Maybe you’ve noticed the chill in the air, or that the leaves are starting to turn shades of orange and red. The first pumpkin spice lattes of the season have already been sipped, and perhaps you’ve taken out the sweaters that make you feel like Cameron Diaz courting Jude Law in a cozy cottage in the English countryside. But is it really sweater season without a pot of soup bubbling away on your stove? Or a hearty stew on the table, served with a fistful of crusty bread? A few veggies, possibly some beans, aromatics and broth are just about all you need for a satisfying meal.
Below are 14 vegetarian recipes from New York Times Cooking that are perfect for hunkering down in the months to come. Plenty of soups and stews rely on meat, but these dishes smartly build layers of flavor that fortify.
Eastern Europeans are no strangers to harsh weather, and borscht is a perennial favorite. While red borscht is typically made with meat, David Tanis’s version is fortified with extra veggies and a piquant horseradish cream.
Tantanmen ramen broth has a rich creaminess, with a spicy yet balanced flavor. This vegan version from Hetty McKinnon gets that flavor from a few key ingredients, including kombu, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar and chile oil. Soy or oat milk and sesame paste give the dish that desirably creamy texture.
Nik Sharma’s recipe isn’t just any sweet potato soup — a whole head of garlic is roasted alongside the sweet potatoes before everything is blended with black pepper and turmeric. A generous drizzle of homemade chile oil finishes the dish.
The base of this quick cold-weather balm is simple: a broth of soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions and fresh shiitake mushrooms that comes together quickly. In Sue Li’s recipe, two bundles of noodles and a couple of eggs give it body and heft.
Visit any fast casual restaurant, and there’s about a 50-50 chance you’ll see broccoli and Cheddar soup on the menu. And Alison Roman’s recipe tastes just as good (maybe better) sitting in a pleather booth as it does enjoyed at home: Just-cooked broccoli comes together with nutmeg, half-and-half and extra-sharp Cheddar for a delightfully heady combination.
Recipe: Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
In this stew from Yewande Komolafe, lentils, orzo and eggplant make for a hearty dish, and lemon zest and juice brighten it enough to make you (almost) forget about the rapidly dwindling hours of sunlight.
For when you need a cozy meal fast, shiro hits the spot. This recipe, from Ghennet Tesfamicael and adapted by Samin Nosrat, is a simple stew that calls for minimal time and effort. Preparation includes a homemade blend of berbere spice that will transport you as the kitchen fills with the scent of toasted ground chiles and warm spices.
There’s a whole pound of kale in this veggie-packed recipe from Mark Bittman. If that kind of volume of vegetables gives you pause, fear not: This classic stew is finished with a topping of toast and Parmesan (vegetarian or not) that melts and browns under the broiler.
A mix of browned mushrooms and wilted baby spinach meet a warming blend of cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice in this four-step soup from Melissa Clark. With more than 3,000 five-star reviews, it’s among our readers’ favorites.
Lidey Heuck takes the coq au vin you know and makes it totally vegetarian. A can of white beans replaces the chicken, and mushrooms, red wine, Cognac and balsamic vinegar give it an impressively complex flavor. A tip from a reader who left a comment on the recipe: Double it, because you’ll be sad when it’s all gone.
Recipe: White Beans au Vin
In the comments section on this recipe from J. Kenji López-Alt, Marcia writes: “This chili is delicious. It’s hard to believe it’s vegan! The flavor is complex, rich and satisfying. Highly recommend.” That complexity comes from whole dried chiles that are toasted and blended together, then fried with vegan ground meat and other aromatics. A dollop of sour cream and a shower of shredded cheese (vegan or not) play nicely with the rich, umami flavors.
Recipe: Vegan Chili
Let the richness and depth of flavor of Melissa Clark’s recipe wrap around you like a warm blanket. In place of the traditional beef, this vegetarian Bourguignon calls for two pounds of mixed mushrooms — they’re simmered on low with pearl onions, carrots and wine for a result that’s nothing short of divine.
Recipe: Mushroom Bourguignon
With nearly 4,000 five-star reviews, it’s safe to say that Lidey Heuck’s recipe is a popular one. It may be the soup’s pillowy texture, or the lovely simplicity of the rosemary-infused olive oil and lemon zest garnish. (Or both!) Our readers come back to this vegetarian dish again and again, and you will, too.
A commenter going by Jacques left this haiku as a review of this recipe from Tamar Adler: “Late fall feet have froze/ Miso melts, instant relief/ Leftovers galore.” It’s a fitting tribute to this cold-weather balm.