4 Great Winter Soup Recipes

Soups and stews make great warming meals during the chilly winter months.

| November/December 2007

  • WinterSoup
    Minestrone soup is perfect for the chilly weather.

  • WinterSoup
Soups or stews are easy to make and are great ways to warm up from winter's chill. Each season the recipe can include different fresh ingredients, and each time you can be creative and create unique flavors by adding various herbs and spices. If you go to your farmers market or fresh food store, you can see what local ingredients are in season and pick out the ones you like best.

Here are some soup and stew recipes to enjoy all winter long.

Winter Squash Soup (From The Edible Mexican Garden by Rosalind Creasy)

This light soup is best served as the first course.

2 tbsp butter
1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp fresh marjoram, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
4 cups butternut squash or banana, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp cloves, ground
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups chicken stock
1 poblano pepper or mild chile, roasted, peeled and diced
1 tsp sugar
Garnish: coarse sea salt, 1 tbsp Mexican crema or sour cream

In a large saucepot, melt the butter and add the sage, marjoram and oregano. Allow to cook over low heat until the butter starts to brown but not burn, approximately 5 minutes. Once the butter is golden brown, remove the pot from the heat, strain and discard the herbs. Place the strained butter back in the pot and saut? the squash, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper for approximately 10 minutes, until the squash starts to soften. Pour in the stock and simmer until the squash breaks down and the soup is creamy. Remove it from the heat and stir in the pepper and sugar. Serve in heated bowls.

To serve the soup in a pumpkin or squash, first cut the top out of a pumpkin as you would a jack-o'-lantern. Clean out the pumpkin with a sharp spoon. Make a few tablespoons of the herbal butter using the preceding method. Brush the insides and the rim of the cleaned-out pumpkin with the butter. To provide a bit of smoky flavor, hold the pumpkin over a charcoal fire or grill for a few minutes. Pour the squash soup into the pumpkin. Serves 4 to 6.

Dilly Bean Potato Soup (From Simply in Season, by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert)

If you are going to have a crowd, this soup will serve at least a dozen.

1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
6 carrots, shredded
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
9 large potatoes, diced
Salt, to taste
8 to 9 cups cooked Great Northern beans
2 tbsp dried dill weed
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt or sour cream
3 tbsp flour
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in a large soup pot, and saut? celery, carrots and garlic. Add broth, potatoes and salt and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Mash some of the potatoes in the broth mixture for a creamier taste. Add beans and dill weed to the soup. Combine yogurt or sour cream, flour and pepper and stir into soup. Cook and stir until thickened. Serves 12 or more.

Beef Stew with Caramelized Onions and Red Wine (From Braises and Stews by Tori Ritchie)

3 pounds beef stew, preferably chuck, trimmed of excess fat
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter
3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups red wine, such as Pinot Noir
1/2 cup low-sodium beef or chicken broth
1 tbsp tomato paste

Cut the meat into 2-inch pieces, rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Coat the bottom of a 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven with a thin film of oil and set pot over medium-high heat. After a few minutes, add enough meat to cover the bottom in one layer. Cook, without stirring, until meat lifts easily from pot with tongs and is well browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer meat to a plate and continue with remaining pieces, adding more oil to pot in between batches as needed.

When the last batch of meat has been removed, add the butter, onions and a good pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle the sugar over the onions. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onions are limp and golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the flour and thyme and increase heat to high. Stir 1 minute, then pour in the wine and broth and let liquid come to a boil. Stir in the tomato paste. Return meat and any accumulated juices to pot, let liquid come to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is tender when pierced and sauce is thickened, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from heat and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

Turkey-barley Soup (From EatingWell.com)

Your leftover turkey doesn't have to go to waste. Use some in this soup for a whole new meal.

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion (about 2 cups), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup pearled barley
6 cups Essential Turkey Broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 carrots (about 1 cup), peeled and diced
2 medium parsnips (about 1 cup), peeled and diced
2 cups skinless cooked turkey, diced
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Heat oil in large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add barley and stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Skim off any froth. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add carrots and parsnips. Cover and simmer until the barley and vegetables are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add turkey and simmer until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Add dill, lemon juice and pepper. Taste and add salt, if needed. Serve immediately. Yields 8 servings.

For more tasty soup recipes check out these articles from Mother Earth News:

Have a favorite winter soup recipe or special ingredient? Share your ideas in the comments section below.


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