20 Savory Pork Soups and Stews

This collection of our best, brothiest recipes celebrates pork in all its glorious forms.

Brunswick Stew, served in a white bowl with freshly baked biscuits.

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Pork is one of the best meats to simmer in a seasoned broth, whether a recipe calls for tender chunks of shoulder, rich bacon, smoky ham hocks, or bouncy, flavor-packed meatballs. From Hugh Amano's creamy Tonkotsu Ramen and Paula Wolfert's show-stopping Toulouse-Style Cassoulet to Priya Krishna's spicy Posole Rojo, this collection of recipes is informed by a diverse array of food cultures, featuring dishes with remarkably different textures and flavors.

01 of 20

Smoked Ham Hock and Lentil Soup

Overhead view of Smoked Ham-Hock and Lentil Soup served in two bowls.
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

"I love making this lentil soup when the weather begins to cool," says 2017 Food & Wine Best New Chef Nina Compton, chef-owner of New Orleans hot spot Compère Lapin. "The ham hock aroma hangs around the kitchen beautifully; the smell alone makes you warmer. Adding a little ginger and lemongrass brightens the soup and reminds me of being back home in St. Lucia. Using local okra reminds me of my Louisiana home and adds a different texture."

02 of 20

Corsican Bean Soup with Greens and Pork

Corsican Bean Soup with Greens and Pork, served at the table from a large tureen.
Greg DuPree

Full of hearty winter vegetables, this comforting soup is filling without being heavy. Dried beans are the key to the satisfying richness of the broth; if you want to use canned beans to save time, stir them in at the end of cooking.

03 of 20

Khao Soi

Khao Soi, served in black bowls, garnished with cilantro and mint leaves.

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

An aromatic mixture made of shallot, garlic, and radish is the base of this riff on the Northern Thai classic from chef Donny Sirisavath. He amps up the flavor with soybean paste, cherry tomatoes, and ground pork to create a deeply savory pork sauce. Red pepper flakes, black pepper, and palm sugar act as a balancing act to the spices and aromatics in the sauce. The addition of grated galangal in combination with the lemongrass offers a really nice fragrant note to the overall dish.

04 of 20

Butternut Squash and Pork Soup with Fish Sauce and Tender Herbs

Overhead view of Butternut Squash and Pork Soup with Fish Sauce and Tender Herbs, served in an irregularly shaped white bowl.
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

In Vietnam, kabocha squash is simmered with pork to make a soup called canh bi do thit heo. This riff on that classic dish swaps in mild butternut, which holds its shape well and absorbs the rich flavors of the broth and pork while cooking quickly. Filled with tender ground pork marinated in fish sauce and sugar, this aromatic, brothy soup comes together in under an hour for a light and satisfying meal.

05 of 20

Posole Rojo

Overhead view of a bowl of Posole Rojo, garnished with avocado, radish, tortilla chips, and shredded lettuce.
Victor Protasio

Posole is the choose-your-own-adventure of Mexican cuisine. Start with a stew speckled with chewy bits of hominy and seasoned with lime and braised pork. Depending on the region, that soup could be green from jalapeños and tomatillos (if you're in Guerrero) or red from guajillo or ancho chiles (in areas such as Mexico City and Jalisco). Then, choose from a selection of toppings: finely chopped onions, sliced avocado, lime, radishes, lettuce, queso fresco. Go big, or keep it simple. That's the true beauty of posole: No two bowls look or taste exactly alike.

06 of 20

Porco à Alentejana (Portuguese Braised Pork and Clams)

Portugese Braised Pork and Clams, served in a shallow white bowl.
Greg DuPree

This simple braise is a mainstay along the coast of Portugal. With clams from the sea and pork from the nearby mountains, it speaks to the landscape and diet of Portugal. Its garlicky broth pairs well with crusty bread and dry Portuguese wine.

07 of 20

White Bean and Ham Soup

White Bean and Ham Soup, served in light green serving bowls and topped with croutons and sliced scallions.

Diana Chistruga

When Grace Parisi was growing up, her mother made white bean and escarole soup every Friday. To transform the soup into a main course, Parisi substitutes ham and spiced croutons for the greens. To create a creamy, luxurious texture, the ham is removed from the pot, the beans, vegetables, and broth are puréed, and the ham is added back in.

08 of 20

Tonkotsu Ramen

A bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen, garnished with a halved soft-boiled egg.

Frederick Hardy II / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Cookbook author Hugh Amano notes that, as developed in ramen-yas, ramen is the perfect restaurant dish: prep heavy and simple to finish in a hurry. This recipe is a labor of love. You’ll need a couple of days to prepare all the components. But trust us when we say the results are well worth it. If you prefer a comparatively quick ramen recipe that's ready the same day, try Grace Parisi's recipe for Shoyu Ramen, which features a clearer broth.

09 of 20

Brunswick Stew

Overhead view of a bowl of Brunswick Stew served with biscuits.

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Brunswick stew is a beloved comfort dish with roots in traditional Southern cuisine. Original iterations of this dish are said to have included small local game animals like squirrels or rabbits. But the modern version of this stew typically uses chicken or pork. Our version calls for braising pork shoulder in a tomato and chicken stock-based broth and adding corn, potatoes, and lima beans. Onions, garlic, dry mustard, paprika, brown sugar, and Worcestershire give the stew a deep savoriness and piquancy.

10 of 20

Pork and Kale Soup with Sizzling Puffed Rice

Overhead view of Pork-and-Kale Soup with Sizzling Puffed Rice, served in a shallow white and black bowl.
Johnny Miller

”I love food that makes noise,“ says Edward Lee. When F&W challenged the Top Chef Season 9 contestant to make a fast dish with pork, kale, and white wine, he created a deeply flavorful soup, then added crumbled rice cakes that crackle as they hit the broth. The dish is based on one he likes from a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese spot in Manhattan’s Chinatown. ”They make a big deal out of adding the rice, so you can celebrate the sizzling sound,“ Lee says.

11 of 20

Yucatán Pork Stew with Ancho Chiles and Lime Juice

Yucatán Pork Stew with Ancho Chiles and Lime Juice

Tia Harrison, co-founder of Avedano’s Meats in San Francisco, used to break down a pig each week and found making stew to be the most versatile way to use cuts like pork shoulder, shanks, and belly. Here she cooks the stew with pleasantly bitter ancho chiles.

12 of 20

Khao Dtom Moo Saap (Rice Congee with Pork Meatballs)

Rice Congee with Pork Meatballs, served in a shallow patterned bowl with a lime wedge and chile powder in a small dish on the side.

Con Poulos

Chef James Syhabout flavors his meatballs simply with fish sauce and soy sauce. They’re served in his soothing congee with assorted condiments, including cilantro, garlic oil, and chile vinegar.

13 of 20

Pork Chile Verde

Pork Chile Verde, served in a white bowl and garnished with crispy tortilla strips.

Frederick Hardy II / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Christina Brockman

This recipe from Guy Fieri is chock full of meltingly tender pork shoulder braised in a tomatillo and chile-infused broth. Fieri uses pasilla, poblano, Anaheim, and jalepeño peppers as the chile base for this comforting stew. It’s a warming, cozy dish for a winter gathering and perfect for any game day gathering.

14 of 20

Pork Cheek and Black-Eyed Pea Chili

Pork Cheek and Black-Eyed Pea Chili
© Maura McEvoy

Michael Symon defines himself as a “porketarian,” saying he can’t get enough of the meat. For his luscious chili, he uses incredibly flavorful and succulent pork cheeks — an unusual cut worth seeking out. If pork cheeks aren’t available, pork shoulder (cut into 2-inch pieces) can be substituted.

15 of 20

Pork-and-Green-Chile Stew

Pork-and-Green-Chile Stew, served in a white bowl with corn tortillas, rice, and lime wedges.

A mix of mild and spicy green chiles gives body and heat to this quick braise made with boneless pork shoulder.

16 of 20

Toulouse-Style Cassoulet

Close-up of Toulouse-Style Cassoulet. A wooden spoon has broken through the layer of browned breadcrumbs on the surface.

Tina Rupp

Although there are innumerable versions of cassoulet, most are based on a stew of white beans and various forms of pork. The dish gets its name from the pot it's traditionally baked in, which is flared outward toward the rim to ensure the greatest amount of luscious crust. This version by acclaimed cookbook author Paula Wolfert includes duck confit and the French garlic sausages that are a specialty of Toulouse.

17 of 20

Pork and Tomatillo Stew

Pork and Tomatillo Stew served in a red bowl, garnished with tortilla chips.

Ellie Miller

This spicy Mexican-style stew is loaded with vegetables. Winemaker Andrew Murray makes it for his employees around harvest time. “It’s our comfort food at the winery,” he says. “And it’s a nice excuse to stop for a few minutes and eat together, even when we’re busy.”

18 of 20

Pork-and-Cider Stew

Pork-and-Cider Stew

This hearty stew from chef Fernanda Milanezi is super-simple to make for a crowd. It’s finished with heavy cream, which amplifies the wonderful apple flavor.

19 of 20

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup, served in a white tureen.

Pernille Pedersen

Grace Parisi’s kids love a particular brand of canned soup filled with chicken meatballs and soggy pasta, but she prefers real minestra maritata (Italian wedding soup). She makes tiny pork meatballs and simmers them with orzo, chickpeas, spinach, and parmesan. She occasionally substitutes green beans for the spinach, depending on who is at the table.

20 of 20

French (Canadian) Onion Soup

French (Canadian) Onion Soup. Photo © Kate Mathis

© Kate Mathis

Hugue Dufour makes a pork broth for his French onion soup using bacon for smokiness and a pig's foot for richness. Omit the pig's foot for a lighter broth.

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