Once the icy gusts of seasonal wind have kicked up the bone-chilling days, the soul-satisfying liquid warmth of winter soups is most welcome.

Soups that are the easiest to make, and keep on hand, are based on simple larder ingredients. From the pantry come dried legumes (split peas, navy beans, lentils, and so on) and from the vegetable bin come the common root vegetables (carrots, onions, turnips and like things). These form the base for soups that can be made entirely ahead, even in stages, if you like.

Larder soups, as I like to call them, are made up of three components: 1) the dry ingredients consisting of beans and little pouches of dried herbs, 2) butter- or oil-saute'ed vegetables, and 3) liquid in the form of chicken or beef broth.

Ingredients for each of the following recipes are divided into those categories. Beans and herbs can be measured out long before the actual cooking of the soup takes place; the vegetable may be saute'ed up to three days prior to soup-making and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator; and, the soup can be simmered at your convenience.

Any of the larder soups would benefit from toppings, such as toasted bread slices rubbed down with olive oil and a scraping of garlic, or cubes of toasted bread brushed with an herb-infused oil, finely shredded jarlsberg or parmesan cheese, or sprinklings of chopped ham or roasted pork.

Most of these soups can be enriched with sausages (pan-fried or broiled until golden on the outside, then cut into chunks), shreds of braised short ribs of beef, or smoked pork chops. Supplemented with a crusty loaf of bread and a bracing salad, a larder soup thereupon becomes substantial supper.

HEARTY NAVY BEAN AND VEGETABLE SOUP (10 to 12 servings)

Navy beans and wintry root vegetables, in combination, make this soup hearty and thick; the soup vastly improves in flavor after an overnight rest in the refrigerator. Smoked pork chops or fat pieces of browned sausages, simmered until cooked through in the soup, would make this a substantial one-dish meal.

FOR THE DRY INGREDIENTS:

1 cup dried navy beans, picked over

1 small imported bay leaf

12 whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

3 whole cloves

FOR THE FRESH INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, minced

2 carrots, diced

4 ribs celery heart, diced

1/2 small turnip, peeled and siced

1/2 small cabbage, sliced into fine shreds (to yield about 4 cups)

FOR THE LIQUID:

10 cups homemade stock (chicken or beef), or the equivalent of tinned broth

Salt to taste

Rinse the dried beans in a colander, turn into a deep bowl, and cover with 4 inches of cold water. Let the beans sit overnight, or for about 8 hours, until plump. Tie up the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and cloves in a small square of cheesecloth.

Place the butter and olive oil in a large soup kettle, or other heavy pot, set over low heat, add the onion and cook slowly until the onion just begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Raise the heat to moderate, add the carrots, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute; add the celery, stir and cook for 1 minute; add the turnip, stir and cook for 1 minute; add the cabbage, stir and cook for 1 minute. Drain the beans and add them to the pot with the herb bundle. Pour over the stock. Bring the contents of the kettle to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, stirring, then simmer the soup, covered, for about 3 hours, or until the beans are tender. Season the soup with salt to taste. Discard the bag of spices.

If you are not serving the soup immediately, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container (the soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days).

To make a meal-in-a-pot soup: Add 8 small smoked pork chops (or as many as you need to serve 1 to each eater) to the soup 1 hour before the cooking time is up, or 1 1/2 cups of browned spicy sausage pieces to the soup 45 minutes before cooking time is up.

TOMATO-LENTIL SOUP (6 servings)

This is a lentil soup tinged with chopped plum tomatoes, which give the soup depth and character. Partner steaming hot bowls of soup with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and crisp, golden rounds of country bread.

FOR THE DRY INGREDIENTS:

1/2 pound dried brown lentils, picked over

1/2 a small imported bay leaf

12 whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

FOR THE FRESH INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

2 carrots, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

FOR THE LIQUID:

1 cup tinned whole plum tomatoes, with their juice, roughly chopped

6 cups homemade stock (chicken or beef), or the equivalent of tinned broth

Salt to taste

Pour the lentils into a colander and rinse with cool water; set aside. Tie up the bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme and marjoram in a small square of cheesecloth.

Place the olive oil in a large soup kettle, set over moderately low heat, stir in the onions, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, stir and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the carrots and celery, and stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils to the pot with the herb bundle. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices. Pour over the stock. Bring the contents of the kettle to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring. Reduce the heat so that the liquid simmers, cover, and simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Season the soup with salt to taste. Discard the bag of spices.

If you are not serving the soup immediately, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container (the soup will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days). Upon reheating the soup, check for thickness and add a little extra water or broth if the soup seems unusually thick.

To make a meal-in-a-pot soup: Add 1 cup diced ham or roasted pork to the soup 15 minutes before the cooking time is up.

MUSHROOM-BARLEY SOUP (8 servings)

Earthy dried mushrooms, soaked in warm water and chopped, lend a soft, smoky flavor to this soup. Pearl barley gives the soup body and substance; the barley may be purchased in bulk quantities at local markets and health food stores.

FOR THE DRY INGREDIENTS:

1 ounce dried mushrooms

1/2 cup pearl barley

12 whole black peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 a small imported bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

FOR THE FRESH INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, minced

1 rib celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

FOR THE LIQUID:

8 cups homemade stock (chicken or vegetable), or the equivalent of tinned broth

Salt to taste

Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl, cover with 1/2 cup very hot tap water, and let stand for 15 minutes, or until the mushrooms plump up. Place the barley in a colander, rinse with cold water and set aside. Tie up the peppercorns, celery seed, bay leaf, thyme and marjoram in a square of cheesecloth.

Remove the mushrooms from the water. Strain the water to remove particles of sand. Rinse the mushrooms quickly in cool water and chop them into small pieces; reserve the mushroom-soaking liquid and mushrooms.

Place the butter and oil in a large soup kettle, set over moderately low heat, and stir in the onion. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the celery and stir and cook for 1 minute; stir in the carrot and stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, mushroom-soaking liquid, herb bundle, and stock. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, stirring. Stir in the barley and bring to the boil again. Reduce the heat so that the liquid simmers, cover, and simmer the soup for about 2 hours, or until the barley is quite tender. Season the soup with salt to taste; discard the herb bundle.

If you are not serving the soup immediately, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container (the soup will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator).

To make a meal-in-a-pot soup: Add 2 cups shredded cooked meat, such as meat taken from braised short ribs or brisket of beef, a half hour before the cooking time is up.

THREE-BEAN SOUP (8 to 10 servings)

Using almost any assortment of dried beans that are on hand, so long as each takes about the same time to cook, you can make a flavorsome batch of soup; besides, dumping the odds and ends of beans into a big soup kettle is a thrifty way to use the last half-cupfuls of legumes sitting on the pantry shelf.

FOR THE DRY INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup dried navy beans, picked over

1/2 cup dried cranberry beans, picked over

1/2 cup dried black-eyed peas, picked over

12 whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

3 whole cloves

1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seed

1/2 a small imported bay leaf

FOR THE FRESH INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, minced

2 ribs celery, minced

2 carrots, diced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

FOR THE LIQUID:

8 cups homemade stock (chicken or beef), or the equivalent of tinned broth

1 cup tinned plum tomatoes, with their juice, roughly chopped

Salt to taste

Rinse the dried beans in a colander, turn into a deep bowl, and cover with 4 inches of cold water. Let the beans sit overnight, or for about 8 hours, until plump. Tie up the peppercorns, thyme, marjoram, cloves, mustard seed and bay leaf in a square of cheesecloth. Drain the soaking beans and set aside.

Place the vegetable oil and butter in a large soup kettle, or other heavy pot, set over low heat and stir in the onion. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the celery and stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrots and stir and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the herb bundle, dried beans, stock and tomatoes. Bring the liquid to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil the contents of the kettle for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer the contents for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the beans are thoroughly cooked. Season the soup with salt to taste. Discard the herb bundle.

If you are not serving the soup immediately, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container (the soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days).

To make a meal-in-a-pot soup: Add kielbasa sausages, or other mild-flavored sausages, browned and cut into 2-inch lengths, to the soup 45 minutes before the cooking time is up.

SPLIT PEA SOUP (8 servings)

Split pea soup, soothing and nutritious, is a fine soup base for the addition of smoked sausage, lightly browned and cut into chunks, or bits of diced ham.

FOR THE DRY INGREDIENTS:

2 cups split peas, picked over

1/2 a small imported bay leaf

1 whole dried hot pepper pod

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

12 whole black peppercorns

3 whole cloves

FOR THE FRESH INGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, minced

2 ribs celery, minced

2 carrots, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

FOR THE LIQUID:

8 cups stock (chicken or beef), or the equivalent of tinned broth

2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

Salt to taste

Rinse the split peas in a colander, turn into a deep bowl, and cover with 4 inches of cold water. Let the peas soak in the water for 2 hours. Drain well. Tie up the bay leaf, hot pepper pod, thyme, marjoram, peppercorns and cloves in a small square of cheesecloth; set aside.

Place the butter in a large soup kettle, set over low heat, and stir in the onion. Let the onion cook in the butter until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Increase the heat to moderate, stir in the celery and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the carrots and stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the herb bundle, drained peas, stock and worcestershire sauce. Bring the contents of the kettle to a boil, boil 2 minutes, then cover the pot and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Season the soup with salt to taste. Discard the herb bundle.

If you are not serving the soup immediately, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container (the soup may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days).

To make a meal-in-a-pot soup: Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups cubed smoked ham to the soup 20 minutes before the cooking time is up.

BLACK BEAN-BACON SOUP (10 servings)

Of all the legumes, black beans seem the richest, and make up one of the best-tasting, solidly built soups I know of. A pork product, cured or smoked -- ham hock, chunk of salt pork or small slab of bacon -- is a natural addition to this kind of soup.

FOR THE DRY INGREDIENTS:

2 cups dried black beans, picked over

1/2 small imported bay leaf

12 whole black peppercorns

6 whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

FOR THE FRESH INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, minced

1/4 pound bacon in the piece, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes, drained, patted dry and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 ribs celery, diced

FOR THE LIQUID:

10 cups homemade stock (beef or chicken), or the equivalent of tinned broth

Salt to taste

Rinse the black beans in a colander, turn into a deep bowl, and cover with 4 inches of cold water. Let the beans soak overnight, or for 8 hours, until plumped up. Drain well. Tie up the bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves, thyme and marjoram in a small square of cheesecloth; set aside.

Put the olive oil in a soup kettle or other large, heavy pot, set over low heat, add the onion and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes. Increase the heat to moderate, add the diced bacon, and stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bacon is lightly colored. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the celery and stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the herb bundle, drained black beans and stock. Bring the contents of the kettle to a boil, boil 2 minutes, then simmer the soup, covered, for 2 hours or until the beans are tender. Season the soup with salt to taste. Discard the herb bundle.

If you are not serving the soup immediately, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in an airtight container (the soup may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days).

If you like, 2 cups of the soup may be pure'ed in a blender and returned to the pot -- this gives the soup two textures and a bit of extra body.

CANNED BROTH THAT TASTES LIKE HOMEMADE STOCK (Makes 4 cups stock)

It's no sin if, lately, you have not been tending a tall bubbling stock pot, brimming with bones, chicken carcasses and browned vegetables. A tasty broth reminiscent of homemade stock can be created, and quite nicely, by adding some vegetables to canned chicken or beef broth. (Some broths are saltier than others, so experimenting with different brands might be in order to find one that's acceptable to you. I favor College Inn, readily available at major chain grocery stores.)

4 cups tinned chicken or beef broth

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped carrots

1/8 cup chopped celery (including leafy parts)

3 parsley stems

1/4 of a small imported bay leaf

Pinch dried thyme

Place the broth, onions, carrots, celery, parsley stems, bay leaf and thyme in a heavy pot. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Uncover. Strain the liquid off all vegetables. Use the broth directly in soup-making, or cool to room temperature and refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 1 day. (The enhanced broth may be frozen for up to 3 months.)