Get your winter cooking projects in order with these essential tools.

By Bridget Hallinan
January 06, 2020
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When the weather cools down, there’s nothing better than whipping up a big batch of warming, hearty soups and stews—and you only need a few tools to do it. If you like cooking low and slow, a slow cooker is your best bet, although you can also use Dutch ovens, stock pots, and even designated soup pots. An immersion blender is a good call, too—with it, you can create ultra-silky soups in a matter of minutes. Read on for all the tools we love using for soups and stews.

Courtesy of Amazon/Crate & Barrel/Williams-Sonoma/Sur La Table

Immersion Blender

Courtesy of Amazon

The beauty of immersion blenders is that you can put them directly into the soup without removing it from the pot, and use them to create a creamy, uniform texture. This particular Breville model can be submerged up to eight inches, and has adjustable speed settings.  

Breville BSB510XL Control Grip Immersion Blender, $86 at amazon.com

Slow Cooker

Courtesy of Amazon

We love this slow cooker because we found it runs “the lowest and slowest by far” in a test—use it to make soups, stews, chilis, and more.

KitchenAid KSC6223SS 6-Qt. Slow Cooker with Standard Lid - Stainless Steel, $74 at amazon.com

Skimmer

Courtesy of Sur La Table

This skimmer allows you to remove small items from soups and stocks, such as bay leaves and herb bundles.

Sur La Table Stainless Steel Fine-Mesh Skimmer, $20 (was $25) at surlatable.com 

Stock Pot

Courtesy of Amazon

This stockpot can hold 16 quarts, allowing you to make enough soup to last a few days.

All-Clad 59916 Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Stockpot Cookware, 16-Quart, Silver, $200 (list price $250) at amazon.com

Blender

Courtesy of Amazon

Vitamix’s powerful blenders can make your soups perfectly smooth and silky. We’ve found this specific model is an Amazon favorite—the stainless steel blades are capable of transforming cold ingredients to “steaming hot soup” in about six minutes.

Vitamix 5200 Blender, $383 at amazon.com

Dutch Oven

Courtesy of Le Creuset

We can attest that this Dutch oven is perfect for making soups and stews, although you can also use it for braises, frying, and even making bread. Pick from 19 different colors, ranging from emerald green to indigo. 

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 7-1/4-Quart Round Dutch Oven, $385 at lecreuset.com

Soup Pot

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

Should you want something smaller than the dutch oven above, Le Creuset also makes a cast-iron soup pot with 4.5-quart capacity. It’s dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Le Creuset Cast-Iron Soup Pot, $200 (suggested price $300) at williams-sonoma.com

Cookbook

Courtesy of Amazon

This old-school cookbook includes 250 different soup recipes and 50 stew recipes, ranging from Asparagus-and-Crab to Nigerian Peanut Soup. 

The Complete Book of Soups and Stews, $19 at amazon.com

Soup Bowl

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

This sleek soup bowl can be bought on its own for $9, or paired with a matching sandwich plate in case you’ve got a tomato bisque and grilled cheese meal in the works.

Farmhouse Soup Bowl, $9 at crateandbarrel.com 

Ladle

Courtesy of Sur La Table

The flexible silicone in this bi-material ladle allows you to get into the corners of your pot, making sure every last bit of soup is scooped out.

Le Creuset Bi-Material Ladle, $25 (suggested price $35) at surlatable.com

Wooden Spoons

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

If you’re cooking in a non-stick pan or pot, wooden spoons are your friend, since they won’t scratch off the coating. This gorgeous set from Williams-Sonoma includes four different types—a 12-inch spoon, 14-inch spoon, 12-inch blunt-end spoon, and 12-inch slotted spoon, all made from olivewood.

Williams Sonoma Olivewood Spoons, Set of 4, $80 at williams-sonoma.com

Cube Freezing Tray

Courtesy of Amazon

Some cooks like to save stock or bouillon by freezing them in ice cube trays—this specific tray was designed for that very purpose. Each compartment has four fill lines (half cup, one cup, 125 milliliters, and 250 milliliters) to help you freeze everything in exact portions. It also got great reviews on Amazon, with 93 percent of the ratings five-star. 

Souper Cubes Extra-Large Silicone Freezing Tray with Lid (2 pack), $37 at amazon.com

Philips Soup Maker

Courtesy of Amazon

Yes, you read that correctly—a soup maker. It has six preset programs that allow you to make pureed soup, chunky soup, cold soup, and milk-based soup, as well as compotes and smoothies, too. Some soups can be ready in as little as 18 minutes, so this tool works well if you’re in a pinch.

Philips Soup Maker, $130 at amazon.com

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