Soup: Comfort for Body and Soul
It’s all well and good to sing, “The weather outside is frightful…Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” but you don’t always have the option of staying by the fire. On those cold, wet days when you...
It’s all well and good to sing, “The weather outside is frightful…Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” but you don’t always have the option of staying by the fire. On those cold, wet days when you have to venture out, warm up again with a hot and hearty bowl of soup. Pop the ingredients into a slow-cooker before you leave home, and you’ll be toasty again before you know it!
A steamy bowl of fassoulatha, or white bean soup, will hit the spot for a winter lunch or supper. Combine white beans, onions, celery, carrots and tomatoes for a filling classic delight.
White Bean Soup
- a pound of butter beans
- 2 large onions
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 carrots
- olive oil
- 2 large tomatoes
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Soak a pound of butter beans overnight and then drain the water from them with a strainer.
- Cook the beans in boiling water in a sauce pan until they are tender; drain them again.
- While you wait for them to cook, finely chop onions, celery and carrots; sauté them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil unless they are soft and the onions are translucent.
- Peel, chop and mash the large tomatoes.
- When the beans are done, mix the cooked vegetables, beans and tomatoes in a soup pot.
- Add a quart of water, 2 teaspoons of dried oregano, 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer the soup 15-20 minutes to blend the flavors.
- Serve with a tossed salad or crusty, toasted bread.
A Creamy Cauliflower Concoction
For a quick and simple cauliflower soup, try this recipe.
- vegetable or chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Break a head of cauliflower into florets.
- Place them in a soup pot with the vegetable or chicken stock.
- Add a sliced carrot and chopped onion.
- Simmer the vegetables until everything is tender, and then pour it all into a food processor.
- Blend it with 1 cup of milk for every 2 cups of stock.
- Add salt, pepper and your favorite herbs to taste.
A topping of Parmesan croutons will complete this meal perfectly.
Sneaky Tomato-Basil Deliciousness
Tomato soup may be one of the top comfort foods known, and you can create a quick but delicious version from supermarket “cheats.” Follow these steps, using two large cans of stewed San Marzano tomatoes and a a small container of prepared basil pesto.
- Toss the cans of tomatoes in the food processor to break them into small bits.
- Pop them into your soup pot and stir in the basil pesto.
- Serve the hot soup with French bread or grilled cheese fingers.
For a heartier treat, wrap mozzarella balls with bulk sausage and brown the meat before tossing the cheese-stuffed meatballs into the soup.
It Can’t Be Squash!
Delight your family or guests with a winter squash soup.
- buttercup, butternut or acorn squash
- Start with your own blend of ginger, cardamom, cumin, coriander, fenugreek and chilis to create a curry taste.
- Cut the squash into cubes.
- Add the squash cubes in a pan with stock or water, simmer it until tender.
- Then blend it into smoothness with the spices.
You can serve it just as it is, or make it a little decadent with a splash of heavy cream swirled through.
Warming Up Old-School
Of course, it’s hard to beat good, old-fashioned vegetable soup, and you can use up leftovers this way, as well. Combine your favorite vegetables -- potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, peas, anything you like -- with rich beef or chicken stock and let it simmer until everything is fork-tender. You can add browned beef chunks or shredded chicken, and your soup will stretch even farther with a little extra stock and a handful of pasta. Salt and pepper season it beautifully, or you can add whatever herbs you have on hand, including a touch of red pepper flakes for a little kick.
Contact us for more ways to warm up this winter!