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Six Late-Winter Dishes to Cozy Up With

Winter doldrums got you down? Feel a chill seeping into your bones? Though a Caribbean vacation or miraculous heat wave would definitely help to get us through, these aren’t the only solutions. A hearty, warm bowlful of home-cooked goodness works just as well. These six recipes are all you need to thaw yourself out.

Photo by Sarah Shatz

Recipe: Lentil and Sausage Soup for a Cold Winter’s Night

The beauty of this soup is that it manages to be deeply warming but not overly heavy. The broth is light, and aromatic with wine and marjoram, and you feel like you've won the lottery each time you come across a piece of garlicky sausage.

Photo by Sarah Shatz

Recipe: Short Rib Ragu

This is an earthy ragu that we’re confident would be just as satisfying over pasta as it is over polenta. The mushrooms make the liquid cloaking the shredded short ribs feel extra meaty, and the wine, anchovy, tomato paste and mustard make it sing.

Photo by Nicole Franzen

Recipe: Porcini and Rosemary Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Sauce

This roast is a showstopper. Salting and drying the meat in the fridge overnight ensures perfect seasoning, a lovely internal texture and a beautiful crust. The porcini-rosemary rub is intensely flavored, and the rich wine sauce gains an earthy depth from the extra dose of dried porcini.

Photo by Sarah Shatz

Recipe: Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs

Spicy merguez sausage is bathed in a lush, smoky sauce of tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices; when you cut into the soft eggs on top -- which have been poached right in the sauce -- the silky yolk combines with the rest of the dish and mellows any lingering acid from the tomatoes.

Photo by Sarah Shatz

Recipe: Andouille and Dijon Polenta

This polenta is as creamy and rich as it gets, but it's far from a one-note wonder. There's a subtle tang from the Dijon, and it's studded with bits of spicy Andouille sausage and flecked with fresh spinach and tarragon -- the latter two managing to cut the unctuousness.

Photo by James Ransom

Recipe: Roasted Radicchio and Shrimp with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

While balsamic-kissed radicchio roasts in the oven, the bacon vinaigrette simmers on the stove. Throw the shrimp in at the last minute, toss it all together and serve.

What are your favorite belly-warming, late-winter meals? Share your comments below!