The perfect cast-iron pot for cooking winter soups and stews

By Grace Haynes
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Southern Living Lodge Apple Pot
The perfect cast-iron pot for cooking soups and stews
| Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

There's no better way to warm up on a cold day than with a bowl of soup.

Southerners may curse harsh winter weather, but there's something particularly comforting about whipping up a pot of hearty beef stew like or cozy tomato soup when the temperature drops. For perfecting these one-pot dishes, we pull out our cast-iron pots or Dutch ovens and arsenal of essential kitchen tools.

This Christmas, the only gift our editors are putting on their lists is the Lodge E3AP40 Enameled Cast Iron Apple Pot in Patriotic Red. We can't wait to prepare some of our favorite Southern dishes in this festive vessel. The 3.5-quart pot has a cast-iron core coated in bright red enamel, making it as fun for setting out on display as it is functional for making delicious meals. It's refrigerator safe, so you can skip a few cleanup steps by sticking the pot in the refrigerator and then heating it up when you're ready for leftovers. It's also oven safe up to 500°F, so you can broil or bake meats and vegetables in the pot for dinner.

Lodge's apple-shaped pot can also be used as a serving dish when the meal is ready. When it's not being used for cooking, set it out on display as a cookie jar or holder for other treats. It's the perfect gift for the foodies in your family.

WATCH: How to Season a Cast-Iron Skillet

We also have some good news for the Disney fans with their eyes on the upcoming line of cookware inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from Le Creuset (which goes on sale November 17). Lodge's apple-shaped pot looks awfully similar to Le Creuset's cast-iron take on the Evil Queen's iconic apple—and it's almost half the price.

Put this pretty and practical pot on your Christmas wish list this year, and unwrap it in time to cook Southern favorites like collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Years Day.