Winter and Holiday Comfort Soup Recipes
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Winter and Holiday Comfort Soup Recipes

Soup is one of the oldest, most traditional, and most universal meals.  They require few ingredients, a pot, and a small amount of time in the kitchen.  In the winter season and around the holidays, soup is an especially body and soul warming food.  Here are a few recipes, good for the holidays or for an every day meal.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 (2 pound) pumpkin, halved and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 1/2 stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
  • 15-20 small sage leaves, fried

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the pumpkin cut side up on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Invert to cut side down and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Repeat with other half of pumpkin.  Place in the oven and roast until skin is golden brown and pumpkin is tender, 50-60 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  Once cool enough to handle, scoop the pumpkin flesh from the skin and set pumpkin aside.  Discard skin.

Set a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and, when hot, add the cinnamon and allspice.  Stir constantly for 1 minute.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, ginger, and garlic to the pan and saute, stirring occasionally until lightly caramelized, for 3-4 minutes.  Add the stock and pumpkin to the pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Remove soup from heat and process with a blender in batches until smooth.  Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Add the cream and stir to combine.

To serve, place 1 cup of soup in each bowl and drizzle 2 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil on top and garnish with 2 or 3 freid sage leaves.

NOTE:  When blending hot liquids, fill blender no more than halfway and release one corner of the top.  This prevents the vacuum effect heat explosions.  Pulse blender a few times and then process on high speed until smooth.

Jerusalem Artichoke Bisque with Watercress

  • 1 1/2 pounds Jersalem artichokes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 fat leeks, white part only, thinly sliced, OR 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 6-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • sea salt and pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 3/4 cup small croutons
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped watercress or arugula leaves

Scrub artichokes, rinse, then slice into 1/4 inch rounds.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a wide soup pot over medium heat, then add artichokes, leeks or onions, potato, and 1 cup stock or water.  Cook until limp, about 5 minutes.  Stir in flour and cook about 1 minute, then add 6 cups stock or water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.  Let cool, then puree in blender and pass through a sieve set over clean saucepan.  Thin to desired consistency, adding additional stock as needed.  Season to taste with sale, pepper, and nutmeg, then stir in cream and return to stove until hot.  Melt remaining butter in skillet, add the croutons and cook over low heat until crisp.  Ladle soup into bowls, scatter with watercress and add croutons.

NOTE:  When blending hot liquids, fill blender no more than halfway and release one corner of the top.  This prevents the vacuum effect heat explosions.  Pulse blender a few times and then process on high speed until smooth.

New England Squash Soup

  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 3 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (about 6 oz)
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • pinch of dried marjoram
  • 2/3 cup evaporated skim milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine onions, celery, garlic, and apple juice in a large soup pot.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables soften.  Add the squash, potato, water or stock, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 -25 minutes.

While the soup simmers, saute the mushrooms in an uncovered skillet with the sherry, soy sauce, and marjoram until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

When the squash and potatoes are very soft, remove the soup pot from the heat and, working in batches, puree the soup with the evaporated skim milk in a blender or food processor.  Reheat gently.  Add salt and pepper.  Serve topped with sauteed mushrooms.

NOTE:  When blending hot liquids, fill blender no more than halfway and release one corner of the top.  This prevents the vacuum effect heat explosions.  Pulse blender a few times and then process on high speed until smooth.

White Bean Chili with Caribbean Jerk Chicken

  • 8 slices turkey bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 cups great northern beans, drained
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1, 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 6-8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon jerk seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sour cream, pico de gallo, and cilantro (for garnish, optional)

Heat a large sauce pot on medium-high heat, add bacon and cook until crisp, stirring continuously, about 3-4 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, add green peppers, red peppers, and onions, and cook stirring continuously, 3-4 minutes.  Stir in cumin, chili powder, marjoram, oregano, and garlic, cook 1 minute.  Add salt, cayenne pepper, pepper and flour, stir until combined.  Add beans, broth, lemon juice, and tomatoes, bring to a simmer, let simmer 20 minutes.  Add additional cayenne pepper to taste.  Season chicken breast on both sides with jerk seasoning.  Heat oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Saute chicken to a deep brown color and cooked trough, or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees.  Dice into 1/2 inch pieces.  Ladle chili into bowls and top with diced chicken.  Garnish with sour cream, pico de gallo, and cilantro if desired.

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Comments (1)

Those do sound good, especially since its going to be below zero next several days.