01/15/2015 11:05 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

9 of the Best Winter Soups to Pack for Lunch

Marcus Nilsson

by Sheela Prakash

With winter in full force, the standard brown-bag lunch just won't cut it. A sandwich filled with cold deli meats? A salad of chilled lettuce? Let's revisit that stuff in the spring. Right now, we need something hot that will warm us from the inside out. In other words: We need some soup.

We love to make a big batch of soup for dinner at the start of the week and carry the leftovers to work with us all week long. The best lunch-friendly soups are hearty enough to keep us satisfied until dinner. They are also soups that relish being leftovers -- they get better with age and reheat great in an office microwave.

Here are some of the soups that we plan to pack all winter long:

1. Curried-Squash and Red-Lentil Soup

This Indian-inspired vegetarian soup is spicy and satisfying -- it becomes a meal in itself when served over cooked basmati rice.

2. Chicken and White Bean Soup with Herb Swirl

A drizzle of olive oil infused with fresh sage, thyme, and rosemary ups the ante on this otherwise simple soup.

3. Spicy Pork and Mustard Green Soup

This rich soup packs a punch thanks to the addition of crushed Sichuan peppercorns.

4. Spiced Fava Bean Soup with Rice and Tomato

photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

Dried fava beans bulk up this meatless soup that's finished with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of toasted pistachios.

5. Squash and Bean Minestrone

Both the bones and the meat of rich, smoky ham hocks amp up the flavor of this not-so-average minestrone.

6. Mushroom Barley Soup

This classic soup is packed with earthy flavor from both dried and fresh mushrooms.

7. Toasted Spelt Soup with Escarole and White Beans

Instead of pasta, which often becomes mushy when reheated in soup, spelt stays chewy and tender.

8. Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup

photo by Brian W. Ferry

This Greek twist on chicken soup is refreshing and flavorful thanks to plenty of chopped fresh dill and lemon juice.

9. Michael Romano's Secret-Ingredient Soup

The secret here is polenta, which helps thicken the sausage-and-greens-spiked broth.

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