48 Contest-Winning Soups, Stews and Chilis

Updated: Feb. 08, 2024

When you choose from these contest-winning soup recipes, you know you're getting some of our very best. Grab a bowl and get ready to cozy up because the soup is on!

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Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Rich and flavorful, this chili is absolutely packed with fun veggies like mushrooms, beans and sun-dried tomatoes. It's so filling, you'll win over any meat lover. —Pam Ivbuls, Omaha, Nebraska
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Cheeseburger Soup

A local restaurant serves a similar cheeseburger soup but wouldn't share its recipe with me. I developed my own, modifying a recipe I already had for potato soup. I was really pleased with the way this all-American dish turned out. —Joanie Shawhan, Madison, Wisconsin
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Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder

I like to make this smooth, creamy soup when company comes to visit. Its zippy flavor is full of southwestern flair. My family enjoys dipping slices of homemade bread in this chowder to soak up every bite! —Susan Garoutte, Georgetown, Texas
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Classic French Onion Soup

Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
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Rich Seafood Chowder

This creamy, delectable soup is even better the next day. It also works well with scallops or a flaky whitefish. Substitute half-and-half or heavy cream for all or part of the milk to make this soup even richer. —Anita Culver, Royersford, Pennsylvania
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Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

For national soup month in January, I came up with a new recipe every day. This one is my favorite! It’s so easy, with just a touch of special Thai flavors. For an even richer flavor, try using whole coconut milk. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Green Chile Chicken Chili

The prep work for this chili is easy thanks to several pantry staples. It’s loaded with shredded chicken and beans. The spicy heat can be tamed a bit with cool sour cream. —Fred Lockwood, Plano, Texas
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Butternut Squash Chili

Add butternut squash to chili for a tasty, filling, energy-packed dish your whole family will love. Mine does! —Jeanne Larson, Mission Viejo, California
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Creamy Cauliflower Pakora Soup

My husband and I often crave pakoras, deep-fried fritters from India. I wanted to get the same flavors but use a healthier cooking technique, so I made soup using all the classic spices and our favorite veggie, cauliflower! —Melody Johnson, DePere, Wisconsin
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Chicken & Broccoli Rabe Soup with Tortellini

With chicken, pasta and a bold tomato broth, this hearty and inviting soup is like a big comforting hug in a bowl! —Cynthia Gerken, Naples, Florida
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French Lentil and Carrot Soup

It’s crazy how just a few ingredients can make such a difference. Using finely chopped rotisserie chicken in this recipe makes it perfect for a busy weeknight meal, but you can leave the chicken out if you prefer. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Ham, Potato and Pepper Chowder

I have been serving this chowder for years now. When I’m feeding family members who don’t eat dairy products, I substitute oil for the butter and use coconut milk or soy creamer instead of heavy cream. It still turns out wonderful! —Eileen Stefanski, Wales, Wisconsin
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Mexican Chorizo and Corn Soup

This filling soup is fantastic when you need to warm up on a blustery day! If you want a chowder consistency, use a potato masher to break down some of the spuds. —Laura Davis, Chincoteague, Virginia
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Bratwurst Soup

I came up with this recipe one day when I had some leftover bratwurst. It has been a favorite of my husband's ever since and is requested whenever the guys are hanging out. —Anna Miller, Churdan, Iowa
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Chickpea & Potato Curry

I make chana masala, the classic Indian chickpea curry, in my slow cooker. First browning the onion, ginger and garlic really makes the sauce amazing. —Anjana Devasahayam, San Antonio, Texas
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Deb's Mushroom & Barley Soup

Nothing is more comforting than coming home to this rich soup! I prepare the ingredients the night before and start the slow cooker on my way out the door in the morning. —Debra Kamerman, New York, New York
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Chicken Meatball Soup

In North Dakota, it's pretty common for winter temps to fall below zero. Hearty soups like this are a must. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Spicy Sweet Potato Kale Cannellini Soup

This cross between a soup and a stew fits the meatless Monday bill quite nicely. It warms you right up, and satisfies without leaving you overstuffed.—Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas
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Coconut Red Curry Stew

This is a fragrant and flavorful dish that's packed with nutritious goodness. I like to enjoy it with sticky rice. —Marly Chaland, Maple, Ontario
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Southwest-Style Wedding Soup

I turned leftover ground chicken into meatballs and dreamed up this cozy southwestern soup. Now my Italian family asks for it over traditional wedding soup. —Teena Petrus, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
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Hazelnut Asparagus Soup

My heart is happy when bundles of tender local asparagus start to appear at my grocery store in spring. No one would ever guess this restaurant-quality vegetarian soup can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. —Cindy Beberman, Orland Park, Illinois
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Boeuf Bourguignon

My mother-in-law shared this recipe with me about 25 years ago. Ever since then, it's been a go-to whenever I need good food without a lot of fussing. —Mary Lou Timpson, Colorado City, Arizona
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Comforting Beef Stew

This slow-cooked beef stew just screams comfort to me. It's also family-friendly—my toddlers gobble it right up! —Courtney Percy, Brooksville, Florida
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Moroccan Apple Beef Stew

I love the mix of sweet and savory flavors in this hearty stew. It's the perfect blend of adventurous and comforting, and makes a fun dish to share with guests. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Homey Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup brings back memories of childhood. This revamped version with a healthy twist is a favorite at my house, especially after we've been working outside on a cool day. It takes the chill off.—Cynthia LaFourcade, Salmon, Idaho
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Over-the-Rainbow Minestrone

This vegetarian soup features a rainbow of vegetables. You can use any multicolored pasta in place of the spirals. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Italian Cabbage Soup

After doing yardwork on a windy day, we love to come in for a light but hearty soup like this one. It's brimming with cabbage, veggies and white beans. Pass the oven-warmed bread! —Jennifer Stowell, Deep River, Iowa
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Slow-Cooker Ham and Potato Soup

In our house, this recipe is a win-win. It's easy for me to whip up and easy for my family to devour...the crusty bread for dipping doesn't hurt, either. —Linda Haglund, Buffalo, Minnesota
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African Peanut Stew

Back when I was in college, my mom made an addicting sweet potato and peanut stew. I shared it with friends, and now all of us serve it to our own kids. They all love it, of course. —Alexis Scatchell, Niles, Illinois
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Slow-Cooker Pork Pozole

I make this heartwarming stew with pork ribs and hominy often. It's a filling recipe of lightly spiced comfort. —Genie Gunn, Asheville, North Carolina
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Creamless Creamy Squash Soup

Here's my go-to recipe for get-togethers with family and friends. Everyone asks for seconds, and they can't believe they are eating something so healthy and vegetarian! It's also a hearty dish for those with food allergies. —Sharon Verea, Thomasville, Georgia
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Hearty Italian White Bean Soup

A bowlful of this soup is so satisfying, it's hard to believe it's actually good for you, too. I crave it all the time. With lots of beans and potatoes, it's filling and even hits the spot with meat lovers. —Kristina Krummel, Elkins, Arkansas
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Asparagus Soup with Lemon Creme Fraiche

A fresh and easy asparagus soup, pureed until it's smooth, is a definite winner. Serve it warm or chilled depending on the weather.—Fern Vitense, Tipton, Iowa
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Slow-Cooked Mexican Beef Soup

My family loves this soup, and I'm happy to make it since it's so simple! You can serve with cornbread instead of corn chips to make it an even more filling meal. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Stew

Come home to warm comfort food! This vegetable beef stew is based on my mom’s wonderful recipe, but I adjusted it for the slow cooker. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan to each bowl for a nice finishing touch. —Marcella West, Washburn, Illinois
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Hearty Quinoa & Corn Chowder

My grandmother lived in the Appalachian Mountains and always served straight-from-the-garden corn and beans. I updated her dish with quinoa and herbs. — Kari Napier, Louisville, Kentucky
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Asian Vegetable-Beef Soup

My husband is Korean American, and I enjoy working Asian flavors into our menus. This tasty soup was something I put together one night with what we had in our fridge. Everyone loved it! —Mollie Lee, Eugene, Oregon
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Chunky Sausage Lentil Soup

Lentils are an inexpensive but nutritious power food, and these days, a hot, filling and flavorful family meal at a great price is a real comfort. My husband just loves this soup and it freezes well. —Donna Scarano, East Hanover, New Jersey
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Contest-Winning Easy Minestrone

This minestrone soup recipe is special to me because it’s one of the few dinners my entire family loves. And I can feel good about serving it because it’s full of nutrition and low in fat. —Lauren Brennan, Hood River, Oregon
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Cream of Lentil Soup

Lentil lovers will want a second bowl of this nourishing soup with a subtle touch of curry. It looks particularly appealing thanks to the color added by the fresh spinach. —Kim Russell, North Wales, Pennsylvania
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Italian Beef Tortellini Stew

This is my first completely original recipe—and it turned out to be awesome! It’s a hefty, rich stew, full of veggies, tender beef, a splash of red wine and simply wonderful flavors. —Tammy Munyon, Wichita, Kansas
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Mushroom Beef Stew

Top this hearty stew with crumbled blue cheese just before serving to add a burst of flavor. Serve some now and store the rest in the freezer for another meal. —Nancy Latulippe, Simcoe, Ontario
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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

My whole family enjoys this sweet potato black bean chili, but my daughter especially loves it. I like to make it because it's so easy and very flavorful. —Joy Pendley, Ortonville, Michigan
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Potato Soup

You'll be surprised at the taste of this rich and cheesy easy potato soup. It really is the best potato soup recipe, ever. I came up with it after enjoying baked potato soup at one of our favorite restaurants. I added bacon, and we think that makes it even better. —Coleen Morrissey, Sweet Valley, Pennsylvania
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Cauliflower Soup

This cheesy recipe is way tastier than any other cauliflower soup I've tried! We like it with hot pepper sauce for a little extra kick. —Debbie Ohlhausen, Chilliwack, British Columbia
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Chicken Chili with Black Beans

Because it looks different than traditional chili, my family was a little hesitant to try this dish at first. Thanks to the full, hearty flavor, it's become a real favorite around our house. I like to serve it with warm cornbread. —Jeanette Urbom, Louisburg, Kansas
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Red Pepper Soup

While I don't have scientific proof of it, Red Pepper Soup works for me as a head cold remedy! It is a good gift to take when visiting a sick friend, too. For a pretty touch, top the soup with grated cheese and parsley. We enjoy it with jalapeno cheese buns. You can also serve it with warm garlic bread. —Barb Nelson, Victoria, British Columbia
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Texican Chili

This flavorful, meaty chili is my favorite, and it's so easy to prepare in the slow cooker. It's a terrific way to serve a crowd without last-minute preparation. I got the idea from my mother, who used her slow cooker often for soups and stews. —Stacy Law, Cornish, Utah