These copycat soup recipes are just what you need right now. It’s already mid-December, and the temperature is dropping fast! Here in New York, the first week of the month brought some snow (along with a nagging reminder that I have to start keeping a hat and a pair of gloves on hand). After a long, dreary, cold day, I know a lot of people who turn to food for comfort and warmth.
In my humble opinion, one of the most underrated comfort foods of all time is soup.
You can warm up by holding the steaming bowl in your hands, and a lot of fall and winter flavors are delicious in a thick, creamy soup. When I need to cozy up around this time of year, I like to run to Panera for their seasonal Autumn Squash Soup because it’s warm, flavorful, and it just hits the spot.
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The perfect vessel for any soup.
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If you have a favorite soup from a restaurant chain, there’s nothing wrong with picking it up whenever you have a hankering, but on those days where it’s just too dang cold to go out, follow these copycat recipes for soups you can make from the comfort of your own fuzzy socks.
When people think of Chili’s, I doubt soup is the first thing that comes to mind, but don’t knock it ’til you try it! With a slight kick and a beautiful blend of Southwestern flavors, this soup should be your go-to the second the leaves start to change color. This copycat Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe (via dinnerthendessert.com) is a dead ringer for the real thing, and it’ll taste ten times better when you’re eating it in your PJs.
I know I said my personal fave is the Autumn Squash, but Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup is a definite crowd pleaser. When it’s not Autumn Squash season, I have to admit I go for the Broccoli Cheese all the time. While it’s not hard to find similar recipes online, this Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe (via therecipecritic.com) is pretty close to Panera’s specific decadence. Bonus points if you make it in a bread bowl!
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This soup is seriously so popular that if you Google “Zuppa Toscana,” a million copycat recipes come up before you can even find the Olive Garden menu. I chose this Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana recipe (via thechunkychef.com) because it not only looks delicious, it actually claims to be better than the original. Only one way to find out! It’s also a Crock Pot recipe, and who can resist that?
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The Walkabout Soup is basically the Blooming Onion in a bowl. Hearty, filling, and creamy, Outback hits the nail on the head as far as great winter soups go. This Outback Steakhouse Walkabout Soup copycat recipe (via foodfolksandfun) puts a homey and delicious spin on the favorite from “Down Under.”
There’s no soup better than a hot vegetable soup on a cold day, and since there’s no restaurant chain that does down-home food better than Cracker Barrel, you know this is a high quality soup that will make you happy. And since the nearest Cracker Barrel to me is about five hours away, I’m super thankful for this Copycat Cracker Barrel’s Vegetable Soup recipe (via kidfriendlythingstodo.com).
You may not realize because your mind is on the half-off apps and dollar cocktails, but Applebee’s has a pretty killer tomato basil soup. This Applebee’s Copycat Tomato Soup recipe (via theslowroasteditalian.com) takes it up a notch with its quick prep time and extra cooking tips. Serve with a grilled cheese for peak comfort.
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Carrabba’s is way underrated—from the seasoned olive oil you can dip your bread in all the way to the extensive sangria menu. So it’s no surprise that their sausage and lentil soup is to die for. This Carraba’s Sausage Lentil Soup copycat recipe (via thecookierookie.com) is perfect because it recreates this flavor-packed, restaurant-quality soup in no time at all.
Although Disneyland is technically not a chain restaurant, far be it from me to exclude the happiest place on Earth! And the food at Disney is a big part of that, but don’t worry about booking a trip if you’ve got a hankering for a high-quality clam chowder; this Disney Inspired Clam Chowder recipe (via kleinworthco.com) is a great replacement—right down to the bread bowl.
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I’m admittedly mad that there isn’t a Café Rio in New York, because through my research I’ve learned that their chicken tortilla soup is supposedly amazing. Well, thank goodness for the copycat, because now I can’t wait to try this Cafe Rio Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe (via favfamilyrecipes.com) and pretend that I’m really there.
Header image courtesy of Getty Images / Luis Alvarez