(credit: Shutterstock)

(credit: Shutterstock)

It’s true that winter in southern California isn’t nearly as harsh as it is in middle America. However, a chill does get into the air out here in sunny southern California. When it does, you want some good, hearty soups to take the chill off. If you’re looking for a great bowl of soup that will keep you satisfied, try these restaurants
(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Malarky’s Irish Pub
3011 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(949) 675-2340

If you’re looking for a good winter soup, it’s hard to beat a good chili. It’s even better if you can get that chili in a place like Newport Beach, which is downright pleasant in winter. The chili here is delicious whether you get it by itself in a bowl or served on top of potato skins. It will stick with you and warm you up on those days when there is a bit of a chill in the sea air. Plus, you’ll find few places in Orange County that are as homey as Malarky’s, where the crowd is mostly locals, but very welcoming.

Nate's Korner chili (Credit: Gary Schwind)

Nate’s Korner
3950 S. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 545-5772

Nate’s Korner is about as inconspicuous a diner as you’re likely to find, but inside you’ll find some great food. One of the best things on the menu here is the chili. It is filled with meat and beans, and topped with red onions (fear not the onions) that add a nice flavor to the chili. Be warned: the chili here is hot. Mind you, it’s not overly spicy. It’s just hot – to the point that your last spoonful will still be hot enough to blow on before you put it in your mouth. This chili will definitely keep you warm on those cool winter days.

Potzol den Cano pozole (Credit: Gary Schwind)

Potzol den Cano
1003 S. Bristol St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 664-0558

One thing that makes a great winter soup is if it combines meat and grains together so the soup stays with you long after you’ve eaten it. Another great component of a winter soup is something with a little spice to warm you up. The pozole at this hidden gem is filled with pork and hominy. You can also get it with all the fixings on the side – radish slices, diced onion, lettuce, oregano, red chili and hot sauce – to make it as spicy as you like. It’s available in three sizes, and depending on what size you get you can either share it with someone or make it your only meal of the day.

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

6507 Quail Hill Parkway
Irvine, CA 92603
(949) 725-1773

LUCCA Cafe maintains a seasonal menu, and you’ll definitely reap the benefits when it comes to the soup here. Among the soups of the day this winter, you’ll find a butternut squash soup with candied pecans, which would be amazing anytime but especially at a holiday dinner. You’ll also find a creamy cauliflower and cheese fondue soup, onion soup with sherry and torched Havarti cheese and a roasted tomato soup with bacon, corn, zucchini, basil and a touch of cream. Any one of the soups here will make you forget all about grandma’s.

(credit: Anita W./Yelp)

(credit: Anita W./Yelp)

Pitfire Pizza
353 E. 17th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 313-6333

Pitfire is known for great pizzas, but it also has some soups that are sure to draw you in during the winter. One is a Tuscan bean soup made with kale pesto, Asiago cheese and torn croutons. This soup is so good and warming that it might become your new comfort food. The other option at Pitfire is lemon-chicken-garlic soup made with fennel broth and roasted pasta. Nothing says winter like chicken soup.

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Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.