Soup’s On!


I have to admit, I hate losing daylight savings time.

Fewer hours of sunlight and the onset of darkness at 5:00pm makes my already hurried days feel all the more compressed. I’d never make it in Alaska that’s for sure. This time of year, I crave food that is satisfying and warm to counteract the brisk chill of winter in the air.

For me, the best remedy for cold weather dole-drums is right in my recipe repertoire: Soup.

Nothing satisfies the soul  like a bowl of steaming homemade soup. Easy to prepare in advance, this simple one-pot meal is complete as is, or garnished with a light green salad and crusty bread. Better still, soup seems to develop rich layers of flavor the longer it sits–so you can make it on the weekend, and continue to enjoy it throughout the week.

The following three tried and true soup recipes are go-to staples my family enjoys. Yours will too!

MUSHROOM VELVET SOUP (yields 8 cups)

CVI Earth to Table Dinner - Velvet Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Velvet Soup

8 tablespoons butter

1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced (a mixture of shitake, chanterelle, and porcini is ideal, but this works well with button mushrooms too).

2 medium onions, chopped

2/3 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups organic beef broth

2 cups organic sour cream

Heat butter in a large skillet and sauté sliced mushrooms, onion, and parsley until mushrooms are soft and pan juices have evaporated (about 5 minutes). Stir in flour and cook for one minute more to brown lightly. Slowly incorporate broth, stirring after each addition. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, then remove from heat and allow to cool.

Puree cooled soup in a blender or food processor, gradually incorporating sour cream, until smooth. Gently warm over low heat before serving.

CHICKEN COLD-CURE SOUP 

self-made bouillon de volaille (chicken broth).

*This comforting concoction delivers an immunity-boosting punch!

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, cut into eighths

1 carrot, diced

5 Shitake mushrooms, chopped

5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

6 cups organic chicken broth

1/2 cup organic brown rice

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (more or less as desired)

1 bay leaf

1 pound cooked, shredded free-range chicken (no skin)

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 bunch organic bok choy or leafy spinach, coarsely chopped

In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion, carrot, mushrooms, and garlic until softened (about 4-5 minutes). Reduce heat to low and add chicken broth, brown rice, cayenne, bay leaf, and shredded chicken, simmering until the rice is tender (about 20 minutes). Finish with lemon juice and chopped bok choy. Simmer 5 more minutes. Remove the bay leaf and enjoy! *If using pre-cooked brown rice the preparation is even easier!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH-APPLE SOUP

2 tablespoons butter, melted

butternut squash apple soup

Butternut Squash-Apple Soup

Maple Syrup

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped to yield 4 cups

1 organic apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

2 large organic carrots, peeled and chopped

1/2 large sweet onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, low-sodium

1/2 cup apple cider, preferably organic

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, toss squash, carrots, and apple with butter and a generous drizzle of maple syrup. Spread on a large, shallow baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, or until veggies are soft and caramelized. Remove from oven. In a large stock pot over medium heat, combine chicken or vegetable stock, and cider. Spoon in roasted veggies/apple and juices, bringing mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to simmer, cooking for about 15 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender or food processor, until smooth. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a spoonful of sour cream or plain yogurt if desired.

Categories: Seasonal Recipes, SLOW FoodTags: , , , , ,

11 comments

  1. Great post, Karen~ I just made a big pot of soup with sundried tomato chicken sausage, beef broth, a little dry sherry, onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, cabbage and celery. Am looking forward to enjoying it on this rainy day~ Cheers!

    • That sounds amazing Susan! Would you be so kind as to share your recipe with me? karenpavonesfoodforthought@gmail.com

      • Hi Karen~ not really a recipe, more like “let’s see what’s in the fridge and put it all into a pot” kinda thing! I chop and saute all the veggies, except cabbage, in a mix of 1/2 sunflower oil and 1/2 olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pot I use. Then I cut up a package of the sun dried tomato chicken sausage (from Trader Joe’s )and let them brown a bit. Add beef broth ( or chicken if you prefer) season to taste, add 1/2 cup sherry, and 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer, add sliced cabbage and cook until cabbage is soft. Correct seasoning and turn off heat. Let sit for 20 minutes or so, then dish out. Put a sprinkle of shredded parmesan on top and enjoy with toast or a sour dough roll~ bon apetit!

      • I’m going to give that a try over the weekend! Sounds like a great remedy for the rainy weather we’ve been having. Thanks for sharing :>)

  2. We are of like minds about the clock change. Great soup ideas and I love you dishware in the top photo.

  3. Mushroom and pumpkin soup are one of my favorite soups. It is so true when you don’t feel good, a chicken soup always helps you to feel better.

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