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It sometimes feels as though the cold winter days will never end. A piping-hot bowl of homemade soup, however, can make the midwinter chill a little easier to bear! To warm yourself up and satiate your hunger, prepare one of these deliciously soothing soups this week!
Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
With spicy ingredients including chili peppers, chili powder, and smoked paprika, the heat of this savory squash soup is guaranteed to warm you up!
Time Required: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
2 pints of chicken or vegetable stock
2 chopped carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 peeled and cubed medium-sized butternut squash
1 peeled and cubed large potato
1 medium-sized chopped onion
1 medium hot pepper (chili or jalapeño)
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1 pinch of cumin seeds
1 pinch of smoked paprika
1.) Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the hot pepper, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary and cumin and sauté for 30 seconds, or just long enough to release the ingredients’ flavors.
2.) Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the stock.
3.) Sauté the ingredients for two additional minutes. Mix the vegetables and spices well.
4.) Add the stock and turn the heat down to low. Let the soup simmer for roughly 45 minutes.
5.) Remove the soup from the stove and allow it to cool. When it has cooled, blend the soup using a hand mixer. Mix until the soup is free of lumps. If the soup is too thick, add stock until the desired consistency is achieved.
6.) Before serving, reheat the soup on the stove or in the microwave.
7.) Serve with bread or crackers and enjoy!
Simple Miso Soup
Once you’ve procured some fermented soybean paste, making this miso soup is a breeze! Enjoy this Asian specialty as a warm appetizer or side dish to accompany your main meal.
Time Required: 15 minutesMakes: 2 servings
4 cups of water
4 tablespoons of white miso (fermented soybean) paste, with or without bonito fish flavoring1/4 cup of cubed firm tofu
1/2 cup of a sturdy, leafy green, like kale, chard, or collard greens, chopped1/2 cup of chopped green onion
Optional: 1/4 cup of dried seaweed sheets (nori), cut into rectangles
1.) Pour the cups of water into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring the water to a gentle simmer.
2.) Add the seaweed sheets and simmer for roughly 6 minutes.
3.) While the seaweed simmers, set the miso paste in a small bowl. Add a small amount of hot water to the paste and whisk it until it is smooth. Once the mixture is blended, stir it into the soup.
4.) Add the tofu, leafy green, and green onion to the pot. Cook the soup for another 4-6 minutes. Taste the soup periodically, adding more miso or spices if desired.
5.) Serve and enjoy!
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Hearty baked potato toppings, including flavorful cheddar cheese and mouth-watering bacon, come together in a spoonable version of this classic side dish.
Time Required: 40 minutesMakes: 4 servings
4 cubed large potatoes
4 cups of whole milk
6 slices of bacon
3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, plus additional cheese for garnish
1/2 cup of finely-cut green onions or scallions, plus additional green onions for garnish
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1.) Cook the bacon over medium heat in a skillet for approximately 8 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy.
2.) Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel and let it cool. When cool, crumble the bacon.
3.) Over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic and the butter. Once sautéed, add the milk and flour. Whisk the mixture constantly for approximately 5 minutes, or until it is somewhat thick.
4.) When slightly thickened, add the potatoes. Season with as much salt and pepper as you like.
5.) Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Allow the potatoes to cook for 20-30 minutes, or until they are soft.
6.) Stir in the green onions and cheese. Mix until the soup has taken on a creamy consistency
7.) Garnish the soup with the bacon crumbles, sour cream, and remaining cheddar and scallions. Enjoy!
Ham & Bean Soup
Hot, hearty, and filling, this classic ham and bean soup makes for a perfect weekday dinner.
Time Required: 3 hours (30 minutes preparation, 2.5 hours cooking)
Makes: 9 servings
1 ham hock
2 cups of chopped ham
1 pound of dry beans of choice (preferably great northern, navy, or cannellini)
8 cups of water
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/2 stalk of chopped celery
1 cup of chopped onion
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1.) Open the package of beans and rinse them off. Remove broken beans from the mix.
2.) Bring water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the beans and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the beans to soak in the hot water for a minimum of one hour.
3.) Once the beans have finished soaking, place the ham bone, celery, onion, carrots, mustard, garlic and bay leaves in the pot. Return the pot to high heat and stir it well as it comes to a boil.
4.) Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Allow the soup to simmer for one hour.
5.) After the hour is over, remove and discard the ham bone. Pour the chopped ham into the pot. Allow the soup to simmer for an additional half hour.
6.) When finished, season the soup to taste and serve!
Many of us have little time to prepare elaborate meals, particularly during the hectic winter months. To save yourself time and money, prepare large portions of soup and enjoy multiple bowls throughout the week. Consider cooking your soups in a slow cooker to further streamline the preparation process. However you organize your meal prep, these soups are sure to satisfy!
Photo: © sarsmis / fotolia.com
Editor , 01/25/2018