It’s too cold out there, y’all. When the temperatures dip, and ERCOT comes calling, Texans know: ’tis the season to slurp.
While the Lone Star State is better known for its stifling heat and scorching summers, Texans still understand what’s what when it comes to classic soups and stews. Pozole, carne guisada, and chili (of course) are all familiar guests on Texas tables when the temps begin to dip. And for good reason. Nourishing, filling, and infinitely reheatable, soup is as practical as it is satisfying.
In an effort to relieve Texans of their shivers, we’ve curated a list of nine favorite soup and stew recipes (plus a bonus recipe for—what else?—cornbread). The dishes below will help fight off the chill and offer comfort in the cold, all while packing flavor and spice. Enjoy, and stay warm.
The Only Texas Chili Recipe You’ll Ever Need
No Texas soup roundup would be complete without Texas’s official state dish, the classic “bowl of red,” allegedly born in San Antonio some centuries ago. Variations on the beefy bowl of meat are as countless as power conservation warnings during a bout of winter weather, but this version remains our go-to. Naturally, the recipe doesn’t include beans (who do you take us for?), but—should you need it—we also have a vegetarian version which is chock full of ’em.
Carne guisada, literally “meat stew,” is yet another way to eat beef in a soupy fashion. This round, the broth is thickened and once again seasoned with the flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine. Top the final product with yellow cheese and hop on the gravy train—with or without a bowl. Chef Josef Centeno eats his carne guisada in a flour tortilla.
Turkey Tortilla Soup
A smoky, citrusy stock is the base and star of this nontraditional tortilla soup. Made with orange, lime, and turkey bones, the broth—later joined by turkey, tomatoes, spices, and toppings—yields plenty left over, ideal for freezing and reheating for use in any of the recipes included here.
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
Built around the natural sweetness of acorn squash, this soup layers mace, cinnamon, and sugar atop the vegetable and heavy or light cream for a silky (and pretty) bowl of flavor that goes down oh-so smooth.
Chicken and Dumplings
What’s cozier than a bowl of chicken and dumplings? Broth and dough simply seem meant for each other when encountered in this classic comfort dish. Our version uses the “slick dumpling” method in which the chunk of dough nestles in with the chicken, rather than floating atop. That’s the way recipe writer Courtney Bond’s grandmothers made it, and that’s the way we like it.
Green Chile Cowboy Stew
That’s right: it’s more beef in a bowl, just like the cowboys used to do it. You don’t need to be out on the range, though, to make or enjoy this green chile stew. Instead, you require chuck steak, a few veggies, some seasoning, and an empty stomach.
Texas Chicken Green Chili With Cider
The “bowl of red” is so called because it uses red chilis to achieve its spicy flavor. Thus Texas green chili, typically made with chicken, uses green chiles like the Hatch and Anaheim varieties to yield a brighter, more vegetal flavor. Here, the chiles are joined by sweet apple cider and apple cider vinegar to complement their mild spice.
Instant Pot Pozole Rojo
Recipe developer Paula Forbes conceives of the hominy in this stew as little corn dumplings. Appropriately, the Mexican stew is standard in any Texan’s comfort food lineup. This version comes together more quickly than the traditional variety with the help of an instant pot, which means the stew can be on your table—and then in your belly—even sooner.
Instant Pot Gumbo
A medium-dark roux is joined by chicken, sausage, pepper, and spice in this Cajun staple. Again, an instant pot helps cut the prep time in half by aiding the notoriously time- and stirring-intensive roux-making step.
All this soup and nothing to sop it up with? Should be illegal.
Fortunately, we’ve got this a-maize-ing cornbread recipe on offer to ensure your soups are never served without a side. Happy dipping!