It’s not quite winter as I am writing this post, but it’ll be in a blink of an eye and behold! – it’s freezing again. I’ve also gotten this request from some of my readers, so thank you for calling out that there’s a demand for winter soups.

Soups this in category:

  • are warm and
  • often more heaty than their summer counterparts
  • are designed to provide warmth and add moisture back to the body (during the dryer winter days)
  • are usually double-boiled or reduced to be denser to retain as much essence of the ingredients as possible
  • help nourish the yin and prevent irritation and dryness to various parts of the body
  • often contain more chicken than pork (as chicken is a more heaty meat versus neutral pork)
  • often contain more “interesting meats” such as turtle, crocodile meat or other “heaty” meats

I sometimes relate winter soups to confinements soups in that they use similar “heaty” and “warming” ingredients. The only difference is that winter soups are far more toned down and suitable for a wider range of soup drinkers. There is also a range of Chinese winter dessert soups which I will add to this repertoire as I get a chance to make them coming into the colder season.

Some suitable ingredients for winter:

Ginger – Number one warm-up ingredient for soups, stews and teas.  Add a few slices to a cool soup and it will immediately warm it up.

Chicken – As mentioned, chicken (both black and white) are most common in winter soups. It is especially common when used in double-boiling. In fact, the Chinese will use both chicken and pork together for many Chinese soups.

Dried Longans – Another heaty ingredient (in both its dried and fresh state), add to winter soups for more warmth and natural sweetness. This is one of my favourite pantry “must-have’s”. They endure storage and can be used in a wide range of soups.

Astragalus Root – A common Chinese medicinal herb, this root helps restore qi to the body and boost the body’s immune system, which is important during flu season.

Dried wolfberries – Another ingredient that will enhance the “qi” (or “chi”) in your body. This is another staple in the Chinese soup pantry.


Great soups for the Winter:

Herbal Pork Soup with Longans (and Ginger)
Abalone in Chicken Soup
Lung Moisturizing Tea
Turtle with Lean Pork Soup
Coconut and Lotus Seeds in Chicken Soup
Winter Chicken Soup
Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup Dessert