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Ina Garten's fave Le Creuset Dutch oven is my cold-season must-have — and it's $110 off

This past week I fell ill from a seasonal cold, the kind many of us suffer through at this time of year. There's not much to be done except rest up, drink liquids and eat soup. Luckily, resting in my kitchen cupboard is my Le Creuset Dutch oven, the single most useful soup-making tool in my kitchen arsenal. Even the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, swears by Le Creuset's Dutch ovens for soups, stews and braising.

I invested in the 5.5-quart model over two decades ago, and it is still going strong. Yes, it was a bit expensive, but for something that lasts this long and delivers time and time again, there's no doubt in my mind that it was/is worth every penny. And that's truer than ever right now, as Amazon's marked down some colors by as much as $111!

Le Creuset

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Dutch Oven, 5.5 qt

$309$420Save $111
What CAN'T a Dutch oven do? It holds heat very well, which makes it well-suited for soups, braises, stews and so, so much more.
$309 at Amazon

One of the reasons I love this vessel is because it's ideal for low and slow cooking. Cast iron holds heat very well, which makes it ideal for soups, braises, stews or any kind of cooking that relies on consistent heat for a long time. I also like that the Le Creuset has an enamel coating, which makes it a lot easier to care for than just regular cast iron, which requires seasoning. All you need to do to clean it is simply wash it with soap and water. Plus, the enamel coating means food won't stick as easily in the first place.

Ina Garten and a red Le Creuset dutch oven
Looking for a pot that'll take on any dang challenge Ina Garten — or you— you throw at it? Le Creuset dutch oven is what you want. (Photo: Getty Images, Amazon)

Aside from just stews and braises, I've heard of people who use their Dutch ovens for baking bread! With the lid on, the pot's interior provides the perfect environment for making a delightfully crusty loaf. Best of all, most of these bread recipes use a very easy no-knead recipe — that's right, no kneading! — that you can simply dump in the pot and go.

So...what did I make in my Dutch oven to help cure me of my cold? Well, I made a green curry chicken meatball soup from Ali Slagle's terrific cookbook, I Dream of Dinner. The meatballs are made out of ground chicken, grated ginger, green curry paste and bits of spinach, which I then cooked in about eight cups of simmering chicken stock (which itself was mixed with fish sauce, lime peel, and sauteed ginger and scallions). I finished it off with even more fish sauce and lime juice, and then ate the soup over some rice noodles and even more spinach. The recipe didn't take that long at all, and yet it tasted warm and homey. It was exactly what I needed.

Le Crueset's 5.5-quart Dutch oven? That's exactly what you need!

Le Creuset

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Dutch Oven, 5.5 qt

$309$420Save $111
What CAN'T a Dutch oven do? It holds heat very well, which makes it well-suited for soups, braises, stews and so, so much more.
$309 at Amazon

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

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