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WARM UP WITH WINTER SOUPS: From rich cream soups to nourishing broths, these classic recipes will keep you cozy when the temperatures drop.

Homemade soups are the perfect comfort food, satisfying even the hungriest of appetites. They offer the flexibility of cooking with what you have on hand, and there are no rules when it comes to the ingredients. Plus, soups can be made in short order with minimal cleanup, making for the ultimate "no fuss, no mess" meal.

Try one of these delicious recipes for your next meal. Old-Fashioned Beef and Barley Soup is hearty, while Authentic Wonton Soup will satisfy lighter appetites. For something quick, consider Cheesy Broccoli Soup. Game Day Cheeseburger Soup is a win for the meat-eaters in your family.
CHEESY BROCCOLI SOUP
Ready in less than an hour, this soup is an excellent choice for brunch
or a quick meal. You can substitute cauliflower for the broccoli.
Yields 6 servings.

1 1/4   cups chicken broth
1/2     cup chopped carrots
1       stalk celery, chopped finely
2       cups chopped broccoli, raw or frozen
3       tablespoons all-purpose flour
2       cups whole milk
1 1/2   cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
1       tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried
        Salt and pepper, to taste Crackers, for garnish

1. In a stockpot, bring chicken broth, carrots, and celery to a boil
over medium-high heat. Cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 4
minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add broccoli, and cook for an
additional 3 minutes, or until broccoli is tender. Reduce heat to low.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and milk until smooth. Pour
the flour and milk mixture into the soup, and stir to combine. Cover,
and cook on low for 10 minutes, or until soup thickens. Don't let the
soup boil or the milk will scald. Stir in cheese and parsley, and cook
for 3 more minutes, or until cheese is melted. Salt and pepper to
taste.
3. Garnish with crumbled crackers and shredded cheddar cheese.

AUTHENTIC WONTON SOUP
This hearty Asian-style soup has a rich broth and flavorful dumplings
filled with savory chicken that'll keep you coming back for more.
Yields 4 servings.

1    raw chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2  teaspoon sesame oil
     Dash ground ginger
1    clove garlic, minced
     Dash salt
     Dash black pepper
6    cups chicken broth
3    tablespoons finely chopped chives or green onion tops, plus
     more for garnish
1    tablespoon soy sauce
1    tablespoon white wine, optional
20   wonton wrappers

1. In a small bowl, combine chicken, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt,
and pepper, and mix until chicken is thoroughly coated. Set aside.
2. In a stockpot, combine chicken broth, chives, soy sauce, and white
wine, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover, and simmer for
10 minutes.
3. While broth is simmering, make wontons. Place 1 teaspoon chicken
mixture in the center of 1 wonton wrapper. Using your fingers or a
pastry brush dipped in water, wet all four edges of wrapper, and then
join two opposite corners and press edges to seal, forming a triangle.
Wet remaining two corners, fold them so they meet in the middle of the
bottom of the triangle, and press together to form a wonton (see photo,
below). Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers.
4. Bring soup up to a light boil over medium-high heat, and drop in all
20 filled wontons. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until wontons float.
5. Garnish with chives or green onion tops.

CREAMY WILD RICE AND CHICKEN SOUP
This quick, classic soup is a simple way to make use of leftover
chicken. Yields 6 servings.

2    tablespoons vegetable oil
1    stalk celery, finely chopped
1/3  cup chopped carrots
1/3  cup finely chopped onion
1    cup chopped cooked chicken
4    cups chicken broth
1    tablespoon white wine
1    cup cooked wild rice
1    cup chopped broccoli
     Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4  cup cream

Crusty bread or crumbled bacon, for garnish
1. In a stockpot, heat oil on medium-low. Add celery, carrot, and
onion. Saute 5 to 8 minutes, stirring regularly, until vegetables are
tender.
2. Add chicken, chicken broth, and white wine to pot. Cover, and simmer
for 15 minutes.
3. Add cooked rice and broccoli, and simmer for 5 more minutes. Salt
and pepper to taste.
4. Reduce heat to low, and add cream. Cook gently on low heat for about
5 minutes.
5. Garnish with crusty bread or bacon bits.

EASY GNOCCHI SOUP WITH SPINACH
The pasta lovers in your family will be delighted by this blend of
Italian flavors. For a quick version, use store-bought gnocchi. Yields
6 servings.

2      large potatoes, peeled
1      tablespoon olive oil
1/3    cup diced onion
3      cups chicken broth
4      cups tomato juice
1/3    cup fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
2      cups stemmed raw spinach or chopped kale
1 1/4  cups flour
1/2    teaspoon salt
       Dash ground nutmeg
1      large egg
2      cups Italian cheese blend, divided, plus more for garnish
       Crusty bread, grated Parmesan cheese, and parsley, for garnish

1. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water and boil, whole,
until tender, about 20 minutes.
2. While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high
heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken
broth, tomato juice, and basil, and bring to a light boil. Cover,
reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Increase heat to medium, and bring soup back to a boil. Add spinach,
and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove stockpot from heat and let sit,
covered, while you prepare the gnocchi.
4. In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt, and nutmeg.
5. While potatoes are still warm, grate them with a food processor, box
grater, or ricer. Add grated potato, egg, and 1 cup Italian cheese
blend to flour mixture, and mix thoroughly with your hands.
6. Lightly flour a work surface. Dump potato mixture onto work surface,
and knead until smooth. Divide dough into 6 equal balls, and roll each
ball out with your hands to make a small rope about 12 inches long by 1
inch in diameter. Cut ropes into 1-inch-long pieces.
7. Return stockpot to stove and bring soup to a boil over medium-high
heat. Drop in gnocchi pieces. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until gnocchi
floats, indicating it's done. Add remaining 1 cup Italian cheese blend,
and stir until melted.
8. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, freshly grated Parmesan
cheese, and crusty bread.

FRENCH ONION BEEF SOUP
Get a jump-start on this scrumptious soup by cooking the beef and broth
overnight in a slow cooker. Add the vegetables in the morning, and
it'll be ready by lunch-time. You can also make this soup on the
stovetop; just reduce the initial cooking time to 3 to 4 hours at a
simmer, and the second cooking time to 1 hour. Yields 6 servings.

1  pound beef chuck steak or roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
8  cups beef broth
1  cup sliced carrots
3  large onions, thinly sliced
2  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or
1  teaspoon dried
1  tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
   Salt and pepper, to taste
1  baguette or French bread loaf
   Olive oil, as needed
   Swiss cheese, as needed

1. In a slow cooker, cook chuck steak and beef broth on low for 8 to 10
hours.
2. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred it into small pieces with a
fork.
3. Return meat to slow cooker, and add carrots, onions, parsley, and
Worcestershire sauce. Cook on low for 2 to 3 hours. Salt and pepper to
taste.
4. Slice bread into 1-inch-thick slices. Brush both sides of each slice
with olive oil, and broil in oven until golden brown; watch carefully
so the bread doesn't burn.
5. Place soup in single-serving ovenproof bowls and top each with 2 to
3 toasted baguette pieces and Swiss cheese. Broil in oven until cheese
is melted, usually just a few seconds.

OLD-FASHIONED BEEF AND BARLEY SOUP
This hearty soup gets its flavor from a long, slow simmer. Yields 6
servings.

2    tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2  cup diced onion
1    pound beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/8  teaspoon black pepper
7    cups water
2    tablespoons beef base, or
6    beef bouillon cubes
3/4  cup uncooked barley
3/4  cup peas
3/4  cup corn
3/4  cup chopped carrots
     Parsley and crackers, for garnish

1. In a stockpot over medium heat, heat oil, and then add onion, chuck
roast, salt, and pepper. Cook until meat is browned, about 5 to 10
minutes.
2. Add water and beef base, and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low,
and cover. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours, or until beef is tender and falls
apart.
3. Add barley, peas, corn, and carrots, and simmer, covered, for 20
minutes.
4. Garnish with fresh parsley and choice of crackers.

GAME DAY CHEESEBURGER SOUP
Sure to satisfy hearty appetites, this meat-and-potato-lovers soup is
topped with gooey cheddar cheese. Yields 6 servings.

1    pound ground beef
1    cup chopped onion
1/4  teaspoon black pepper
1    tablespoon beef base
4    cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1    cup diced carrots
1    large bay leaf
4    tablespoons all-purpose flour
3    cups whole milk, divided
1/4  cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1    cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, plus more for garnish
1    cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
2    tablespoons butter
1/4  teaspoon salt

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook ground beef, onion, black
pepper, and beef base until beef is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
2. In a stockpot over medium-high heat, bring potatoes, carrots, and
bay leaf to a boil in just enough water to cover potatoes. Cover, and
lightly boil for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1 cup milk until smooth.
Add milk and flour mixture to stockpot with potatoes. Reduce heat to
low, and add remaining 2 cups milk and parsley. Cover, and cook on low
until soup thickens, about 10 minutes.
4. Add cheeses, butter, and salt, and cook on low heat, stirring, until
cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.
5. Garnish with parsley and cheese.

LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP
All the classic flavors of a loaded baked potato are included in one
bowl of this comforting soup. Yields 6 servings.

1/2  cup diced onion
2    tablespoons butter
2    cups chicken broth
5    cooked peeled potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/4  teaspoon salt
     Dash black pepper
1    cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1    cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
1    cup cream
1    cup whole milk
2    tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried
8    slices cooked bacon, crumbled, divided
     Fresh chives, for garnish

1. In a stockpot over medium-low heat, saute onion in butter until
tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add chicken broth, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to
low, and cook for 8 minutes.
3. Add cheeses, cream, milk, parsley, and half of bacon, and stir to
combine. Cover, and cook until cheeses have melted.
4. Garnish with fresh chives, shredded cheddar cheese, and remaining
bacon.

SOUP BREAD BOWLS
Kick your soups up a notch by serving them in a homemade bread bowl.
Yields 6 bowls.

1 1/2  teaspoons yeast
1 3/4  cups warm water, 105 to 110 F
1      tablespoon melted butter
1/4    cup buttermilk or whole milk
1      tablespoon brown sugar
1      teaspoon salt
2      cups whole-wheat white flour
2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour or bread flour

1. Add all ingredients to bread machine, in order, according to your
machine's instructions. Run on dough cycle. Alternatively, mix dough by
hand: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. In a large bowl,
combine melted butter, milk, and yeast mixture, and beat on low speed
with a handheld mixer until thoroughly blended, about 2 minutes. Add
sugar, salt, and 1 cup whole-wheat flour, and mix on medium speed until
well-blended, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add remaining flour in 1/2
cup increments, until all flour is added; dough will become stiff.
Dump dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead for 6 to 8
minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. Add
flour to work surface if dough begins to stick. Place dough in a large
greased bowl, turn one time, and cover with a dish towel. Let rise in a
warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
2. When dough is ready, divide equally into 6 balls. Roll out each ball
to 1 1/2-inch thickness. Let dough rise for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Transfer dough to a baking sheet, and bake
for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden-brown.
4. Once cool, hollow out the center of each bowl for soup. Save cut out
bread for other uses, such as to make croutons.


Valerie Boese is a fourth-generation chicken keeper, and the owner of TarBox Hollow Poultry (www.TarBoxHollowPoultry.com).

Story and photos by Valerie Boese
COPYRIGHT 2020 Ogden Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:Comfort Foods
Author:Boese, Valerie
Publication:Grit
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Jan 1, 2020
Words:2197
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