01/17/2015 09:06 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

4 Wholesome and Hearty Bean Soups to Get You Through Winter

1. Pasta e Fagioli


Pasta e fagioli -- literally "pasta and beans" -- is a hearty and heartwarming Italian soup, perfect for a chilly night. There are countless recipes but this one, adapted from Chef Joe Cicala's recipe in the The Washington Post, is the best I've tried. The base of the soup is made with pancetta, vegetables and white wine, which add tremendous depth of flavor, and the broth is thickened slightly with puréed beans, which makes it rich and satisfying. Serve it with Rosemary Focaccia and a Big Italian Salad -- I promise, it will warm you up and make you happy! GET THE RECIPE

2. Black Bean Soup


Made with common pantry and fridge staples you probably keep on hand, you can have this delicious Southwestern-flavored black bean soup on the table in just 30 minutes. What makes it so good is the high proportion of vegetables to beans -- lots of garlic, onions and even some carrots in the mix. GET THE RECIPE

3. French Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Bacon


I love this elegant lentil soup for its many layers of flavor: the smokiness of the bacon, earthiness of the lentils, sweetness of the onions and carrots, and acidity of the tomatoes. It's made with French green lentils, or lentilles du Puy, which hold their shape when cooked and thicken the soup without turning it to sludge. GET THE RECIPE

4. Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup


If you're in need of a little winter pick-me-up, this vegetarian soup is just the ticket. You can make it with ingredients you likely have on hand, it's ready in 30 minutes yet tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen making it, and it's hearty enough to be a complete meal. I especially love it with Homemade Naan. GET THE RECIPE