaf, comfort food
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
This meatloaf is comfort food to the max. It's got everything you need and want and it makes for the best leftovers ever!
  • 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 small zucchini, grated and squeezed as dry as possible
  • ⅓ cup almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbs ketchup
  • ⅓ cup minced fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup hemp seeds
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a 9x5-in. loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and some salt and pepper.
  5. Cook, stirring, until the onions begin to soften, then add the garlic and stir for an additional 30 seconds.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, squeezed grated zucchini, almond flour, eggs, ketchup, parsley, and hemp seeds, and cooked onion mixture.
  7. Get in there with your hands, and mush it up until combined.
  8. Put the meat mixture into your lined loaf pan and spread it out evenly.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, then spread the ketchup on the top and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until its' cooked through.
  10. Remove from oven and let cook slightly.
  11. Slice and enjoy.
  12. Store the leftovers in the fridge and make lots of great stuff with it all week!

paleo meatloaf

Simple Poached Salmon With Yogurt Sauce

This simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce will keep you healthy inside and out…

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

I don’t think I’ve poached salmon since I was in cooking school. I don’t really know why I don’t do it more often though, because this salmon is awesome. It’s perfect if you are serving a crowd and it’s an easy dish to make ahead and serve cold or at room temperature. This simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce really is just that: simple.

What’s better than a dish that is made for leftovers? The salmon that’s leftover here makes the best cold salmon salad. And it makes a terrific filling for omelets. Oh, and topping a salad with some big chunks of this moist salmon and then using the yogurt sauce as a dressing… well, just… yum!

I made this a few weeks ago when I was asked to bring a main course to a family gathering. Honestly, I usually use those kinds of opportunities to experiment with new recipes (which some people are happy about and some people are just plain scared about), but on this particular day, I just didn’t feel like cooking. And I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t feel like cooking but I cook anyway, any first-time-experimental-recipe invariably comes out pretty bad. So, I figured I’d do something simple. Something mainstream. Something everyone would love, and nobody would be fearful of.

Oh, did I mention that I used my leftover simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce to make tacos the next day…?

And, the yogurt sauce is non-dairy!

I tell a lot of my clients to add wild salmon to their diet to increase their athletic performance — this fish can help reduce aches and pains in your muscles and joints, and it’s a good source of iron.

If you want to try another great salmon recipe, try my recipe for Blood Orange Salmon With Turnip Noodles.

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce recipe:

Salmon is the perfect food to nourish the blood and the yin. It’s especially great for women because it raises fertility levels by promoting a healthy endometrial lining. Salmon is also great for anyone who is in need of additional iron. Be sure to buy wild salmon because the levels of mercury are lower than in farmed salmon. This beautiful fish also contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, making it a good food source to combat breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression and diabetes. Lately there’s also been a lot of evidence that salmon is great at reducing intestinal inflammation and that it’s also good for your joints and muscles.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Lemons are good for your stomach, they help detoxify your body, they balance your pH and they act as an antibacterial agent. If you have a sore throat or a cough, go for lemons to make things better. Lemons are great for quenching your thirst, and, in China, many years ago, hypertension was treated by drinking tea made from lemon peels.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I used a full-fat coconut yogurt for the sauce to accompany this salmon.

Dill is considered a chemoprotective in that it can help neutralize some carcinogens. It also helps fight bacteria in the body.

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

Simple Poached Salmon With Yogurt Sauce
Recipe type: simple, paleo, whole30
Cuisine: seafood, fish, salmon
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
This is a classic recipe. Anyone you serve it to will love it and the leftovers make awesome tacos...
  • 4 lb salmon fillet, cut in half
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 4 scallions, cut into 3 or 4 pieces (leave the roots on)
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 2 carrots, cut into thick slices
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 cup full-fat plain coconut yogurt
  • ⅓ cup healthy mayonnaise (I used Fabannaise)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  1. Place the salmon in a large pot and cover it will water.
  2. Add the vinegar and scallions to the pot.
  3. Squeeze the lemon halves into the pot and then toss in the lemons halves themselves.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  6. Simmer about 10 minutes, or just until the salmon is cooked (if you start to see the white fat congealing on the fish, it's a bit past done... so watch carefully)
  7. Using two large spatulas, carefully remove the fish to a platter. You can throw away the lemons and scallions, but if you like carrots, serve them strewn around the salmon.
  8. Make the sauce: Stir together all ingredients.
  9. Break up the salmon a bit on the platter and serve with the sauce.

simple poached salmon with yogurt sauce

Chicken Sandwich With Mango Salsa

This chicken sandwich with mango salsa can be made with leftover chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken!

Chicken Tartine With Mango Salsa-0292

Last week when I discovered the wonders of cooking a whole chicken in my slow cooker (get the recipe here), I had the good fortune of having so much delicious shredded chicken left over that I was able to make the best sandwiches.

Sandwiches always excite everyone in my house. I mean, really, anything between bread is good… but part of the excitement is due to the fact that I almost never make them… absence makes the heart grow fonder I guess…

I don’t eat a lot of bread, so I made these pretty little open-faced sandwiches.

This chicken sandwich with mango salsa is a great recipe to make with leftover homemade chicken or with the chicken from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

It’s so pretty.

It tastes yummy.

It’s really good for you.

And, you can customize these beauties any way you like. I wanted a little spice so I used jalapeños and radishes. I wanted a little sweetness, so I made some mango salsa. And, let me tell you, this was the perfect combination!

Chicken Tartine (in hand)-0349

Here are the healthy ingredients I used:

Chicken is something I always buy organic. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first.

Radishes are good for your tissues, blood vessels, teeth and bones. They also can help regulate your blood pressure and can ease the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory ailments. In this tartine, they also add a good amount of crunch and peppery bite.

Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot peppers you like. The main component of hot peppers is capsicum. Capsicum actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.

Cilantro is also known as Chinese Parsley. It is good for the common cold, indigestion, and energy flow in the body. An old Chinese remedy for the common cold and even for measles was to drink cilantro and mint tea. Cilantro is one of those herbs you either love or hate; I’m a lover…

Mangos are great for digestion and they help if you have one of those annoying dry coughs that just won’t go away. This delicious fruit will also help strengthen your bones and is good for your heart.

Chicken Tartine (single)-0329

Chicken Sandwich With Mango Salsa
Recipe type: sandwich, lunch
Cuisine: american, french
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 to 4
This pretty open-faced sandwich is perfect to make with leftover chicken or with a store-bought rotisserie chicken. It's spicy and sweet and juicy and so good!
  • about 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste (this is the fine sea salt I just bought)
  • 4 slices pure rye bread (or your healthy bread of choice)
  • For mango salsa:
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp avocado oil (or healthy oil of your choice)
  • tiny pinch of sea salt
  1. Put all of the salsa ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Toast the bread if you like, and cut each slice in half diagonally.
  3. Divide the chicken, radishes, hot pepper slices, and cilantro among the slices of bread. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle with mango salsa.
  5. Enjoy!

Chicken Sandwich With Mango Salsa