Xueci Cheng

Associate Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

instagram.com/scharf.xueci/

Comfort food needs no introduction, yet it means something different for everyone. In our Comfort Food Issue, we’re exploring the recipes that are always there for us and invite you to do the same. Check back here for our latest recipes and articles from the issue, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for exclusive content.

“Winter is coming,” isn’t just a TV show tagline anymore, but a scary fact. Here in Berlin, it’s windy, gloomy, and getting dark early. As we start to turn the heat up and dig out our sweaters, we crave something comforting in the kitchen, too; whether a bubbling stew from the stovetop or an oozing cheesy bake out of the oven. But what’s comforting to me, might not be, and in fact probably isn’t, what’s comfort eating to you. So, for this article I asked around in the Kitchen Stories team, “What KS recipe is your go-to comfort food?” Here are the many, varied, and inspiring answers!

Warming soups and stews

Our team can confirm that nothing is more comforting than a bowl of soupy goodness amid the winter gloom. Soups are a great way to highlight the season’s best produce (pumpkin, kale, mushrooms), they’re usually very easy to cook, and they tend to have a straightforward ingredient list.

Creamy chicken and vegetable soup

Creamy chicken and vegetable soup

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5-ingredient butternut squash soup
5-ingredient sweet potato lentil curry soup
Carrot miso soup
Lentil soup with Italian sausage and kale
Mushroom-barley soup
Pea soup with smoked trout and mint

Our Head of Cross-Channel Communications, Kirsten, specifically loves a big bowl of ramen: “It’s quite obvious, as this one already has comfort in the title, but there’s really nothing I’d rather eat when in need of some comfort than a hot noodle soup like ramen or pho with a strong broth and lots of noods.”

Feel good vegetarian miso ramen

Feel good vegetarian miso ramen

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Easy chicken udon soup
Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup)
Weeknight chicken laksa (Malaysian curry noodle soup)
Tomato and egg noodle soup

Embracing more warming spices or seasonings is also a good way to cope with cold weather. One thing I make on repeat is a spiced chickpea stew, and our latest release in the stewy category is this deep red, veg-filled Korean soft tofu number.

Sundubu jjigae (Korean soft tofu stew)

Sundubu jjigae (Korean soft tofu stew)

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Swiss chard and chickpea stew with turmeric and poached egg
Christian’s Chili con carne
Székely Gulyás (Szegedin goulash)
5-ingredient stewed white beans and zucchini

The more cheese, the better

When speaking of comfort food, there’s no way to go wrong with cheese, cheese, and more cheese. To many, comfort food is pretty much synonymous with cheesy food, from casseroles and bakes to a bowl of creamy, cheesy risotto. Our chef Christian’s choice is this ultimately satisfying French potato gratin with a handful of ingredients.

Tartiflette (French potato, bacon, and cheese casserole)

Tartiflette (French potato, bacon, and cheese casserole)

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Eggplant Parmesan
Cacio e pepe pizza
Risotto alla Milanese (Saffron Risotto)
Cheese spätzle with fried onions
Georgian cheese and egg bread
5-ingredient baked fusilli and cheese with ham

We can’t go on this list without the honorable mention of our love for pasta, building on the aforementioned manifesto, “The more carbs and cheese, the better.” We can never get enough pasta in its many forms, especially those cheesy, saucy lasagnas!

Italian sausage and sage lasagna

Italian sausage and sage lasagna

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5-ingredient creamy tomato and basil pasta
Steven makes spaghetti and meatballs
Easy Italian lasagna
Make classic lasagna Bolognese with Hanna
Christian’s macaroni and cheese
Christian makes pasta al forno (Italian pasta bake)

The nostalgic and classic recipes

Sometimes, comfort is associated with our favorite food memories, from holidays or family dinners out. As Devan, our Managing Editor, wrote about these Thai stir-fried noodles: “This one that brings me back to my childhood. It was just about the only thing I would eat at a Thai restaurant my family liked because I was so picky. Now I find it comforting in terms of flavor, yes, but mostly for nostalgia.” Meanwhile, our founder Mengting recommends Swedish Köttbullar with “luxurious mashed potatoes” as her classic comfort food go-to (we even have a vegan version, served with noodles).

Pad see ew (Thai stir-fried noodles)

Pad see ew (Thai stir-fried noodles)

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Make chicken tikka masala with Steven
Crispy rolled pork belly with cranberries and herbs
Swedish Meatballs
Butter chicken in mildly spiced tomato sauce
Red lentil and eggplant moussaka
Creamy potato and meat gratin

What are your favorite, go-to comfort foods? Join the conversation in the comments below!

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